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NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

Breeding and colony management

Best practice guidance for optimising the use of animals and avoiding wastage, with an emphasis on re‑establishing colonies after a pause.
A litter of black mice with an adult mouse, nesting in the corner of their home cage

Common breeding and colony management queries including a link to an email advice service.

Get in touch for answers to specific questions about colony management or breeding difficult strains.

Definitions of key terms in breeding and colony management.

About this content

Although the guidance is based on mouse colonies and experiments, the principles apply to other species.