I was hoping to do an interview with you over email for a capstone project that I am doing for school. In this project I want to build a mouse maze and learn about mouse behaviors and how there brains work and how to train them to go through the maze.
The first five questions that I am asking are for my school. Answer them based off of any animal science related job/career that you have had at any point in your life. Just try to tell about your experience with mice and what you have learned from it. If you haven't worked in the animal science just answer those questions based off of what you do for AllExperts.
Just answer any of the questions you can whichever way you see fit and feel free to ask me about any of the other questions if you want. Thank you so much for being willing to do this for me.
Here are the questions again:
1.Please describe your job title and responsibilities.
2. What is your educational background?
3. What degree, special certification or training does your job require?
4. How long have you been employed in this industry/position?
5. Describe a problem or a need you have observed in this industry.
6. In your experience, what have been some of the best motivators for mice?
7. What are some dos and doníts with mouse training?
8. What are some indications of various behaviors? For example, what are some indicators that the mouse needs a break from training?
9. What is some advice to help take care of mice and make sure that they are healthy and happy?
10. Have you ever created a mouse maze and trained a mouse to complete it? If so, how did you do it and what were the results?
11. What are some tips that can help me train and learn more about mice behaviors?
1. In 2008, I worked for Texas A&M as an animal laboratory technician. I cared for whichever animal labs were renting space at the time by cleaning cages, rooms, and animal supplies. I also fed, watered, and cared for the following: mice (maintenance colony and knockouts), chickens, zebra finches, and for a brief time mockingbirds. I learned about ear punching, breeding setups, sentinel programs, hygeine standards, nutrition, and more along the way.
2. I have most of a B.S. in microbiology, part of an A.S. in vet tech. Both are on hold for financial, family, and personal reasons.
3. Some technician jobs require a 4 year degree in a related field. Mine required being a student at Texas A&M, with on site training in care and standards.
4. I worked at that particular job for two years.
5. Dedication. There were a lot of student employees who came and went in my time there with no interest in cleanliness, safety, or behavior. A lot can be learned in a place like that simply by respecting it as a job, and a lab that people and animals depended on.
6. Pumpkin seeds. Or millet sprays. Or mealworms.
7. Do: pay attention to behavior and nonverbal cues. Do: be aware of your impact on their security by being a physical presence. Don't: withhold any necessary things - food, water, a secure space they can use as a timeout.
8. This could be a book. It's mostly in body language. I can't say as far as training, but your mouse needs a place they can go to call a timeout on their own. Look at posture. If they are shrinking back and hunching, something you have done has stressed them. If they are tail rattling or boxing, you're going to get bit - you've gone way too far. If they're eating or grooming, they're relaxed. If you need more detail, you're going to have to give me a scenario.
9. Again, this could be a book (actually it is a book, go to your local library). Mice need food, water, a safe environment away from predators and persistent noises. They need a hide, and something for exercise. They need challenges and changing toys/puzzles. In some cases, they need companionship. They need a regular light cycle, a constant temperature, and a lot of love.
10. Nope. If you do so for school, you may need approval to use animal models and a superior to ensure you follow ethical guidelines and policies.
11. Join mouse forums, research online (find a way to access free scholarly papers, like plos), and go to your local library. There are multiple valuable resources out there. I would start with the free texts available on the Jackson Laboratory's website.