TABLE 3.4 Recommended Minimum Space for Avian Species Housed in Pairs or Groups*


Weight,a kg

Floor area/animal,b ft2 (m2)



0.8 (0.07)

Cage height should be sufficient for the animals to comfortably stand erect with their feet on the floor.


0.25 (0.023)



0.25 (0.023)


Up to 0.5

0.50 (0.046)


Up to 1.5

1.00 (0.093)


Up to 3.0

2.00 (0.186)



≥3.00 (≥0.279)

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

aTo convert kilograms to pounds, multiply by 2.2.

bSingly housed birds may require more space per animal than recommended for pair- or group-housed birds.

cLarger animals may require more space to meet performance standards (see text).

If it is necessary to house animals singly—for example, when justified for experimental purposes, for provision of veterinary care, or for incompatible animals—this arrangement should be for the shortest duration possible. If single animals are housed in small enclosures, an opportunity for periodic release into larger enclosures with additional enrichment items should be considered, particularly for animals housed singly for extended periods of time. Singly housed animals may require more space per animal than recommended for pair- or group-housed animals, while larger groups may be housed at slightly higher densities. Because of the many physical and behavioral characteristics of nonhuman primate species and the many factors to consider when using these animals in a biomedical research setting, species-specific plans for housing and management should be developed. Such plans should include strategies for environmental and psychological enrichment.

Agricultural Animals Table 3.6 lists recommended minimum space for agricultural animals commonly used in a laboratory setting. As social animals, they should be housed in compatible pairs or larger groups of compatible animals. When animals exceed the weights in the table, more space is required. For larger animals (particularly swine) it is important that the configuration of the space allow the animals to turn around and move freely (Becker et al. 1989; Bracke et al. 2002). Food troughs and water devices should be provided in sufficient numbers to allow ready access for all animals. Singly housed animals may require more space than recommended in

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