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Measurement of feeding motivation in sheep and the effects of food restriction

By Else Verbeek, Joseph R. Waas, Lance McLeay, Lindsay R. Matthews

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Abstract

The availability of food is a crucial factor determining the health and growth of animals. Prolonged or severe food restriction will trigger the subjective state of hunger, which could potentially reduce welfare. We refined a methodology for the measurement of feeding motivation as an indicator of hunger, evaluated the effects of food restriction on feeding motivation in ewes (Ovis aries) and applied a behavioural demand analysis to the data. Sixteen ewes were exposed to five different cost levels (i.e., 2, 6.6, 12.1, 22, or 40m walking distances per reward) and two feeding levels (24h restriction and an un-restricted control). We found that 24h restricted ewes worked for a higher number of rewards (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 132
Issue 3
Pages 121-130
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.03.014
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Tags
  1. Demand
  2. Food restriction
  3. Hunger
  4. motivation
  5. Sheep
  6. welfare