Abstract # 2585 Poster # 152:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 14 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


J. Vandeleest1,2 and J. Capitanio1,2
1University of California-Davis, Psychology Department, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center

Successful weaning is vital to a female’s ability to resume cycling and produce offspring in the following year. The purpose of the current study was to examine the factors that predict changes in suckling related behaviors including: the rate of suckling, the proportion of suckling attempts resisted (suckles-resisted), and the proportion of suckling attempts accommodated (suckles-accommodated). Ten minute focal observations were conducted twice weekly at an early time point (4.5-5.0 months of age) and a late time point (2 weeks prior to maternal resumption of estrus). Repeated measures ANOVA [α=0.05 for all analyses] indicated that there were no overall changes in suckling related behaviors between early and late time points, suggesting that weaning-related behaviors are stable within this time frame. We then used linear regression to examine predictors of the three suckling related behaviors at the early time point. Infants born later in the birthing season had a lower rate of suckling but a higher proportion of suckles-resisted during the early time point. None of the examined measures predicted suckling behaviors at the late time point. These data suggest that when an infant is born relative to the birthing and breeding seasons can have an impact on the weaning process.