Nesting behavior in mice: hormonal and experiential influences

To assess the importance of reproduction on nest building, female mice were tested under the conditions of pregnancy/lactation, gonad removal and no treatment. The quantity of nesting material gathered within a five-minute interval was graded on the basis of dispersion from the nest area. Gathering behavior increased during pregnancy/ lactation; the activity reached a peak within the first four days postpartum. No difference in nest material gathering was found between the ovariectomized and intact mice. However, all animals improved their performance during the five week experimental run. The more frequent selection of paper materials over yarn was observed.

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