The effect of neophobia (fear of novelty) on feeding behaviour was examined in two groups of captive wild rats fed ad libitum. Different individuals employed different feeding patterns in response to novelty despite the absence of social and ecological constraints. The prevalent feeding pattern was to delay eating from a novel bowl several nights after it was introduced and, in general, novel food was sampled towards the end of a night. Systematic relationships (prandial correlations) were revealed in the meal pattern data which were consistent with the prediction that post-prandial correlations (controlled regular feeding bouts) are more likely in predictable environments. A large proportion of the individuals exhibited no prandial relationships which correlated with high levels of neophobia supporting the hypothesis that highly neophobic individuals are less able to regulate their feeding in the presence of novelty.