Master of Science in Biology 2006, Linköping University
PhD-student in ehtology since 2009
By selecting chickens on low fear of human, the animals alter traits that are similar to the domestication process. Animals in the food industry and our pets have all gone through the process called domestication, which can be resembled with a high speed evolution where the animal’s appearance and behaviour has been altered. Since the process of the domestication of the chicken started about 8000 years ago it is impossible to know how it all started. A qualified guess although is that it has to do with the fear tolerance towards humans.
Therefor I have been selecting animals on either high or low fear tolerance towards humans for five generations. Through this selection two strains has developed that not only differs in their fear tolerance towards humans but also in other ways that correlate with the differences we can see between wild and domesticated species. Animals with low fear of humans are for instance bigger, lay larger eggs and generate larger offspring. In the future we are also interested in the genetic changes, appearance of the animals as well as more behaviour changes in the animals.
Eklund and Jensen, 2011 Domestication effects on behavioural synchronization and individual distances in chickens ( Gallus gallus). Behavioural Processes,Volume 86, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 250–256.
Agnvall B, Jöngren M, Strandberg E and Jensen P., 2012 Heritability and Genetic Correlations of Fear-Related Behaviour in Red Jungelfowl -Possible Implications for Early Domestication. PLoS ONE, 7 (2012), p. e35162
Responsible for this page: Per Jensen
Last updated: 11/06/13