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Rat Breeding Parameters According to Floor Space Available in Cage. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 2016 Jan;55(1):21-4



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Pubmed Central ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84958177394   5 Citations


The cage floor space recommended for a female rat with a litter is greater in the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals than in previous editions. As a result, research institutions using commonly available cages to house rats may not offer the recommended amount of space for a breeding pair and litter housed in the same cage. We evaluated breeding parameters in rats housed in cages with 143 in(2) (922.6 cm(2)) compared with 210 in(2) (1355 cm(2)) of floor space. Given the strains of rats typically used at our institution, a monogamous breeding pair and litter requires 164 in(2) (1058.1 cm(2)) of floor space according to the Guide. Pairs of breeding animals were housed in each type of cage; and average time between litters, number of litters born, percentage of litter weaned, numbers of pups born and weaned, and average weaning weights were evaluated. None of the breeding parameters evaluated differed according to the floor space of the cage in which the rats were housed.

Author List

Allen KP, Dwinell MR, Zappa AM, Michaels AM, Murray KM, Thulin JD


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

Animal Husbandry
Housing, Animal
Laboratory Animal Science