Brown, T. A., Lutz, C. K., 2018. An assessment of porches as enrichment for singly housed cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). American Journal of Primatology 80(S1), 18 (40th Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists Scientific Program, Abstract #21).
Effective environmental enrichment encourages usage, promotes species‐typical behaviors, and/or decreases abnormal behaviors. Porches are small cages that attach to the primary cage of an animal to provide additional space and a better view of the surroundings. This study aimed to assess porches as a form of enrichment and to identify characteristics of individuals most likely to use the porches. The behavior of 18 (9 male) singly housed cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) was video‐scored for three 15‐minute observation intervals each week before, during, and after exposure to the porches. Changes in abnormal and tension‐related behaviors (pacing, yawning, scratching) and species‐typical behaviors were compared between the pre‐porch, porch, and post‐porch weeks. Novel object temperament tests were performed before and after the study. Subjects spent an average of 75% of time in the porch during observation periods. Temperament, sex, and age were not predictors of porch usage, but animals in upper cages spent more time in porches than animals in lower cages (t(16) = 2.462, p = 0.026). There were no changes in pacing, yawning, or scratching behaviors, but activity and consumption (eating/drinking) decreased during and after porch exposure (Activity F(2) = 6.839, p = 0.003; Consumption F(2) = 4.440, p = 0.020). The porches are beneficial in that they are used for extensive periods of time. However, there were no clear results on the reduction of abnormal behavior or the increase in species‐typical behaviors.