Social processes affecting feeding and drinking in the domestic fowl

William John Edward Hoppitt, Kevin Neville Laland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We used a novel 'three-bowl' method to investigate social effects on feeding and drinking in domestic fowl, Gallus gallus domesticus. The method was designed to distinguish between two social-learning processes, 'response facilitation' and 'local enhancement'. We presented three bowls, each containing food or water, and recorded the onset and offset of bouts of feeding or drinking at each bowl. We then modelled the rate of feeding or drinking of each individual as a function of the recent behaviour of its conspecifics. An actionspecific effect is consistent with response facilitation, whereas a location-specific effect is consistent with local enhancement. Drinking was subject to response facilitation, which acted to synchronize individuals' drinking behaviour. For feeding, although no evidence was found for a response facilitation effect, there was evidence for local enhancement. However, the social influence on feeding was offset by avoidance of feeding competition, which acted to reduce behavioural synchrony. Our methodology is a novel approach to studying social-learning processes within freely interacting groups of animals, and could be adapted for use with different actions and on other species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1543
Number of pages15
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • domestic fowl
  • Gallus gallus domesticus
  • local enhancement
  • response facilitation
  • social learning
  • NORWAY RATS
  • IMITATION
  • MECHANISMS
  • ANIMALS
  • CHICKS
  • PREFERENCES
  • BEHAVIOUR
  • CULTURE
  • PECKING

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