Jones, A.R., Bizo. L.A. & Foster, T.M. (2011). Domestic hen chicks’ conditioned place preferences for sound. Behavioural Processes, available online 1 October 2011.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5925
Food and sounds (white noise, a food call and the sound of other chicks) were used in an attempt to establish conditioned place preferences with domestic hen chicks. Thirty-two chicks were randomly allocated to one of the 4 groups, and exposed to a 3-compartment apparatus to establish a baseline of their movements across 4 15-min sessions. They were then confined to one compartment and provided with free access to food or exposed to one sound for 15 min and then they were confined to the alternate compartment with no food or sound for 15 min. This process was repeated 3 times. Post-conditioning test sessions showed a conditioned place preference towards the area associated with food and away from the area associated with white noise. After conditioning, chicks showed no preference for spending time in the side associated with the food call or the sounds of other chicks; however, they entered a compartment first more often when it was associated with the food call and less often when it was associated with chick-sounds. Overall, these results showed that it was possible to use the conditioned place preference procedure to assess the effects of sounds and that the procedure has potential use for assessing other environmental stimuli.