Animal Shipping Products

Taconic Biosciences makes its own animal husbandry and shipping products available to our clients for their use.

These products are a response to the biomedical research community's need for uniform products for shipping laboratory animals. Our husbandry products provide the researcher with the tools needed for maintaining the optimum health and environment of their animals during shipment.

Please contact Customer Service directly to order our Animal Shipping Products.

taconic shipping cage

Taconic has designed and constructed a germ-free shipper for delivery of germ-free animals. These animals are free of all other life forms with the exception of endogenous viruses, which are present in the somatic and germ cells of all mice, including germ-free mice. The germ-free shipper preserves the germ-free health status of the animals during shipping.

The germ-free shipper is a large, flexible vinyl sleeve with filtered openings and an accompanying case. The sleeve measures approximately 12 inches in diameter and 3 ½ feet in length. Up to three animal cages (11 ½″ x 7 ½″ x 5″) can fit in the sleeve. Germ-free animals at Taconic are housed in isolators that follow strict gnotobiotic techniques for entry of animals and autoclaved supplies. To move animals from an isolator to a germ-free shipper takes careful maneuvering. One end of the shipper sleeve is connected to the isolator and empty animal cages (pre-positioned in the shipper) are carefully moved from the shipper to the isolator.

The animals located in the isolator are placed into the cages in accordance with prescribed densities. The cages are then moved back into the germ-free shipper, which is then disconnected from the isolator and sealed. The animals are never exposed to outside air; only filtered isolator air and then air from the filtered opening of the germ-free shipper.

Once animal cages have been placed in the germ-free shipper, the shipper is placed in a clear plastic box for transport to its destination. See below for instructions on how to correctly remove the animals from the germ-free shipper.

Orders for the germ-free shipper itself are fulfilled with pre-sterilized shippers. No additional sterilization is required upon receipt.

Gnotobiotic Equipment Prices

Item NumberDescriptionPrice ($/€)
SHIP0695Germ-free Shipper$920/€845
FEE-CON-GFGerm-free Shipper when shipped with Taconic germ-free animals$461/€377

Number of mice packed per germ-free shipper:

Up to three animal cages (11 ½″ x 7 ½″ x 5″) can fit in the sleeve of a germ-free shipper.

  • 24 at 3-4 weeks (8 per cage)
  • 21 at 5 weeks (7 per cage)
  • 21 at 6 weeks (7 per cage)
  • 18 at 7 weeks (6 per cage)
  • 15 at 8 weeks and older (5 per cage)

Note: This procedure is easier to perform with two people.

  1. Withdraw vinyl shipper from the plastic shipping carton. Use care to keep cages and oval filter upright.
  2. Open end of connecting sleeve:
    • Unfold sleeve and remove yellow vinyl tape that was folded and sealed prior to shipment.
    • When open, the sleeve is compatible with a standard 12" diameter isolator port.
  3. Swab inside of sleeve and the face of the Mylar diaphragm with a sterilant (using caution not to apply too much pressure to Mylar diaphragm).
  4. Pull sleeve partway onto the swabbed port of the destination isolator. Secure the shipper sleeve to the port with tape, making a complete tape seal of the shipper to the destination isolator port. Ensure that half of the tape is on the shipper sleeve and half of the tape is on the port.
  5. Remove plug from nipple on germ-free shipper sleeve. Place nozzle of sterilant atomizer against nipple and spray sleeve portion of shipper with sterilant to give a balloon-like effect until the sleeve is inflated. Quickly replace plug into nipple, maintaining sterilant positive pressure.
  6. After the appropriate contact time for the sterilant, ensure that isolator port cap remains bubbled in toward isolator interior, ensuring that sleeve-port connection is not breached. Next remove the exterior yellow tape from the circumference of the Mylar diaphragm.
  7. Carefully work the Mylar diaphragm within the germ-free shipper to a horizontal position (using external manipulation).
  8. From within isolator, remove isolator port cap. Pull the Mylar diaphragm through the port and into the isolator.
  9. Rotate the cages within the shipper and slide toward the isolator port (using external pressure).
  10. Pull in cages and remove the bands that are securing the cages lids.
  11. Have a sterile vial with a small amount (1-2 ml) of sterile water in it ready for sample collection. Dip a sterile swab into the vial and dampen it with water. Swab several of the animals' coats and the interior of the cage; place the swab into the vial. Collect feces and a small amount of bedding from the cage and place it in the vial with the swab and water. Transport the vial to your laboratory and test for all aerobic and anaerobic growth according to standard procedures.
  12. Remove the animals and place in isolator caging.
  13. Replace isolator port cap. Remove germ-free shipper from exterior port.

