In 2013, Germany revised livestock welfare regulations to require poultry houses to be equipped with flicker-free artificial lighting tailored specifically to the perception capabilities of relevant animals.
Light flicker is a rapid change in light intensity from a light source caused by three effects. On the other hand, light flicker can cause physical stress in humans and animals. In poultry, symptoms of stress include reduced egg laying frequency, pecking, and slow growth. Also, stress can lead to reduced feed intake and increased metabolic energy expenditure, which ultimately will increase the feed conversion ratio (FCR).
Therefore, it is important to purchase a lighting solution with a flicker index of 0.0, as it can positively impact poultry production performance. This article will discuss light flicker, including factors, effects, and solutions.
What Factors Can Cause Light Flicker ？
Flicker is the difference between the minimum and maximum light output, called peak-to-peak amplitude. The frequency of the light changes is measured in Hertz, which is the number of fluctuations in a second. The following three effects cause light flicker:
1. The first is light density flicker, caused by changes in brightness levels affected by light sources such as light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, or LEDs.
2. The second is the chromatic flicker caused by the change or fluctuation of light color.
3. The third is the stroboscopic effect caused by the rapid repeated flashing.
The Negative Effects of Flicker on Chicken
Chickens are very sensitive to light. Animal scientists have found that chickens can detect photometric flickering up to a threshold of 140 Hertz. This means chickens can resolve or record almost twice as many frames per second as humans.
On the other hand, presumably, the flickering lights give chickens the impression that birds of prey are hovering above them. This is considered a potential threat and increases stress levels for the chickens. Although the pressure has different consequences for each type, it ultimately reduces poultry growth and production.
Flicker can be a major stress source for broilers, leading to agitation and consequently inducing piling. Then the piling will lead to wet litter, which causes footpad lesions and breast blisters, increasing mortality. On the other hand, since not all chickens respond similarly to stress, there will be a drop in uniform growth. It also negatively affected overall growth.
For Egg-Laying Chickens
Light flicker can be a major source of stress for egg-laying chickens, which will greatly impact the agitation levels of hens. A high level of agitation can trigger pecking and possibly lead to cannibalism, and agitation can also lead to piling. Both cannibalism and piling will eventually lead to increased mortality. On the other hand, stress caused by flicker will also negatively impact feed intake and egg production.
What Can be Done to Reduce or Eliminate Light Flicker?
-To Reduce Flicker:
1. Replace the lights regularly.
2. Make sure all parts of the light fixture, especially the ballast, are working properly.
3. Upgrade to fluorescent lighting with electronic ballasts.
- To Eliminate Flicker:
1. Purchasing a 100% flicker-free lighting solution that will positively impact animal welfare and performance.
Why choose Hontech-wins ？
As an LED light supplier and dimmer manufacturer, Hontech-Wins offers a wide range of poultry lighting systems and has become one of the leading companies in the industry. With 16 years of industry experience, our technical team is dedicated to product innovation, research, and development of lighting control systems.
At present, Hontech-wins has agents in more than 26 countries worldwide. Regarding poultry lighting, we offer 230VAC LED poultry lighting solutions and 48VDC LED poultry lighting solutions. Both the poultry lighting solutions are designed with 100% flicker-free, which is beneficial for poultry production.
Contact us to learn more about lighting solutions for poultry.