Serum concentrations of arginine vasotocin (AVT), mesotocin and prolactin were determined by radioimmunoassay in Rhode Island Red chickens during and after dehydration, haemorrhage and oviposition. During dehydration increased circulating levels of AVT, mesotocin and prolactin were found. As water deprivation proceeded, marked differences were observed. After an initial rise in serum AVT, mesotocin and prolactin levels during mild and moderate dehydration, concentrations of both AVT and prolactin tended to normalize during continued water deprivation, while those of mesotocin remained high throughout the whole dehydration experiment with the highest at the end of the water-deprivation period. Removal of 5 ml blood at intervals of 10 min during six consecutive time-periods did not affect serum osmolality and circulating levels of AVT and prolactin, but slightly increased mesotocin. These results suggest an osmoregulatory role for AVT and prolactin, whereas mesotocin may be involved in volume control. Finally, 1 min after oviposition, control values of 19·5 ±3·4 pmol AVT/1 (n=9) were raised more than sevenfold to 142·9±12·5 pmol/l (n=11). Thereafter, a decline occurred with a half-life for AVT of 13 min with raised serum levels up to 31 min after oviposition. In contrast, the serum concentrations of mesotocin and prolactin remained unaffected by oviposition.