Frequently Asked Questions

Animals orders MUST be made through the DCM administrative office. This can be done by emailing a completed form to The correct form depends on the type of payment being used: research funds, state funds or p-card, or credit card. The requisition form must include an approved protocol number, the species, sex, strain, amount needed, preferred vendor and the principal investigator's signature. DCM will acquire a purchase order number after receiving the request and the signed form. Incomplete forms cannot be processed.

Once you have received IACUC protocol approval, orders must be placed by Wednesday before 2:00 p.m in order to receive them the following week. Arrival the following week depends on availability of stock requested and payment being secured.

Animals are received according to the schedule described below. Animals will typically be housed by 1:00 p.m. on the day of arrival. If you require any animal prior to 1:00 p.m. or you do not need them to be housed, state on the Animal Purchase Request Form.

Charles Rivers - Tuesday
Taconic, Jackson and Harlan - Wednesday

When submitting requisition form to DCM please indicate in the initial email to that you want to make it a standing order and indicate the frequency with which you would like the orders to be placed. It is highly recommend that all time pregnant rodents that are needed on a regular basis be placed on a standing order. This is to ensure vendor availability. All standing orders must be cancelled in writing one week in advance of cancellations.

Requesting animals from another institution requires a rodent import request form regardless if it's a purchase, transfer, or donation. Please remember that if you want to receive a mouse genotype that is not specifically listed on an IACUC approved protocol, you must submit a new mouse genotype protocol amendment before DCM can process the import request** The form must be accompanied by a current health certificate from the institution of origin. All animals that are accepted must undergo a 3-4 week quarantine period prior to release into the general rodent population. The completed rodent import request forms are to be emailed to

Contact DCM 's Operations Manager at x 1194 to obtain a current health report. DCM will assist you obtaining shipping material and information on overnight courier services. The individual shipping the animals must handle all arrangements and payment of the shipment.

Transfers between investigators and protocols must be approved and completed by DCM staff. Submit a completed Animal Transfer Form and submit by fax (718) 270-4095 or by email to the DCM office.

Yes. Mouse Breeding and Cage Density Policy update:

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and DCM have updated the mouse breeding and cage density policy at SUNY Downstate. This updated policy includes a review of the benefits of the two most commonly used breeding schemes while also ensuring that our biomedical research community complies with the national standards and recommendations contained within the 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animal (NRC 2011).


  • Adult mouse - Any mouse that is of weaning age or older and able to eat solid food and reach the water source.
  • Post partum estrus - Female mice may undergo fertile estrus 14-24 hours following delivery of a litter of pups. Females that are housed with a male when they give birth to a litter can therefore become pregnant and give birth to a second litter around the time of the weaning date of the first litter, which can lead to overcrowding.
  • Delayed weaning - There may be instances where a litter has passed its weaning date but is unable to be weaned due to small size or inability to access food or water due to phenotype.
  • Mouse pup - Term for any neonatal or young mouse up to ~ 21 days of age; a grouping of pups from the same mother is called a litter of pups.

Breeding Scheme*

Monogamous or Pair Breeding = ONE (1) adult male and ONE (1) adult female.

  • Advantages of pair breeding:
    • The Principal Investigator may manage their own mouse colonies provided there is timely weaning of litters to prevent overcrowding.
    • This is the preferred method to prevent overcrowding
    • Maximizes productivity of females by utilizing post-partum estrus
    • Offers an extended nursing time for strains known to be small and slow growing (wean by 28 days)
    • Allows identification of the dam of the litter

Trio Breeding = ONE (1) adult male and TWO (2) adult females.

  • Advantage of trio breeding:
    • Maximizes productivity of females by utilizing post-partum estrus
    • More efficient use of males
  • Restrictions of trio breeding:
    • Requires IACUC approval; close monitoring is required to avoid overcrowding - DCM must oversee the management of all trio breeding mouse colonies.
    • Pups born into the cage with the male must be weaned at 21 days.
    • May require allocation of reserve housing for placement of separated pregnant females.

* note only one male is permitted per cage.

If animals are on the census, upon expiration of an approved protocol the IACUC will notify the Principal Investigator (PI) that all animal-related research activities covered by that protocol must be stopped in accordance with PHS and IACUC Policy. In order to prevent lapses in protocol coverage, animals attached to the expired protocol, whether naïve or part of an active experiment, must be transferred to the DCM Holding Protocol and care provided per DCM routine SOPs or as described in the holding protocol. PI and research study staff access to these animals will be prohibited and limited to DCM staff only during the period of protocol expiration. Animals assigned to the Holding Protocol may be returned to the PI's control only after submission and approval of an IACUC protocol.

For federally-funded studies, PHS does not permit contract or grant funds for the conduct of animal activities during a lapse in IACUC approval or suspension of animal activities. If animal activities are expected to resume at a later time, please contact the DCM Administrator at ext. 1153 to provide an account number that is not tied to federal funds. Costs incurred during the period of expiration or suspension related to maintenance and care of animals will be billed to the non-PHS account at a rate two times higher than the usual per diem rate.

Current List of Pesticides used in DCM Animal Facility

  1. Greenway for Fruit Fly
    1. Ingredients include:
      • Table Vinegar
    2. For addition information, the Safety Data Sheet can be found Here.
  2. Vendetta® Plus Cockroach Gel Bait
    1. Ingredients include:
      • Abamectin
      • NYLAR® (Pyriproxyfen)
      • Starch
      • Sucrose
    2. For additional information, the Safety Data Sheet can be found Here.
  3. EcoPCO ACU
    1. Ingredients include:
      • Phenethyl Propionate
      • Isoparaffinic Hydrocarbon solvent
      • Propane
      • Isobutane
    2. For additional information, the Safety Data Sheet can be found Here.

To understand how to safely dispose of needles, glassware and other sharps please click Here.

If you need to dose multiple animals from a single syringe you have two options. First, you can use a safety glide needle and a conical tube in between doses. Second, you can remove the needle on the syringe for each dose using hemostats and replace (by hand) another capped needle. For visual depictions and additional information, click Here.