Raising healthy chickens – why light matters.

Research into how chickens perceive the world has given insights into how light is processed.

 

A fluorescent bulb with a flicker can cause enormous stress and lack of UV light can impact everything from choosing a viable mate to finding sufficient food.

 

Our feature article this week looks at these factors and finds that chickens perceive more “pictures” than humans – up to 150 pictures per second.  This means when trapped in an environment with a flickering lightbulb (imperceivable to humans) they suffer stress from the “disco effect”.

 

Also discussed in this article is the importance of the UV spectrum of light to chicken behaviour.  Without the UV spectrum, females can’t pick out viable males because they can’t see the wings or tail feathers clearly.   They also have trouble differentiating seeds from rocks in light that lacks UV.

 

It seems that the ideal set-up for poultry is outdoor natural light but where this is unavailable, full-spectrum light is vital to their ongoing health and well-being.

 

The full article can be found here.

Related posts:

  1. Chickens, food miles and light quality.
  2. Best of 2011 – Care of Chickens and other birds

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