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Red Junglefowl Chicks Seek Contact With Humans During Foraging Task

Rubene, Diana and Lovlie, Hanne (2021). Red Junglefowl Chicks Seek Contact With Humans During Foraging Task. Frontiers in Psychology. 12 , 675526
[Research article]

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Contact seeking with humans is documented in some domestic animals, mainly dogs, which have advanced communication skills. Domestication as a companion animal is thought to underlie this ability. However, also domesticated horses and goats display similar human-directed behaviors. This suggests either a broader effect of domestication on contact-seeking behavior, or alternatively, that social interactions with humans can result in the development of human contact seeking. As part of another study, we observed contact-seeking behavior in juvenile red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) chicks exposed to behavioral training since hatching, during a foraging task, where chicks were singly required to collect food rewards in a familiar arena using odor cues. If chicks left the arena, we recorded if they approached and looked up at the experimenter, or if they approached other objects (including another human). Chicks approached the experimenter significantly more often than they approached other objects. This behavior was not linked to a fast performance in the test arena, which gave some birds more time to explore the surroundings, or to learning ability measured in a cognitive task. Yet, the preference for the experimenter was lower for chicks that were handled more prior to the experiment. Also, approach probability was positively correlated with escape attempts in a novel arena test. The observed variation in approach behavior suggests a link to aspects of personality, and exposure to human interactions and experimental procedures. Our observations suggest that, although neither domesticated nor selectively bred, red junglefowl that are socialized with humans can potentially develop behavior used to describe contact seeking. Together with evidence from cognitive and behavioral studies, our results suggest that social experiences, not only domestication, can affect human-animal interactions. We propose how interactions between behavior, cognition and handling could be studied further in controlled settings to validate the preliminary findings of our study and uncover the underlying mechanisms.

Authors/Creators:Rubene, Diana and Lovlie, Hanne
Title:Red Junglefowl Chicks Seek Contact With Humans During Foraging Task
Series Name/Journal:Frontiers in Psychology
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:675526
Number of Pages:11
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Behavioural Sciences Biology
Keywords:chicken, human-animal interactions, contact seeking, bird-human interactions, social cognition
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000670235100001
ID Code:25016
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 11:25
Metadata Last Modified:03 Jan 2022 09:42

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