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Comparison of 2 rat breeding schemes using conventional caging. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 2013 Mar;52(2):142-5



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84875539802   7 Citations


Compared with earlier editions, the eighth edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals recommends more cage floor space for female rats with litters. As such, conventional rat cages often do not supply the recommended floor space to maintain 2 adult rats and a litter in the same cage. We evaluated 2 breeding schemes using traditional cages that afford 140 in.(2) (903 cm(2)) of floor space: (1) monogamous pairs housed continuously and (2) monogamous pairs cohoused intermittently with removal of the male rat after parturition. The results did not demonstrate a significant difference between breeding schemes in generation time, number of litters per breeding pair, percentage of litters weaned, number of pups born per breeding pair, and number of pups weaned per breeding pair. However, the average weaning weight of pups was significantly higher with scheme 1 compared with scheme 2. Collectively, these results indicate continuous housing of monogamous breeding pairs may be preferable to intermittent housing when conventional cages are used.

Author List

Allen KP, Dwinell MR, Zappa A, Temple A, Thulin J


Kenneth Paul Allen DVM Associate Professor in the Research Office department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Melinda R. Dwinell PhD Professor in the Physiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Joseph Thulin DVM Assistant Provost, Associate Professor in the Research Office department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals, Laboratory
Guidelines as Topic
Housing, Animal