Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Orlowski, Sara

Committee Member/Reader

Erf, Gisela

Committee Member/Second Reader

Dridi, Sami


Both genetics and environment play an important role in the growth, performance and overall welfare of poultry species. Current commercial production practices typically do not mimic the natural environmental conditions of ancestral poultry species, specifically lighting requirements. In nature, poultry species are subjected to natural day length and the slow rising and setting of the sun. This is compared to commercial conditions in which lights are sudden on/off, not mimicking the natural trajectory of the sun in terms of light intensity and exposure. The current study aimed to evaluate the impact of genetics and the effect of sunrise/sunset lighting on the stress response of 4 genetic lines of coturnix quail. The 4 lines utilized in this study include a high stress (H), low stress (L), stress control (R), and Arkansas randombred (A) quail lines. Day old chicks from the lines were placed in one of two environmentally controlled rooms. All conditions were kept similar between the rooms until week 4. At week 4, half of the quail in each room were relocated to the other room and the experimental conditions began. One room was subjected to sudden on/off lighting while the other room was subjected to a 1-hour long sunrise/sunset treatment. At 8 weeks of age, blood was collected from each line of quail at 5 time points: before lights on, 3 points during sunrise lighting, and after lights on at full intensity. The subsequent serum samples were then evaluated for their respective corticosterone levels. The results of this study show that the sunrise/sunset lighting room shows lower corticosterone levels overall and transferred quail have had elevated corticosterone levels, indicating they were under stress. These results lead to the conclusion that sunrise/sunset lighting has the potential to improve overall production, regardless of genetic line.


Coturnix coturnix, lighting, sunrise/sunset, corticosterone