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Behavioural effects of food deprivation on red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and White Leghorn layers
Linköping University, The Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to examine how food deprivation effects food-related and other behavioural systems of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and the domesticated White Leghorn layers. If an animal is denied to perform their natural behaviours, like eating, sleeping or preening, the motivation for the behaviour can increase. Behavioural systems may interact and motivation to perform behaviours may be influenced. After being deprived of a certain need the reaction can become exaggerated or abnormal. Food deprivation is often used in ethology research to motivate animals. The hypothesis in this study was that the chickens would become affected by the food deprivation and reallocate their behaviours. They would get more stressed and frustrated. Domestication effects and sex differences were explored. The birds were tested in four standardized behavioural tests; food consumption test, general behavioural test, open field test and novel object test. The results showed that they foraged and explored more, had less comfort behaviours, and less perching the longer they had been without food. They did not show a higher degree of frustration, stress or aggressive behaviours. There were domestication effects, where the Leghorns seem to have lost some of their ability to respond adaptively to food shortage. Differences between the sexes were found, where the females foraged more and the males were more stressed. The conclusion was that the birds do not get more stressed when food deprived, but they forage and explore more which is a desirable effect of food deprivation used in ethology research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi , 2007. , 27 p.
Keyword [en]
fowl, chicken, hunger, food deprivation, behaviour, motivation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10268ISRN: LiTH-IFM-Ex 07/1863--SEOAI: diva2:17005
2007-10-25, Bikupan, B-huset, Linköpings universitet, 10:05
Available from: 2007-11-21 Created: 2007-11-21

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