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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:36 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I thought that this was interesting as there have been several posts discussing the need for overnight lighting for young birds, and also in the context of the provision of extended lighting periods in the commercial laying industry.

Chapter 3
Resting and Roosting

Roosting on a (high) perch and under dense foliage is a necessary behaviour in wild fowl in order to avoid predators and is a consistant behaviour in domestic fowl. "Roosting on a high perch is such a critical componant of night time behaviour that humane requirements for chicken cages now require a higher perch to be installed for roosting near the roof the night.(USA) Ladderlike perches should allow even non flying chickens to hop to higher perches"
Given the opportunity, young chicks will join the flock on perches once their flight feathers have grown.

Sleeping to Prepare for The Next Day

The circadian rhythm of many organisms (including chickens) is based on an internal clock, regulated by periods of light and dark. Sleep and rest are essential for birds to prepare for the next day.
Research has shown that for birds (as for humans) sleep is critical for consolidating and storing the previous day's memories. In young chicks, sleep helps to consolidate the memory of the object on which they have imprinted - usually their mother.
As in humans, chickens experience periods of slow wave sleep and deep (Rapid eye movement) sleep


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:13 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Chapter 3 Behaviour
Chapter 4 Intelligence and learning.

Thought I'd precis this as it may relate to some questions lovemygirls has asked

Lack of space inside the egg just before hatching prevents extensive movement so the late stage embryo recieves external stimuli asymetrically. The right eye is positioned towards the shell and thus exposed to filtered light when the hen is off the nest, the left eye is covered by the torso. This results in 'asymetrical sensory and neural processing of visual stimuli by the hatching chick' It prefers to use it's right eye for pecking and searching for food - this lateralized brain development is common in birds. They tend to use the right eye for feeding and the left to monitor their environment (for danger). The left eye (right brain) is responsible for spatial information ie the location of an object within their environment. If a chicken is played a recording of other chickens making an aerial alarm call, they will usually turn their head to view the sky with the left eye.
Eggs which are kept in total darkness except for a 6 hour exposure to light during the last 3 days before hatching will establish this visual 'sideness'
When foraging, a potential food item is located in space (left eye - right brain) then the right eye (left brain) enables the chicken to identify it from similar non food items in the local environment.

Ground Scratching and Food Searching.
Chickens generally start scratching with their right foot (left brain). If the right foot uncovers a food item, the right eye will see it first and will immediately identify it as edible. As the best food can potentially get away if the chicken does not react quickly it is an advantage to have right leg, right eye and left brain highly developed to make foraging efficient.

Incubation Care
Light makes a difference to the (cognitive) development of the embryo
Ensure that incubated eggs are exposed to natural light, especially in the last few days before hatching - chickens incubated this way will be better at discriminating between food and non food items, faster at spotting potential predators and tend to form stronger, more stable social groups (reduces aggression)
Eggs incubated in the dark may produce chickens which are more nervous, less successful at feeding and more distracted by unimportant environmental stimuli

Unlike humans chickens have highly developed monocular and binocular vision.

I have a couple of adult birds which are blind in one eye - they appear to have adapted to this although they do live in a familiar, safe environment where there is no real need to forage - must start observing their behaviour more closely.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:36 am 
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Champion Bird
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Fascinating stuff! Thanks again for sharing Sue.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:12 pm 
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Gallant Game
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+1 I am learning from this thread. Thank you,

But then again, I am learning from most threads on BYP, so thank you all, questioners and answerers all.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:25 am 
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Amazing info, Sue.
Having access to natural light during incubation would suggest that incubators with a clear door are best.
My incubator (capacity 190 eggs) has a clear door - Yay!

:read I would like to read up on genetics - but it all seems so mind-bogglingly complex.

Is there a 'Genetics for Dummies' book that is recommended reading?
Even better - a book that also deals with Barnevelder Genetics that can be understood by a novice.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:32 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I wish!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:42 am 
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Champion Bird
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Here's a good starting point BarnieRaiser viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8034456

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:06 pm 
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This is so much better than I could have hoped for.
Thank you for this link to shairlyn's genetics lesson and your feedback thread, DottesnSilk.
I have been doing some cut and paste - I find printed study material somewhat easier to digest and re-view.

I am now a student of genetics. :woot:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Glad you are finding it helpful. Full credit must go to Shairlyn :morebow .

Do us all a favour and make a post in the feedback thread telling Shairlyn how awesome she is. It might just inspire her to put up a new lesson :biggrin: .

Sorry Sue, back on topic. I love this book that you have been quoting from..........the sort of stuff that appeals to those of us that think too much :peece .

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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I ordered the book youre quoting from sue and received it in the mail today.
I got it online for $17.83 what a bargain !
It looks great. I cant wait to start reading it. Thanks so much for sharing.
:-D

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Silkie crosses, 8 roosters and forever in my heart my precious Thumbelina.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hope you enjoy it LMG. Feel free to add the bits that you find interesting to this post.


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