Information about Gerbils in the Gerbil Webshop

The Gerbil

Checklist Gerbil

There are several species of Gerbils besides the Mongolian Gerbil there are 86 other species, all of which live mainly in the arid, barren and sandy steppe regions of North Africa, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sri Lanka, India, North China and Mongolia . We will talk in particular about the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus, Meriones was a Greek warrior and unguis is the Latin word for nail, so the Mongolian gerbil is 'the warrior with the claws'). This Gerbil species is also the most pet kept in the Netherlands of all Gerbil species. These cheerful animals belong to the Gerbillinae family. But their nickname is "gerbil", although they are not related to the rat. In terms of physique you can compare the Gerbil with a small kangaroo. The rear legs of the Gerbil in particular 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-rom 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 rounding, the neck is short, which results in a neckless type. The front legs are shorter than the hind legs. There are 4 toes on the front feet, the 5th toe is rudimentary. The hind foot has 5 toes. The tail is the same length as the body and runs smoothly from the hindquarters and is relatively thick.

Hair and condition : The hair is densely implanted, contiguous and glossy. The tail is completely hairy, with a nice plume, which is approximately 1/3 of the tail length. Ears and legs hairy.

Head, eyes and ears : The head is broad and short, somewhat tapered, the snout should not be too pointed. The nose 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 have a fine hair.

gerbil

ANATOMY OF THE GERBIL
  • Tooth formula: 1003/1003 Orange-yellow incisors. (Ratio of incisors at the top - bottom = 1: 3) Incisors continue to grow.
  • Choices do not continue to grow.
  • One-part stomach with mucosal fold.
  • Small appendix with limited capacity to process raw fibers.
  • Blind bowel keys are only eaten in the event of a food shortage.


Continuous wear and tear ensured by cracking seeds and nibbling structured fibers (eg Hay with mealworms, straw, branches). The amount of crude fiber in their portions may not exceed 10%. Sudden changes to 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 LIVING ENVIRONMENT OF THE GERBIL
  • steppe grounds, half deserts and deserts
  • avoids hilly or mountainous terrain
  • also as a culture follower in fields (mainly grain fields


GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT are precisely tailored to the diet of gerbils that are kept as pets and contain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.

GERBIL BEHAVIOR
  • active during the day and at night
  • only active during the day in fields during the day (no hibernation)
  • social, in a family context with territorial behavior


Gerbils have a fur that ensures that they can orient themselves in tunnels.

REPRODUCTION OF THE GERBIL
  • Sexual maturity : after 5 - 8 weeks
  • Breeding maturity : females after 10 weeks males after 12 weeks
  • Toss number : 1-2 per year
  • Roll size : 1-12 (Ø 5) small ones per throw
  • Wearing time : 24-28 days
  • Birth weight : 2.5 g, nesters
  • Weaning age : from week 4


To avoid uncontrolled reproduction, we recommend castrating the bear. An early castration makes it possible to keep a couple from the beginning.

The cycle length of the female is approximately 4 - 6 days. Gender differences: with the male, the distance between the genital opening and the anus is greater than with the female.

NUTRITION OF THE GERBIL

Granivore, partly insectivore / carnivore: seeds, grains, herbs, grasses, carrots, vegetables and animal proteins. A high content of starchy seeds prevents high blood values and obesity. Give good quality hay every day, eg Hay from nature-protected meadows with mealworms and fresh drinking water. After slow habituation, fresh food such as vegetables and herbs may be offered daily.

Balanced long-life recipe: GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT - supplemented with Juniors Extra granivor during the growing phase - cover the nutritional needs of gerbils.
Feeding a balanced, complete animal feed to an unlimited extent is important because of the high metabolism. GerbilDream BASIC / EXPERT contain house crickets and mealworms as a source of animal protein.

GOOD COMPOSITION OF THE FEED
  • Crude protein (Rp): 14-15.5%
  • Crude fat (RVe): 4% Susceptible to obesity, as well as to obesity
  • Raw fibers (RVz): 4-7%
  • Calcium (Ca): 0.6-0.7%
  • Phosphorus (F): 0.4-0.5% (Ca-F ratio: 1.5: 1)


Multi-component feed with a multitude of components corresponds to the natural feed intake behavior of gerbils and is tailored to the animal. Fatty 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 couple with castrated males or two animals of the same sex, because aggressive aggression can also occur unexpectedly in harmonious groups.
  • Socialization is easier with young animals. The socialization of adult gerbils is difficult and may only be done by experienced owners.
  • When breeding, the young animals must be separated from their parents when they reach maturity.


When visiting the veterinarian, the entire group must be taken for examination to avoid conflicts when putting an animal back into the group.

PLACEMENT OF THE GERBIL CAGE
  • draft free
  • clear, with sometimes sunlight in the morning and in the evening
  • relative humidity 30-50%
  • elevated place


During sunbathing, the animal must have the opportunity to seek 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 COTTAGE
  • opaque base of at least 100 x 50 x 50 cm (W x D x H) with grille attachment with a minimum height of 30 cm for two animals
  • free-range is possible with domestic animals under supervision

A large, structured cage / aviary makes intensive movement possible during the active phase.

BOTTOM COVER FOR GERBILS

  • good absorbent
  • odor-binding, very ammonia-binding
  • low in dust
  • soft
  • a high straw layer of least. 20 cm makes it possible to dig stable tunnel systems and prevents behavioral problems.
  • replace the litter regularly
  • regularly supplement the occupation and building material (hay, straw)


In addition to litter from the Bunny Bedding series, eg Active, straw and hay must 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 are preserved.

FURNITURE OF THE GERBIL CAGE

  • houses of 15 x 20 x 15 cm (W x D x H)
  • hay or cellulose as nesting material
  • clay, cork, wood or cardboard tubes
  • twigs of deciduous and fruit trees
  • rods, for example. Back to the ROOTS Plum root pleasure
  • bath sand for fur care
  • a one-sided closed running wheel with a closed running surface
  • feed in sturdy clay or ceramic dishes (daily cleaning)
  • drinking water in bottles or a dish or raise the water daily


A structured cage offers incentives and activities for similar behavior.
The family fragrance is transmitted via sand baths. Feeding bowl, water bowl as well as the bath sand bowl must be in a raised position (eg on a plateau) to ensure that they are not knocked over when digging.

DEALING WITH THE GERBIL

  • Gerbils need a lot of rest during the first days of habituation.
  • Gerbils are suitable for children from around 10 years old 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, since fine skin can easily tear and thus 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 up a relationship of trust during the familiarization period and as an incentive for playing and exploring behavior. Check the health of the animal 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 DISEASE

Loss of weight, less feed and water intake, altered key and urinary behavior as well as a rough coat are indications of an illness. To determine the cause and the treatment, a veterinarian must be consulted as soon as possible.

GERBIL SAND

Gerbils need a sand bath every day for good coat care. 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 gratefully use it. For a Gerbil sand bath you can use the best Gerbil sand or Chinchilla sand

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