FEEDING OF LABORATORY ANIMALS i.e. rabbit, g.pig, mice

FEEDING LABORATORY ANIMALS i.e. rabbit, g.pig, mice

Many institutions are rearing various types of laboratory animals as models in the experimentation for large animals/man. These laboratory animals are also used for testing the biological. The various types of laboratory animals used are guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, monkeys, rabbits, dogs etc. if would be beyond the scope of the article to give the nutrient requirement and feeding of all the laboratory animals, however practical giving schedule for the common laboratory animals like guinea pigs, mice and rabbits have been given to acquaint the animal owner in feeding these animals. For detailed feeding practice it is suggested that book on Animals Nutrition in tropics may be consulted.


There are NRC requirements and Indian Standard Institution has also given requirements for compounded feeds for guinea pigs. The ISI specifications are —-

Requirements for compounded feeds for Guinea pigs

s. n. characteristics                                                                             Requirement1.moisture percent by weight max                                                                                       102. Crude protein, per cent by weight min                                                                             223.Ether extract, per cent by weight min                                                                                44. Crude fiber, per cent by weight                                                                                         9-145. Total ash, per cent by weight max                                                                                     96. Acid Insoluble ash , per cent by weight max                                                                    17. Calcium, per cent by weight min                                                                                        1-28. Phosphorus, per cent by weight min                                                                                 0-6

9. Vitamin C Min                                                                                                                        200 mg/kg


The guinea pigs reach 500 g body weight at 12 weeks of age. Diets recommended for their animals contain 22-25 per cent protein.2800Kwal ME, 1 per cent calcium and 0.6 percent phosphorus besides the water and fat for soluble vitamins and minerals as requirements of NRC.

The quality of protein is very important for the growth, reproduction and location of guinea pigs. Therefore, about 30 percent of the protein requirement is given through the animals protein source like skimmed milk powder/fish meal.

The guinea pigs have the requirement for essential fatty acid requirement .Vitamin A,E and k are required to be supplied in the diet. Vitamin D is not needed if calcium: phosphorus ration is adequate. Ascorbic acid is required by the guinea pigs as they cannot synthesize this vitamin—about 6 mg of ascorbic acid is required for 300 g guinea pigs. In the stock diets 8-10 times more ascorbic acid should be incorporated.

The composition of the stock diet used at the IVRI laboratory animal-house is given below:                                                                                                                                                                                                                %



Yellow maize                                                                                              15

Groundnut cake                                                                                         15

Fish meal/dry skin milk powder                                                                    23

Wheat bran                                                                                                 10

Salt                                                                                                           36

Mineral mixture                                                                                         0.5

Vitamin premix                                                                                          0.5

The central grains are ground .To the 100 kg of the stock diet 10.g of vitamin A + B 2 premix is added. In addition 6 mg of ascorbic acid and 0.15 mg of vitamin E may be given per animal per day. It is always better to cook by which the digestibility is improved.

The green fodder like berseem, Lucerne, cabbage, cow pea etc. are offered in addition to the stock diet .The adult animals consume the diet at the rate of 7-8 percent. They consume between 20-30 g of stock feed when they are growing, 30-50 g when adult and 40-60g during pregnancy and lactation depending upon the litter size and season.

Feeding of other Laboratory Animals

The other laboratory animals like rats, mice, hamster, rabbit have their nutrient requirement and different feeding schedules which, if required the animal owner may consult the book ANIMAL NUTRITION in Tropics.

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