Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 197, Issue 12, pp 1137–1141

Conditioning domestic chickens to a magnetic anomaly

  • Susanne Denzau
  • Dany Kuriakose
  • Rafael Freire
  • Ursula Munro
  • Wolfgang Wiltschko
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-011-0675-0

Cite this article as:
Denzau, S., Kuriakose, D., Freire, R. et al. J Comp Physiol A (2011) 197: 1137. doi:10.1007/s00359-011-0675-0

Abstract

Young domestic chicks of two strains, ISA brown layers and White Leghorn X Australorps, were trained to associate a magnetic anomaly with food. This was done by feeding them in their housing boxes from a dish placed above a small coil that produced a magnetic anomaly roughly six times as strong as the local geomagnetic field. Unrewarded tests began on day 9 after hatching. In a square arena, two corresponding coils were placed underneath two opposite corners. One coil, the control coil, was double-wrapped producing no net magnetic field, while the other in the opposite corner produced a local magnetic anomaly similar to that experienced during feeding. The chicks favoured the corner with the anomaly from day 10 after hatching onward. Both strains of chickens showed this preference, indicating that they could sense the local changes in the magnetic field.

Keywords

Domestic chicken Magnetic anomaly Orientation Conditioning experiments Magnetoreception 

Supplementary material

359_2011_675_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (44 kb)
Supplemental material 1 (PDF 44 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Denzau
    • 1
  • Dany Kuriakose
    • 1
  • Rafael Freire
    • 2
  • Ursula Munro
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Wiltschko
    • 1
  1. 1.FB Biowissenschaften, J. W. Goethe-Universität FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.School of Animal and Veterinary ScienceCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  3. 3.The School of the Environment, Centre of Environmental Sustainability (CEnS)University of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

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