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Importance of alternative foods on the persistence of flavor aversions: implications for applied flavor avoidance learning

By B. A. Kimball, F. D. Provenza, E. A. Burritt

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Abstract

We added a novel flavour, citric acid (CA), to a familiar test diet and conditioned an aversion in lambs to the flavored diet using lithium chloride. In 1 h feeding trials, we examined the roles of a novel flavour cue, choice and nutritional quality of alternatives on the persistence of an aversion. Availability of alternative foods increased the persistence of the aversion to the CA-flavored test diet. Furthermore, persistence was related to the energy content of the alternative. The higher energy alternative better complimented the high protein content of the basal ration (lucerne pellets) and increased persistence versus the lower energy alternative. Continued avoidance of the CA-flavored test diet was observed even after a 68-day intermission among lambs with access to alternatives. We submit that application of flavour avoidance learning (FAL) may be useful for minimizing herbivory when a novel flavour is employed and alternative forage is present.

Date 2002
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 76
Issue 3
Pages 249-258
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00007-2
Language English
Author Address US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA. bruce.a.kimball@aphis.usda.gov
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Tags
  1. acids
  2. Alfalfa
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Butterflies and moths
  7. Diets
  8. Energy
  9. Feeding behavior
  10. Flavor
  11. Flowers
  12. Lambs
  13. Mammals
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. pellets
  16. Plants
  17. Ruminants
  18. Sheep
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed