The role of recent experience and weight on hen's agonistic behaviour during dyadic conflict resolution.

Martin, François and Beaugrand, Jacques P. and Lague, Paul C. (1997) The role of recent experience and weight on hen's agonistic behaviour during dyadic conflict resolution. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Recent victory or defeat experiences and 2-hour familiarity with the meeting place were combined with size differences in order to better understand their effects on the behaviour leading to the establishment of dyadic dominance relationships between hens not previously acquainted with each other. Three kinds of encounters were videotaped: (i) a previous winner unfamiliar with the meeting place met a previous loser familiar for 2 hours with the meeting place (n = 12 dyads); (ii) as in (i) but both were unfamiliar with the meeting place (n=12); (iii) as in (i) but the previous winner was familiar with the meeting place while the previous loser was unfamiliar (n=13). The weight asymmetry was combined with these three types of encounters by selecting hens of various weight differences: in 29 dyads the recent loser was heavier than the recent winner and in 8 dyads it was the reverse. Recent experience had a major influence upon both agonistic behaviour and dominance outcome. Hens that were familiar with the meeting site initiated attacks more frequently than their unfamiliar opponent but did not win significantly more often. Recent experience and site familiarity could be used to identify 80% of future initiators. Once the first aggressive behaviour had been initiated, it led to victory of its initiator in 92% of cases. Weight was not found to influence agonistic behaviour nor dominance outcome. However, hens with superior comb and wattles areas won significantly more initial meetings than opponents with smaller ones. In the final encounters, victory also went more frequently to the bird showing larger comb and wattles, which happened also to be the previous dominant in a majority of cases. The use of higher-order partial correlations as an ex post facto control for comb and wattles indicates that they were not influential upon agonistic behaviour nor on dominance outcome, but were simply co-selected with the selection of victorious and defeated birds in the first phase of the experiment designed to let hens acquire recent victory/defeat experience.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Dominance; Agonistic conflict; Weight; Size of comb and wattles; Recent experience of victory and defeat; Site familiarity; Individual differences; Hen; Gallus domesticus
Subjects:Biology > Animal Behavior
Biology > Ethology
ID Code:1938
Deposited By: Beaugrand, Jacques
Deposited On:01 Dec 2001
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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