There are several types of Gerbils besides the Mongolian Gerbil, there are 86 other species, all of which live mainly in the barren, barren and sandy steppe areas of North Africa, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sri Lanka, India, North China and Mongolia. . We will especially mention the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus, Meriones was a Greek warrior and unguis is the Latin word for nail, the Mongolian gerbil is therefore 'the warrior with the claws'). This Gerbilsoort is also the most pet in the Netherlands of all Gerbils species. These cheerful animals belong to the Gerbillinae family. But their nickname is "Gerrijdratje", although they are not related to the rat. In terms of physique, you can use the gerbil with a little kangaroo vergeiljken. Especially the back legs of the Gerbil are very well developed, it is a real jumper! The tail is also striking. Gerbils have a long tail with a cute feather at the end
Systematics: Meriones unguiculatus, Family Cricetidae, Order Rodentia
Head-body length: 10 to 12 cm
Body weight: 70 to 130 g (males are slightly heavier than females)
Life expectancy: 3 to 4 years (maximum 5 years)
Type and construction of the Gerbil
The body is moderately stretched with smooth roundings, the neck is short, resulting in a neckless type. The forelegs are shorter than the hind legs. There are 4 toes at the forefeet, the 5th toe is rudimentary. The hindfoot has 5 toes. The tail is as long as the body and runs smoothly from the hindquarters and is relatively thick.
Hair and hair condition : The coat is densely planted, lying and shiny. The tail is completely hairy, with a nice plume, which is about 1/3 of the tail length. Ears and legs hairy.
Head, eyes and ears : The head is broad and short, slightly tapered, the muzzle may not be too pointed. The nasal bone must be clearly bent. The eyes are large and have an almost round shape. The oval ears are relatively small and are worn straight and are very hairy.
Details anatomy of the Gerbil
- Tooth formula: 1003/1003 Orange-yellow incisors. (Ratio of cutting teeth at the top - bottom = 1: 3) Cutting teeth continue to grow.
- Choosing does not continue to grow.
- One-piece stomach with mucosal fold.
- Small appendix with limited ability to process raw fibers.
- Blind bowel spoons are only eaten when there is a food shortage.
Continuous wear ensured by cracking seeds and gnawing on structured fibers (eg hay with mealworms, straw, branches). The amount of raw fibers in their portions may not exceed 10%. Sudden changes in the feed must be avoided.
Distribution of the Gerbil
Mainly in the plains of Southeast Mongolia as well as in neighboring countries Russia and China.
Natural habitat of the Gerbil
- steppes, half deserts and deserts
- avoids hilly or mountainous terrain
- also as a culture follower in fields (mainly wheat fields
GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT are precisely tailored to the diet of gerbils that are kept as pets and contain all necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
- active during the day and at night
- in the winter in fields only active during the day (no hibernation)
- social, in a family context with territorial behavior
Gerbils have a cover coat that allows them to orient themselves in tunnels.
Propagation of the Gerbil
- Sexually mature : after 5 - 8 weeks
- Breeding : females after 10 weeks of males after 12 weeks
- Roll number : 1-2 per year
- Worm size : 1-12 (Ø 5) small ones per litter
- Wearing time : 24-28 days
- Birth weight : 2.5 g, litters
- Weaning age : from week 4
To avoid uncontrolled reproduction, we recommend to castrate the bear. An early castration makes it possible to keep a few from the beginning.
Details of reproduction of the Gerbil
The cycle length of the female is about 4 - 6 days. Gender differences: the distance between the sexual opening and the anus is greater for the male than for the female.
Nutrition of the Gerbil
Granivore, part insectivore / carnivore: seeds, grains, herbs, grasses, carrots, vegetables and animal proteins. A high content of starchy seeds prevents high blood levels and obesity. Feed good quality hay every day, eg hay from nature-protected meadows with mealworms as well as fresh drinking water. Fresh food, such as vegetables and herbs, can be offered daily after slow habituation.
Balanced long-life recipe: GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT - supplemented with Juniors Extra granivor during the growth phase - cover the nutritional needs of gerbils.
