a1 Department of Poultry Science, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2772, USA
Six experiments were conducted to study the effects of exposure of young chickens to u.v. radiation. Chickens were fed a cholecalciferol (D3)-deficient diet and exposed to u.v. radiation from fluorescent lights giving total radiance (285–365nm) at 0·15m of 99·9mJ/s per m2. In Expt 1, chickens had increased body weight, bone ash and plasma Ca and decreased incidence of rickets and tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) when exposed to fluorescent light radiation 24h per d, 24h every 2d, or 24h every 3d starting with exposure on day 1 after hatching. However, when not exposed on day 1, but on days 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16, the bone ash was reduced, and the incidence of TD and rickets was increased, compared with chickens exposed on day 1 after hatching. When chickens were exposed at 1 d of age to radiation from two lamps, each of which gave a radiance (285–365nm) at 0·26m of 856mJ/s per m2, both the length of time of radiation and location of the lamps (above or below the chicken) influenced the response as measured by body weight, bone ash, plasma Ca and incidence of rickets. When chickens that received a TD-inducing diet were exposed to 30min u.v. radiation from below at 1 d of age they developed significantly less TD than did those not exposed when fed either 27·5 or 55·0μg D3/kg diet.
(Received May 07 2002)
(Revised December 03 2002)
(Accepted February 10 2003)