Housing Policy on Male Mice

Group-housed rodents typically develop dominance hierarchies. Male mice of certain strains (e.g. BALB/c, CD-1, and C57) are reported to have an increased incidence of fighting that can inflict severe wounds on their opponents. In severe cases, mortality may be directly or indirectly caused by fighting.

It is highly recommended that newly received animals be housed in caging groups that are expected to be appropriate for the duration of the housing period. The mixing of unacquainted animals as new cage-mates frequently cases significant stress as the animals establish a new social dominance hierarchy.

Even with the precautions, inter-mouse aggression may subsequently develop in previously “stable” groups of male mice.

In order to mitigate the occurrences of fighting, reduce experimental variables, and preserve the humane housing of research animals, BUASC requires all BU Researchers and ASC Staff to adhere to the below policy when considering housing male mice in all our vivaria.

Housing Male Mice upon Arrival to BUASC

Housing Male Mice Born within BUASC

Animal Cages Flagged for Fighting

*Information provided by Jackson Laboratories and Boston University Animal Science Center Rodent Housing Policy

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