Effect of light intensity on reproduction of Polish, Swedish, and Danish chinchillas
- 1Department of Ruminant Animal Science, Laboratory of Fur Animals, Agricultural University of Szczecin, Poland
- 2Division of Fur and Pet Animals, Warsaw Agricultural University, Poland
Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine at what level of artificial illumination the best reproduction performance can be achieved, as well as how varied light intensity affects chinchillas of different genetic groups. Reproduction performance was evaluated for 100 Polish, 52 Swedish, and 83 Danish females. Light intensity, measured with a photoelectric light meter LS-200, ranged between 0 and 100 lx. The chinchillas were assigned to 5 groups, 20-lx interval each. The analysis included: mean litter size, mean number of weaned per litter, death rate during nursing, number of litters per female per year, as well as litter size and number of weaned per female per year. For each genetic group, the highest death rate of the young was found at the lowest light intensity level, i.e. 0-20 lx, while the lowest mortality was at 41-60 lx. Both Swedish and Danish chinchillas had lower nursing mortality at a higher level of illumination (61-100 lx), while higher mortality was recorded at lower light intensity (0-40 lx), compared to Polish chinchillas. It can be concluded that light intensity affects chinchilla reproduction, since higher litter sizes and reduced offspring mortality were observed under stronger light. Danish females attained the highest number of litters per year, the largest litter size and the highest number of weaned per year at the light intensity of 61-80 lx, compared to the other genetic groups. Chinchillas proved to be sensitive to very small changes in light intensity.