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The vocal expression of feeding motivation and frustration in the domestic laying hen, Gallus gallus domesticus

By P. H. Zimmerman, P. Koene, J. A. R. A. M. van Hooff

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Abstract

Thwarting of feeding behaviour in the laying hen results in an increase in stereotyped pacing, displacement preening, and the gakel-call. These behaviours therefore reflect the frustration arousal caused by the thwarting of feeding behaviour. This raises the question whether the level of frustration also varies with the intensity of the motivation to perform the thwarted behaviour. This study investigated the relationship between the intensity of the motivation and level of frustration on the one hand and the gakel-call on the other hand. In Experiment 1, the strength of the motivation to feed was varied by thwarting hens in their feeding behaviour in an operant procedure after different durations of food deprivation (0, 8, 23 and 47 h). Trend analysis showed that with increasing hunger state, an increasing number of gakel-calls was given. No effect of treatments on temporal characteristics of the gakel-call was found. In Experiment 2, the level of frustration was varied by reducing or increasing the duration of access to food for food-deprived hens compared to the duration of access during training. It was assumed that a shorter duration of access to food compared to training would elicit frustration, which in turn would affect the performance of behaviours indicative of thwarting. However, we found neither a relation between the number of gakel-calls nor the temporal features of the gakel-call and the duration of access to food. Possibly, the differences between treatments were not large enough to induce differences in frustration level. Also, other factors that might have influenced the motivation are discussed.

Date 2000
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 69
Issue 4
Pages 265-273
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(00)00136-2
Language English
Author Address Ethology Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH, Wageningen, Netherlands.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  3. Birds
  4. Chickens
  5. Deprivation
  6. Egg production
  7. Feeding behavior
  8. Fowls
  9. Frustration
  10. Hens
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. Poultry
  13. Stress
  14. Vices
  15. vocalizations
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  1. peer-reviewed