Feeding a balanced, complete feed in unlimited quantities is important because of the high metabolism. GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT contain home crickets and mealworms as a source of animal protein.
Good composition of the Gerbil feed
- Crude protein (Rp): 14-15.5%
- Crude fat (RVe): 4% Prone to obesity, as well as obesity
- Crude fiber (RVz): 4-7%
- Calcium (Ca): 0.6-0.7%
- Phosphorus (F): 0.4-0.5% (Ca-F ratio: 1.5: 1)
Multicomponent feed with a multitude of components corresponds to the natural feed intake behavior of gerbils and is geared to the animal. Fat-containing seeds may be present in the feed to a limited extent, because gerbils are susceptible to increased blood levels and obesity.
Housing of the Gerbil
- Keep a few with a castrated male or two animals of the same sex, because unexpected aggression can also happen in harmonious groups.
- Socialization is easier with young animals. The socialization of mature gerbils is difficult and may only be done by experienced owners.
- If it is bred, the young animals must be separated from their parents when they reach sexual maturity.
When visiting the veterinarian, the entire group must be taken into consideration for research in order to avoid conflicts when restoring an animal in the group.
Position of the gerbil cage
- bright, with sometimes sunlight in the morning and in the evening
- relative humidity 30-50%
- elevated location
During the sunbathing, the animal must have the opportunity to look for shade at any time. To avoid association with predators, the cage must be on an elevation and the opening must be on the side.
Size of the Gerbil stay
- opaque bottom tray of at least 100 x 50 x 50 cm (W x D x H) with attachment of grilles with a minimum height of 30 cm for two animals
- free range is possible in domestic animals under supervision
A large, structured cage / aviary allows for intensive movement during the active phase.
Ground cover for Gerbils
- well absorbent
- scented, very ammonia binding
- a high strolaag of least. 20 cm allows the digging of stable tunnel systems and prevents behavioral problems.
- replace the litter regularly
- regularly fill in the working and building material (hay, straw)
In addition to bedding from the Bunny Bedding series, eg Active, straw and hay should be offered to build stable tunnel systems.
The urine corners and storage rooms must be cleaned regularly. With a partial replacement of the litter, odors and territorial markings remain.
Decoration of the Gerbil cage
- houses of 15 x 20 x 15 cm (W x D x H)
- hay or cellulose as nesting material
- tubes of clay, cork, wood or cardboard
- twigs of deciduous and fruit trees
- gnawing eg. Back to the ROOTS Gnawing root pleasure
- bath sand for coat care
- a one-sided closed running wheel with closed running surface
- feed in firm trays of clay or ceramics (daily cleaning)
- drinking water in bottles or a bowl or a height change the water daily
A structured cage offers stimuli and activities for similar behavior.
The family smell is transferred through the sand bath. The feeding bowl, water bowl, as well as the scale with the bath sand should be placed on an elevated spot (eg on a platform) to ensure that they are not knocked over when digging.
Dealing with Gerbils
- During the first days, gerbils need a lot of rest during habituation.
- Gerbils are suitable for children from about 10 years under the supervision of their parents.
- Form a circle around the animal with both hands and lift it up.
- Never lift gerbils with their sensitive tail as the fine skin easily tears and may cause infections.
- bunnyINTERACTIVE stimulates gerbils both mentally and physically, intensifies the bond between owner and animal and improves confidence.
The Enjoy Nature range offers a multitude of natural products that are suitable for building a bond of trust during the habituation period and as an incentive for play and reconnaissance behavior. Check the animal's health daily, regularly the incisors, the anogenital area, the fur and the nails. A check of the weight must be done once a week.
Indications of illness at the Gerbil
Weight loss, less intake of food and water, altered key and urinating behavior as well as a rough coat include indications of a disease. To determine the cause and the treatment, a veterinarian must be consulted as soon as possible.
For a good coat care Gerbils need a sand bath every day. Gerbils are naturally clean animals, they like to keep their fur clean and if you offer them a sand bath you will also see that they will make grateful use of it. For a Gerbil sand bath you can use the best Gerbil sand or Chinchilla sand
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