Calves’ motivation for access to two different types of social contact measured by operant conditioning

Calves housed individually have little opportunity for social contact. However, performance of social behaviour may constitute a need in calves. Slopes of demand functions (demand elasticity), generated by operant conditioning techniques, are used to measure behavioural motivation of farm animals. A methodological discussion concerns the way social contact should be provided in operant conditioning studies. […]

The use of demand functions to assess behavioural priorities in farm animals

The use of demand functions to identify the behaviours most important to animals has been advocated widely. The principle is to place increasing cost on the opportunity to perform several behaviours and subsequently to rank these behaviours according to the change in their performance as a function of cost; this change is described by the […]