Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rat Lab Project

The 6th hour Animal Science class is in the middle of a very educational experimental lab. There are currently 8 white lab rats in Mr. T’s classroom. The students in the class will be observing them for the next few weeks.
At the beginning of the experiment, the class split up into eight different groups. Then we got to choose which rat we wanted. They are all females and all weighed the same when we got them. We immediately put sawdust in the bottoms of the cages and gave them fresh water. We all got to choose names for our specific rat. For the first few days, each group gave their rat the same amount and type of food, 15 grams of rat formula. Then at the beginning of the second week, each rat got a different diet. Two rats are now on the rice diet, two are on the fish food diet, two are on the rice/fish food diet, and two are on the control diet. For the next few weeks we will monitor the feed intake and the growth of the rat. Then at the end of the lab we will find out what will happen for rats with a low protein diet (rice), an average protein diet (rice/fish food), a perfect protein diet (control), and a high protein diet (fish food).
At the end of the lab, the rats (Telula, Rosco, Pidge, Master Splinter, Adrian, Rufus, Sparky, and Chunk) will be able to go home with students in the class if any of the students want them. If there are still rats left, they will be available to all students. If there are still rats left, they will be taken to a veterinary clinic and be euthanized. This is a very interesting experimental lab. I like it a lot because it is very hands on, and we will get to watch and observe what happens over time to the rats.

By: Laura Lodermeier

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