Animal Husbandry & Housing

Animal husbandry supervisor conducts cage checks in mouse facilityThe University of Michigan is committed to achieving the highest animal welfare standards in the conduct of research, testing, and teaching. Accordingly, certified animal technicians from the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) provide a wide array of animal husbandry care and housing services to teams all across campus.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Cage changing and cage washing
  • Providing food and water to the animals
  • Daily food, water, and health checks
  • Monitoring of cage/room environmental conditions
  • Cleaning and maintenance of animal rooms, equipment, and facilities
  • Providing clean cages for transporting animals
  • Receiving animal shipments and transferring animals to cages in their assigned rooms

ULAM also operates a full-service Breeding Colony for investigators who do not wish to manage their own breeding colonies. Additional information, including associated costs and available services, can be found on the Breeding Colony page.

In addition to overseeing the standards of care for all animals housed on campus, ULAM also provides care for animals requiring special containment housing, including highly specialized facilities for housing immunodeficient rodents and germ-free mice.

A select number of containment housing facilities are available across campus and generally meet most containment needs, including:

  • Chemical agents of low to moderate risk
  • Commonly used radioisotopes
  • Infectious agents and human-derived substances in Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2)

Housing in these specialized areas is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Investigators who anticipate needing containment housing for their studies are strongly encouraged to contact ULAM in advance of completing their animal use protocol to help facilitate space requests.

When the investigator applies for Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) approval to conduct the study, a risk assessment will be conducted to designate specific housing and handling precautions. If approval is granted, the investigator must arrange for use of the containment housing facility by completing a Containment Housing Request in eRAM.

BEFORE access to a containment housing facility is granted, personnel must:

  • Be listed on the IACUC approved protocol
  • Have hazards use included in their Animal Handling Details, and
  • Complete all training requirements, including a tour of the containment housing area with the facility's ULAM Husbandry Supervisor yellow lock icon

yellow lock iconLinks marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid Level-1 U-M login credentials.

To assist investigators with the care and use of immunodeficient mice, ULAM operates a 1,530 square foot facility designed to house the most commonly used immunodeficient strains (nude mice and severe combined immunuodeficient). Upon investigator request and approval from the faculty veterinarian, the facility may also accommodate other immunodeficient strains.

Facility features include:

  • Four HEPA-filtered laminar flow rooms within the most stringent SPF barrier
  • Ample housing space, procedural workstations, and limited storage within each room
  • Autoclave and irradiator available upon request

To prevent the unwanted introduction of disease, all animals in the facility are housed in autoclaved cages and are provided with irradiated food and autoclaved water. Additionally, all equipment and supplies entering the facility must be sterilized. Only highly skilled animal technicians with specialized training in housing immunodeficient rodents are assigned to the facility.

All personnel who request entry to this facility must receive specialized training BEFORE access can be granted. Housing for Immunodeficient (Nude, SCID) animals occurs in other facilities on campus as needed. For more information, please contact your Area Supervisor yellow lock icon.

yellow lock iconLinks marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid Level-1 U-M login credentials.

As part of its routine animal husbandry and housing services, ULAM’s Rodent Health Surveillance Team conducts surveillance of all mouse rooms on a quarterly basis and surveillance of rat, guinea pig, and all other rodent rooms on a semi-annual basis.

For more information, please contact the Rodent Health Surveillance Team at or call (734) 936-1699.

Occasionally, study teams may have animals that are the wrong strain, sex, or age for their use. Offered as a free service to U-M investigators, the Animal Redistribution Program helps re-distribute animals no longer needed for one study to other studies across campus where they may be of value.

All animals donated to the program must be naïve and may not have had any experimental manipulation.

Receiving Animals Through the Redistribution Program

  • All animals are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no guarantee of sex, strain, age, or number of animals available at any given time.
  • Investigators wishing to receive animals must have prior IACUC approval for the number and species of animal(s) requested. Program acceptance and availability is subject to verification by the Program Coordinator.
  • An Animal Transfer Between U-M Protocols Form must be submitted in eRAM upon verification of acceptance/availability. Once the transfer has been approved, the animals will be moved at no additional charge. If animals are being moved between buildings, please allow up to 48 hours from transfer approval to arrival.

If you are a member of the U-M research community and are interested in participating in this program as either an animal donor or recipient, please fill out the Animal Redistribution Intake Form yellow lock icon.


yellow lock iconLinks marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid Level-1 U-M login credentials.

