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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE.  VOL. 43(6): 1767-1770 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.3079) @2000
Authors:   T. Han, H. Xin
Keywords:   Transportation, Breeder chicks, Photoperiod, Energetics, Mortality, Well-being

In-transit supply of nutrients and water supplement is essential to maintaining good chick quality and well-being during long, international shipments. Although chicks require light to promote ingestion of nutrients, supply of continuous in-transit lighting is impractical. This study compared four intermittent lighting regimens of 1L:5D, 5L:10D,10L:10D, and 5L:15D applied to a three-day simulated transport period with regard to chick performance and energetics during the treatment period and a four-day subsequent growth period. The four lighting regimens produced similar seven-day chick performance, although chicks under 10L:10D had a somewhat higher body mass loss and metabolic rate than birds in other regimens during the three-day treatment period (P < 0.05). The results suggest the existence of flexibility in providing in-transit lighting for shipping chicks. Significant differences in the heat and moisture production rate of the chicks were observed between light and dark periods, with the response values being 21 to 27% lower in the dark period than in the light period. The results further suggest that chicks in transit would benefit the most from sufficient lighting to ingest necessary nutrients but then remaining in darkness to conserve body energy.

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