Interpretive Summary: Effects of light color and intensity on discrimination of red objects in broilers
By: Chenghao Pan, Shouyi Wang, Pengguang He, Khawar Hayat, Hao Jin, Leshang Bai, Yuchen Hu, Jinming Pan
Poultry are sensitive to red objects, such as comb and blood on the body surface, likely inducing injurious pecking in flocks. We built a wooden box to investigate the effects of light color (reddish and bluish) and intensity (5 and 50 lux) of background light on the discrimination of red objects in broilers. A piece of red photographic paper (Paper 1) was used and paired with another piece of paper (Paper 2 to 8) with a different color. Every bird was trained to discriminate and peck at Paper 1 when paired with Paper 8 under one type of background light. Then, Paper 8 was changed from Paper 7 to 2. Response time to peck and proportion of choices of Paper 1 were collected. We found that broilers under 5 lux light had longer response times than under 50 lux light. Broilers under reddish light had lower proportion of choices than under bluish light. Moreover, color difference had a significant effect on the response time and the proportion of choices. Conclusively, rearing broilers under reddish rather than bluish light with appropriate intensity should be recommended to reduce damaging pecking behavior in broiler production.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.