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Title: Vision and the lighting requirements of ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) and turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo)
Author: Barber, Claire Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3443 8930
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2003
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In poultry housing where the light environment is provided artificially, it is largely designed to meet the requirements of human vision and poultry production and does not necessarily consider the bird's visual abilities. Extrapolation of research from fowl to other poultry species may be inappropriate, given their different ecological backgrounds. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate vision in domestic ducks and turkeys and their light requirements. The spectral sensitivity of domestic ducks, domestic turkeys and humans was investigated using a behavioural test. Ducks and turkeys had similar spectral sensitivities, extending into the UVA part of the spectrum, with a broader range than humans. These results imply that the lux unit is inappropriate for describing the illuminance of a light source, as perceived by ducks and turkeys. The light environment in commercial duck and turkey housing was surveyed: mean illuminance was 22.6 and 5.3 lux, respectively. The spectral power distributions of the light sources and the birds' spectral sensitivity were used to estimate illuminance as perceived by ducks and turkeys; this varied by up to ~20% depending on light source. In a preference test ducklings and turkey poults were given a free choice between illuminances of < 1, 6, 20 and 200 lux at two and six weeks of age. Ducklings spent least time in < 1 lux though this was not affected by age. Turkey poults showed an overall preference for 200 lux at two weeks and 2:20 lux at six weeks. For both species, illuminance significantly affected the partition ofbehaviours. These results show that domestic ducks and turkeys have good colour vision, including UVA perception, and have distinct illuminance preferences. They imply that full spectrum lighting of varying temporal or spatial illuminance in housing might benefit welfare and satisfy preferences. Future work is needed to assess the use of UVA radiation by poultry and the strength of their motivation for illuminance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Poultry