High tea for mink (and congrats to Maria)

3 06 2014

pileCage size recommendations often assume that bigger is better, and for mink, this includes assumptions that taller cages are better than shorter ones. But mink are fed on the cage top, so a tall cage may make food harder to reach, requiring a climb up a neighbouring cage wall. As part of a longterm project on cage size, we are looking to see if some feeding heights are just too high.

Maria – who started her post doc on this this week (congratulations! Though she’s still not a doc, so this is a pre-doc post doc…) – spent the last 6 days in her old haunts in East Lansing, bending wire like old times. But this time she has a terrific assistant (MSU student Anna, pictured below) and an actual salary.

Ann (?)

The aim is to create feeding areas of different heights, and that we habituate all the mink to using. Then once a month we will offer them food on all four levels at once to see which they prefer when they have a choice. Pseudo-randomiisng heights and locations within the room to avoid potential biases proved something of a Mensa test, but one we (think we) passed in the end.