Notice: The NIA has long provided biological resources to the research community to facilitate research on the biology of aging. As of January 1, 2014, the NIA will no longer charge users for the biological resources, nor any related shipping fees due to a new interpretation of the regulations that govern contracting.
Miscellaneous Feed Information
Feed remains fresh for 6 months, and NIA only will provide a 3-month supply at a time.
Feed Supply Calculation for caloric restricted animals
Food is only provided for CR (and AL control) animals purchased from the NIA caloric restricted colony. The NIA does not provide food for animals purchased from the aging colonies. Food is shipped on the trucks with the animals; shipment by overnight commercial shippers is not allowed unless the recipient is not on one of the Contractor’s truck routes.
On request, the contractor can calculate the feed supply amount necessary for the caloric restricted animals. All requests for calculations must be included in the "Special Instructions" section on the NIA order form. Specify the selected feed type used to maintain the animals, quantity of animals, strain, gender, date of birth (DOB), and the length of time the animals will be maintained.
- 2.5 g up to 3.5 in increments of .5–1 kg = 2.2 lbs
- Fortified 2.5–3.5 g pellet size
- NIH31: random-weight chunk formula, approximately 2.0–3.0 g various sized pellets
|13||100% (regular feed)|
*CR begins at 4 months of age.
Miscellaneous Shipping Information
Overseas Shipping (NIH grantees only)
The maximum age for shipping F344 rats overseas is 26 months. The maximum age for shipping F344 x BN rats overseas is 36 months. There is a 2- to 3-week turnaround time from order placement to delivery.
Animals are packed one age group per crate.
|Animal Type||Maximum Number per Crate|
|Rats||4 male 3mo and younger, 3 male older than 4mo & 6 female|
|Mice||12 for regular aging colony, 3 for CR colony|
|BALB/c Mice||5 (compartmentalized)|
C57BL/6 animals are always shipped as cagemates. Other strains are not shipped as cagemates, unless specifically requested by customer on the NIA order form.
Air Delivery Customers
All air deliveries are shipped on Monday for Tuesday/Wednesday delivery. Animals must originate from the same barrier; barriers cannot be split.
Water Kits vs. Gel Packs
Both the water kit and gel pack are safe and effective. However:
- Gel packs have more stability
- Gel packs can leak and adhere to the bedding and the animals' hair
- Water packs may damage the box if the water kit valve is broken
Miscellaneous Health Information
Tumors are considered normal in rodents aged 16 months and older.
There is a 2- to 3-week turnaround time from order placement to delivery for orders involving surgery.
Age of Maturity
Regarding age and reproductive function, F344 males and females reach their sexual maturity at approximately 7 weeks of age.
For animal replacement, the Office of Biological Resources and Resource Development (OBRRD) must be notified within 48 hours of delivery. OBRRD will provide replacement animals under the following conditions:
- If animals are "dead on arrival"
- If animals die within 48 hours of arrival
- If the incorrect animal type is delivered
Age of Replacement Animals
Animals will be replaced at the same age as the original order, unless the customer specifically indicates the same DOB.
Vendor Location for Animal Research Papers
The vendor, NIA at Harlan Sprague Dawley, or Charles River Laboratories, or Taconic Farms.
Orders for Collaborators
NIA grantees may order animals to be delivered to collaborators; however, the animals must be billed to the grantee. If the grantee is ordering animals for delivery to a commercial institution, approval must be obtained via email from Dr. Nancy Nadon of OBRRD.
Inclement Weather Policy
NIA will not make any shipments when the atmospheric temperature and/or the temperature within the transportation carrier are harmful to the shipment.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grantees
SBIR grantees are permitted to order if they are funded by NIA.
Miscellaneous Animal Information
|F344 x BN||*Brownish-Black|
*Includes white area on chest and underbelly.
|DBA||Dilute Brown/Non-Agouti (silvery-light gray)|
Weight of Animals
Customers are permitted to specify a weight range, but they are not permitted to request a specific weight.
Information Regarding DOB
NIA only can provide dates in a "month/year" format because the contractor weans several litters born in the same week at the same time and randomly assigns them to cages. Animals in the same cage do not have the same actual day of birth. NIA does not require the contractor to record the specific day of birth on the aging cage cards, only the month of birth.
If any animals die, no additional animals are added to their cage. Animals in the CR colonies are individually housed.
Tissue Bank Resources
Tumor Tissue Identification
To indicate tumor tissue, vials have a red top, and larger vials are marked with a red "dot".
Vital Statistics Sheet
The Vital Statistics Sheet lists all information, including tumors.
|Vial Size||Number of Samples||Comments|
|Small||200||Most mouse tissue is in small vials.|
|Large||25||Includes some rat tissue and larger mouse organs.|