TABLE 3.2 Recommended Minimum Space for Commonly Used Laboratory Rodents Housed in Groups*

Animals

Weight, g

Floor Area/Animal,a in.2 (cm2)

Height,b in. (cm)

Comments

Mice in groupsc

<10

6 (38.7)

5 (12.7)

Larger animals may require more space to meet the performance standards.

Up to 15

8 (51.6)

5 (12.7)

Up to 25

12 (77.4)

5 (12.7)

>25

≥15 (≥96.7)

5 (12.7)

Female + litter

 

51 (330)

(recommended space for the housing group)

5 (12.7)

Other breeding configurations may require more space and will depend on considerations such as number of adults and litters, and size and age of litters.d

Rats in groupsc

<100

17 (109.6)

7 (17.8)

Larger animals may require more space to meet the performance standards.

Up to 200

23 (148.35)

7 (17.8)

Up to 300

29 (187.05)

7 (17.8)

Up to 400

40 (258.0)

7 (17.8)

Up to 500

60 (387.0)

7 (17.8)

>500

≥70 (≥451.5)

7 (17.8)

Female + litter

 

124 (800)

(recommended space for the housing group)

7 (17.8)

Other breeding configurations may require more space and will depend on considerations such as number of adults and litters, and size and age of litters.d

Hamstersc

<60

10 (64.5)

6 (15.2)

Larger animals may require more space to meet the performance standards.

Up to 80

13 (83.8)

6 (15.2)

Up to 100

16 (103.2)

6 (15.2)

>100

≥19 (≥122.5)

6 (15.2)

Guinea pigsc

Up to 350

60 (387.0)

7 (17.8)

Larger animals may require more space to meet the performance standards.

>350

≥101 (≥651.5)

7 (17.8)

*The interpretation of this table should take into consideration the performance indices described in the text beginning on page 55.

aSingly housed animals and small groups may require more than the applicable multiple of the indicated floor space per animal.

bFrom cage floor to cage top.

cConsideration should be given to the growth characteristics of the stock or strain as well as the sex of the animal. Weight gain may be sufficiently rapid that it may be preferable to provide greater space in anticipation of the animal’s future size. In addition, juvenile rodents are highly active and show increased play behavior.

dOther considerations may include culling of litters or separation of litters from the breeding group, as well as other methods of more intensive management of available space to allow for the safety and well-being of the breeding group. Sufficient space should be allocated for mothers with litters to allow the pups to develop to weaning without detrimental effects for the mother or the litter.



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