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Colour preferences of domestic chicks in relation to food and water presentation

By T. J. Roper, N. M. Marples

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The colour preferences of chicks presented with artificially coloured food (chick starter crumbs) and water were investigated. In experiment 1, 96 pairs of chicks received red, green or black food in the form of a small pile of crumbs placed on the floor of the test cage, or red, green or black water contained in a 50 ml jar. Chicks ate red food most readily and black least readily; conversely they drank black water most readily and red least readily. Response to green was intermediate with both food and water. In experiment 2, 90 chicks were offered red, green or black food or water, presented in a small petri dish. They responded most readily to black and least readily to red, with both food and water. Response to green was again intermediate. It is concluded that colour preference, at least in the case of food, is affected by the precise mode of presentation. However, colour preferences were the same for food and water when these were presented in an identical manner.

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 54
Issue 2/3
Pages 207-213
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(96)01178-1
Language English
Author Address School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Birds
  5. Chickens
  6. Color
  7. Drinking
  8. Feeding behavior
  9. Foods
  10. Fowls
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. Poultry
  1. peer-reviewed