Fullwood, S., Hicks, T. A., Brown, J. C. et al. 1998. Floor space needs for laboratory mice: C57BL/6 males in solid-bottom cages with bedding. ILAR Journal 39(1), 29-36.
Different floor space allocations of cages that were barren except bedding were tested in groups of 3 male mice. Space reduction - from 129 to 32 square cm per mouse - had no impact on body weight gain; but with smaller floor spaces, mice appeared to use more feed and water. We attributed the increase feed and water use to greater feed wastage. ... Mouse mortality [resulting from bite and attack wounds] was greater as more space was provided. In contrast, adrenal weights and plasma glucocorticoid concentrations were progressively greater with lower space allowance. The authors concluded that socially housed male C57BL/6 mice will benefit from less space than recommended by the NRC in 1996 [Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals].