Some quantitative changes in the behaviour of the domestic chicken in the first seven weeks after hatching : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at Massey University
The study, which was carried out at the Poultry Research Centre, at Massey
University. was concerned with the behavioural development of the domestic
chicken, and more specifically with the quantitative changes taking place in
specific categories of behaviour from hatching to approximately two months after
hatching. Observations for the study were carried out under laboratory conditions
rather than in the field, for the following reasons.
(i) some control of environmental variables could be achieved in the laboratory
which could not be attained under field conditions.
(ii) that the chicks could be kept in view to permit a detailed surveillance of
their movements to be made for the duration of each observation period.
This was necessary for a full quantification of the observations to be
obtained, and for the data to be of use in statistical analyses.
(iii) that a set number of chickens could be observed from the beginning to the
end of each trial so that the data would be amenable to statistical
treatment. Under field conditions it is doubtful if these requirements
could have been met to the satisfaction of the observer. the nature of
the topic under study, quantitative techniques were essential, as was the
use of statistical tools to extract sufficient information from the raw
data to warrant the adoption of the quantitative approach.
Five separate trials were performed, using separate groups of newly-hatched
chicks for each trial, and taking into account the time required for cleaning and
disinfecting between trials, the total time taken for the observations and
experiments was approximately 12 months.
[From the Introduction]