Article ID: 0170166
To date, few reports have been published on the sensitivity of birds to sweet tastes. Therefore, in this study, the behavioral responses of White Leghorn chicks to the sweet taste of saccharin and the bitter taste of quinine were assessed. Three chicks were provided with a solution of 3.0 mM quinine and a mixture of 3.0 mM quinine mixed with 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, or 10.0 mM saccharin in a two-bottle choice test for 48 h. It was found that the chicks consumed more of the 0.5 mM saccharin/3.0 mM quinine mixture but significantly less of the 10.0 mM saccharin/3.0 mM quinine mixtures than the quinine solution alone (P < 0.05). The aversive behavior of 3.0 mM quinine solution was eased when mixed with 0.5 mM saccharin, indicating that chicks are detecting the sweetness associated with the 0.5 mM saccharin. The aversion to the 1.0 and 10.0 mM saccharin solutions might be stronger than to the 3.0 mM quinine solution alone. These findings suggest that chicks are able to detect this artificial sweetener.