A day in the life of an animal technician
On arriving in the morning, the first priority is always to check on the health and welfare of the all the animals in the facility to make sure they are well. I have to check their provision of food and water to ensure there is enough of the correct amount of food for the species and strain of animals that we house. All animals water bottles are changed once a week. If their cages are wet or dirty then these will also be changed accordingly. Following on from this any daily study speicifc tasks are carried out. Any animals that are on study are weighed and health checked against the Home Office Project Licence, ensuring that they stay within the compliance of the licence, and suffering is reduced as much as possible.
My work then turns to managing breeding colonies. I have to ensure the mouse pups are weaned at around 21 days of age and they are put into the correct cage for males and females, ensuring they have the correct diet and water, and that they are given soaked diet as well to help with the transition. New mates are set up as required, and animals put on to study at the correct time point. Within a typical working day I have regular contact with the scientists about their animals and discuss any requirements they may need. In particular: breeding of animals. This helps them achieve their scientific objectives of the study while maintaining the animals' welfare. I take ear biopsies for genotyping analysis to ensure the correct animals are maintained and used for studies.