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New research shows how lighting during incubation impacts chick development

Lighting plays an important role in chick development­—even as early as the incubation period. A new study conducted by researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan discovered that the conditions in which an egg is incubated begin to shape a hen’s eventual laying production before it even hatches.

“The main goal of this research was to compare dark incubation to what we see in nature,” says master’s student from the University of Saskatchewan, Celma Santos.

One of the benefits they discovered was early hatching among chicks. The study also suggests that lighting plays an important role in hen welfare, including improved navel health and early body weight gain, thereby opining the doors for further research in this area.

Hear from the researchers involved in the study in our video:

Learn about additional research into the effects of lighting conditions during incubation by reading our research summary.