Study: Day length during brooding did not impact broiler performance

Brian Fairchild, PhD, professor at the University of Georgia finds chicks develop a rhythm, early on.
calendar icon 21 October 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

Watch the video interview on Poultry Health Today

Dark periods are well documented to benefit the long-term performance, health and welfare of broilers. However, to ensure chicks actively seek out food and water, the traditional practice is to provide extended daylight during the early brooding phase. But is that still the right call?

Having studied water consumption and feeding patterns over several years, Brian Fairchild, PhD, professor at the University of Georgia, found that chicks developed a rhythm early on. “Chicks are much more active than people think,” he told Poultry Health Today. “They’ll get up three or four times in an hour to get food and water.”

Consequently, his research team wanted to determine if there were benefits or disadvantages to providing chicks with a dark period during the early brooding phase. “That lead us to look at a 4-hour-dark period for chicks beginning the first day of placement on a farm,” Fairchild noted.

Read the full article on Poultry Health Today.

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