Breeding Lab Animals

As with mouse and rat breeding, for any species of interest it will be crucial to maintain careful records of the parental and offspring details.  Some of the colony management software developed for these organisms may be suitable for use by other researchers as well.  You may wish to investigate that software for suitability, which can be explored from the mouse or rat husbandry pages.

Hamsters and Rabbits

For guidance on the breeding of hamsters for research, The Laboratory Hamster & Gerbil text provides a chapter with relevant information on estrous cycle, maturation estimates, and more. Consult The Laboratory Rabbit for details on that species. Laboratory animal providers may also offer helpful protocols and guidance for maintenance of these species.


The very different strategies for breeding zebrafish, including gathering and culturing embryos, and the possibilities of in vitro breeding are well described in The Zebrafish Book.  The active research community which can be found at the Zebrafish Model Organism Database (ZFIN) also provides active discussion and a wiki with protocols and assistance for researchers using these fish for their studies.