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Effect of XTi pulsed alternating wavelength system (PAWS) on meat ducks
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January 20, 2021

Effect of XTi pulsed alternating wavelength system (PAWS) on meat ducks, 12/2020 – 1/2021

University of Purdue and XTi

Conclusion: Use of XTi lighting on commercial meat ducks resulted in improved bird growth without negatively impacting skeletal structure. There was also evidence of decreased animal stress and improved brain chemistry effects from XTi lighting.

Study Objectives:

  • To determine the impact of XTi PAWS lighting on the growth, skeletal composition, and brain biochemistry of meat ducks.
  • To evaluate biochemical markers of bird stress.


  • Multiple internal and commercial XTi studies on layer hens have shown a consistent improvement in bird growth and sexual maturity.
  • Internal studies, as well as a study with Colorado State University, have indicated XTi lighting may improve animal stress and welfare.


  • Meat ducks were supplied by a breeder in the Midwest. The study trial took place at XTi’s research facility in northern Colorado. Trial set-up, protocol, and data collection was done with the assistance of the University of Purdue.
  • 150 ducks were placed into 15 tents with 15 birds each.
  • Tents were divided into 1 of 5 groups. Control light with standard light protocol (provided by the producer), XTi recipe A with standard light protocol, XTi recipe A with 17hrs of light daily, XTi recipe A with 24hrs of light daily, or XTi recipe B with 24hrs of light daily.
  • Temperature, feed, care protocols, etc. were all set by the University of Purdue.
  • Necropsies and tissue samples were collected with the assistance of University of Purdue at the end of the trial.


  • All ducks under XTi recipes showed better growth than the control birds. XTi recipe A under a standard light protocol had the best growth (7.6% increase over control).
  • XTi lighting had a variable effect on Dopamine turnover in the duck brains. XTi lighting showed a consistent reduction in serotonin turnover across multiple brain regions.
  • Birds under XTi lighting had a decreased heterophil:lymphocyte ratio compared to control birds. This is generally a sign of decreased stress.
  • XTi lit ducks had a variable change in neurotransmitter levels in various parts of the brain.
  • Analysis of skeletal structure showed that XTi lighting does not result in an inferior skeleton compared to conventional lighting despite increased growth.


  • XTi lighting showed many positive outcomes for an initial pilot study on meat ducks. Growth benefits of XTi lighting seen in chickens were once again seen in ducks.
  • XTi lighting did not have a negative impact on the skeletal structure of the birds, which is of great benefit given the increased rate of growth.
  • The indicators of decreased stress for the animals imply significant benefits for animal welfare.
  • XTi lighting may allow for non-pharmaceutical benefits to brain chemistry/neurotransmitters. These benefits may extend across species, including humans.
  • Further research is needed.
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