Vaginocervical stimulation of Ewes induces the rapid formation of a new bond with an alien young without interfering with a previous bond.

F. Lévy, M. Keller, F. Cornilleau, C. Moussu, G. Ferreira
Dev. Psychobiol.. 2010-05-20; 52(6): 537-544
DOI: 10.1002/dev.20459

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1. Dev Psychobiol. 2010 Sep;52(6):537-44. doi: 10.1002/dev.20459.

Vaginocervical stimulation of Ewes induces the rapid formation of a new bond with
an alien young without interfering with a previous bond.

Lévy F(1), Keller M, Cornilleau F, Moussu C, Ferreira G.

Author information:
(1)INRA, UMR85 Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380
Nouzilly, France.

Ewes form a selective olfactory memory for their lambs after 2 hr of mother-young
interaction following parturition. Mothers will subsequently reject any strange
lamb at suckling. The present study investigated whether artificial
vaginocervical stimulation (VCS) allows the formation of a selective bond with an
unfamiliar lamb and whether it interferes with the maintenance of the bond formed
with the familiar lamb. At 2 hr postpartum, mothers were separated from their
familiar lamb after having formed a selective bond with it and were given 10 min
of mechanical VCS. In the “VCS + lamb” group (n = 24) an unfamiliar lamb was left
with the ewe for 2 hr whereas in the “VCS no lamb” group (n = 26) the mother was
left alone for the same period of time. Ewes of the “no VCS” group (n = 14) did
not receive any VCS. In the majority of animals of the “VCS + lamb” group (23/24)
VCS induced a complete acceptance of the unfamiliar lamb without any disruption
of the bond previously formed with the familiar lamb. VCS or 2 hr of separation
did not disrupt the maintenance of the selective bond initially formed with the
familiar lamb since all the ewes of the “VCS no lamb” and “no VCS” groups
accepted it at suckling.

DOI: 10.1002/dev.20459
PMID: 20806326 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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