Have hen and cock bonded?

~ 0 min
06-Mar-2008 09:10

Bonds are formed outside the breeding season in the aviaries and once formed they stay together throughout the year. The cock and hen recognise each other visually.

There are a number of mate specific behaviours to look for:

  • Mates sit together significantly more often than with non-mates.
  • All males preen more frequently when they are next to their mate.
  • Hens preen more often while sitting next to non-mates.
  • Courtship singing is not a mate specific behaviour, however, the courtship song, is followed by courtship feeding more often when the mate has been addressed in song.
  • Beak touching is the most frequent mate specific behaviour.
  • Begging for food by hens is absolutely mate specific behaviour.
  • Cocks feed their own mate significantly more often than non-mates.
  • The only time that a male is fed by a hen is when he is sick.
  • Hens are inhibited from showing aggression toward a mate.
  • Cocks also show a beak thrust inhibition towards mates.
  • Hens are not inhibited from showing aggressive behaviours toward non-mates.

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