Bedding Recommendation Title

From time to time we are asked to provide information on which bedding produces the lowest incidence of compromising the functionality of the animal drinking valve.

Here is our reply.

The most important aspects of any contact bedding material utilized in solid bottom cages should be focused on a particle:

• Size consistency
• Shape
• Dust content
• Potential metabolic inhibitors and microbiological contaminants *

      * Could readily be controlled if the bedding material is autoclaved prior to being utilized

The natural rodent behavior of repositioning bedding material within their cage is a normal activity. Many of our customers have indicated that a number of the transgenic strains of mice have a greater propensity to mound the bedding material around the drinking valve. Consequently, the question arises as to which bedding material is the least likely to be inadvertently forced into a drinking valve and thus impact the operation of the valve?

We have found that the recommended volume of the 0.25 inch (6mm) sized corn cob material and the Regular Alpha-Dri product have produced the lowest incidence of compromising the functionality of the drinking valve.

Regardless of the choice of bedding material, the critical factors in reducing the effects of rodent behavior relative to automated drinking valves and the repositioning of the bedding material are the larger particle size, the irregular shape, and the volume of bedding material utilized in each cage. The “average” recommendation of the cage manufacturers is an average depth of 0.25 inch (6mm) of material covering the floor of a cage.

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