Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands

Laurien-Kehnen C, Trillmich F (2003)
BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 53(3): 145-152.

Journal Article | Published | English

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To ensure proper development of young, mothers should react to offspring signals of need. Studies of such parent-offspring interaction often manipulated litter size to measure effects of changed offspring food demand. We used the extreme precociality of guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) pups to increase offspring demand without changing any other litter characteristic. As pups contribute to their own energy demands from birth by independent feeding, their food demand can be increased by withholding solid food early in lactation. We studied whether mothers reacted to increased food demand of offspring by enhanced parental care, especially by changes in the pattern of milk production and nursing. Pups deprived of solid food early in lactation grew more slowly and were in poorer body condition than pups in control litters, even after the former had access to solid food in late lactation. Mothers of deprived young reacted to offspring long-term need by maintaining nursing behaviour for longer than control mothers. However, this change in behaviour did not occur early in lactation when pup short-term need was greatest nor did it result in increased milk transfer at any time. Energy allocation of mothers measured by changes in their food intake, maternal body reserves, and milk production stayed the same whether offspring had early access to solid food or not. Thus mothers did not increase energy allocation to pups even though they apparently had information about the pups' poor state.
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Laurien-Kehnen C, Trillmich F. Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. 2003;53(3):145-152.
Laurien-Kehnen, C., & Trillmich, F. (2003). Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 53(3), 145-152.
Laurien-Kehnen, C., and Trillmich, F. (2003). Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 53, 145-152.
Laurien-Kehnen, C., & Trillmich, F., 2003. Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 53(3), p 145-152.
C. Laurien-Kehnen and F. Trillmich, “Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands”, BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, vol. 53, 2003, pp. 145-152.
Laurien-Kehnen, C., Trillmich, F.: Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY. 53, 145-152 (2003).
Laurien-Kehnen, C, and Trillmich, Fritz. “Lactation performance of guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) does not respond to experimental manipulation of pup demands”. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 53.3 (2003): 145-152.
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