To compare the effects of using continuous (C) vs. intermittent (I) photoperiods with normal (24 hr) and a long but decreasing light-dark cycle (LDLDC) on production performance and egg quality, 240 White Leghorn hens of the University of Missouri-Columbia strain were individually caged in light-controlled rooms. Treatments applied at 21 weeks of age were light-dark cycles (LDC) of 25 hr gradually reduced to 23.5 hr with C or I photoperiods, and 24-hr LDC (controls); C or I photoperiods were gradually increased from 13.75 to 16 hr for the 25- to 23.5-hr LDC, and from 13.75 to 15 hr for the 24-hr LDC. Data were obtained on hen-day egg production, egg weight, egg mass, egg specific gravity, Haugh units, feed consumption, and feed efficiency. Hen-day egg production was significantly greater (P less than .01) for the combined C photoperiod treatments, while hens consumed significantly less (P less than .05) feed exposed to the combined I photoperiod treatments. Egg specific gravity was significantly better (P less than .05) for the LDLDC vs. the 24-hr LDC program with the difference being attributed to an increase (P less than .05) in initial egg specific gravity with the use of a 24-hr LDC. Egg weight, egg mass, Haugh units, and feed efficiency were not affected (P greater than .05) by LDC or photoperiod treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology