Laboratory birds: refinements in husbandry and procedures


The effect of quality and availability of foraging materials on feather pecking in laying hen chicks

Feather pecking resulting in feather damage, injuries and mortality causes severe welfare problems in laying hens. In the present study, we tested whether there is an inverse relationship between feather pecking and foraging behaviour (exploratory and manipulative behaviour away from the feeder). Forty-eight groups of 30 or 31 chicks, Gallus gallus domesticus, were reared in […]

Foraging opportunity and increased physical complexity both prevent and reduce psychogenic feather picking by young Amazon parrots

Although many authors have suggested that the quality of the cage environment contributes to the development and performance of psychogenic feather picking by parrots, there is little scientific evidence for this relationship. In chickens, there is an established relationship between absence of foraging opportunity and the performance of a similar behavior, feather pecking. Thus, we […]

Increasing energy expenditure for a deep-diving bird alters time allocation during the dive cycle

How foraging animals respond to changes in energy costs is poorly understood. Energy costs are especially important for central-place foragers because they determine transit costs as well as foraging costs. For example, oxygen consumption during diving determines the minimum surface pause for a given oxygen store, dive depth and dive duration. A theoretical model based […]

Rush and grab strategies in foraging marine endotherms: the case for haste in penguins

The speed at which air-breathing marine predators that forage by diving should swim is likely to depend on a variety of factors that differ substantially from those relevant in animals for hich access to oxygen is unlimited. We used loggers attached to free-living penguins to examine the speed at which three species swam during periods […]

Over-sized pellets naturalize foraging time of captive Orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Parrots held in captivity experience distinctly different environmental demands, as compared to their wild conspecifics, particularly in regard to feeding. Cages equipped with computer-monitored infra-red beams (placed across a primary perch, in front of the feeder, in front of the drinking fount, and at the peak of the cage; interruption of a beam indicated a […]

Frustrated Appetitive Foraging Behavior, Stereotypic Pacing, and Fecal Glucocorticoid Levels in Snow Leopards (Uncia uncia) in the Zurich Zoo

This study hypothesized that permanently frustrated, appetitive-foraging behavior caused the stereotypic pacing regularly observed in captive carnivores. Using 2 adult female snow leopards (Uncia uncia), solitarily housed in the Zurich Zoo, the study tested this hypothesis experimentally with a novel feeding method: electronically controlled, time-regulated feeding boxes. The expected result of employing this active foraging […]

A dynamic method to study the transmission of social foraging information in flocks using robots

To understand the mechanisms underlying the flow of social information in foraging groups, it is important to manipulate the behaviour of individuals and study the responses of flock members under different ecological and social conditions. Some studies have attempted this using three-dimensional models, like robots. Our goal was to assess the foraging and scanning behaviour […]

Preference and motivation for different diet forms and their effect on motivation for a foraging enrichment in captive Orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Motivation tests were conducted to assess preference strength for diet form and a cage enrichment device by Orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) held in individual cages, N=10. Each cage was equipped with two trough-type feeders, one of which had a hinged lid that required lifting to access feeder content; cost of lifting the lid could […]

Rapid Behavioural Adjustments to Unfavourable Light Conditions in European Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris)

Although it is known that many birds possess ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive vision, most commercially housed poultry species, as well as species held in zoos, laboratories, or bred for show, are maintained under lighting that is deficient in UV wavelengths compared with normal daylight. UV-sensitive vision has been shown to be important in both foraging and mate-choice […]