Author Topic: Gerbils...?  (Read 1455 times)

Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Gerbils...?
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:28:36 PM »
Well, this is what I get for surfing craigslist. I have two males and two females, a mother and her children. My brother's girlfriend is staying with us and wanted them, she claimed she knew how to care for them.

Anyhow, they were kept together and never separated, the babies are the size of their mother, and, though they're all about the same size, I fear that the females are pregnant. What are the chances of this? She did a google search and assured me they don't inbreed, well I searched through a forum and found that they do, so... meh.

We've had them a few days now and they've all tamed down very easily, they're living in a bin cage about the size of a 20 gallon tank. Substrate is eco-bedding and coastal hay. They have an 8 inch wheel, a water bottle, bowl of food (seed mix and dog food), an igloo (they all fit comfortably with room for more), and they get cardboard tubes when we have them available. The bedding we put in has recently been piled into this big, puffy mountain in the corner of the cage and I worry that the female is nesting, though they all seem to pop in and out as they please and she hasn't been remotely aggressive with anyone.

I have a spare ten gallon that I just bought a screen for, so that can be set up if necessary. I'm not familiar with gerbils and wanted to know if there was someone here who is and could give me some tips. Thanks for reading.
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Offline Dragonfly

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:15:20 PM »
I would separate by sexes now. Most likely the females are pregnant and should probably stay in the larger bin cage.  They should be kept in pairs and can be fed the same thing as rats.. seed mixes are great for treats, but not so good fed long term... Mine always liked to burrow so the more bedding the better.. also a hide of some sort would probably be appreciated.
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Offline GhostMouse

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 09:16:55 PM »
I don't know a lot about gerbils but I would separate them ASAP to keep the females from getting pregnant (hopefully they aren't already). They are social so you can keep them in same-sex pairs and they should be fine like that. That's all I know, but definitely separate the sexes right away.

Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 06:16:13 PM »
Everyone has been separated and is doing well, the boys are in the tank and the girls are in the tub. Everyone has a hide, the boys got the igloo and he girls got a butter tub, which they love.

Thanks for the advice everyone, fingers crossed that neither is pregnant.
"Optimus Prime says 'No,' to promiscuos sex." - Alex Murphy

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 01:58:52 PM »
I really think you should stop getting pets when you keep rehoming  them. Gerbils can, and will, require vet care in their life. Just as rats.

All gerbils nest. They need many inches of bedding to burrow. They're dessert animals and this is a trait in both males and females, young and old. We kept our twenty gallon tank literally half full of bedding. They create elaborate tunnels under the bedding.

They need to be on a better food than seeds and kibble. You can give them seeds, but look into a good lab block.

Be on the lookout for fighting. It doesn't always happen, but gerbils are a little more finicky than other rodents. If you ever attempt to introduce new animals together, look up how to do it. It isn't like rats or mice. Many require side by side cages to eventually get them to live together.

Rodents can, and will, interbreed. They don't care who raised them or who shares blood. They could likely all be pregnant. Keep an eye on weights. You may want to look at this link: http://agsgerbils.org/Learn/Gerbil_Care_Handbook/breeding.php


Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 06:08:21 PM »
Thank you for your concern and for the link.

I don't normally take in as many animals as I have recently, but if I don't have the funding, time, or space for an animal that isn't literally on my door step I don't take it in. A lot of the dogs I've taken in recently either had no one else and no other options, such as the pups and the chihuahua, or my mother made a bad decision and forced the animal on me, as is the case for the young female lab from many months back and the pit bull puppy. All of them tend to stay a short time, get fattened up, a bit of training, and are then rehomed.

The gerbils, on the other hand, were taken in because my brother's girlfriend wanted them and they were free. She had some when she was younger and thought that she knew how to care for them. I've done a bit more research now and so has she, but I find that some information is inappropriate so I always come here to see what other members think. The gerbils are being monitored closely, but with the big nest the adult female keeps remaking, I'm going to assume she's pregnant, mainly because her boys certainly aren't building anything close to something that size.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I offered them a strawberry top and some carrot slices the other night, they moved them around, but weren't too interested. They don't seem to recognize fruit or vegies as food, but they're coming around slowly and showing more interest. I gave them a cooked noodle this morning and they seemed to like holding it and sniffing it and it was gone when I came back to check on them an hour later, so that's an improvement.
"Optimus Prime says 'No,' to promiscuos sex." - Alex Murphy

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Gerbils...?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 05:35:21 PM »
Be careful giving gerbils fresh foods. We never did. They get runny disarrhea and are also prone to obesity. We gave seeds, nuts, mealworms, and dried crickets as treats.