Reproductive performance of mice in disposable and standard individually ventilated cages

Danielle R Ferguson, Michele M Bailey
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: JAALAS 2013, 52 (3): 228-32
This study assessed the reproductive performance of mice housed in 2 types of individually ventilated caging systems. Breeding pairs from 48 female and 24 male mice of 3 established transgenic mouse breeding colonies were placed in either a standard or disposable ventilated caging system. For 3 breeding cycles, the number of pups born, pup survival rate to weaning, time interval between litters, and pup weights were monitored for each breeding pair. Disposable and standard cages were maintained in the same location during breeding. Environmental parameters included intracage temperature, humidity, and ammonia and carbon dioxide levels and room light intensity and sound. Overall, 776 offspring were produced. Breeding performance did not differ significantly between the 2 cage types. By 11 wk of age, the weights of pups from both cage types were equivalent. The intracage temperature was 1.1 °F warmer and light intensity at the site of the nest was 34 lx dimmer in disposable cages than in standard caging. The difference in lighting likely was due to nest location; the nests in the disposable cages were at the back of the cages and away from the anterior air supply, whereas in standard caging, nests were at the front of the cages, with the air supply at the rear. Under these husbandry conditions, mice housed in disposable caging systems have comparable breeding performance to those housed in standard individually ventilated cages.

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