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Animal Husbandry & Housing

The University of Michigan is committed to achieving the highest animal welfare standards in the conduct of research, training, and instruction. Accordingly, certified animal technicians from the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) provide a wide array of animal husbandry care and housing services to Study Teams 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

The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (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.

About Animal Husbandry & Housing Services

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 Supervisorrequires Level-1 U-M login credentials 

yellow lock icon denoting level-1 U-M login required for access Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid 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.requires Level-1 U-M login credentials

yellow lock icon denoting level-1 U-M login required for access Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid 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 ulam-rhst@umich.eduor 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 Formrequires Level-1 U-M login credentials

yellow lock icon denoting level-1 U-M login required for access Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid 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 Directoryrequires Level-1 U-M login credentialsto 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 icon denoting level-1 U-M login required for access Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid 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.

ULAM Husbandry Per-Diem Rates

DESCRIPTION

UNIT

RATE

EFFECTIVE

Mice – Ventilated

per cage

$ 1.03

01/01/2024

Mice – Static

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

per cage

$ 2.33

01/01/2024

Mice – Nude/C. Bovis Free

per cage

$ 1.34

01/01/2024

Rat – Ventilated

per cage

$ 1.64

01/01/2024

Rat – Static

per cage

$ 2.17

01/01/2024

Rat – Breeding Colony

per cage

$ 2.43

01/01/2024

Biocontainment Mice

per cage

$ 1.95

01/01/2024

Biocontainment Rat

per cage

$ 3.48

01/01/2024

Biocontainment Nude/SCID

per cage

$ 2.88

01/01/2024

Spiny Mouse

per cage

$ 1.11

01/01/2024

Guinea Pig – Cage

per cage

$ 3.79

01/01/2024

Guinea Pig – Drawer

per cage

$ 5.19

01/01/2024

Gecko

per cage

$ 1.85

01/01/2024

Tree Shrew

per animal

$ 2.63

01/01/2024

Primate

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

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

ULAM Husbandry Hourly Labor Rates

DESCRIPTION

RATE

EFFECTIVE

Husbandry Technician Labor Rate/Hour

$ 38.88

01/01/2023

Husbandry Technician Labor Rate/Hour Overtime

$ 58.32

01/01/2023

Additional 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.

DESCRIPTION

RATE

EFFECTIVE

Small Cage Containment Charge
(rodents, guinea pigs)

$ 0.98/day

01/01/2023

Large Pen Containment Charge
(pigs, sheep, 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

TOTAL DAILY COST:

$ 22.35

*Rates subject to change.

Requesting Veterinary Care

Monday – Friday
6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Call ULAM at
(734) 936-1037

Monday – Friday
5:00 PM – 6:00 AM
Call DPSS at
(734) 763-1131

Weekends & Holidays
Contact the on-site
Veterinary Technician
at (734) 936-1037

Obtaining Veterinary Care

Related A-Z Documents

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Policy on Counting Animals Produced

This policy outlines the expectations for counting animals produced. An accurate animal count is required to fulfill federal obligations for reporting animal numbers and to ensure compliance with Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee ( IACUC ) approved protocols.

SOPs

Animal Fasting Communication

To delineate communications procedures and responsibilities of investigative personnel and ULAM husbandry personnel to coordinate animal fasting periods.

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Animals Administered a Hazardous Substance Requiring Containment

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SOPs

Identifying Single Housed Animals SOP

To describe the procedures for classifying animals that are single housed and labeling cages appropriately. All single housed animals on campus must be identified with the reason they are housed singly.

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