Effects of isolation on stress responses to novel stimuli in Subadult chickens (Gallus gallus)

Weldon, Kimberly B, Fanson, Kerry and Smith, Carolynn L 2016, Effects of isolation on stress responses to novel stimuli in Subadult chickens (Gallus gallus), Ethology, vol. 122, no. 10, pp. 818-827, doi: 10.1111/eth.12529.

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Title Effects of isolation on stress responses to novel stimuli in Subadult chickens (Gallus gallus)
Author(s) Weldon, Kimberly B
Fanson, KerryORCID iD for Fanson, Kerry orcid.org/0000-0001-9372-2018
Smith, Carolynn L
Journal name Ethology
Volume number 122
Issue number 10
Start page 818
End page 827
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-10-01
ISSN 0179-1613
1439-0310
Keyword(s) social stress
subadult
social isolation
sex differences
glucocorticoids
Summary Extensive research has examined the effects of social isolation in neonatal and adult animal populations, but few studies have examined the effect of social isolation in early adulthood. Animals reaching reproductive age often experience extensive social changes as they leave their natal site, and a social stressor like isolation may uniquely affect this age group. Furthermore, adolescence is a time when sex differences in behavior become more pronounced. As such, the effects of social stressors are likely to vary by sex. In this study, we used noninvasive methods to evaluate stress responses to social change in male and female subadult chickens (Gallus gallus). Half of the birds experienced regular sessions of social isolation over the course of 2 wk, while the other half were never isolated. Subsequently, all of the animals were exposed to a suite of three novel probes, including an open-field test. We monitored the birds’ behavioral (head movements) and physiological (fecal glucocorticoid metabolites, FGM) response to the tests. Our results indicate that, for subadult chickens, the effect of social isolation is sex dependent: Male FGM and behavioral responses did not change with subsequent experiences, in contrast to females. Females also exhibited more social reinstatement behavior compared to males. Our results are consistent with the expectations of differences between the sexes based on changes in the social environment due to sex-biased dispersal patterns. For both sexes, the FGM and behavioral responses varied independently, which highlights the necessity for multiple measures of stress in animal populations.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/eth.12529
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
060805 Animal Neurobiology
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30086961

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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