Weaning Page


The first step when using the new weaning page is to Add Cages. You can add cages in several ways:

  1. 1. By scanning the cage
  2. 2. By visiting the view cage page
  3. 3. By selecting cages in the search results
  4. 4. By holding the cages

These cages are the breeding (or pregnancy, or ET...) cages which you'll be weaning from. If you want to pool into an existing cage, that'll come at the next step.

Step 1: Select Litters

Select litters

Once you have your cages displayed, you're ready to Select Litters. When you get to this step, you might notice that the litters are already selected for you. In fact, that will almost always be the case, because most of the time, you'll be trying to wean a litter which has reached its weaning date. Once all of the litters that you'd like to wean are selected, you'll need to enter a very small bit of information: just the number of male and female mice born for each litter. This should include any mice that are going to be culled and any mice that aren't yet ready to be weaned; that is, all the mice that were born, no matter what is happening with them. You'll see why in a second.

Step 2: Assign Mice to Cages

Now that we have the basic litter information all filled out, we're ready to move on to the workhorse of the new weaning page: the 'Assign Mice to Cages' step. This is where the magic happens. This awesome new page allows you complete control over exactly where your animals end up, how they're named, and their genotyping information. To see a simple example of weaning, simply click the Number Mice button, and then the 'Assign Mice to Cages' button. This will do a basic numbering of the pups and then distribute them evenly amongst some new cages. In a lot of cases, that might be all you wanted to do, in which case you could now move on to the next step. But what if you wanted more control? The weaning page is strong, and yet supple: you can easily perform a straight-forward weaning, but you can also easily adjust the results to your liking.

Number and Assign Mice to Cages

Move mouse location

If a mouse isn't in the cage you'd prefer, move him! Simply drag the mouse out of the cage and into a different cage, or into the “new cage” area at the bottom of the screen. You can also drag the “tag” representing a pup out of the litter, either before or after assigning that mouse to a cage. Or, if you'd like to remove him from the cage entirely, just click on the little “x” that appears when you hover over the mouse in its current destination cage. That will put him back in the litter, which will then be marked as “Partially Weaned”, automagically.

Terminate mice in existing cage

New If you are moving mice to an existing cage, there is an option to terminate mice in the cage to make room for the new mice.

What if, say, you have genotyping results which indicate only some of your mice should be kept? You can mark some of the mice as “culled” by clicking on the “x” to the far left of the pup line. That pup will now not be assigned to a destination cage. Note that you can do your numbering first, before culling, so that your sequential values are still all used up: that way, numbering can still happen automatically, without having to type in the individual numbers for mice that you're keeping. Nice!

Genotyping and culling

You may have noticed already that there are several options in the numbering and assigning sections. These options allow you additional control over those automatic processes, so that you can fine-tune to whatever scheme you use. You can number your male and female animals starting at different values, and with different intervals, giving you a wealth of options. You can also control whether or not animals are pooled together from separate litters, for males as well as females. You can change the number of animals housed in a cage, from one to five, and you can choose whether you want them distributed evenly, or not. In either case, the system will create as few cages as possible, whilst respecting the regulations on what can go together in a cage.

Numbering and assigning options

Step 3: Preview


Once you have the cages all set up to your liking, you're ready to move on to the next step: Previewing Cages. This is your chance to make sure you've got everything correct before actually saving the new cages. This page also allows you to edit some of the information on those cages, including the comments. By default, it'll include a short comment stating where the mice came from, but you can change that however you'd like before saving and printing. If you want to change anything about the cage other than the comments, you can press the “Edit” button at the top of that cage.

Step 4: Cage Results

Cage results

Finally, once you press the “Save” button, you'll be presented with the improved cage results page. From here, you can obviously print all of your new cages, just like you've always been able to do. You can also select a subset of cages to print, or to hold, or go to view individual cages if you'd like. Just make sure that you do, at some point, print out all the cards for those new cages!

Advanced Features

Quick Wean

Now, there are a few advanced, but extremely useful, features that I've skipped over. I'll cover those now. First of all, there's the Quick Wean feature. This allows you to skip the Assign Mice to Cages step entirely, going right to the Preview step by automatically numbering and then assigning your mice. This would be kind of useful for very basic weanings, but what it makes it really exciting is the addition of Preferences. By setting up your preferences in advance (they're saved for your account once you have them set), you can customize exactly what the default numbering and assigning options are. If you always want to have odd males and even females, you can do that. If you always want to pool females but not males, you can do that. Depending on your workflow, you might not always be able to Quick Wean, but with well-set preferences, it might be pretty often. And even if you can't quick wean because you need some fine-tuning, your Preferences will still be set as the defaults when you get to the Assign Mice to Cages step. That way, you're already most of the way there.

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