The effect of cage size on reproductive performance and behavior of C57BL/6 mice

Julia Whitaker, Sheryl S Moy, Benjamin R Saville, Virginia Godfrey, Judith Nielsen, Dwight Bellinger, John Bradfield
Lab Animal 2007, 36 (10): 32-9
Scientific research has yet to conclusively determine the optimal cage size for mice. The authors examined the effect of cage size on mouse breeding performance and on offspring behavior, which can serve as indications of overall well-being. They housed breeding trios of C57BL/6Tac mice in standard or large individually ventilated cages and measured four reproductive parameters: litter size; litter survival to weaning age; average pup weight at 7, 14 and 21 days; and the number of days between litter births. They investigated the behavior of a subset of male and female pups from parents housed in cages of each size in the elevated plus maze test, the open field assay and the acoustic startle test. Cage size had no significant effect on any of the reproductive parameters measured and few or inconsistent effects on behavior in weaned pups.

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