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Individual attributes as predictors of social status in small groups of laying hens

By R. H. Bradshaw

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Abstract

Physical traits (body weight, feather colour, comb size and comb colour) were investigated as predictors of social status (dominance, aggression and social interactiveness) in 4 groups each of 6 Ross Brown laying fowls. In the 1st group, there was a significant positive correlation between comb colour and dominance. In the 2nd group, there were significant positive correlations between comb size and aggression and between comb size and interactiveness. In the 3rd group, there was a significant positive correlation between body weight and interactiveness. No significant correlations between any trait and social status were found in the 4th group. The lack of consistent correlations within all groups suggests that social status is not determined by simple physical traits and is controlled by more complex mechanisms.

Date 1992
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 34
Issue 4
Pages 359-363
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Animal Behaviour Research Group, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Birds
  3. Body weight
  4. Chickens
  5. Color
  6. Comb
  7. Egg production
  8. Fowls
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. plumage
  11. Poultry
  12. size
  13. sociability
  14. Social behavior
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed