CZAAWE Resource Article

Turkeys prefer fluorescent light with supplementary ultraviolet radiation
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
1999
Authors 
Publication/Journal 
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Abstract 
Turkeys are usually reared under incandescent or fluorescent lamps which emit minimal radiation in the ultraviolet region. Because turkeys have the capacity to be visually sensitive to ultraviolet radiation (UV), this possibly makes such light sources unsuited to the visual ecology of turkeys. Previous work showed that providing UV in conjunction with straw and visual barriers significantly decreased injuries due to pecking. To better understand the role of UV in behaviour and welfare, the present experiment tested the preferences of turkeys reared under fluorescent lamps either with or without an additional UV source for chambers offering fluorescent light with or without supplementary UV (N=15 turkeys/treatment; tested in groups of three). Birds of both rearing treatments chose the chamber with supplementary UV significantly more frequently than the chamber without (P=0.0001). It is concluded that the supplementary UV source was not aversive to the turkeys and that it might be considered for use in conjunction with other environmental enrichments to reduce injurious pecking.