View Full Version : Week 15 - Gerbil

August 27th, 2007, 09:31 AM

Latin Name: Meriones unguliculatus
Female: Sow
Male: Boar
Young: Pups
Life span: 3-5 years
Litter Size: 3-10 pups
Eyes open: 17 days
Gestation period: 24-26 days
Sexual maturity: 10-12 weeks
Weaning age: 21-24 days
Diet: Omnivorous

In the wild gerbils live in the desert.
Gerbils many survival skill is found in burrowing. Burrowing protects them from the extreme changes in desert temperatures, because under the soil, temperatures remain constant.

Gerbil burrows in the wild are a complex maze of tunnels, with nests and food storage chambers which allow the gerbil to stay underground for long periods of time.

The gerbil species has evolved to need only limited food and water. Their long hind legs allow them to cover large distances in a harsh habitat in order to collect food. Also, their bodies require little water as they do not sweat and they re-absorb their liquid intake producing highly concentrated urine and dry feces.

The Latin name for gerbils is meriones unguiculatus which means clawed warrior.

Gerbils as pets need a clean dry habitat.
They don't have a odor that's offensive.
They are easy to keep. Bedding should be pine or aspen or some other safe litter.
They need a cage that can accommodate a persistent chewer and digger.

Their teeth grow continuously and they need to chew all the time.
Animal safe wood toys are often used.
Gerbils love TP rolls and other such cardboard for chewing.

They will add to their bedding buy chewing wood and cardboard up and astounding rates.

Food should be a good commercial gerbil food. They can have both mixed seed diet made for gerbils or gerbil pelleted food.

They don't drink much water but still need a water bottle available at all time. The water bottle has to be in a holder or some other hanging method outside they cage as they will chew it and anything they can reach.

Gerbils are easy to handle and they don't tend to bite.
Slow and gentle approaching will keep your gerbil from becoming frightened.

Gerbils are nocturnal and prefer to play all night long. They are very active at night usually doing their favorite thing, chewing!!

Plastic toys will be destroyed by a gerbil.
Sharp edges created from chewing plastic toys can harm a gerbil.
Try to avoid plastics.

Cages made of plastic will be chewed and the gerbil will escape.

Aquarium are often the safest way to house a gerbil.
Use an appropriate locking screen cover so the gerbil can not escape and has good air circulation.
Gerbils can and do jump!!
Their back legs being long, are designed for jumping.
Never place a cage near a window, both sunlight and drafts can kill a gerbil as the temperature will fluctuate to much. Sun can bake an aquarium with a helpless gerbil inside.

you can keep 2 males together if raised together or 2 females.
Do not keep a male and female unless you have an outlet for a lot of babies.

Pups are born, naked, with closed eyes and ears.

Domestic gerbils come in many different colors.
They are interesting and amusing pets.

August 27th, 2007, 04:51 PM
aw, so cute! They are illegal in California, though.

August 27th, 2007, 05:21 PM
aw, so cute! They are illegal in California, though.

Why are they illegal

August 28th, 2007, 01:11 AM
Why are they illegal
Because Cal has many pets listed as illegals.
I think its the worry of feral pets do to people losing or dumping their animals.

August 28th, 2007, 01:18 PM
seems like a strange law, they allow hamsters but not gerbils.