Reaction to frustration of high (HFP) and low feather pecking (LFP) laying hens was investigated. From a HFP- and a LFP-line five birds with a HFP- and five birds with a LFP-phenotype were selected. Birds from the HFP-line were expected to show more key pecking and covered feeder pecking during frustration than birds from the LFP-line. When a bunch of feathers was presented, birds with a HFP-phenotype were expected to redirect their pecks at the bunch. Birds were trained to peck a key for a food reward in an automated Skinnerbox and subjected to two sessions: a control session, where food was available, and a frustration session, where the feeder was covered with Perspex. These two sessions were repeated in the presence of a bunch of feathers. Unexpectedly, birds from the LFP-line had a stronger reaction to frustration than birds from the HFP-line, expressed in pecking behaviour. When a bunch of feathers was offered, birds with a HFP-phenotype did not show more bunch pecking during frustration than birds with a LFP-phenotype.
Rodenburg, T. B., Zimmerman, P. H., & Koene, P. (2002). Reaction to frustration in high and low feather pecking laying hens. Behavioural Processes, 59, 121-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0376-6357(02)00086-4