Watch the Taconic video "Flexible Film Isolator Demonstration" to see a detailed demonstration on how to work with a germ-free isolator and pack a germ-free shipper.


The Taconic Transit Cage™ (TTC™) provides the optimal shipping environment for today's sophisticated rats and mice. Taconic uses the TTC™ cage for its own commercial animal shipments and makes it available to you for your own shipment needs. The TTC™ is washable and autoclavable for animal storage and maintenance.

Features of the TTC™:

  • The top rim of the lid is recessed, allowing for easier removal.
  • Ribs are extended making it easier to insert and remove dividers.
  • A bar below the tie holes makes it easier to access for cutting.
  • The Taconic Transit Cage™ (TTC™) is designed and constructed to afford the utmost safety and security for delivery of animals. Field tests have proven that the TTC™ is capable of protecting its contents from contamination by murine viruses. The cage and lid are constructed of a variety of molded plastic for high durability and resistance to gnawing by rodents. Slight variations in TTC™ color may occur.
  • Sloped sides, stacking mounts and air vents on the sides and lid allow sufficient air flow around the cage for proper ventilation. The filter material is a spun-bonded polypropylene media which provides optimum strength; the continuous filaments in the media prevent tearing and slipping. All materials are autoclavable and washable in high temperature cage washers.
  • The TTC™ is easily opened by lifting the lid upward from the front handle. Since there are no staples and wire to contend with it eliminates cuts and scrapes to your employees. Security ties ensure that the cage is not opened during transit.
  • The TTC™ is International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant.

Taconic Transit Cage™ Pricing

Item NumberDescriptionPrice ($/€)
TTC-CLR-LOWTTC™ with standard low lid$55/€55.50
TTC-CLR-HIGHTTC™ with high lid$55/€55.50

TTC-CLR-HIGH and TTC-CLR-LOW include a TTC bottom, high or low TTC lid, one gel pack, one "live animal" label, and two security ties.

Taconic Transit Cage™ Parts

Item NumberDescriptionPrice ($/€)
LABL0095-ASMLive Animal Labels (package of 20)$16/€14.15
SHIP0385Gel Pack (8 oz.)$8.50/€15.25
TTC0130Plastic Dividers - High Lid$8.50/€9.80
TTC0140Plastic Dividers - Low Lid$8.50/€9.80
SHIP0315Security Ties (pkg of 100)$14.00/€12.00
TTC0250Cage Bottom with Filter$24.60/€27.25
TTC0310Standard Low Lid$25.70/€27.25
TTC0280High Lid$25.70/€27.25
SHIP060025 Gel Packs (250 grams each)$251.50/€254.00



Dividers are available and can be used to easily divide the TTC™ into 2, 3, or 4 compartments. The outside dimensions of the TTC™ are 22″ (long) by 16″ (wide) by 7″ (deep).

Taconic ships its mice and rats in sterilized TTCs™. This includes packing the animals within their respective barrier colonies thereby minimizing the risk that a pathogenic contamination may occur between the animal's barrier environment and your receiving area. Commercial mice and rats are packed in TTC™s in accordance with prescribed densities.

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