Importance of Alternative Foods on the Persistence of Flavor Aversions: Implications for Applied Flavor Avoidance Learning
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
We added a novel flavor, citric acid (CA), to a familiar test diet and conditioned an aversion in lambs to the flavored diet using lithium chloride. In 1 h feeding trials, we examined the roles of a novel flavor cue, choice and nutritional quality of alternatives on the persistence of an aversion. Availability of alternative foods increased the persistence of the aversion to the CA-flavored test diet. Furthermore, persistence was related to the energy content of the alternative. The higher energy alternative better complimented the high protein content of the basal ration (alfalfa pellets) and increased persistence versus the lower energy alternative. Continued avoidance of the CA-flavored test diet was observed even after a 68-day intermission among lambs with access to alternatives. We submit that application of flavor avoidance learning (FAL) may be useful for minimizing herbivory when a novel flavor is employed and alternative forage is present.
Kimball, Bruce A.; Provenza, Frederick D.; Burritt, Elizabeth A. 2002. Importance of Alternative Foods on the Persistence of Flavor Aversions: Implications for Applied Flavor Avoidance Learning. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 76(3): 249-258.