To gain more knowledge on the feed intake behavior of boiler chicks, Theme was used to evaluate whether a change in the physical characteristics of feed particles influenced the time pattern organization of their feed pecking behavior.
Theme revealed that pecking at feed is composed of two distinct sets of acts:
time-synchronized acts that are little affected by the size or the form of the pecked particles, and
unsychronized acts that are not included in a pattern, but increase proportionally when the feed structure changes.
The latter might represent a way for the chick to gather sensory information.