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Individual discrimination following 24 h of pair contact in one- and seven-day-old Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)

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This study examined the capacity of young Japanese quail to discriminate between a familiar cagemate (F) and an unfamiliar conspecific (U). Two tests of discrimination were initially compared: a simultaneous double choice test and a pair test allowing social pecking. Discrimination was more clearly demonstrated in the choice test, which was, therefore, used in the subsequent experiments. One-day-old chicks that had been housed in pairs after hatching spent significantly more time near F than a U stimulus bird and more frequently approached and attempted to interact with F. Seven-day-old chicks that were raised in large groups for the first 6 days, then in pairs for 24 h, subsequently displayed no significant differences in their responses to their recent pair partner versus an unfamiliar chick. On the other hand, chicks that were raised in pairs for 6 days, then housed with a new partner (F) for 24 h, more frequently approached and attempted to interact with F than a U bird. These results show that 24 h of pair contact beginning at hatching or 6 days of age is sufficient for quail to discriminate between a familiar cagemate and a stranger. This discrimination ability is influenced by the chicks' early social experience.

Affiliations: 1: Station de Recherches Avicoles, INRA — Centre de Tours, 37380 Nouzilly, France; INRA, Unité Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, UMR INRA 85 — CNRS 6175 — Université de Tours — Haras Nationaux, 37380 Nouzilly, France; INRA, Unité Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, UMR INRA 85 — CNRS 6175 — Université de Tours — Haras Nationaux, 37380 Nouzilly, France; 2: Station de Recherches Avicoles, INRA — Centre de Tours, 37380 Nouzilly, France; 3: INRA, Unité Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, UMR INRA 85 — CNRS 6175 — Université de Tours — Haras Nationaux, 37380 Nouzilly, France

10.1163/156853908783402902
/content/journals/10.1163/156853908783402902
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853908783402902
2008-03-01
2016-12-08

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