The influence of light on animal welfare

Light consists of a mixture of colours (wavelengths) that vary in intensity. It appears that the different animal species often perceive light differently than people do.

Spectrum and sensitivity

We call the pattern of intensity per wavelength the spectrum. This is different for each light source. In addition, there is the sensitivity of the eye per wavelength.

Chickens perceive UV light

It is known that chickens can see UV light, something that humans cannot. This light frequency is also not present in the current artificial light sources, while it can be useful. Research on chickens shows that differences in light have a demonstrable effect on animal welfare. For example, there is less feather picking in daylight with UV.

Unique database with light spectrum

Wageningen Livestock Research has set the frequency spectrum for various light sources, including modern LED lighting. Information was also collected about the exterior of couples at these light sources. With this we have a small but unique database. This offers opportunities for more research into the influence of certain spectra on the production and welfare of animals.