Mouse Room Conditions

Learn how to optimize environmental conditions to reduce mouse stress.

  • Light cycle:  A 14-hour light/10-hour dark cycle or 12 light/12 dark cycle is commonly used. Ensure lights are not used and that researchers and technicians do not enter the mouse room during the dark cycle.
  • Temperature and humidity:  Temperatures of 65-75°F (~18-23°C) with 40-60% humidity are recommended.
  • Diet:  Fat content ranges from 4% to 11%; consult your facility manager and Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) to determine preferred diets at your institution.
  • Water:  Water should be accessible at all times; consult your facility manager and ACUC to for treatment guidelines.
  • Minimize handling:  Handle mice gently and as little as possible, especially when females are pregnant, close to delivering, or have new litters.
  • Minimize noises and vibrations:  These can cause stress and decreased breeding performance.
  • Minimize odors:  Perfumes and other strong odors can reduce breeding performance and induce stress.
  • Use gloves and forceps:  Minimize scents transferred from cage to cage by changing gloves frequently and disinfecting forceps between cages according to your ACUC guidelines.
  • Enrichment:  Nestlets (Animal Specialties and Provisions, LLC), NestPaks (WF Fisher and Son), and Shepherd Shacks (Shepherd Specialty Papers) can help alleviate stress and improve breeding.