a Rodents

Rodents

Mice

Behavior

adaptable, nocturnal, avoid open spaces, social

Social Structure

live in demes (one male, one to two breeding females) male, dominant, owns territory, rely on nest for protection and warmth

(usually live in environments that include holes, elevated platforms) such as a defense against intruders

Abnormal Behaviors

excessive aggression, infanticide, food grinding, bar mouthing, circling, back flipping, barbering

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Rats

Behavior

adaptable, nocturnal, avoid open spaces, social, burrowing, caprophaghy

Social Structure

live in large colonies depending on food source,  (usually live in underground burrow systems that include holes, elevated platforms, shared channels and chambers) as a defense against intruders. dominant, submissive relationships stronger in males than females

live in large colonies depending on food source,  (usually live in underground burrow systems that include holes, elevated platforms, shared channels and chambers) as a defense against intruders. dominant, submissive relationships stronger in males than females

Abnormal Behaviors

excessive aggression, infanticide, food grinding, bar mouthing, , back flipping, barbering

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Enrichment for Rodents

Enrichment items such as nesting material, sheltered items, gnawing and foraging materials work best for rodents to exhibit its natural behaviors.

Nesting material and igloos serve as vital environmental enrichment for mice for thermoregulation, aggression, and aggression purposes.
Nesting material and igloos serve as vital environmental enrichment for mice for thermoregulation, aggression, and aggression purposes.
Rats enjoy a a built in cage hammock as their environmental enrichment.
Rats enjoy a a built in cage hammock as their environmental enrichment.
Environmental enrichment such as tunnels provide shelter.
Environmental enrichment such as tunnels provide shelter.
Rat play cages are another form of enrichment that allow their natural exploratory, gnawing behaviors.
Rat play cages are another form of enrichment that allow their natural exploratory, gnawing behaviors.

Resources

Featured studies related to refinement, enrichment, handling, behavior management, and training techniques.

AALAE FORUM

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Our AALAE Forum is open to all lab animal professionals with the intent to serve as a think tank for new enrichment ideas, behavior management practices, as well as innovative enrichment/behavior management techniques.  It’s imperative to push the conversation around animal welfare in a positive way.