Lighting Assessment in Livestock Housing
Lighting is one of the important parameters of the microclimate of livestock housing, ensuring the normal growth and development of animals, including dairy cows. Light, especially natural, provides positive influence on physiological processes in dairy cows, improves their health and fertility, as well as milk production. During the autumn-winter period, when the daytime is short, it is advisable to use artificial electric lighting to compensate the lack of natural illumination in premises, where dairy cattle are kept. In this regard, studies were conducted to evaluate the parameters of natural and artificial illumination in cowsheds of various designs. The measurements were carried out on a cattle farm with 200 dairy cows of Brown Swiss breed, kept in conditions of loose housing. The farm is a property of LLC “Solovyevskoye” located in the Knyagininsky district of the Nizhny Novgorod region. The natural and artificial illuminance of the premises was determined with the help of the measuring instrument “Percent Flicker meter + Luxmeter + Luminance meter TKA-PKM (09)”. The measurements were carried out on the farm three times a day for two adjacent days once a month. Illuminance was measured along each row of stalls in the all zone of accommodation of animals. The natural illumination near the yard was measured at the same time. The conducted studies revealed that the distribution of lighting over the housing was uneven. In the outer parts of the courtyard, compared to the center, the illuminance was lower (95 lx vs 305 lx). The total power of illumination in the room was (4.5 W/m2×1400 m2) 6300 W. In designing and building livestock premises, the main criterion for regulation and evaluation of natural light is the window-to-floor area ratio. The natural illuminance inside the building is 20 lx (on average) and outside is 3000 lx; therefore, the daylight factor (DF) is 0.7%, which corresponds to the norm. In the premises designed for animal housing, DF should be at least 0.8%.