Proper lighting will ensure birds are active and seek out food and water. Giving turkeys a dark period to rest will reduce aggressiveness and improve overall performance. The key to successful lighting is uniformity.
Lighting recommendations for commercial turkeys
Start your poults 24 hours of light with at least 80 lux intensity. After this point, schedule a step down program whereby you decrease the amount of light in the barn by 1 hour per day, until you reach day 7. From day 8 onwards, schedule 6-8 hours of darkness per day in order to give the birds a decent rest at night.
Turkeys receive and interpret light differently than humans and so it is important to understand and follow guidelines based on the intensity of the light provided. Light intensity is measured by foot candles (imperial) or LUX (metric). The Hybrid Turkeys recommendations on light intensity, based on age of bird, are:
Foot Candles (FC) or LUX:
- First week: 8 to 10 FC = 86.08 LUX to 107 LUX
- Second week onwards: 4 to 5 FC = 43.04 LUX to 53.8 LUX
- Second week onwards (if the flock has not received beak treatment): 2 to 2.5 FC = 21.52 LUX to 26.9 LUX
LED light recommendations
Significant savings on electrical operating costs makes LED lighting an attractive option. It is important to buy the correct type of lights and make sure your existing system is properly set up to support LED lighting. Without proper research and set up, poor lighting can result and your birds may be negatively affected.
Make sure that whatever light bulbs you buy, fit within these parameters:
- Rated life span: 40 000 to 80 000 hours
- Warranty: 5 full years
- Dimmable: Range of 0.2% through 100%.
- LED beam angle: This is important to consider in order to make sure there are no gaps without light. Uniform spacing and installation of lights, based on the beam angle, will help to avoid dark spaces or shadows on the floor (see Figure 1)
- Operating temperature: -40F to 131F (-40C to 55C)
- Power factor: Ratio of real power to the apparent (used) power (>0.90%).
- IP grade: 65 or higher. This means that the light is dust tight with no ingress of dust and is protected against water jets from any angle. Note: If the IP grade is too low, especially the second number, the lights could be damaged during washing and disinfection of the barn.
- Color temperature: 4 000 Kelvins (K) (see Figure 2)