Researchers Evaluate a Unique Lighting System to Assess Welfare and Skeletal Quality of Laying Hen

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USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at Purdue University in which researchers evaluated a unique lighting system to assess welfare and skeletal quality of laying hens. The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from MPS Egg Farms and proceeds from the International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). The research is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A summary of the completed project is below.

Project #F100: Evaluation of Pulsed Alternating Wavelength System (PAWS) on Welfare and Skeletal Quality of Laying Hens Throughout a Lay Cycle

(Dr. Darrin Karcher, Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.)

Dr. Darrin M. Karcher and colleagues at Purdue University recently completed a research project with an objective of evaluating the effects of Pulsed Alternating Wavelength System (PAWS) on the welfare and skeletal quality of laying hens utilizing traditional bone quality assessment methods and reference point indentation (RPI). Results showed that PAWS lighting appears to improve both physiological and physical welfare as well as most bone quality parameters. Findings also indicate that industry can start implementing these lights without worry of harming the hens. Long-range benefits could include improved bone quality and welfare, which may lead to increased longevity and productivity of hens. Implementing these lights in cage-free production may aid in decreasing keel bone damage.

The research summary can be found on the USPOULTRY website. Information on other Association research may also be obtained by visiting the USPOULTRY website, www.uspoultry.org.