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Environmental enrichment to improve the welfare of captive birds and fish.

Lisa Gordon

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3 Contents page Page 3.Introduction Pages -! "#ethod Pages !-$ " %esults Page $ " &iscussion Page $' " %eferences and (c)nowledgements .

and whether the+ showed a clear preference for more natural colours over the usual white. *hen the fish are stressed the+ franticl+ swim about the tan). it being emphasised on a fre-uent basis that it ir)s the general public to hear of mistreatment of captive animals.L. green and brown2. *hite is a colour which most would find stressful. . drin)ing and preening their feathers. . =ebra finches. 4oth 0ebra finches and swordtail fish are widel+ used in labs all over the world for behavioural studies and research. swift-flowing rivers. eating. . most people alread+ hold a strong opinion. water..E et al.he pro5ect therefore tested how cage colour affected the routine behaviours of the birds.9 $!!:2.his stud+ was based around the improvement of welfare for the animals in captivit+ in the /niversit+ of Glasgow.he standard cages for animals )ept in laboratories are designed mainl+ for the convenience of humans . and lac) of appeal.hese birds would surel+ thrive better in a cage more attributed to their natural environment.9 and 7 English (. especiall+ in laboratories. 6wordtail fish originate in . &espite the fact these birds and fish have been reared in captivit+ the+ still have their natural behavioural re-uirements. ?bservations and a spot chec) of their location ever+ 38 secs will be recorded .orth and Central (merica.Introduction *hen affronted with an+ issue concerning animal welfare. 288:2 to humans 16tone. /suall+ small and white so that the+ are easier to clean.aeniop+gia guttata2 and green swordtail fish 13iphophorus hellerii2. the effects of cage colour in 0ebra finches and the effect of different levels of vegetation in green swordtail fish. . the number of perch moves during 2 min. namel+ 0ebra finches 1. therefore this pro5ect tested how the birds responded to natural colours 1gre+.L and %ingland 9. . &. Colour is a factor )nown to affect the behaviour of man+ different species.hese are animals being used solel+ for un-invasive behavioural studies. . *hen calm the+ are more li)el+ to be .u. in repetitive se-uences. #c&onald C. substrate and perches. . It is this factor that has such an effect on mood. the+ live in heavil+-vegetated. @ish welfare is a factor that is often overloo)ed due to their allegedl+ poor memor+ retention.he idea behind this aspect of the stud+ was to determine what level of vegetation is best suited to captive swordtail fish and possibl+ other fish species. when frightened or stressed will go to high perches and sit still. whereas when the+ are more rela>ed the+ will flit about the cage.he stud+ was split into two smaller pro5ects. from mice 16herwin 7 Glen 28832 to chimpan0ees and gorillas 1*ells. =ebra finches originate in the grasslands and forests of (ustralia. satisfaction and performance. with basic food. gleaming and clinical< bright and sore on the e+es. .

Each cage had half of its white interior covered b+ a different colour of card. with an e-ual arrangement on each half of the cage. si0e and design. water.hree standard white metal cages measuring $28 > '8 cm and '8 cm high. .' > C8 cm2 of each half-cage using adhesive DEelcro spotsF. with the e>ception of the number of birds sharing a cage< the+ were also the same as the ones in which the birds had been reared.' > '8 cm2 and bac) wall 1 :. or brown 1fig 3B2 cage tra+ liner. .he card was attached to the roof 1 :.i0iano pastel paper 1(ntracite2.he perches.he fishAs behaviour. with one high and one low perch on each side. with similar perches as those in which the birds were normall+ )ept. with ad libitum food. pale green 1fig 2B 13ero> s+mphon+ green2. side 1 :.hree colours of card were chosen in contrast to the clinical white< slate gre+ 1fig $B2 . . food and water were placed e-uall+ on both sides. . in the form of their position in the tan) and current action was therefore tested in relation to the light and vegetation levels in the tan). #ethod 4ird e>periment .hese cages were the same in shape.' > '8 cm2. . . substrate and perches were set up.' stationar+ or at least not moving around as much.

. brown cage @ig 3. 6late gre+ cage @ig 2.C @ig $. green cage.

. @ig ?n each da+ of recording.g.heir ring number. (fter the ten minutes the birds were then observed for thirt+ minutes in total. fl+ing. and had therefore been reared in those specific cages. three 0ebra finches of the same se> were randoml+ chosen from a stoc) cage in the same room as the treatment cages.he birds were observed from another room through a window so that their behaviour was not affected b+ human presence. so that each bird was observed si> times throughout the thirt+ minute observation period. .hese birds were stoc) birds and had not been previousl+ used for research purposes< the+ were bred at the universit+.. &uring this time a spot chec) was made ever+ two minutes to record their position and whether the+ were sitting or standing.he taper on the perches ensured that the birds used different muscles in the foot.2 were recorded. .G . .hese !8 s observations rotated between the three birds. .he perches used were twist perches< these are a form of enrichment used to build up the foot muscles in the birds. eating. se> and cage of origin was recorded. .hen a !8 s observation was carried out on a specific bird< during this period the number of perch changes and the different behaviours of the bird 1e. perched. . depending on their position along the perch length.. when the birds had 5ust . ?ne of the three birds was then placed in each of the three test cages and left for ten minutes to settle.he+ are onl+ fi>ed at one end to the bars and therefore bounce when the birds land or ta)e off 1fig 2.his 38 minute observation commenced ever+ da+ at 2B'8pm. . drin)ing.

he vegetation levels ranged from no vegetation at all to a half cover of vegetation to a full cover of vegetation. each with a different treatment 1fig.he birds were then returned to their original cages. . divided . (rtificial plants were used so that there was no growth which could have caused inaccuracies due to different levels of plant life. .hree tan)s had their lids covered with a thin blac) material in order to create a dar) effect< the other three tan)s had the normal artificial lighting of the room.. '. . ( card screen was placed between the tan)s to prevent interaction between the fish. two of each of the three t+pes of plant in the full+ covered tan)< one of each t+pe of plant in the half covered tan) and no plants at all in the bare tan). the husbandr+ of these plants is less demanding than real plants and the+ are eas+ to sterilise in the event of the tan) being stripped down. with different birds. . .: been caught.his process was then repeated ever+ da+. in that case the left side. (nother piece of card. f @ull cover was when the tan)s vegetation was dense throughout. there were 3 artificial plants ma)ing it dense with vegetation.he tan)s each had a filter and a gravel substrate.hree different t+pe of plants were used. and was then repeated at $$. .he variables altered were the light available to the tan) and the volume of vegetation. C and G2. Half cover being one half of the tan). var+ing in se> @ish E>periment 6i> tan)s each with a capacit+ of nine litres were set up side b+ side. .'8 the ne>t morning after the birds had been left overnight.

! into eight different 0ones. . =ones $. ?n the first observation da+ a single fish was placed in each of the si> tan)s at $8. (fter the ten minutes a 38 min observation was carried out at $8B28am. @ig '. tan)s ' 1light and full vegetation2 and C 1dar) and half vegetation2 (t the start of the observations si> green swordtail fish. and again at 3B28pm when the fish had settled and were used to their environment. was attached to the bac) of the tan) to aid in the measurement of fish position 1see below2.formed the top half of the tan).$8 and left for $8 min to give them time to settle. three males and three females. were randoml+ selected from single-se> stoc) tan)s. .he+ were then )ept in two separate holding tan)s 1one per se>2 in the same room when the+ were not in the treatment tan)s. and 0ones '-: the bottom. &uring observations a record was made ever+ 38 s of the 0one each fish was in and what its activit+ .hese fish had not previousl+ been used for research purposes.C tan)s 3 1dar) and full vegetation2 and 1light and no vegetation2 @ig G. tan)s $ 1light and half vegetation2 and 2 1dar) and no vegetation2 @ig.

stationar+ or foraging. based on 2G birds observed per treatment. categorised as swimming. which also e>perienced each treatment. :. when the+ were placed in a different testing tan) and the observations repeated.E.his generated C8 records of the position and behaviour of each fish from each 38 min observation (t the end of the second 1afternoon2 observation the fish were moved to the holding tan) and left until the following morning. . gre+.. .&ata presented as mean values I 6. %esults =ebra @inch %esults@ig. . green or brown2. Percentage of time that the 0ebra finches spent sitting or standing in relation to the colours present in the cage 1either white.he+ were then replaced with another batch of si> fish.his was continued until all C fish had e>perienced all C treatments.$8 was. .

green or brown2. shows that in both the gre+ and brown treatments a higher percentage of the time that was spent on the upper perches was in the coloured half of the cage. @ig. &ata presented as in @igure :. In the green treatment the results were the complete opposite. @ig !. especiall+ gre+. gre+. brown having the highest percentage of time sitting and green with the lowest. : shows that a higher percentage of time was spent sitting than standing in all of the three treatments. Percentage of time spent on the upper perches in relation to the colours present in the cage 1white. with birds tending to be in the white half of the cage when on the upper perches .$$ @ig. !.

. %esults from the brown cage show that when the birds were on the lower perches the+ spent almost an e-ual amount of time in both the coloured and white halves of the cage. Percentage of time spent on the lower perches in relation to the colours present in the cage 1white. $8. &ata presented as in @igure 3. 6wordtail @ish %esults @ig.E.$2 @ig. . and also for no vegetation. there was a large difference between the percentages of time spent stationar+ in the half-vegetated tan). shows that a much higher percentage of time was spent in the white half of the cage when the birds were on the lower perches in the green and gre+ cages. half-vegetated tan) spending more time swimming than stationar+ whereas the pattern was reversed when the tan) was well lit. half or no vegetation2 and the level of illumination 1dar) or light condition2. based on $2 fish observed per treatment. &ata presented as mean values I 6. gre+. $8. Percentage of time that swordtail fish spent stationar+ in relation to the plants present in the tan) 1either full.. @ig . $$. @igure $$ shows that the fishAs activit+ was similar in both light and dar) conditions for full vegetation. with fish in the dar). However. green or brown2.

$2. $$. Percentage of time spent in the top half of the tan) in dar) conditions. Percentage of time spent in the top half of the tan) in light conditions. @or the half vegetation treatment the data are divided into the percentage of time spent in the open and vegetated parts of the tan) 1so that the total time spent near the surface is the sum of the two columns2. @ig. &ata presented as in @igure $$. @or the half vegetation treatment the data are divided into the percentage of time spent in the open and vegetated parts of the tan) 1so that the total time spent near the surface is the sum of the two columns2. &ata presented as in @ig. .$3 @ig. $3.

$ @igure $2 and $3 show that the fishAs time spent in the top half of the tan) was reduced in dar) conditions. . . @or the half vegetation treatment the data are divided into the percentage of time spent in the open and vegetated parts of the tan) 1so .here was also a small decrease in time spent in the upper part of the water column between light and dar) conditions in the non-vegetated tan). $ . However for the half-vegetated tan) the time spent at the top. in the open was ver+ different. in the dar) conditions more time was spent in the open half and in the light conditions more time was spent in the covered half. @ig. Percentage of time spent in the bottom half of the tan) in dar) conditions. with the fish having spent more time at the top in light conditions.he percentage of time spent at the top in the full+-vegetated tan) decreased slightl+ between dar) and light conditions.

. Improvements to the standard tan) could involve high levels of vegetation with either dar) or light conditions. &ata presented as in @ig. $'.&ata presented as in @ig. $$.he results show that a full+-vegetated tan) is the preference for this batch of fish. there is are man+ more aspects of this stud+ that could be loo)ed at in more detail. also how the vegetation treatment preferences differ with more fish. especiall+ in light conditions. as $2 is a small number. . on the lower perches in the white half of the cage. @ig. this could be a preference for their usual environment as the birds were )ept in white cages when not being observed. . &iscussion It can be concluded from the swordtail results that the green swordtail fish spent the most time stationar+ at the bottom. in the full+-vegetated tan)s. $$.his stud+ was carried out in a small scale. in the non-vegetated tan)s.he full+-vegetated and non-vegetated tan)s had ver+ similar results for both dar) and light conditions. ( higher percentage of time was spent in the upper water column. the birds spent a larger percentage of time in the white half and so it can be concluded that the birds preferred the white half of the cage. (lso. Percentage of time spent in the bottom half of the tan) in light conditions. It can be concluded from the 0ebra finch results that the birds spent more time was a small variation between the results for the half-vegetated results in both dar) and light conditions.$' that the total time spent near the surface is the sum of the two columns2. it should be noted that on the upper perches the birds spent a higher percentage of time in the coloured half. . In both @ig $ and @ig $' there was a small difference between light and dar) conditions in the time spent in the bottom half of the tan) for all three of the treatments. @or the half vegetation treatment the data are divided into the percentage of time spent in the open and vegetated parts of the tan) 1so that the total time spent near the surface is the sum of the two columns2. It cannot be concluded whether the fish prefer light or dar) conditions in the full+vegetated tan). ?verall. each of the twelve fish were tested in ever+ treatment tan). . Improvements to the cage colour do not appear to be . this increased the reliabilit+ of the results as it showed each fishAs reaction to all of the treatments. such as var+ing the tan) si0e. but there was little variation between light and dar) conditions. In this e>periment.he results could have increased reliabilit+ b+ using a larger sample si0e.

Pictures b+ Graham Law and m+self.E 288:. ( lab coat was worn when wor)ing with the fish and birds and hands were washed after an+ contact with the animals. .L and Ringland J. Journal of Environmental Psychology. satisfaction.hese results could indicate that the birds preferred to be in the coloured half when stressed. the+ spent more time on the higher perches. 2883..$C necessar+. . 66. but the white half when rela>ed. .J $!!:.L.hese =ebra finches had been bred and raised at the /niversit+.uffield @oundation. $G'-$:' (c)nowledgments #+ than)s to Prof. McDonald C. *hen the birds were initiall+ placed the treatment cages. D. but further testing could be carried out to determine this idea further. Colour preferences in gorillas 1Gorilla gorilla gorilla2 and chimpan0ees 1Pan troglod+tes2. 2$3-2$! Stone. 1". ( total of 2G birds were tested. posters. Journal of comparative psychology.F. .his ma+ be the sub5ect of carr+ this forward for further research in the future. . . 122. E. and performance.han)s to the . %eferences Sherwin. ( trolle+ was used to transport tan)s between rooms to ensure that the fishAs stress levels were reduced as much as was possible.his wor) was carried out at . . .han)s also to Graham Law for his help with the pro5ect and also the handling of the animals. $8:'-$8!2 Wells. and Glen. and so it is not possible to tell if an+ preference for white was due to the birds being more familiar with that colour. C. . Animal Behaviour.J and English !.M. especiall+ @rancis Chapman. in the same cages as those that we tested them in. .he /niversit+ of t+pe. 4ased on studies of cage colour preference in mice 16herwin 7 Glen 28832. (ll tan)s were covered with a lid to prevent fish escaping. and wor)space colour on mood.4 #etcalfe for his help and support throughout the duration of this pro5ect. and discussing it with one of m+ supervisors we came to the conclusion that it is possible that perhaps captive animalAs preference for cage colour can be influenced b+ the colour of cage that the+ had been reared in. Cage colour effects of home cage colour on an>iet+ in laborator+ mice. this a relativel+ small sample si0e and could be increased to improve the reliabilit+ of the results.

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