ABS 2022
Behavioral stress responses of turkey chicks (Meleagris gallopavo) to parasitic infection at differing ages
Laney H Nute, Richard Buchholz. University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, United States

Hosts are expected to elicit stress responses from parasitic infections, but whether the age of infection influences this response is largely unknown. Previous research has demonstrated a correlation between tonic immobility duration (TI), a documented measure of stress, and passive coping strategies. The aim of this study was to determine if experimental infection of turkey chicks (Meleagris gallopavo) with Eimeria coccidia elicited altered TI and if the age or length of infection influenced this response. TI duration was measured repeatedly in individuals such that the TI of chicks infected at different ages could be compared to the TI of similarly aged but uninfected chicks. Infection did increase TI response duration, but neither age nor length of infection had any significant influence. Turkey chicks increase the duration of their behavioral stress response similarly regardless of when they are infected or how long they are infected, which provides support for a passive coping response after infection.