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Internal and external factors modulate food-calling in domestic hens

Wauters, A. M. ; Richard-Yris, M. A. ; Richard, J. P. ; Foraste, M.

Animal Cognition, 1999, Vol.2(1), pp.1-10 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Internal and external factors modulate food-calling in domestic hens
  • Author/Creator: Wauters, A. M. ; Richard-Yris, M. A. ; Richard, J. P. ; Foraste, M.
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Key wordsGallus gallus domesticus ; Food call ; Food ; preference ; Psychophysiological state ; Cognitive ; abilities
  • Is Part Of: Animal Cognition, 1999, Vol.2(1), pp.1-10
  • Description: Two series of experiments investigated factors affecting utterance of food calls in the domestic hen, Gallus domesticus . The first series of experiments tested the effect of food preference and the hen’s internal state on the utterance of food calls. Different food types were presented first singly and then in a choice test to 20 hens, first when hens were laying, and then when they were maternal. The second series of experiments tested the effect of hunger level on the utterance of food calls in laying hens, and maternal hens with or without chicks. These two series of experiments showed that laying hens and maternal hens showed a similar marked preference for certain types of food, but laying hens very rarely emitted food calls, in contrast to maternal hens. This shows the effect of the bird’s psychophysiological state on her tendency to emit food calls. The more a maternal hen preferred a food type, the more food calls she emitted. This was observed from the beginning of a test in single-food tests as well as in choice tests. Hunger level positively affected food-call production under certain feeding conditions in maternal hens, but not in laying hens. When maternal hens were tested in the absence of their chicks, utterance of food calls was more sustained than in the presence of chicks.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1435-9448 ; DOI: 10.1007/s100710050019