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Seasonal biology: Avian photoreception goes deep

Avian photoreception goes deep

Light in the environment is used both for vision and for a range of non-visual functions called non-visual photoreception. One of the major roles of this kind of photoreception is synchronization of daily and seasonal biological rhythms ensuring functions such as reproduction and foraging behavior to occur at the most appropriate time.

Although we humans sense environmental light exclusively with our eyes, birds have photoreceptors within their brains, allowing eye-independent means of day-length sensing. Classic studies in the 1930s demonstrated that light directly shone into the brain influences reproductive activity and subsequent experiments revealed that the site of photosensitivity lays deep within in the basal hypothalamus. This implies light sensing through intervening skull and brain tissue.

The chicken hypothalamus thus senses light in a direct manner allowing endocrine physiology to synchronize to seasonal day-length changes and thereby ensures reproduction and foraging behavior to occur at the most appropriate time. This eye-independent photoreception is used by all of our products to control and influence the behavior of the chickens.

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It’s completely normal that it can be dusty and humid in livestock housing. For this reason it is important that our products meet the highest standards. Ammoniac, dust and moisture can damage our products if they do not meet at least the IP65 standard. We test all our products in-house and ensure that it withstands the extreme conditions without any problems.

IP stands for Ingress Protection. An IP number is used to specify the environmental protection of enclosures around electronic equipment. These ratings are determined by specific tests. The IP number is composed of two numbers, the first referring to the protection against solid objects and dust, the second against liquids. The higher the number, the better the protection. Where necessary, all products meet at least the IP65 standard, most are already IP67. For special purposes we can also provide IP68 solution.

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