The lighting programme is an important
tool to control the onset of lay and affects
the performance. Within certain limits, per-
formance can be adapted to farm specific
requirements by adjusting the lighting pro-
gramme. Easiest to follow are the lighting
programmes in closed houses without the
effect of natural daylight.
In these, the hours of light and light intensity
can be adjusted to changing needs.
Rearing birds in closed houses and produc-
ing eggs in light-tight houses enable the
producer to maximize performance. Follow
the lighting programme which is recom-
mended for this type of housing system and
commercial variety. For open or brown-out
houses (houses with incidence of daylight), a
tailor made programme has to be developed
which reflects the season and geographical
location where the pullets are being reared
and stimulated to lay.
In general, the lighting programme should
follow the basic principles:
Never increase hours of light during the
rearing period until planned stimula-
Never decrease hours of light during
the production period.
Always keep in mind that natural day-
light can influence the lighting pro-
gramme in open or brown-out houses.
for Day Old Chicks
When the day old chicks arrive on the farm,
they have already been intensively han-
dled in the hatchery and often have a long
transport to their final destination. Common
practice is to give them 24 hours of light
to help them recover after arrival and to
provide them enough time to eat and drink.
In practice, it can be observed
that after arrival and housing, some chicks
continue to sleep whereas others start to
look for feed and water. The activity of the
flock will always be irregular. Especially in
this phase, poultry men have difficulties
interpreting the chicks behaviour and their
There is a practically proven principal in split-
ting the day into phases of resting and ac-
tivity using a special designed intermittent
lighting programme. The aim is to synchro-
nize the chicks’ activities. The farmer gets a
better impression of the flocks condition and
the birds are encouraged by the groups be-
haviour to search for water and feed.
to give chicks a rest after they arrive at the
rearing farm and then start with four hours
of light followed by two hours of darkness.
Adjust the ILP according to the working time
in the chicken house.