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Open Access Comparison of 2 Rat Breeding Schemes Using Conventional Caging

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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 cm2) 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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biomedical Resource Center, Office of Research, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA 3: Biomedical Resource Center, Office of Research, Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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