In nature or in captivity, gerbils live all their
life in hierarchic groups where males and females live together. This
means that at the opposite of hamsters and other small rodents, the pair
can stay together all the time. Itís even advisable to keep the male
with the female all the time of her pregnancy and especially with the pups.
The only reason you would take apart the pair is if you want them to stop
is often said that gerbils are faithful to their mate and that if they
are separated, they wonít breed with any other gerbil. This can be
true in the wild but in captivity, itís not totally true. In the wild,
pairs are formed and stay together all their life and only the dominant
pair can have babies. But in captivity, males wonít wait long to mate
with another female if they have the chance. Also, if many females are
place with a male, he will mate all of them most of the time (this
situation is not advisable, as females will fight with each other in the
group, or kill the babies). You can present a new female to a male and
he will accept her easily most of the time. But a female usually have
more difficulty accepting a newcomer. If she get to accept him, she will
mate with him too.
Mating usually occurs in the evening, especially
if the female just gave birth in the morning. Les
accouplements ont souvent lieu le soir, surtout si la femelle vient
d'accoucher. The bridal parade is hard to miss. When the
female is receptive, she will run in front of the male until he follows her.
She will move her posterior up inviting the male to mount her. If she is not
receptive and that the male runs after her, she will turn around and face him.
The female may squeak but there is nothing to worry about. Then, the male will
clean its genitals. If the mating worked out, the female will also clean
herself. While the bridal parade, the male will thump his feet very softly.
This is an excitement sign.
Here is video of the mating
On the following picture, we
can see a gerbil penis.