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The effects of LED flicker on turkey hen’s production, health, and welfare to 11 weeks old

2022 CPRF,Turkey
Light flickering has been noticed in some poultry houses, though its impacts on the birds are unknown. This research aims to study the impacts that the flicker of light-emitting diodes (LED) has on the health, welfare, and production of turkey hens from 0-11 weeks of age (wks). It is hypothesized that the lower frequency flickering treatments, 30 Hz and 90 Hz, will cause increased stress on the birds, decreasing production and health parameters. It is also hypothesized that the lower frequency flickering, 30 Hz and 90 Hz, will increase stress and fear responses. As the second of the two trials has yet to occur, there are no results to provide at this time. Once both trials are finished, analyses will be completed using a randomized complete block with one-way factorial analysis (trial replication as the blocking factor, experimental unit as the room). Two trials (January 2021, November 2022) will each include 3,276 Aviagen Nicholas Select turkey hens. The birds will be housed in light tight rooms (n=9) set for one of the three flicker treatments, 30 Hz, 90 Hz, or 195 Hz. Birds and feed are weighed at 0, 4, 8, and 11 wks to determine body weight and feed conversion. Flock uniformity is determined at 10 wks on a 30 bird/room sample. The same birds will also be assessed for footpad, mobility, feather condition, and feather cleanliness scores. Litter quality and eyeball morphology are assessed at 11 wks. At 4, 8, and 10 wks, bird behaviour will be assessed using a 20 minute scan sampling methodology over 24 hours. Fearfulness in the birds will be determined using a Novel Object Test, daily for the first week, then weekly until 11 wks. At 4, 8, and 11 wks, 20 birds will be sampled for heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio to assess stress. Mortality and culls will be tracked across the trial, with the cause of death assessed via necropsy by an independent laboratory. Co-Authors: Dr. K. Schwean-Lardner, Dr. T. Crowe
Tags :
light flicker,production,turkey hen,welfare
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MSc Student

University of Saskatchewan

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