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Genetic and phenotypic correlations between feather pecking and open-field response in laying hens at two different ages.

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  • T. B. Rodenburg
  • A. J. Buitenhuis
  • Ask, Birgitte
  • K. A. Uitdehaag
  • P. Koene
  • J. J. van der Poel
  • J. A. M. van Arendonk
  • H. Bovenhuis
The object of this research was to study the relationship between feather pecking and open-field
activity in laying hens at two different ages. A population of 550 birds of a laying hen cross was
subjected to an open-field test at 5 and 29 weeks of age and to a social feather pecking test at
6 and 30 weeks of age. Factor analysis was used to identify underlying factors for each test:
pecking behavior (social test) and open-field activity (open-field test). In young birds, a positive
phenotypic correlation of 0.24 was found between high open-field activity and high levels
of pecking behavior (ground pecking, preening, gentle feather pecking, and wall pecking). In
adults, a similar genetic correlation of 0.62 was found. At adult age, the factor pecking behavior
consisted mainly of gentle and severe feather pecking. Between ages, a strong, negative genetic
correlation of -0.65 was found between open-field activity at young age and pecking
behavior at adult age, indicating that open-field activity levels in young birds may predict pecking
behavior in adult hens.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBehavior Genetics
Vol/bind34
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)407-415
Antal sider9
ISSN0001-8244
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2004
Eksternt udgivetJa

Bibliografisk note

Paper id:: 0001-8244/04/0700-0407/0

ID: 13179532