Evaluation of Corncob as Bedding for Rodents

  • Thomas C Krohn University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology
  • Axel Kornerup Hansen University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology

Abstract

As an alternative to aspen bedding, corncob may be used for rodents. Previous studies have shown that  the ammonia level in cages using corncob bedding is reduced compared to cages with aspen bedding. The  reduced level of ammonia prolongs the interval between cage changing, and it may therefore be beneficial  for the facility to use corncob. 

The aim of the present study was to measure and evaluate the animal preferences for corncob compared to  aspen bedding and also analyse the properties of corncob compared to aspen bedding. 

When analysing the bedding’s ability to absorb water, corncob showed lower water absorption compared to  aspen bedding; the more corncob in the mixture, the less water is absorbed. 

Both mice and rats rejected cages with pure corncob during the day (sleeping time), and none of the animals  preferred corncob mixed with aspen, only equally accepted it. 

In conclusion, neither rats nor mice prefer corncob, even not in mixtures with aspen bedding and enrichment.  In the light of the common standard for bedding being wood chips, and the lack of preference for corncob  mixture, corncob seems to be a poor alternative to wood based bedding. 

Section
Articles