Rat Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

395 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thank goodness I am not a rat breeder because I would have engaged in frequent cage cleaning thinking I was doing my pregnant rats a favour. However, the opposite is true:

Here and in a follow-up study (Burn et al., 2008, we found no clear benefits of frequent cagecleaning
to breeding rats, but it did increase the likelihood of cannibalism, and the cleaning
process itself might have triggered parturition. We would therefore recommend that cages are not
cleaned during the last few days of pregnancy (possibly avoiding premature induction of birth) or
the first 2 days following birth (avoiding acute early disturbances). Also, more research is
required about what aspects of cleaning trigger cannibalism, but until then, noise and the transfer
of odours between cages are likely stressors, and should be kept to a minimum when cleaning the
cages of breeding rats.

The whole experiment can be found:

https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlu... of cage-cleaning frequency on.pdf?sequence=1

Premium Member
4,287 Posts
I've not seen the study before but its normal practice overt here to not clean clean from when you move her into her nursery cage until the babies ate around a week old. At this point they really stink. mum does clearly get stressed even then but the chances of her killing the litter are very low after the first few days. The babies are also more robust. It's still pretty stressful though as some mums start racing round the cage dragging babies woth them. Most of mine have been pretty good though. i tend to transfer a small handful of nest bedding into the newly cleaned out cagewhich helps
1 - 2 of 2 Posts