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Effect of two opposing changes in photoperiod upon age at first egg in layer-hybrid pullets

Lewis, P. D., Morris, T. R. and Perry, G. C. (2003) Effect of two opposing changes in photoperiod upon age at first egg in layer-hybrid pullets. Journal of Agricultural Science, 140. pp. 373-379. ISSN 0021-8596

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/s0021859603003137


An experiment was designed to test the response of growing pullets to two changes in photoperiod (an increase from 8 to 14 h followed 5 weeks later by the reverse change, or a decrease from 14 to 8 h followed by an increase). The first change was made either at 35 days or at 56 days of age, to test the influence of age on the responses observed. Control groups were kept oil constant 8-h and constant 14-h photoperiods and the responses to appropriate single changes were also tested. Mean age at first egg varied from 111 days for birds given a single increment at 56 days to 166 days for pullets given an increase in photoperiod at 35 days followed by a reduction at 70 days. Responses to the single changes confirmed earlier reports that sensitivity to change in photoperiod varies with age ill a manner that is quantitatively predictable. Responses to the double changes could be explained by Postulating that the initial change altered the 'physiological age' of the bird to all extent that was also quantitatively predictable. An early increase in photoperiod advances sexual development and makes the bird more sensitive to a subsequent decrease than would be expected by reference to its chronological age. An early decrease in photoperiod delays sexual development, which can have the effect of making the bird more or less sensitive to a subsequent increase since, ill layer-strain pullets, sensitivity to an increment in photoperiod normally increases Lip to about 9 weeks of age but decreases thereafter. Mean age at first egg predicted using these concepts was very highly correlated with observed age at first egg. The results provide a rational basis for constructing a model to predict age at first egg for any combination of increases and decreases in photoperiod applied to growing pullets.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8831
Uncontrolled Keywords:CONSTANT, STRAINS, MODEL

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