PSA 2015 Abstract

AHPharma Energy Systems, Inc. will be attending the Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  Below is a copy of our abstract which will be presented by Mike Barnas during the meeting.

AviLighting Abstract

Effect of AviLighting Feeder Lights, Water Lights, & intermittent lighting on antibiotic-free broiler progeny & pullets 0-21 day live performance when reared on litter bedding at time of housing to 3 weeks of age. M. Barnas1, M. Roberts1, J. L. McNaughton1. 1AHPharma, Inc. Salisbury, MD.

Previous studies have shown that regardless of light source, <6% of broiler chickens & breeder pullets are actively drinking during the first 24h post placement, thus, reducing early body weight (BW) gain & BW uniformity (BWU). Due to accelerated growth rates, 7-21d BW & early mortality (M) have a large impact on overall bird performance. Three trials were conducted to determine if bird attraction to nipples influences 24h water consumption (WC) & M in weaker-flocks. Two 15m (50’) x 10m (32’) 750-bird rooms with fresh pine-shaving litter bedding were used: Chamber #1a: AviLighting™ Water Lights (AWL, 0.5W LEDs between nipples) with feed trays underneath, and AviLighting™ Feeder Lights (AFL, 4.8W LEDs that sit atop feeders); Chamber #2b: standard ceiling LEDs (SCL, 6W A-19 type). Images on

In all three trials, either combined or individual light sources over weakly-hatched & antibiotic-free birds, AWL & AFL presented a stronger bird attraction to light plus feeding/drinking behavior due to contrasting light intensity (deltafc >10 between light & dark area). Initial 24h use of AWL proved the historical null hypothesis that chicks are attracted to deltafc >10fc & that both water & feed underneath AWL are essential. Intermittent lighting (toggling each 4h between AWL & AFL on 3-4d) resulted in birds migrating from water to feed within 30min. After 4d, AFL attracted birds to the feed & water areas for the next 2d, before the birds spread throughout the house. WC significantly (P<0.05) increased when AWL was employed, as compared to SCL group. No differences were found in 0-21d F:G, or 21d litter moisture (all <27%). Due to increased WC with the use of AWL+AFLa, significant (P<0.05) improvements vs. SCLb in 0-7d were: BW (166ga vs. 158gb), mortality (<1.2%a vs. 3.7%b) & BWU (9.96%a vs. 11.13%b CV). The same statistical trend was found in 21d live performance data.

Key Words: AviLighting, LED, Intermittent Lighting, Feeder & Water Light, Water Consumption

 Accompanying Video

AviLighting Program


Equipment Employed:

  • AviLighting™ Feeder Light (over feed auger lines)
  • AviLighting™ Water Light (underneath water lines, 4’ apart)
  • Feed trays or strips of paper (used underneath east AviLighting™ Water Lights)                                                                
Day of age 1, 2, 9  Ceiling House Lights 10  AviLighting™ Feeder Light 3,4  AviLighting™ Water Light 3 Light Intensity (bird head height) 8
Placement-2 days (initial 48-hr) OFF OFF ON (24-hr) >15 fc (Waterer)
3-4 days (49-hr to 4-days) OFF ON(4hr alternating5) ON(4hr alternating5) >15 fc (Feeder)>15 fc (Waterer)
5-7 days OFF ON (24-hr) OFF 4-5 fc (Waterer)
8-14 days OFF ON (24-hr) OFF >3 fc (Waterer)
15-21 days OFF ON (24-hr) OFF >2 fc (Waterer)
22 days to 7-days prior to market (BLUE lights may be substituted for DARK periods).6 OFF ON (15-20 of 24 hours daily).7 OFF >0.10 fc Waterer (acceptable range = 0.10 to 1 fc)
7-days prior to harvest.6 ON (if available) ON (24-hr) ON (24-hr) 4-5 fc (Waterer)

1Lighting regime should be changed in early am (prior to 9 am) to avoid daily 24-hr diurnal disruption.

2 Where possible within the controller restraints, light intensity should be changed over a 6-hr period.

3 Feeder and Water Lights should be placed outside of direct infrared heat transmission.

4 The 2nd feeder line lights will be turned on, with same light intensity requirements, after birds are moved from brooding to growout areas (or are roaming to a point, that other feeder lights are essential, for the birds to find the feeders and watering areas).

5 AviLighting Feeder Lights and Water Lights should alternate 4-hr each 24-hr daily for two days.

6 BLUE lights may be substituted for DARK periods.

7 COMPLETE DARKNESS or COMPLETE BLUE lights may be shown 4-9 hours daily, schedule to be set by the Poultry Integrator Technical Team.

8 Lighting dimming schedule suggestion is to dim over at minimum a 6-hr period.

9 BOTH feed (both underneath waters in trays or on paper and in normal pan auger feeding system) and water will be offered.

10 Ceiling lights are suggested to be employed (only as an option) 7-days prior to harvest, which might only increase feed consumption and additional movement toward feeders and waterers.


Whole House Brooding Test

If you’ve already seen our Bird Attraction Study post & corresponding video, you’re probably familiar with the idea of employing one line of lights in your house to brood chicks without curtains or walls. As a follow up to this previous video, we’ve compiled snapshots from each day at the research farm over the past two weeks. Watch the video below and note the tight distribution around feed, water & light. Birds appear to remain in this critical area, even when given the chance to roam into a dark region in the center of the house. Also notable is the distinct line of light that stops just beyond the water line. This line doesn’t appear by chance, it is the culmination of many versions of feeder-light prototypes, and many hours of engineering. Ultimately, the presence of this distinct line is what makes AviLighting feeder-lights so successful at attracting birds & retaining them in feed/water areas.

Payback Calculator

Will switching to AviLighting save you money? Try our Ag Economist Payback Calculator to confirm! Simply click inside the cells below and fill out the information specific to your farm.

To download this spreadsheet, click the Excel logo in the bottom right hand corner to download, or click the “view full-size workbook” icon (also in the bottom right hand corner) to open in Excel online.

Technical questions? Contact Mike Barnas (

Bird Attraction Study

Over the past week, we have documented the activity of 800 birds in our research facility to determine their attraction to the AviLighting feeder light. The results were similar to what we’ve been seeing since day one, with one new discovery; birds that are pushed out into darkness manually (running away from a human) will move right back into the feed/water area to return to the light. This indicates that birds are attracted to the light, and furthermore, allows us to get creative with brooding schematics…I.E. we can now test a whole house brood, with no curtains/walls and lights on one side of the house only. This may sound strange, but video evidence shows that birds won’t venture out into the darkness and get lost when food and water readily available in the light.

Check out some footage that James McNaughton captured on his phone while in the research facility: