Backyard Chicken Coop Lighting
The LumiCoop™ backyard system is the most advanced chicken coop lighting solution available on the market today. It goes beyond traditional illumination technologies by specifically and exclusively being designed for the chickens using it.
As a global leader in agricultural LED lighting applications, we know how important it is to improve the welfare of your animal. That is why The Science is our foundation for success and the reason we focus on applying photo-biology and optogenetics to develop innovative technologies fueled by research.
This system is based on years of scientific research the impact light has on the behavior and performance of chickens. It is designed to provide supplemental lighting to backyard chicken coops and can be programmed to naturally simulate sunrise/sunset, achieving improved animal welfare, egg production and enhanced reproductive performance, the three main components which make up The Science for LumiCoop™.
An Overview on The Science
A species-specific lighting system has three characteristics—color of the light (wavelength), intensity of the light and the amount of time the lights are on each day (daily photoperiod). Knowing that light is a primary environmental signal which controls egg production allows the opportunity to use light as a natural tool to direct desirable physiological and biological processes in animals. The Science behind ONCE® animal-centric lighting systems sets our foundation for success with an in depth look on how the visible spectrum, natural light, how animals see different and the influence of light all make a key impact on the outcome of our technology. When applied accurately, combing the three characteristics and the four components from The Science, the ability to improve animal welfare and maintain year-round egg production is achievable.
Pecking, nervousness, feed source recognition and hormonal responses may all be seen in chickens outside of their natural habitat, causing increased stress and decreasing animal welfare. The red junglefowl, an ancestor of the chicken, originated in the rain forests of Southeast Asia, a place where the natural habitat ranges from most types of field edges to groves and shrubland, while the hours of light per day varies by only a couple of hours throughout the year. In North America, summer days can provide up to 16 hours of daylight and winter may provide as little as 8 hours. Therefore, chickens are exposed to more stress caused by the significant seasonal variations, unlike their natural habitat.
- See sunrise, sunset and day length Yearly Sun Graph for Jakarata showing sunrise, sunset and day length compared to the Yearly Sun Graph for Minneapolis.
- Read an Al-Nasser et al. – 2007 – Overview of chicken taxonomy and domestication in this PDF
Light is a natural tool to direct desirable physiological and biological processes in animals. When combing the three characteristics of species-specific lighting (wavelength, intensity and photoperiod), and what we know about how an animal sees different, the ability to improve and maintain year-round egg production is achievable.
Because the red junglefowl, an ancestor of the chicken, originated in the tropical and subtropical regions of Southeastern Asia (West and Zhou, 1989), their breeding season would have been timed by both photoperiodic and nonphotoperiodic factors allowing chicks to hatch at a time of year when food was most abundant. This is regularly March through June, with an average clutch size of 5-6 eggs and incubation period of 18-21 days.
The ancestral photoperiodic responsiveness of domestic hens becomes particularly pronounced when they are exposed to seasonal changes in photoperiod at temperate latitudes (Whetham, 1933). Seasonal egg production is lowest in the late fall and early winter and highest in spring and early summer. This explains why chickens are long-day breeders and increased day lengths stimulate egg production, while decreasing day lengths reduce egg production.
- Learn more about the Physiology of Seasonal Breeding (PDF)
- Photoperiodic Control of Reproduction in the Domestic Hen
The color of light matters. As early as 1987 it was known that the color of light affects bird performance (Pyrzak et al.,1987). Unlike in 1987 when the ability to use this information was limited, new technologies and developments in LED lighting, the color of light can be a useful tool to enhance performance.
While all wavelengths are perceived by the chicken’s visual system, red light has been shown to have a significant impact on sexual development of laying hens and their egg-laying performance. The effects are due to a specific red wavelength (630 nm), “superior to any other wavelength in increasing egg production” (El Halawani, 2009). The red light penetrates the chicken’s skull and regulates the production of melatonin, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Used in the Red Module included in the LumiCoop™ backyard chicken coop lighting system, this species-specific spectrum, naturally controls circadian rhythmicity, seasonality and reproductive behaviors