Floor Space Needs for Laboratory Mice: BALB/cJ Males or Females in Solid-Bottom Cages with Bedding

John J. McGlone, Deirdre L. Anderson, Reid L. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Studies were initiated to determine the effects of restricted (32.2 cm2 per mouse), normal (96.8 cm2), or excess floor space (129.0 cm2) allowances by using a model of three mice per cage. BALB/cJ mice were bred on-site and weaned at 3 weeks of age into specially designed polycarbonate shoebox cages modified to each space allowance. Cages contained aspen shavings for bedding, and mice were fed and watered ad libitum. Body weight gains, feed and water use, and immunologic measures largely were not effected by floor space allowances. Female BALB/cJ mice were heavier and had increased lymphocyte blastogenesis to phytohemagglutinin (20 μg/mL) when given 32.2 cm2/mouse than when given 129 cm2/mouse. Female mice showed an increase in grooming and sitting behaviors when given 32.2 cm2/mouse, but male mice with restricted floor space spent more time lying down but showed no change in grooming or sitting behaviors compared to mice given more space. Among male mice, limited floor space did not significantly influence growth rates, but male mice given 32.2 cm2/mouse had less mortality than did mice given more space. We conclude that floor spaces as limited as 32.2 cm2/mouse did not cause behavior, health, immune or performance problems for BALB/cJ mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalContemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2001


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