Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Locomotion in domestic fowls : influence of environmental, social and genetic factors and implications for motivation
Author: Chen, Hui Wen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The principal objective of this thesis is to investigate factors relevant to locomotion in the domestic fowl. Experiments concentrated on the influence of environmental (rearing condition, resource distribution, space, and restraint), social (presence and familiarity of companions), and genetic (age and breed factors). A familiar bird, an unknown bird, and an empty cage were used to investigate the effect of familiarity and companionship on birds' locomotion. It was found that isolation may cause a fear reaction, isolated birds were more nervous and less active, and remained motionless for a longer period of time, they performed more behaviour patterns with social content such as preening and foraging. Familiarity between birds increased locomotion: birds walked more and were less aggressive when the companion birds were familiar. The presence of companions and familiarity with flock mates may produce a situation where birds feel more secure and relaxed to explore. Familiarity and companionship of another bird had no effect on inter-individual distance. When broilers, layers and a dual-purpose breed (Taiwan Country chickens) were compared, laying hens were the most nervous and active breed, while the broilers were the least active. The meat type broiler breed ground-pecked less, but still grew fastest. Broilers fed efficiently without spending much time on foraging activity such as ground-pecking/scratching. This suggests that genetic selection has changed behaviour repertories, even those essential for survival. Age had little influence on locomotion. The findings show that in domestic fowls locomotion is motivated, and its expression influenced by a wide range of factors, and there are possible implications for welfare: the present battery cage system may not be appropriate for such motivation to be expressed. The design of housing system should take into account the layout of the equipment, and resources should be carefully distributed to prevent intense competition between birds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available