In turkey farming, lighting is more than just illumination. It's a pivotal factor determining the behaviour and productivity of broiler and breeder turkeys. Light serves several purposes:
- It allows turkeys to perceive and engage with their environment, aiding them in locating food, water, and interacting with fellow turkeys.
- The light that penetrates their skulls reaches receptors in the turkeys’ brains, setting their biological clocks and influencing behavioural patterns.
- The light reaching receptors in the brain also plays an essential role in regulating sexual hormone production, impacting their sexual maturation and reproduction.
When delving into turkey barn lighting, several principles stand out, let's explore this further together.
Turkey Barn Lighting Essentials
Uniform light distribution ensures every turkey, irrespective of its position in the barn, gets sufficient light and same stimule. It's also vital for the lighting to be flicker-free, preventing undue stress on the birds.
The light spectrum and intensity are equally crucial. For instance, turkey poults should be exposed to an intensity of 80-100 lux during their initial 2 days. Of course, the turkey barn's specific purpose also determines its lighting needs:
Broiler Turkeys and Lighting: Maximizing Growth
For broiler turkey, the importance of lighting goes beyond mere visibility. Broiler turkeys benefit from a 5000K spectrum of light, which emits a cool white light. It actively stimulates growth, ensuring the birds are healthy and market-ready. After the first 2 days, the intensity should be adjusted to cater to the broiler requirement.
Besides that, good lighting improves the environmental conditions, reducing stress and positively affecting broiler turkey behaviour.
Breeder Turkeys and Lighting: Enhancing Turkey Egg Production
Breeder turkeys also have unique lighting needs. Apart from basic necessities like finding food, water and nesting boxes for hens, lighting affects egg production and reproduction behaviours. By making use of the 3000K light spectrum, which emits a warm white light, egg production can be stimulated.
- Female turkeys in these barns require varying light intensities pre and post-photostimulation. A higher light intensity post-photostimulation improves egg production.
- Male turkeys thrive under consistent light intensity, both before and after photostimulation.
Furthermore, light plays a pivotal role in stimulating sexual maturation. Through photostimulation and hormone production, it facilitates the reproductive process. Given the seasonal sensitivity of turkeys, a gradual increase in day length can mimic the natural mating season, boosting egg and semen production. However, it's crucial to avoid reducing daylight or light intensity, as it can hamper or even halt production, leading to photorefractoriness.
For optimal turkey egg production in fertile egg yield, maintaining a specified minimum amount of lux and dimming lights above nest boxes is recommended. Dimming the lights above nest boxes encourages egg laying hens towards darker laying spots, effectively minimizing floor eggs. The precise conditions for peak egg production might differ and are typically outlined in management guides.
To sum up, lighting isn't merely an accessory in turkey farming—it's indispensable. Broiler turkeys derive benefits from the 5000K spectrum's cool white light, which aids their growth. In contrast, breeder turkeys find reproductive success under the warm white light of the 3000K spectrum. By grasping turkeys' seasonal sensitivities and emulating natural day length variations, we can leverage light's potential to ensure a prosperous and productive turkey barn.
Lighting matters. That's why we share our knowledge with the world through HATO Insights.
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