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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 8 October 2001 Issue

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Poultry Management and Behavior:
Application and Domestication

6 The application of poultry behavior to management is discussed with examples of behavior-management interactions relating to commercial poultry husbandry practices.   Behaviors that are important for the adaptation of poultry to husbandry include social behavior, aggression, sexual behavior, feeding, broodiness, cannibalism, nest site selection, and comfort behaviors.

batthen3.jpg (52983 bytes)18 Abstract: Domestication, one of the great innovations in human history, has had a profound effect on agriculture and the development of urban societies.   Domestication is a continuing genetic process through which anatomy, behavior, and physiology are modified to suit specific needs.  In poultry, the process has accelerated during the past several decades because of increased selection pressure and development of specialized male and female lines in breeding programs.  Large changes have also occurred in the intensification of environments in which poultry are maintained.   Such intensification is a function of escalation of land, energy, and labor costs.   Whether the rate of change of these nongenetic factors is faster than biological change is an important issue in the consideration of behavior-genetic analyses and poultry husbandry.  Complex behavioral, genetic, and physiological responses are involved in the buffering necessary for animals to cope with changes in their physical and social environments.  Knowledge of behavioral range and genetic variation of short- and long-term responses is essential to understanding how poultry adapt.  Although innate behaviors and habituation can prevent some stimuli from causing manifestations that detract from well-being, husbandry conditions should optimize behavioral responses with biological advantages to individuals and populations.  (From looking at the above photo from United Poultry Concerns, Inc. , it is not hard to understand why such un-natural and inhumane confinement would cause physical, mental, and social problems for the chickens.)

References:

6) Applications of behavior to poultry management. Mauldin, J.M. Champaign, Ill. : Poultry Science Association; 1992 Apr. Poultry science v. 71 (4): p. 634-642; 1992 Apr. Paper contributed to the Symposium on Quantifying the Behavior of Poultry.

18) NAL Call. No.: 47.8 AM33P Behavior-genetic analysis and poultry husbandry. Siegel, P.B. Champaign, Ill. : Poultry Science Association; 1993 Jan. Poultry science v. 72 (1): p. 1-6; 1993 Jan. Includes references.

SOURCE: http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/oldbib/qb9505.htm

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