Measuring ramp use in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)

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Authors
Begum-Diamond, Z.
Neuhauser, Johanna
Cameron, Kristie
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Grantor
Date
2022-08-11
Supervisors
Type
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)
ramps
exercise
animal behaviour and welfare
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Begum-Diamond, Z., Neuhauser, J. E., & Cameron, K.E. (2022). Measuring ramp use in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, 118, 292-301 https://doi: 10.1002/jeab.783
Abstract
To investigate the utility of ramps as enrichment and as a method for establishing demand for commodities, the latency to climb a ramp of increasing slope to obtain food was measured in four guinea pigs. The average height where guinea pigs failed to climb was 29.1 cm (slope 14.2 degrees). In addition, the increasing slope altered climbing behavior; when climbing speed was tested using the same slope for all trials within a single session, the guinea pigs maintained their climbing speed as the gradient increased across sessions. In comparison, when the slope was increased with each successful climb within a session, climbing speed was not maintained. Installing the maximum slope climbed can promote increased exercise and foraging but avoid physical harm or barriers to resources. Furthermore, these results indicate that climbing, a simple behavior with measurable differences as a function of slope and thus, effort, could be used as a method for testing the demand for commodities, such as food type or enrichment items, to be included in the husbandry of guinea pigs to improve welfare of the small cavy.
Publisher
Wiley
Link to ePress publication
DOI
https://doi: 10.1002/jeab.783
Copyright holder
John Wiley for © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Copyright notice
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International