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The mother‐young relationship impacts the spatial behaviour development in Quail chicks

Abstract : Previous experiments of maternal deprivation have demonstrated that an absence of maternal care impacts the behavioural development of young animals. Here we assessed whether the presence of a mothering hen influences the spatial exploration of Japanese quail chicks, after the period of mothering. Brooded and non-brooded chicks were placed in a novel environment containing feeding troughs. The distribution of chicks and their inter-individual distances were measured during repeated tests. Brooded chicks exhibited a higher ability to disperse, progressively exploiting a larger surface, and accessing food more easily. We observed a delay in the exploration of non-brooded chicks, suggesting a deficit in their exploratory motivation and/or spatial skills. We discuss that brooded chicks experienced the constraint to follow the mothering hen, and to adapt to frequent reconfigurations of their environment. The lack of this variability in the environment of non-brooded chicks would have reduced the adaptability of their spatial behaviour.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 9:13:22 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01317963, version 1


Emmanuel de Margerie, Alexandra Peris, Florent Pittet, Cécilia Houdelier, Sophie Lumineau. The mother‐young relationship impacts the spatial behaviour development in Quail chicks. 44ème Colloque Annuel de la SFECA, Société Française pour l'Etude du Comportement Animal; EA3456 LECD, Jul 2014, Nanterre, France. ⟨hal-01317963⟩



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