This article is from the WSSF 2005 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Karen Robbins
I found this product while in the process of locating new bigger lab cages for my mom mice. This house is a red tinted polycarbonate that mice see as black and gives the animals a secure hiding place but allows you to see the animals inside the house which is nice. This style and size of house had almost 2 years of research and development put into it. It was tested against other enrichment housing devices and the Mouse House™ was used more than the other houses. The Mouse House™ has two openings—one on top and one on the front, an open bottom, a flat area “roof” that can be used as a resting area, a large “handle” you can grab hold of to take the house in or out of the cage, and is triangle shaped to fit in the corners of the cage. This is patented by the Medical Research Council in the U.K. The dimensions are 4½″ x 4½″ x 6″ diagonal front x 2½″ tall to the flat roof. The price is around $6 per house.
The Tecniplast Mouse House™ from http://www.tecniplast.it/en/product/amousement.html. Photo by Karen Robbins.
When I got the package in the mail, my initial reaction was “nice thick plastic; they should like the opening in the top but not sure about the small short one in the front; it needs to be bigger or square maybe?” as I couldn’t image a big show mouse getting in it! I was told that they purposely made the opening small on the front so the mice would experience squeezing through small places and the animals actually preferred the triangle design over a rectangle one.
Being that these are made for the small lab mice, I tried it out on some of my smaller males. The first male I put it with also had a 4-month-old full-size English female with him. They were very curious and checked it out thoroughly. When the male tried to go in, the female pushed him out of the way so she could go in instead. It was funny seeing the female go in the front and peek out the top while her butt was still hanging out the front opening, she was so big for the house. They wouldn’t sleep inside the house but would go in it and sit on top of it, so after a few days I tried it out on different mice. I then gave it to several other cages of small male mice over the next several months, and it was enthusiastically used by everyone. I currently have it in a cage of three small males and they all cram inside the house to sleep—they love this house.
These mice are enjoying their Tecniplast Mouse House™ from http://www.tecniplast.it/en/product/amousement.html. Photo by Karen Robbins..
It has had some limited chewing done on the opening edges, but for the most part remains intact. Having rounded edges to the main house makes it impossible for mice to get their teeth into to chew on and should last a long time.
My mice definitely give this house a squeak of approval!
This house may be purchased from Tecniplast.