REAL Offers Strategies for Pair Housing Rabbits to U-M, Worldwide Researchers

December 15, 2016

On Wednesday, December 7, members of the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine and the Refinement and Enrichment Advancements Laboratory (REAL) partnered with the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to present a webinar entitled "Strategies for Social Housing of Rabbits" to over 90 institutions worldwide, including locations in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

Led by Associate Attending Veterinarian for Performance Standards and Enrichment, Jennifer Lofgren, DVM, MS, DACLAM, and Sarah Thurston, Laboratory Research Technician lead for the Clinical Laboratory and REAL, the webinar focused on the team's development of a unique process to pair house a colony of New Zealand White rabbits.

Specific topics addressed during the presentation included:

  • Identifying expected social behaviors during paired rabbit interactions
  • Identifying behaviors predictive of pair failure
  • Integrated methods of intervention, such as enrichment and targeted monitoring, to increase the probability of a successful pairing
  • Description of a pairing process for adult females

All U­-M research personnel can now view the archived webinar FREE OF CHARGE. Please note: you must provide your name and U­-M email address to access the webinar through AALAS. Access is guaranteed through March 12, 2017.

Learn more about REAL, one of the nation's only refinement and enrichment laboratories, by visiting the REAL webpage