Developing a method to investigate motivational sequences in the chick

Birgitte Seehuus, Harry Blokhuis, Michael T Mendl, Linda Keeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to design an experimental set-up which would encourage chicks to perform behavioural phases
that are traditionally labelled as ‘‘appetitive’’, ‘‘consummatory’’ and ‘‘post-consummatory’’, in different areas of the pen.
This concept aims to link these phases, to related positive emotions. In this model, appetitive motivational state is linked to
the seeking/wanting of a resource, a consummatory motivational state is linked with sensory pleasure and a postconsummatory
motivational state is associated with satiety/relaxation. The study focused on foraging-related behaviours in
chicks. A pen was designed with three equally sized areas, a litter, feed and dark area. The results showed that it was possible
to at least partially separate appetitive, consummatory and post-consummatory behaviour and that the chicks were highly
synchronized in their behaviour and their use of the pen areas
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science Supplementum
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2012


  • Animal welfare, laying hen chick, motivation, positive emotions, reward cycle, synchronization


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