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Dustbathing Behaviour of Uropygial Gland Extirpated Domestic Hens

Støvbadningsadfærd hos uropygialkirtel-extirperede tamhøner. Effekt af støvdeprivation

Effects of Dust Deprivation


Dustbathing behaviour of uropygial gland extirpated and intact White Leghorn hens was studied after 27 and 75 h of deprivation of dust. Thereafter the hens were given access to dust (litter) and latency and duration of their first dustbathing bout were recorded. A short latency and/or a long duration were taken to indicate a strong urge to perform dustbathing. Judged by either of these criteria the gland extirpated birds showed a higher dustbathing tendency than the intact birds and in both groups the dustbathing tendency increased from 27 to 75 h of deprivation. Because of these findings the present study failed to support the “lipid regulation theory”: that the amount of lipid in the plumage should regulate the dustbathing tendency. Rank in the social hierarchy significantly influenced latency and duration of dustbathing but there was no simple correlation. After two weeks with constant access to litter no differences in the amount of feather lipids could be found between gland-extirpated and intact birds.


Støvbadningsadfærd hos uropygialkirtel (gumpekirtel) extirperede („opererede“) og intakte Hvide Italiener høner blev undersøgt efter henholdsvis 27 og 75 timers støvmangel (deprivation). Når hønerne efter endt deprivationstid fik adgang til „støv“ i form af strøelse, blev en „kort“ latenstid og/eller en „lang“ varighed af støvbadningen taget som tegn på en forstærket trang til at udføre støvbadning. På grundlag af begge kriterier udviste de opererede høner en større støvbadningstrang end de intakte høner, og i begge grupper steg støvbadningstrangen fra 27 til 75 timers deprivationstid. På dette grundlag kunne eksisterende teorier gående ud på, at lipidma3ngden i fjerdragten regulerer støvbadningstrangen ikke bekrseftes. Rangen i det sociale hierarki havde en indflydelse på bade latenstid og varighed af støvbadningen, men der var ingen simpel korrelation mellem rang og støvbadningstrang. Der fandtes ingen forskelle mellem opererede og intakte høner i fjerdragternes lipidmængder efter 14 dages vedvarende adgang til støv.


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Nørgaard-Nielsen, G., Vestergaard, K. Dustbathing Behaviour of Uropygial Gland Extirpated Domestic Hens. Acta Vet Scand 22, 118–128 (1981).

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  • dustbathing
  • uropygial-gland-extirpation
  • dust deprivation
  • domestic hens