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Studies of incubation and broody behaviour in the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Studies of incubation and broody behaviour in the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Animal Behaviour 13: 143-148

Evidence is presented which indicates that hen pheasants show responses other than incubation as incubation progresses. Some types of behaviour are observed only by hens in the advanced stages of incubation. Other responses may be detected throughout incubation. The development of this behaviour in the first half of incubation coincides with the rapid rise in the content of prolactin in the pituitary.Experimental reduction and prolongation of the incubation period yield data which suggest that prolactin has a conditioning effect on the brooding hen. Prior to this conditioning, a premature hatching stimulus does not elicit brooding behaviour in hens with no previous breeding experience. Delay of the hatching stimulus does not appear to affect chick acceptance.The typical behaviour of the pheasant cock to the incubating hen and the chicks is described. The few cocks which incubated eggs showed the same development of behaviour and broody activity which was observed in hens.

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Accession: 023682920

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DOI: 10.1016/0003-3472(65)90084-9

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