This article is from the WSSF 2005 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Karen Robbins
When I asked about getting a Tecniplast Mouse House™ to try out, I was informed of Ancare’s new “Enrichment Housing Units” and was asked if I would like to try those out as well. Folks in the laboratory animal industry like these Ancare houses because they can be put in their bottle baskets for washing. I was very interested to try out these “bottle” houses and got one of each size to try out. They come in two sizes: small (4.2″L x 2.4″W x ″ x 2.4″H) and large (7″L x 2.4″W x 2.4″H). They are again the red color-tinted, transparent, polycarbonate material that gives the animals a sense of being in a totally enclosed area but allowing you to see the animals inside the house. It has an open bottom, port hole in the top that is for air ventilation as well as an access hole for the mice, along with the large opening in the top of the “bottle.”
Ancare’s “Bottle” Houses in the large size and small size. You can see the large open bottom, front opening, and top access port. Photo by Karen Robbins.
My initial reaction to these houses are “the mice should like them.” They aren’t too tall, have the open bottom, and have two access holes to get in and out of. I’ve found over the years that houses that are too tall they don’t like and will chew up to make shorter very quickly. They really like the flat boxes only 2–3 inches tall and those last longer in the cage as a house than other bigger boxes. Also, the mice prefer the open bottoms over houses with bottoms on them.
I tried out the small size on a single male and the large one with a mom and young litter. They all liked them! I’ve since used them with other single male mice and moms with young litters and they all like them very much. Currently, I have the large size with a pair of Silver Chocolate mice and their litter. The litter is now 6 weeks old and all the mice cram into the house. They have it turned on the side so the large bottom opening is on the side since there are several mice.
There has been a minimal amount of chewing done on the opening edges. The main part of the “bottle” is rounded so the mice can’t get their teeth on it to chew. These houses should last a long time.
The mice give these “bottle” houses a hearty squeak of approval!
This litter of Blue mice are enjoying their “Bottle” from www.ancare.com. Photo by Karen Robbins.
These products may be purchased through Ancare. They are listed in their “Catalog” section. Prices are around $10 each.