Locklear, J., Whiteside, T. E. 2021. Optimal colloidal water gel type and novel placement for frequent travelers. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 9(6) (November/December), 38-40.
During transportation, animals must have a water source available to prevent dehydration. Some shipping facilities use potatoes whereas, others use colloidal water gels that provide a uniform water source. The problem occurs when colloidal water gel containers are placed on the floor of bedded shipping crates and the bedding sticks to the gel. Most often, the water gel cups, or pouches are found buried under the bedding as a result of transit and/ or foraging. To circumvent this issue, we decided to evaluate the optimal type of container and proper placement of colloidal water gels in shipping crates to provide a cleaner water source and meet the animal’s hydration needs until reaching their destination, whether domestic or international. Based on feedback from our domestic and international collaborating facilities, we were able to determine the optimal container type and placement of colloidal water gel packets when used in animal shipping crates. After comparing the water gel pouch to the water gel cups, the pouches were found to be the most ideal packaging container. Our novel approach for hanging colloidal water gel pouches in transport crates solved these issues and added substantial benefits. Most importantly, the hanging gel pouches stay in place and last longer with minimum evaporation and contamination from bedding, feces, and enrichment. Therefore, the hanging gel pouches provide a cleaner water source and meet the animals’ hydration need until they reach their destination, either domestic or international.