We studied the photic (L/D cycle) and non‐photic (restricted feeding) entrainment on the patterns of daily rhythm of total locomotor activity in goats. Six female Maltese goats were subjected to three different artificial L/D cycles: 12/12 L/D, 12/12 D/L and constant light. During the 12/12 L/D and 12/12 D/L, food and water were available ad libitum . During constant light, animals were subjected to a restricted feeding treatment. Total activity was recorded by means of an actigraphy‐based data logger (Actiwatch‐Mini®). Our results showed that goats exhibited clear daily rhythms of activity in 12/12 L/D cycle, 12/12 D/L cycle and constant light, although they showed FAA prior the feeding time during the restricted feeding treatment. Goats were diurnal, with activity consistently beginning promptly following the onset of light. Even when the L/D cycle was delayed by 12 h on some days, to the daily rhythm was re‐established. During the constant light period, the onset of activity was linked to the time of food administration. Our study evidences two factors for the rhythm of total locomotor activity in goats: light stimuli (photic) and food access (non photic), strongly coupled to permit organisms the adaptive temporal coordination of behaviour with stable and unstable environmental periodicities.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-0929.2009.00707.x

Journal: Animal Science Journal. 2010 Feb;81(1):122-8

Keywords: Capra hircus, daily rhythm, food anticipatory activity, locomotor activity, restricted feeding,

Applications: Veterinary,

CamNtech Reference: AM10004

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