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The effect of a feeding schedule change and the provision of forage material on hair eating in a group of captive baboons ( Papio hamadryas sp.)

By C. H. Nevill, C. K. Lutz

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Abstract

Hair eating in nonhuman primates is thought to result from a frustrated appetitive drive produced by an inappropriate diet. To investigate whether hair eating could be reduced through changes in diet, a 2-part study was conducted with a group of baboons ( Papio hamadryas sp.). The 1st part involved changing to a twice-daily feeding routine, thus providing prolonged access to an appropriate food source. The 2nd part involved scattering a grain mix to encourage more foraging while maintaining a once-daily feeding routine. Changing the feeding routine unexpectedly resulted in a significant increase in hair manipulation and ingestion. Providing additional grain did not significantly decrease hair manipulation and ingestion, but several individuals did show a reduction in these behaviors. Prolonged access to biscuits and the provision of a grain mix may have failed to satisfy the urge to forage because little effort was needed for their collection prior to consumption. Although the current study failed to significantly decrease hair eating, it provides valuable insight into further avenues of research on the behavior.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 319-331
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2014.980888
Language English
Author Address Southwest National Primate Research Center, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, P. O. Box 760549, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA.hnevill@TxBiomed.org
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Tags
  1. Animal nutrition
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Baboons
  5. Effect
  6. Feeding
  7. Fodder
  8. Foods
  9. Foraging
  10. Hair
  11. Mammals
  12. Monkeys
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. Primates
  15. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed