US researcher evaluates increased dark periods after broiler chick placement

Significant negative impacts on broiler performance not found
calendar icon 18 June 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the completion of a funded research project by researchers at the University of Georgia that evaluated increased dark periods after placement of chicks.

The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Koch Foods. The research is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. 

Broiler producers typically provide 23 to 24 hours of light during the first seven days of a flock. The theory is that providing chicks with near continuous light ensures that chicks will consume the maximum amount of feed when their growth rates are at their highest. 

Brian Fairchild, professor at the University of Georgia, challenged this theory with the objective of his study being to determine the effect of varying day lengths on broiler performance and physiological responses. 

Results from the project showed that providing a dark period from the beginning of the flock does not have significant negative impacts on broiler performance, as previously thought by many poultry producers.

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