Nutritional and behavioral effects of gorge and fast feeding in captive lions

Nonhuman animals in captivity manifest behaviors and physiological conditions that are not common in the wild. Lions in captivity face problems of obesity, inactivity, and stereotypy. To mediate common problems of captive lions, this study implemented a gorge and fast feeding schedule that better models naturalistic patterns: African lions (Panthera leo) gradually adapted from a […]

Brain opioid receptors in relation to stereotypies, inactivity, and housing in sows

When animals encounter difficult conditions, endogenous opioids are often released and may help in coping with the difficulties. In sows, prolonged confinement results in behavior abnormalities: high levels of stereotypies or excessive inactivity and unresponsiveness. The possibilities of causal links between endogenous opioids and these behavioral indicators of poor welfare have been raised. Mu receptor […]

Time resources and laziness in animals

Investigations of time budgets reveal that for many animals a surprising proportion of their active time is spent in inactivity. The question of why these beasts are often idle is investigated by examining their foraging behavior in a model which does not utilize optimization criteria. If an organism’s goal is to stay alive, one satisfactory […]

Sleeping tight or hiding in fright? The welfare implications of different subtypes of inactivity in mink

Effects of sub-optimal housing on inactivity vary across species and experiments, probably because inactivity is heterogeneous, reflecting both positive states (e.g. relaxation) and negative ones (e.g. fear). We therefore aimed to identify specific subtypes of inactivity that could indicate poor welfare in mink, by comparing their behaviour in enriched and non-enriched conditions (the former having […]

What can inactivity (in its various forms) reveal about affective states in non-human animals? A review

Captive/domestic animals are often described as inactive, with the implicit or explicit implication that this high level of inactivity is a welfare problem. Conversely, not being inactive enough may also indicate or cause poor welfare. In humans, too much inactivity can certainly be associated with either negative or positive affective states. In non-human animals, however, […]

Barren diets increase wakeful inactivity in calves

Inactivity is a vastly understudied behavioural category, which may reflect positive or negative affective states in captive or domesticated animals. Increased inactivity in barren-housed animals, in combination with an increased or decreased interest in stimuli, e.g. novel objects, can indicate boredom or apathy. Another theory is that inactivity is an alternative strategy to stereotypies to […]

Boredom-like states in mink and their behavioural correlates: A replicate study

Scientists and laypeople have long expressed concern that animals in non-enriched, unchanging environments might experience boredom. However, this had attracted little empirical study: the state is difficult to assess without verbal self-reports, and spontaneous behavioural signs of boredom can vary in humans, making it hard to identify signs likely to be valid in other species. […]