Development of a system for individual feeding of baboons maintained in an outdoor group social environment

Natalia E. Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, Kate Howell, Karen Rice, Elizabeth J. Glover, Christian H. Nevill, Susan L. Jenkins, L. Bill Cummins, Patrice A. Frost, Thomas J. McDonald, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We developed a system that allows individual feeding of adult baboons, 8-15 years of age, maintained in an outdoor group social environment. The purpose of the system is to allow careful monitoring and control of individual diet. Baboons were housed in two group cages, 16 females and a single male in one and 12 females and a single male in the other. Baboons exited the group cage once daily and passed along a chute and over a scale into individual cages where they received their individual diets. Food intake was monitored during their 2-hour stay in the individual cages. Baboons rapidly learned to use this system. Food intake and weight were stable within 20 days. Food consumed decreased during the period of sexual receptivity. The maintenance of the group social environment allowed observations on the group's dominance structure and the relationship of dominance to food consumption. Speed of food access in the group cage was related to dominance. Dominance was not related to food consumed in individual cages. The system permits study of many variables related to behavior and food intake while still retaining critical social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Appetite
  • Baboon pregnancy
  • Body mass index
  • Dominance
  • Fetal programming
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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