Gerbil

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by ~Dixie's_Mom~, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    I got a Gerbil!!! Her name is Pepper, and she's ADORABLE! The only thing is, her coat seems very dull. What is a good Gerbil Diet? Also, we have an older Gerbil, and I'd love for them to be friends, but how would you introduce them? I read they they are far more hard to introduce than a mouse, or rat, but I've never had ANY of my rodents live together for fear of them killing each other.....:( Is there anyway to house these girls together? We have 2 cages, but I'd love for them to be able to be buddies....I read somewhere that it's easier if one of them's a baby, and Pepper's about half the size of Sugar, so I'm asuming she's a baby. We bought her at petsmart, and she looked up at me with those little eyes, and I couldn't leave her! :D Here are some pictures (you'll see what I mean about her Dull Coat, she's actually black, but she looks almost grey!)

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  2. Shannerson

    Shannerson New Member

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    What a cutey! Since she does seem sickly to you, obviously wait until those signs are gone; you would not want to introduce something to your other gerbil. Just a basic "gerbil" food is fine from any store. The seeds are fattening. I give mine some timothy hay, rice cakes, dog food, slices of apples, etc. You already have a gerbil so I'm sure you already have gerbil food.
    If you want to introduce your two, you are right, introducing females can be very tricky. You will probably have to split cage them. They may never get along, or they might. Can never tell with gerbils. Here is a link to a forum I love with lots of helpful people and advice.

    http://gerbilforum.proboards21.com/index.cgi

    She looks like my black girl w/the white on the chin.
     
  3. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    Thanks Shannerson! She doesn't seem sickly at all, I just saw a picture of a Gerbil (wish I could find it again) that had this AMAZING glossy black coat. And I kinda thought maybe it had to do with diet...we're feeding her Hartz gerbil food, and sometimes these little hamster treats (we put 1 in her bowl every time we fill it up). She's pretty feisty and seems lively, and healthy! ;) I'm not familiar with the "split cage" term, but we have their cages side by side to let them get used to each other (we've been doing this for about.... a week maybe). Is that what you mean? I'm going to check out the link. :D
     
  4. Shannerson

    Shannerson New Member

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    By split caging (sorry, I should have explained it, but thought you might already know) is normally what is done when introducing two gerbils to each other.
    What is done: a large cage is used with wire mesh fastened in the middle, basically making two cages, making sure there is No way either gerbil can get to the other's side. One gerbil is placed on each side. Daily, maybe a couple times a day, the gerbils are switched to the other's side. This is supposed to get them used to each other's smell. Just having their cages next to each other will do accomplish anything. It is all smell. This may take a short time or even weeks. Some get along quickly, others never will and will fight to the death. Normally, if one is a pup under 6 wks they can be inroduced to each other and see how it goes. Males tend to accept pups quickly. I'm not sure on females. Females can be tricky. I've never used split cage.
     
  5. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    Thank you Shannerson! We have them each in their own crittertrail...would it be acceptable to just have the cages next to each other (as we have them, the bars are touching so they can sniff each other) and then switch cages? It would be accomplishing the same thing wouldn't it? Let me know. ;) Also, about the diet, I went to that site, and was told that mealworms and crickets are good for gerbils! i never knew this! owning a leopard gecko, i have them in the house, so i'm going to start letting them have some. :)
     
  6. Shannerson

    Shannerson New Member

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    Since they are able to physically sniff each other I would think that would be okay. Good luck with it.
    I've never fed live food to my gerbils;let me know if they like them. :)
     
  7. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    you can feed them mealworms but i don't think they would be able to catch crickets, and this should not be there only diet. Ive been owning gerbils for eight years and i feed them a hampster gerbil diet you find at the store, that has nuts and seeds in them. It is recomended you take the sun flower seeds out though because they have alot of fat. For treats i use apple slices and small carrot sticks, but only once every two weeks or so, or they will get diarrea.

    As for introducing them, two adult females are the hardest to introduce. you can put the cages up right against each other and it should work. You should switch them from cage to cage four times a day for two weks to a month without ever cleaning the cage. When you introduce them you should watch them closly for an hour and then keep an eye on them all day. They should groom and they may seem to be boxing like kangarros which you don't have to be too worried about. If they get in a tight ball seperate them imediatly, they are trying to kill each other, use thick gloves or a towle. if they get in a tight ball again you must seperate and do the split cage for another month and if this again does not work they must be seperated for life. If they sleep together it is a sign of sucses if they sleep apart it is a very bad sign.
    When they groom they may squek so don't be to alarmed unless you really think they are hurting each other. If they seem to be chasing each other a biting at the rump it is a los a bad sign.
    The rewards are great of having two gerbils together, they simply are not happy alone. Your gerbil will be more energetic and will be up more during the day. They tend to loose wait if they wre obese and generally brighten up. They also spend time grooming and sniffing and may communicate with squeks ecxpecially when you first intruduce them. GOOD LUCK! If you have any questions for me ask on this post.
     
  8. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    Thanks both of you!!! We've been feeding them mealworms as treats(they eat a hamster/gerbil food mixed with high quality dog food as a regular diet). We have had their cages side by side for a while now, but I decided to clean the cage out, so I'm going to keep their cages next to each other for the rest of the weekend, then start switching cages. :) I hope they get along after a while!!! If not, I don't mind having them apart, but I'd feel bad because they're lonely...:(
     
  9. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    I'll keep you guys updated on the progress!!!

    Also, we're adopting a couple of male gerbils in a few weeks. Since they're in the same litter, they can live together peacfully for life, correct?
     
  10. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    yes as long as they have been together since birth or since they were very young they will be fine together for life. Ecxpecially because they are both males andmales get along easier than females. You can put around eight males together (some people have had luck with even more) but only two females because they are territorial (although some people have put three or four but i don't recomend it). Make sure you are switching them from one cage to another three or four times a day. Another tip for when you first introduce them is to have as few toys in witchever cage they will both live in as possible. just have food water a wheel (if they use one) and beding material and a card board tube for chewing. Keep in mind i only mean on the day you put them together. Before you actually have them in the same cage they can have as many toys as they want. After they are in the same cage happily for a week you can put all the toys back in.
     
  11. Shannerson

    Shannerson New Member

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    How fun to adopt brothers. If you can, get three; they are so much fun to watch. I currenly have two trios, a male trio (all brothers) and a female trio (mom and daughers). All get along fantastically and really have been cuddling up since winter has arrived. Yes, keep us posted please.
     

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