CZAAWE Resource Article

What time is feeding?: How delays and anticipation of feeding schedules affect stump-tailed macaque behavior
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
2001
Publication/Journal 
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Abstract 
Everyday animal care routines are essential to an animal’s physical well-being, but the effects of husbandry routines on the animals’ psychological well-being are not often considered. The scheduling of animal care routines may have an important impact on how they are perceived by the animals involved. It was the objective of this study to assess how anticipation and delays of feeding routines impacts captive primates, in this study stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides). To determine how anticipation of food delivery affected behavior, this study compared behavior when feeding routines were carried out earlier to when feeding took place on-schedule. Secondly, the impact of delays of feeding routines were investigated by comparing behavior when feeding routines occurred later than usual to when they took place on time. Results indicate that anticipation of feeding routines had a considerable negative impact on behavior. In the times when animals were awaiting to be fed, rates of self-directed behavior, inactivity, vocalization and abnormal behaviors all increased significantly. When feeding was delayed past the mean routine time, these behavioral patterns were prolonged. It was concluded that feeding animals at a regular time, each day does not truly make routines predictable. Delays in the timing of these events make these events even more unpredictable, and thus all the more stressful. The implications of these results in relation to animal management are discussed.