- Animals are housed in standard pre-bedded disposable mouse cages with ALPHA-dri (Innovive, Inc), in temperature and humidity-controlled facilities maintained at 72 ± 5°F and a target range of 30-70% relative humidity.
- The cages are placed in Innorack IVC Mouse 3.5 system under negative air flow (50 ACH).
- Fluorescent lighting provides illumination 12 hours per day.
- Cages are changed every other week in Class II A2 Biological Safety Cabinets.
Animals have free access to irradiated LabDiet PicoLab® Rodent Diet 20 5053, a 20% protein diet formulated for rat, hamster and mouse colonies.
Animals are supplied with pre-filled ultra-pure water in 100% PET plastic disposable water bottles (Innovive, Inc). This water has been purified to have less than 0.1 CFU/ml and less than 500 ppb total organic carbon by the manufacturer.
Environmental enrichment is intended to facilitate the expression of species typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being. Nesting material such as Nestlets (Ancare) is routinely provided to animals to help retain warmth without obstructing airflow or humidity dissipation. Additional enrichment may be provided at the discretion of the investigative, animal care, and veterinary staff.
Social Housing for Rodents
As social mammals, mice have evolved to co-exist with members of their own species. In fact, appropriate social interactions with conspecifics have been shown to be essential to normal development and well-being. While single housing of laboratory mice is occasionally required, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th ed.) considers group housing the norm. Investigators are expected to pair or group house all mice unless the IACUC has approved specified periods of individual housing as necessary for their experimental protocol.
Individual housing is acceptable without specific scientific justification and IACUC approval for the following:
- When required to prevent injuries and stress associated with aggression (e.g., unfamiliar adult male mice). Housing socially incompatible rodents in the same cage will lead to unrelieved stress and (often) physical injury and pain for those animals; in addition to increased variability as research subjects.
- During temporary periods associated with breeding activities (e.g., pregnant females housed individually when giving birth). Although commensal nesting is normal for mice and rats, there may be research requirements for temporary single housing.
- Rarely, when a compatible animal of the same line/status is unavailable. Whenever possible, investigators should plan accordingly to prevent this from occurring.
Pest Control Program is provided by Buono Pest Control designed to prevent, control, or eliminate the presence of or infestation by pests in the animal environment. A monthly scheduled visit by Buono Pest Control as well as daily monitoring records are documented.