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TDK conference 2016

The effect of noise and music upon the behaviour, stress state and chorticosterone level of 1-21 days old chicks
Sebestyén Éva - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisor: Gabriella Korsós


There are several stress sensitive chicken strains in which stress-induced panic may cause damages. In this experiment we analyzed whether noise or music pretreatment is able to reduce the possible noise-induced stress on young chicks. Newly hatched Ross meat type chickens were objected to 10 hours of daily noise and music treatment. Fifty birds were divided into three groups; the Group I was given a noise mixture, while the Group II listened to classical music. The Group III (control) was not given any sound effects. The noise level did not exceed 70 dB. Open-field test (OF) were conducted: observation of their behaviour for 5 minutes as well as videorecording the experiment. Tonic immobility tests were also carried out. On the final day blood samples were taken to measure the serum corticosterone and necropsy with histopathology were performed after euthanasia. Additionally, the gender of the chicks was determined as well as fluctuating asymmetry of bone growth was examinded. No significant differences were found in the results of weight gain and immobility. The histopathological test was negative. One can conclude that the 3-week-long conditioning to noise or music does not cause clinical stress. Significant differences were found in regards to the extent of asymmetry and the blood corticosterone level. The asymmetry in the control group was greater, suggesting a higher level of continuous stress during growth. However, the lowest level of cortiscerone was found in the control group. Looking at their behaviour, the chickens in Group III stood and gasped more frequently than chicks in Groups I and II. The eating frequency during the first OF was lower than that associated with chicks’ basic behaviour before; however, it started to increase in all groups afterwards. The gasping decreased week by week with one large increase after the first OF. The frequency of the gasping on stage increased in all groups similarly with the noise provocation. During the videorecording of the basic behaviour there was no head shaking present in any of the groups, but later on the frequency of it increased in all of the groups. One can concluded that there is no difference between music and noise treatment; chicks respond to music the same way they respond to noise. However, noise preconditioning may have a beneficial effect for young chicken.

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