Kathryn Heivilin, CPIA, RBP
Senior IACUC Manager
UM Biosafety Officer
Zebra Finch Husbandry and Care
Date adopted: April 2, 2019
The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to outline the animal care requirements associated with the daily husbandry of zebra finches to ensure consistent and uniform care.
This procedure applies to all personnel involved in the care of zebra finches in the Laboratory Animal Resources facility at the Field Research Station Fort Missoula (FRSFM).
It is LAR policy to meet or exceed all federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines and to comply with all institutional policies and procedures as they apply to the use of animals in research. Personnel must attend any applicable training in animal care and use, occupational health and safety, equipment operation, and Standard Operating Procedures prior to performing activities outlined in this SOP or work under the direct supervision of trained aviary personnel.
3.1. Each morning the Animal Caretaker (AC) will observe all finches in their cages for signs
of illness, injury or death.
Clinical signs observed may
3.2. If a health problem is detected, identify the animal and notify the LAR office and call
for the attending veterinarian if needed.
3.3. If all the finches appear healthy, place your initials on the bottom in the technician
3.4. If an animal is found dead or injured, contact the Attending Veterinarian immediately.
4.1 Each finch will be identified by leg band and/or group cage card.
5.1. Finches will be fed Mazuri finch chow; hulls will be blown from top of food daily, with
new food replaced weekly. Diet may be periodically supplemented with lettuce
5.2 Feed barrels will be labeled with feed type, milling date
5.3. Finches are to have free access to clean potable water at all times. In individuals
cages (14”x 11”x 19”), water will be provided in plastic dishes. Dishes will be rinsed in
hot soapy water daily.
5.6 For individual cages, cage bottom (including wire grate, and plastic tray) will be
exchanged for a clean cage bottom once per month.
6.1 Paper cage liners and straw ground cover will be replaced weekly with clean
6.2 All food and water dishes will be cleaned in hot, soapy water once weekly.
6.3 Feed barrels and trash barrels are to be sanitized monthly and documented.
6.4 Floors will be swept and mopped daily