Hide menu

The chickens and the selection

The selection scheme

The chickens used in the project were of the fourth generation from a selection line of red junglefowl. The population originates from two populations of red junglefowl, one kept at Copenhagen zoo and one at Götala research station. In order to create a first parental generation for the selection, individuals from the two origin populations were outbred for several generations.
When the first parental generation reached an age of 12 weeks, were they tested in a "fear of human" test. There after they were, depending on the scores, divided in to three groups. A low (or tame) group, one high (or fearful) group and an intermediate group. They were then bred within these groups. The same testing, selection and breeding was performed for each generation.

Experimental setup

Top: The resources used. Bottom: Three females during test

In the project, 7 females and 7 males from each selected line was used. They were tested three times in a group consisting of three animals of the same sex with one animals in each group from each selection line. When tested the first time the birds were 13 weeks and the last time 15 weeks.
During each test session, they were first tested in a control in which only the animals were present in the test arena, after 20 minutes, a resource was presented in the arena. The resource was presented in order to see if dominant individuals also interacted the most with the resource. Three different resources were used; meal worm, wood shavings and water. During the whole session behaviours were recorded by a video camera and later analyzed.

Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/06/13