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Chicken Farm Lights

Light is an important aspect of any animal’s environment. Avian species in particular respond positively to light energy. Studies have shown an increase in growth and reproductive performance due to light exposure. Modern farm lighting systems should attempt to mimic the sun’s spectrum, however many poultry producers still utilize old residential and commercial incandescent lamps in their barns. The problem with this is that incandescent bulbs don’t do a good job of replicating sunlight. LEDs are the most efficient and environmentally friendly of the agricultural lighting options, producing a continuous white light spectrum unlike any other artificial light source by combining a blue LED with red and green phosphors.

By utilizing LED lighting and taking advantage of the unique spectral requirements of poultry, farmers can reduce stress and mortality, regulate circadian rhythm, and substantially increase the production of eggs, meat, and other protein sources, while dramatically reducing energy use and other input costs. ACDC Dynamics in partnership with PK’s Electrical identified Basson Farming and their Inkukwe site near Ermelo as the perfect opportunity to commission and install a proof of concept Lighting System for their broilers. The following feedback and results were achieved:

Light tubes:

The tubes themselves performed well and the suspension system made for a quick and easy installation. Due to the double V-Shaped 150° viewing angle of the tubes, lighting was easily adjustable and could easily be directed where needed. With an IP66 rating and shatterproof enclosure, we were confident that the lights could withstand washing of the house out with pressure washers and we were not disappointed.

Poultry house intelligent dimming system:

ACDC Dynamics ensured that the system also had battery back up to ensure that the programmed cycle would not be affected by power outages or downtime during the switch over to back up generators as this could have a seriously negative impact on the birds. The controller performed flawlessly, once correctly set up.

Bird performance:

From the word go we were very impressed with the light quality. It is soft on the eye and definitely has a positive effect on bird behavior. The birds seemed calm and when you moved inside the house they weren't fluttering and running around at all.

The production figures on a 42 day cycle were as follows:
Led Lighting System Incandescent Lighting System
Total Kg's harvested 65 490 kg 64130 kg
Total birds harvested
out of 33 345 birds placed per house @ 19.88 birds per square meter
32841 31734
Feed conversion
(kg feed used to produce 1 kg of live bird-weight)
1.369kg 1.446 kg
Mortality 1.51% 4.953%
Average bird weight: 1.994 kg 2.021 kg
PEF “Production Efficiency Factor” (PEF) compares the live-bird performance of flocks. This value incorporates live weight, age, mortality and feed conversion efficiency. 409.88 375.82

The standout figure is definitely the low mortality percentage. It affects all the other figures positively. Although the birds did not weigh as much as the other houses, the PEF shows that this house was by far the most efficient on the farm, and thus the most profitable. There is a fine line though between low mortality rates and bird weight. With maize prices being on the low side, adding more weight might be more profitable and with higher feed costs the feed conversion rate is more important. It must be said that this house was stocked with Ross 308 Breeder flock birds. This means that these birds should genetically be a bit superior to the other houses but that does not normally have such a positive effect on the PEF as in this case. We are currently in the second cycle of testing this equipment and look forward to similar great results.

Available at ACDC Dynamics www.acdc.co.za