ULAM provides a limited number of cage components in each animal housing room that can be used by research personnel for routine activities including transportation to laboratories and separating animals into smaller groups.

If your team needs additional cage components beyond what is normally stocked in the animal room, please contact the ULAM Husbandry Supervisor where your animals are housed. Supervisor contact information can be found on the Room Entry Procedures Sheet posted at the entrance of each animal housing room.

You can also download the Program Contact Directory yellow lock icon to search for ULAM Husbandry Supervisors by Facility.

Depending on the amount of caging and the frequency of the request(s), additional fees may apply.

yellow lock iconLinks marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid Level-1 U-M login credentials.

Rates for animal husbandry care include items such as the purchase of animals and supplies, daily care of animals, and technical assistance.

Download the Quick Reference Sheet on Understanding ULAM Per-Diem Rates to learn more about the types of husbandry and veterinary technician services that are covered by standard per-diem rates and which services are additional fee-for-service.

Per-diem rates for animal care, or direct charges for personnel costs and supplies, are based on the cost analysis and recovery procedures outlined in the NIH’s Cost Analysis and Rate Setting Manual for Animal Research Facilities.

Husbandry Per-Diem Rates

Mice – Ventilated per cage $  1.03 01/01/2024
Mice – Static (formerly "Mice – Small") per cage $  1.22 01/01/2024
Mice – Large per cage $  1.98 01/01/2024
Mice – Breeding Colony Vented per cage $  2.06 01/01/2024
Mice – Breeding Colony Static (formerly "Mice – Breeding Colony") per cage $  2.33 01/01/2024
Mice – Nude/C. Bovis Free (formerly "Mice – Nude") per cage $  1.34 01/01/2024
Rat – Ventilated per cage $  1.64 01/01/2024
Rat – Static (formerly "Rat – Small") per cage $  2.17 01/01/2024
Rat – Breeding Colony per cage $  2.43 01/01/2024
Biocontainment Mice (formerly "Biocontainment Rodent #1") per cage $  1.95 01/01/2024
Biocontainment Rat (formerly "Biocontainment Rodent #3") per cage $  3.48 01/01/2024
Spiny Mice per cage $  1.11 01/01/2024
Guinea Pig – Cage (formerly "Guinea Pig, #3") per cage $  3.79 01/01/2024
Guinea Pig – Drawer (formerly "Guinea Pig, #6") per cage $  5.19 01/01/2024
Gecko per cage $  1.85 01/01/2024
Tree Shrew per animal $  3.50 01/01/2024
Primate (formerly "NHP – Baboon" and "NHP – Macaque") per animal $  28.62 01/01/2024
Dog per animal $  20.85 01/01/2024
Cat per animal $  17.00 01/01/2024
Chicken per animal $  6.20 01/01/2024
Rabbit per animal $  5.56 01/01/2024
Pig per animal $  17.39 01/01/2024
Sheep – Campus per animal $  22.65 01/01/2024
Sheep – SRF per animal $  9.09 01/01/2024
Sheep – SRF Group per animal $  12.71 01/01/2024
Calf per animal $  18.25 01/01/2024
Zebrafish – Small per tank $  0.45 07/01/2023
Zebrafish – Large per tank $  0.77 07/01/2023
Frog per tank $. 0.60 07/01/2023
Frog – Small per tank $  2.40 07/01/2023
Frog – Medium per tank $  4.37 07/01/2023
Frog – Large per tank $  5.30 07/01/2023

Husbandry Hourly Labor Rates

Husbandry Technician Labor Rate/Hour $  38.88 01/01/2023
Husbandry Technician Labor Rate/Hour Overtime $  58.32 01/01/2023

Containment Housing Service Charges

Service charges are added to standard animal husbandry per-diem rates for each day that any animal
has entered into containment housing without an established biocontainment per-diem rate.

Containment charges will appear as separate service charges on your Statement of Charges.

Small Cage Containment Charge
(rodents, guinea pigs)
$  0.98/day 01/01/2023
Large Pen Containment Charge
(pigs, sheep, dogs, rabbits, calves, etc.)
$  4.10/day 01/01/2023


Example of how service charges will appear:

Large Animal Containment – Calf Per-Diem Rate $ 18.25
Large Pen Containment Service Charge $ 4.10




*Rates subject to change.

Related Animal Care A-Z Documents


For general questions about animal husbandry and housing at the University of Michigan, please contact ULAM at or (734) 764-0277.