White leghorn chickens (Gallus Gallus) were isolated and reared in either white, half red and half blue, red, or blue cages, and at 60 hrs. and 120 hrs. were given a preference test for either a red or blue stationary object. Chicks housed in white cages were exposed to white throughout the experiment, and chicks housed in half red and half blue were exposed to red and blue in the same manner. Subjects housed in red cages for the first 60 hrs. were reversed to blue cages for the second 60 hrs. and subjects initially housed in blue cages were reversed to red cages. Subjects exposed to white, red and blue or red, showed a preference for red at 60 hrs. while subjects initially exposed to blue showed a tendency to prefer blue. At 120 hrs. subjects exposed to white showed no preference, while the subjects exposed to red and blue continued to display a red preference. Subjects initially exposed to red and reversed to blue showed no preference but subjects reversed from blue to red showed a red preference. This suggests that color preferences in chicks may be affected by an interaction between the initial attractiveness of a color and the amount of experience with that color at an early age.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1970 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Boness, D. J. and Wylie, N. R.
"Experiential Factors Affect Red and Blue Preferences in Neonatal Chickens (Gallus gallus),"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 77(1), 290-295.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol77/iss1/41