Poultry & Lighting Science
Chickens and other poultry experience a seasonal drop in egg production during the winter months, when shorter days cause them to lay fewer eggs. Supplemental lighting has been proven to be a safe and effective way to help keep egg supply more regular, and conventional producers have been using supplemental lighting for decades.
Yet Henlight is the first lighting system designed for pastured poultry farmers, who need mobile, off-grid solutions. Working closely with one of our customers, we've recorded the first research on lighting of pastured poultry, showing an average increase in lay rate of 20% over the course of three winter months.
In designing Henlight, we examined all of the available research as well as talked with a number of poultry veterinarians and behavior specialists to determine the optimal lighting characteristics. Below is a list of some of the research publications on poultry lighting that we found useful. If you have any questions, please don't be shy about reaching out to us!
Poultry researchers and animal welfare specialists have shown that supplemental lighting should follow appropriate guidelines for color, intensity, and lighting length. Guidelines from Animal Welfare Approved, for example, specificy that hens should not see more than 16 hours of lighting per day.
In terms of color, it is important to know that chickens and other poultry have different photoreceptors than humans, meaning that the light visible to humans is different from the light visible to the birds. Specifically, there are certain color wavelengths in the red spectrum that are most effective in stimulating egg production, while also reducing negative behaviors such as feather pecking.