Publications by authors named "Gerald Aalbers"

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Incubation lighting schedules and their interaction with matched or mismatched post hatch lighting schedules: Effects on broiler bone development and leg health at slaughter age.

Res Vet Sci 2017 Oct 17;114:416-422. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands.

The incidence of leg pathologies in broiler chickens with a developmental origin may be decreased by stimulating embryonic bone development through lighting schedules during incubation, but this may depend on post hatch lighting conditions. Aim was to investigate how lighting schedules during incubation and their interactions with matched or mismatched lighting schedules post hatch affected bone development and leg health at slaughter age. In a 3×2 factorial designed experiment, eggs were incubated under continuous cool white LED light (Inc), 16h of light, 8h of darkness (Inc), or continuous darkness (Inc) from set till hatch. After hatch, broilers were housed under continuous light (PH, to match Inc and Inc) or 16h of light, 8h of darkness (PH, to match Inc). Gait scores were determined on D21, D28, and D34. After slaughter on D35, legs were scored for varus-valgus deformities, rotated tibia, tibial dyschondroplasia, bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO), epiphyseolysis, and epiphyseal plate abnormalities from 1=absent to 4=severe. Femur and tibia dimensions and mineral density were determined. Inc led to more epiphyseal plate abnormalities than Inc or Inc. Inc led to more BCO than Inc. Gait scores on D21, D28, and D34, and bone dimensions did not differ between treatments. Inc led to higher femur mineral density than Inc with Inc intermediate. Providing a chicken with a matched post hatch lighting schedule did not affect most measurements of bone development and health. It can be concluded that a circadian incubation lighting schedule may improve leg health in broilers.
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October 2017