Review: Quantifying animal feeding behaviour with a focus on pigs.
Significant correlations (P<0.05) between meals and preceding intervals were shown more often by Japanese quail when fed on diluted mash (40% cellulose) than with undiluted mash or pellets. They showed significant correlations between meals and succeeding intervals with about the same frequency on all three foods. Most of the correlation coefficients were low, but experiments in which interval length and meal size were manipulated artificially confirmed that close relationships between meals and intervals can occur, and appear to verify the existence of short-term hunger and satiety mechanisms. Possible explanations for the low correlation coefficients shown by several bird species are discussed, and it is concluded that meal-eating is controlled by a very flexible system. There is no evidence that the timing of meals depends on fixed set points, and it is suggested instead that degrees of hunger and satiety may determine the probabilities of a meal starting or stopping, such a system being associated with emptying and filling of parts of the digestive tract.