Food & Liquid Intake

Quantitative assessments of food and water intake are delicate experiments that must balance competing constraints, namely the requirement for a special measurement setup with the impact of the setup on mouse behaviour (and the mesurements themselves). Methods of measurement available at MEF include:

  • Feeding/drinking online monitoring in the BioDAQ system,
  • Long-term, cumulative feeding in native cages,
  • Short term feeding and drinking measurements in metabolic cages.

Mice are always singly-caged for such measurements, which requires an acclimatation period. All methods are labor-intensive, and their choice will depend on the expected type of data (see below).

Feeding/drinking online monitoring: BioDAQBioDAQ Image 400x400

BioDAQ (Research Diets, Inc) is a flexible online monitoring system with 16 cages to measure either

  • Food & water intake,
  • Food preference,
  • Liquid preference.

The software allows for the analysis of cumulative water/food intake over user-defined periods. Morevoer, bout data can be analyzed to study intake patterns of the animals.

This instrument is best-suited for measurements of intake patterns, preferences and responses to treatments.

Mice are separated one per cage for the measurement. The use of specially modified standard cages reduces both novel-environment stress, acclimation time and researcher contact. Moreover food is supplied in the usual, pelletted form and cages bottoms are covered with a regular bedding. However, as all mouse strains react differently to a new environment, it is recommended that the animals be acclimated for up to 7 days to the BioDAQ cages.

A minimum of 8 mice per group is required. Please send mice one week before the beginning of the study.

Price: depends on the experiment design. Please contact us.

Long-term, cumulative feeding in native cages

The most accurate assessment of food intake in energy balance studies requires cumulative measurements over weeks of both food disappearance and food spillage. Mice are in singly-caged in native home cages. A special bedding is used to facilitate the collection and measurement of spillage.

A minimum of 10 mice per group is required. Please send mice one week before the beginning of the study.

Price: depends on the experiment design. Please contact us.

Short term feeding and drinking measurements in metabolic cages

Food intake and water intake can be assessed as well in experiments involving metabolic cages for:

Metabolic cages are however not native cages, and can therefore not be used to host mice for more than a few days.