U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

October 2007


Published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science 107 (2007) 252–261.


Goats were first offered a novel, maple-flavored diet paired with either lithium chloride (LiCl) or oxalic acid (OA) delivered intraruminally. Aversion to maple diet persisted for 6 days, regardless of toxin. Following a 10-day intermission, aversion to maple diet was reacquired (spontaneous recovery) among subjects previously dosed with LiCl but not for subjects receiving OA. All subjects were then offered two diets: the maple diet previously paired with LiCl or OA and a novel grape-flavored diet. Immediately following consumption of both diets, all subjects were dosed with LiCl. Preference for maple and grape diets was assessed by two-choice test. Goats avoided maple diet for only 1 day, regardless of their previous experience with maple diet (paired with LiCl or OA). These results indicate that goats generalized the postingestive consequences of the two toxins. Furthermore, presence of a novel flavor (grape) during toxin exposure contributed to rapid extinction of the aversion to maple flavor.