FILIAL IMPRINTING AND LEADERSHIP AMONG CHICKS IN FAMILY INTEGRATION OF THE DOMESTIC FOWL

in Behaviour
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Abstract

Experiments are reported on filial imprinting and leadership among white leghorn chicks in relation to family integration. Chicks hatched in isolation were given their first exposure to certain parental stimuli (a moving person or clucking sounds recorded from a broody hen) at various ages after hatching from the first to 10th day. Logistic regression and multiple likelihood analysis of the results showed that a significant tendency to follow or to be attracted to parental stimuli was much the greatest during the first day after hatching and then declined exponentially during the rest of the first week. There was a significant correlation between visual and auditory responses to parental stimuli, as well as between a chick's positive responses to clucking and the giving of distress cries by the chick when clucking ceased. Some individual chicks showed a significant tendency to lead the other chicks of a group to stimuli representing the mother, such as a source of warmth, or to the maternal voice (recorded clucking from a speaker).

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