The BioDAQ Unplugged food intake monitor is suited for rat and mouse studies where periodic weighings (hourly, daily, weekly) are sufficient. The simple home cage design affords ease of use and accurate food intake measurements, and is easily upgraded to an electronic system. Gated food hoppers mount outside the home cage for ease of use. The hopper design allows for minimal food spillage and hoarding of pelleted diets. A tray at the bottom of the hopper captures crumbs to ensure accurate intake measurement. Specially modified plastic shoebox style cages minimize stress on singly housed animals and shorten the instrument acclimation period. Cages are available for both rat and mouse.