Nesting Behavior

Overview and Meaning 

Nesting behavior is a normal behavior of the mouse and mice are highly motivated to build nests. The nest has several functions, including increasing litter survival, regulation of body temperature, protection from predators or aggressive cagemates, shelter from cold or draft, and in laboratory conditions is a form of environmental enrichment. Reproductive female mice are highly motivated to nest build and this behavior is often elicited by odors or calls from mice pups. The nest is often defended as part of the territory by the male and female mouse.

(Latham & Mason, 2004) 


Nesting behavior is a top level classification, reflecting a behavior chain of individual goal-directed behaviors, which typically occur in the following sequence:
  1. Digging
  2. Push-dig
  3. Shoveling
  4. Carrying
  5. Fraying
  6. Sorting
  7. Pulling in
  8. Fluffing


Maintenance behaviors


Nesting behavior occurs in the contexts of, reproduction, and environmental changes.