Competition between siblings of the same litter or nest for the food provided by their parents is a common occurrence in nature. The weakest can end up dying, especially in years of scarce resources. In the case of bustards, this disadvantage tends to affect the female chick more when it shares maternal care with a brother, as he is much older and more competitive than her. Competition between the sexes can lead to the starvation of the sister. This is explained by researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) and the Complutense University of Madrid, in an article published in the Animal Behavior magazine. Great bustard chicks have a maternal dependency period of between 6 and 18 months. Although during this period they look for their food themselves, they receive additional food from the mother.
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“To reach adult size, male chickens need to grow faster and therefore require more maternal care than their sisters. We know that the care that the mother provides to the chicken directly Uganda Email List influences the reproductive success of her children when they reach maturity, but not that of their daughters ”, explains the MNCN researcher Juan Carlos Alonso. “Also, in polygynous species, in which a successful male fertilizes numerous females, each of whom can raise one or two chickens per season, a well-raised son can provide many more grandchildren for his mother than a daughter. Researchers have looked at interactions between chickens and their mothers in families with two chickens of
the sons receive food from their mothers twice as often as the daughters, but not because there is a maternal preference,” explains Alonso. “What happens is that male chickens stay closer to the mother than their sisters, thus getting more food. When the mother captures a prey and offers it to both chickens, it is almost always the male who reaches it first ”, he continues. In families with chickens of the same sex, both chickens are fed with the same frequency, and in families with a single female chicken, it receives more food from its mother than when it shares maternal care with a brother. “Our conclusion is that the differences between male and female chickens in mixed families do not imply a willingness to manipulate by the mother, but rather the greater competitiveness of the males, a consequence of their higher food requirements