Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Effects of Hatching Time on Behavior and Weight Development of Chickens
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 7, e103040- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The length of the embryonic period varies both among and within species and can affect the individual phenotype in many ways, both physiologically and behaviorally. In chickens, the hatch window may last 24-48 hours (up to 10% of the incubation time), and studies have shown that incubation length may affect post-hatch growth and physiology. However, little is known about effects on behavior. We therefore investigated how behavior variation correlates with hatching time in the early life of chickens. We also measured egg weight and egg weight loss in relation to hatching time, as well as post-hatch growth. For females, there was a negative correlation between hatch time and body weight from day 4 and throughout the experiment. For males, such a correlation was only observed when testing all hatched males up until day 10. The birds were exposed to a number of behavioral tests, and a principal components analysis was performed on the variables, resulting in four components. For the largest component, termed "Passivity, a tendency of a difference was found between early and middle male hatchers. Furthermore, a significant difference between early and middle male hatchers was found in the second component, termed "Response to novelty. In a spatial learning test, late hatchers tended to learn slower. The behavior of females was not significantly affected by hatching time in any of these tests. This study is among the first to demonstrate a link between time of hatching and early behavior in a precocial species like the chicken, and may help shedding light on the evolutionary trade-offs between incubation length and post-hatch traits. The results may also be relevant from a perspective of stress coping and therefore also for animal welfare and productivity in the chicken industry. The mechanisms linking hatching time with post-hatch phenotype remain to be investigated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 7, e103040- p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-111296DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103040ISI: 000341354800055PubMedID: 25058654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-111296DiVA: diva2:755291
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas); European Research Council

Available from: 2014-10-14 Created: 2014-10-14 Last updated: 2017-12-05
In thesis
1. Domestication and early experiences in chickens: Behavior, stress and gene expression
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domestication and early experiences in chickens: Behavior, stress and gene expression
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A number of animal species have undergone domestication, the process of becoming adapted to living in captivity and in proximity to humans. Common for these species is that they have all developed certain traits, including changes to coat color, body size and level of fearfulness. This has been termed the domestic phenotype. Among these traits is also an attenuation of the response to stress, both behaviorally and physiologically. Thus, release of glucocorticoids such as cortisol or corticosterone is lower in domesticated species. However, the underlying mechanism for this is not yet well understood. In this thesis, we have investigated genetic mechanisms for the attenuation of the physiological stress response in ancestral chickens, the Red Junglefowl, and domesticated chickens, the White Leghorn.

We found a number of genes that differed in expression between the two breeds in several tissues involved in the stress response. Among the most interesting findings were lower expression of genes involved in production and secretion of ACTH in the pituitary, and in the production of glucocorticoids in the adrenal glands, in the domesticated White Leghorns. We also found higher expression of the glucocorticoid receptor in White Leghorns, indicating that they may have a more efficient negative feedback of the physiological stress response.

We then investigated the transcriptome of the chicken pituitary more closely, and we discovered that a number of genes highly involved in several important physiological axes showed differential expression between the ancestral and the domesticated breed. Among these were genes involved in the stress response, the reproductive system, and in metabolism and growth. As these traits are modified in domesticated species, our results suggest that changes to gene expression in the pituitary may be an important underlying factor of the domestic phenotype.

A separate aim of this thesis was to investigate effects of hatching time in chickens on their subsequent phenotype. Time of hatching constitutes an early experience that may differ between individuals, and we therefore hypothesized that differences in hatching time would affect chickens later in life. While a number of studies have been performed on hatching time and post-hatch growth, very little work has been done on effects on behavior. We found that the time of hatching had sex-specific effects. Hatching times in females were negatively correlated with body weight, whereas in males, behaviors such as reaction to novelty and spatial learning were affected.

As time of hatching is governed by various hormones, including thyroid hormone and corticosterone, we suggest that changes to the levels of these hormones could affect both hatching time and post-hatch phenotypes. Understanding these mechanisms better would be beneficial in terms of production, where batch homogeneity is important, in research on early experiences and the potential for maternal programming, and in evolutionary questions on trade-off between different life strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. 30 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1795
National Category
Other Biological Topics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143053 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-143053 (DOI)9789176853924 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-12-15, Schrödinger, E324, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-11-17 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(714 kB)425 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 714 kBChecksum SHA-512
dc2b7281f13bbacf6c61918d6c1a1dc0efe422af0650da087d0794fbe2dd761a8e11d70561021e0560ecc98b10f97cae3337049274f021cd30753a8b388828d0
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lötvedt, PiaJensen, Per
By organisation
BiologyThe Institute of Technology
In the same journal
PLoS ONE
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 425 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 128 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf