Competition Between Maternal Nursing Behaviour and Appetitive Behaviour in Lactating Female Rats
Eighteen lactating Wistar-Imamichi rats habituated to drinking 1 M sucrose-solution were divided into three groups. Appetitive and maternal behaviour was observed during 30 minutes. Group 1 had access to sucrose solution and their pups, Group 2 had access to distilled water and their pups, and Group 3 had access to sucrose solution but not pups. The maternal behaviour seen in Group 2 was effectively inhibited by the presence of the sucrose-solution, in Group 1 where, during the observation period, the rats exhibited appetitive behaviour exclusively. We conclude that maternal appetitive ingestive behaviour is undiminished by the presence of pups.