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Mating 

 

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 breeding.

 

Monogamist?

It 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.

 

Bridal parade

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.

 

 

 

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