Light Colour Impacts Broiler Performance

CHINA - Broilers reared in green or blue light to 26 days of age and then changed to the other colour grew faster than those with other light colour combinations, according to newly published research. Feed conversion tended to be better when the light was blue from days 26 to 49.
calendar icon 18 December 2012
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Researchers in Beijing have found that swapping between green and blue lights during the rearing period can improve the performance of broilers.

J. Cao and colleagues at the China Agricultural University report that a previous study suggested that green light promotes broiler growth from hatching to 26 days of age, and blue light enhances growth during the later stage (27 to 49 days of age).

They explain that the purpose of their latest study, published in in the journal, Poultry Science, was to improve broiler growth and productive performance by using a combination of monochromatic lights at critical points between the early and later stages of growth.

From hatching, reared a total of 512 male Arbor Acres broilers under white light (W), red light (R), green light (G) and blue light (B) by using light-emitting diode lamps at 15±0.2 lux from day-old until 26 days of age (16 replicate pens per group; eight birds per pen), and then switching to another light colour until 49 days of age (four replicate pens per group; eight birds per pen).

They found that, compared with single monochromatic lights, broilers reared in environments under combinations of monochromatic lights, W-G, R-B, G-B and B-G, attained heavier bodyweights than those reared in environments under W-W (3.18 to 12.00 per cent), R-R (1.96 to 18.14 per cent), G-G (0.85 to 5.08 per cent) and B-B (0.39 to 4.70 per cent), respectively.

Feed conversion ratios in the W-B, R-B and G-B combinations were lower than feed conversion ratios for W-W (15.86 per cent), R-R (18.41 per cent) and G-G (3.37 per cent), respectively.

Moreover, the eviscerated carcass weight and breast, thigh, and crus muscle weights under G-B were greater by 0.40 to 56.23 per cent than were those for the other light groups except W-B (eviscerated carcass) and B-G (breast muscle).

The results suggest that the application of the G-B and B-G exchanges can be used successfully to improve growth and productive performance in broilers, concluded the Beijing-based researchers.


Cao J., Z. Wang, Y. Dong, Z. Zhang, J. Li, F. Li and Y. Chen. 2012. Effect of combinations of monochromatic lights on growth and productive performance of broilers. Poult. Sci., 91(12): 3013-3018. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02413

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