Last week at the 2018 Annual Poultry Science Association Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, ONCE sponsored a symposium entitled, “Novel applications of light applied to poultry production: Influencing growth, behavior and biosecurity”. The symposium gave a great overview of traditional lighting topics, like the importance of wavelength, intensity and photoperiod when raising animals in indoor facilities, as well as cutting-edge science and technology through novel applications like the influence of light in biosecurity, odor control and behavior.
There were six (6) highly regarded speakers that spoke on this topic, the first being Karen Schwean-Lardner from the University of Saskatchewan who presented her most recent research demonstrating that longer night (dark) periods are beneficial for animal welfare when raising broilers in doors.
The second speaker, from Hyline International, Ian Rubinoff discussed the trade-off between egg size and the time it takes to lay the first egg and how it is affected by the rate of step-down lighting during the pullet stage.
An expert from the swine industry, Jacek Koziel from Iowa State University, was the third speaker. He presented recent work on using photocatalysts to reduce or eliminate orders stemming from swine production and how this could potentially pertain to the poultry industry as well.
Our very own Aaron Stephan, Director of Biological Research& Development, was the fourth presenter and Chair of this symposium. He talked about some of the novel technology under development at ONCE, along with using photocatalyst and natural eggshell pigments to reduce or eliminate bacterial contamination on both table eggs and fertile eggs.
Following Stephan, Kai Liu from Pennsylvania State University shared his Doctoral research focused on behavior and production responses of W-36 chicks when providing supplementary Ultraviolet A light. The research, conducted with a ONCE AgriShift HL-UVA at the Hongwei Xin lab at Iowa State aligns closely with the innovations currently being developed at ONCE and established the preference and intensity thresholds of pullets for UVA light.
After a short break, the last speaker from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and industry veteran, Israel Rozenboim, discussed the ground work he has laid over the last 25-years when it comes to using light during incubation to encourage muscle growth.
Finally, the symposium concluded with a Roundtable discussion where many great questions were asked and answered.