Artificially Increased Yolk Hormone Levels and Neophobia in Domestic Chicks
AbstractIn birds there is compelling evidence that the development and expression of behavior is affected by maternal factors, particularly via variation in yolk hormone concentrations of maternal origin. In the present study we tested whether variation in yolk hormone levels lead to variation in the expression of neophobia in young domestic chicks. Understanding how the prenatal environment could predispose chicks to express fear-related behaviors is essential in order to propose preventive actions and improve animal welfare. We simulated the consequences of a maternal stress by experimentally enhancing yolk progesterone, testosterone and estradiol concentrations in hen eggs prior to incubation. The chicks from these hormone-treated eggs (H) and from sham embryos (C) that received the vehicle-only were exposed to novel food, novel object and novel environment tests. H chicks approached a novel object significantly faster and were significantly more active in a novel environment than controls, suggesting less fearfulness. Conversely, no effect of the treatment was found in food neophobia tests. Our study highlights a developmental influence of yolk hormones on a specific aspect of neophobia. The results suggest that increased yolk hormone levels modulate specifically the probability of exploring novel environments or novel objects in the environment. View Full-Text
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Bertin, A.; Arnould, C.; Moussu, C.; Meurisse, M.; Constantin, P.; Leterrier, C.; Calandreau, L. Artificially Increased Yolk Hormone Levels and Neophobia in Domestic Chicks. Animals 2015, 5, 1220-1232.
Bertin A, Arnould C, Moussu C, Meurisse M, Constantin P, Leterrier C, Calandreau L. Artificially Increased Yolk Hormone Levels and Neophobia in Domestic Chicks. Animals. 2015; 5(4):1220-1232.Chicago/Turabian Style
Bertin, Aline; Arnould, Cécile; Moussu, Chantal; Meurisse, Maryse; Constantin, Paul; Leterrier, Christine; Calandreau, Ludovic. 2015. "Artificially Increased Yolk Hormone Levels and Neophobia in Domestic Chicks." Animals 5, no. 4: 1220-1232.