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Analysis of the Brooding Cycle of Broody Jungle Fowl Hens With Chicks

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Broody hens with chicks show a sequence of behaviors that is cyclical in nature: brooding, preening, feeding with drinking, exploring, dustbathing, and then brooding once again. In inexperienced hens, the average cycle length was about half an hour, with brooding and feeding taking up about 90% of the time. The amount of brooding, preening, and feeding correlated positively with the length of the cycle, whereas exploring and dustbathing had no significant effect on cycle length. Hens with previous experience brooding chicks showed a significantly shorter cycle length, but the sequence of behaviors was unaltered. The results were discussed in the context of ultradian rhythms in behavior. A clock mechanism was not able to account for the results. A model that included the interaction of causal factors provided by the chicks and by the hen's dustbathing system was more successful.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada M5S 1A1

10.1163/156853993X00164
/content/journals/10.1163/156853993x00164
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853993x00164
1993-01-01
2016-12-04

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