Lighting Programs for Backyard Egg Production
There are many factors that can influence the egg production of back yard flocks. Diet, plenty of water and environmental factors such a temperature, relative humidity, and light can influence poultry performance. Controlling the light environment can improve egg production and growth. Light influences bird behavior, metabolic rate, physical activity and physiological factors such as reproduction. While it is important to optimize all environmental conditions, many times errors in managing light on backyard layers can have a direct impact on performance. Light is received by the eye and hypothalamus. In turn hormones are released by the hypothalamus that stimulates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) that are involved with gonad development and maturation. Day length is an important component of the poultry reproductive system. Birds are seasonal breeders and the reproductive system is stimulated by long day lengths. Much of this is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring that the chicks would be reared in warmer weather to increase the probability of survival.