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Effect of Red Spectrum LED Lighting on Commercial Turkey Breeder Hen Performance

2022 CPRF,Turkey
Turkeys are seasonal breeders, and thus require the stimulatory cue of an increasing photoperiod to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis. There is strong evidence that this signal is perceived by the deep-brain photoreceptors (DBP) of the hypothalamus. Research in other avian species has shown that photons of the red spectrum (630-780 nm) have the greatest tissue penetration power, which is hypothesized to more effectively stimulate DBPs, thus resulting in improved reproductive performance. In this field trial, our aim was to evaluate the effects of a 60% red spectrum light-emitting diode (LED) bulb (AgriLux®, Thies Electrical Distributing Inc., Cambridge, ON) on the reproductive performance of male line great-grandparent Hybrid turkey breeder hens (Hybrid Turkeys, Kitchener, ON). A commercial barn was divided into three equal light-proof sections. Of these sections, two were illuminated with red spectrum (60% red, 20% green, 20% blue) LED lighting (R1; R2), and one was illuminated with white tube fluorescent lighting (W). Sections R1 and R2 each contained four pens (265 hens/pen; 1060 hens/section), while section W contained 2 pens (265 hens/pen; 530 hens/section). Birds were photostimulated with a 13.5L:10.5D photoperiod at 30 wks and 6 days for R2 and W, or 31 wks and 2 days for R1, and thus data were adjusted according to wks post photostimulation (PPS). Egg production and cull egg data were collected daily until 11 wks PPS on a per-section basis. Blood samples were collected weekly to measure plasma estradiol from the time of PS until 6 wks PPS. Data were analyzed in SAS with a one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc test. As expected, egg production was higher in R1 and R2 at 4, 5, and 7 wks PPS (< 0.05). Moreover, peak egg production was greater under R1 and R2 compared to W, reaching 52.6%, 52.3% and 49.2% , respectively. There was no difference in cull egg production (= 0.9446), and no qualitative differences in estradiol profiles. Overall, these results provide a basis for further investigation into the physiological effects of red spectrum lighting on turkey breeders in an experimental setting.
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red light,turkey breeder hen
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MSc Student

University of Guelph

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