nonhuman primates use the vertical dimensions of the cage to a greater extent than the floor. For them, the ability to perch and to have adequate vertical space to keep the whole body above the cage floor can improve their well-being.

Space allocations for animals should be based on the following tables, but might need to be increased, or decreased with approval of the IACUC, on the basis of criteria previously listed.

Table 2.1 lists recommended space allocations for commonly used laboratory rodents housed in groups. If they are housed individually or exceed the weights in the table, animals might require more space.

Table 2.2 lists recommended space allocations for other common laboratory animals. These allocations are based, in general, on the needs of individually housed animals. Space allocations should be re-evaluated to provide for enrichment of the primary enclosure or to accommodate animals that exceed the weights in the table. For group housing. determination of the total space needed is not necessarily based on the sum of the amounts recommended for individually housed animals. Space for group-housed animals should be based on individual species needs, behavior, compatibility of the animals, numbers of animals, and goals of the housing situation.

TABLE 2.1 Recommended Space for Commonly Used Group-Housed Laboratory Rodents

Animals

Weight, g

Floor Area/Animal, in2a

Height.b inc

Mice

<10

6

5

 

Up to 15

8

5

 

Up to 25

12

5

 

>25d

>15

5

Rats

<100

17

7

 

Up to 200

23

7

 

Up to 300

29

7

 

Up to 400

40

7

 

Up to 500

60

7

 

>500d

>70

7

Hamsters

<60

10

6

 

Up to 80

13

6

 

Up to 100

16

6

 

>100d

>19

6

Guinea pigs 

<350

60

7

 

>350d

>101

7

a To convert square inches to square centimeters. multiply by 6.45. 

b From cage floor to cage top.

c To convert inches to centimeters. multiply by 2.54.

d Larger animals might require more space to meet the performance standards (see text).



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