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Frequenly asked questions

 

 

Question 1: 

I tough I had 2 gerbils of the same sex, but I found babies, what do I do now? 

You bought some gerbils in a petshop and the clerk did his best to sex the gerbils and gave you a breeding pair (first, never trust a petshop clerk) A morning, you pass by your gerbils and see 4 or 5 small pink chewing gum in the nest!! Ho my!! Babies!! Now, a first thing to do is to take a big breath and think about the situation! This can be a great experience to raise gerbil pups you know. Read the section about breeding and don't worry, your gerbils know what to do! But if you don't want this to happen again next month, chose the option that agrees to you. Visit also the page: "Babies only once"

 

You really don't want this to happen again. 

In this case, if you are in the morning, and you are pretty much certain that they are born in the last night or in the morning, remove the male as soon as possible. If you don't they will mate again 8 hours after the birth. (to find who is the male) But be aware that the father helps the mother in raising the pups and its presence is always advised. Once the father removed, you'll have to keep her in a quieter place more then usual because she might be more stressed then usual. You can place a piece of cloth on one side of the tank to give her some privacy. Don't disturb her and open the tank only for adding food and to change water. Take the time to visit the pages about breeding.

 

If, you realise that babies are there one day too late or if they are mating, keep the father there as it is already too late to remove him. you'll have to chose the next option. As my Boyfirend says: "New babies again! 

 

You are pretty surprised of what's happening but you don't mind if it would hapen once last time again. 

In this case, keep the father with the mother and visit the breeding section to learn more about this topic. 

Thereafter, few days before the next litter, take the father out before she give birth. You can place the baby boys in the other tank with the father. By leaving the girls with mother, they will help her raising the next pups. Take care of separate the young girls from the young boys a little before the males are 3 months old, if you don't, they will mate with the family members and again "New babies again!" 

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Question 2: 

What to do with the babies once they are big? 

There are not a thousand solutions. If you donít keep them, youíll have to find new home for them. Here are some ideas. 

 

Speak about it to everyone

Speak about your new gerbil pups to your family, at your school, at your friendís parents, the dentistÖ but donít become crazy either! You never know when someone knows someone looking for a cute and funny fuzzy friend.

 

Advertise in grocery stores and different boards around town

You can try to place nice ads a little everywhere in your town. Make your ads as attractive as possible. A piece of paper half fold and the text hand wrote is not so attractive. Place a picture if you can on it. This is a hard, long and boring technique. This doesnít sell a lot usually. Be careful, in some places publicities are denied or you may have to pay to place an ad. If you can place a free flyer in a busy place, youíll have to come back every week to check if it is still visible and not under a ton of other one. You can also try in colleges and Universities.

 

Pet stores  

You can give your pups in a pet store that you trust and that properly care for their animals. (Preferably not the one who sold you a miss-sexed pair. I always had the impression that Pet stores used this technique to save money. They sell you a ďsame sexĒ pair for you to breed them and then take back the pups for free!) The pet store usually wonít give you anything in return. If youíre lucky they may give you some bedding or free food.

 

Local advertising website

Those websites may work for you. Some are free but for other youíll have to pay a small fee to put an add on it. Try to find a service that targets the people of your region. Even if 100 people from Hawaii see your add, you wonít sell much if you live in Toronto. 

 

Search on boards about gerbils but respect the rules of the boards. If you have to post a minimum of messages before having access to the ďto sellĒ section, respect it. Donít go on one board and place an add without saying anything else. This is very frustrating to see users subscribe to a board only to post an add. I own a board and I know what it is. I do post add on boards too so respect the others.

 

You think about making money by selling gerbils?

If you think youíll make money with breeding gerbils, youíre wrong. Itís hard to find homes for the pups. It takes time and effort to take can of all those critters. The small amount of money youíll do by selling your babies will be used to buy food for the ones left; buy a new water bottle, a spare tank or some bedding. So donít count on it!! I do breed gerbils since March 2004 and I didnít make any profit. All the money I make with gerbils is used for the gerbils and to improve their life. 

 

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Question 3: 

Is it possible to feed babies gerbils ourself, because the mom is dead or sick or doesn't produce enough milk?

 

Itís often difficult to take the role of a mother. If you want to provide the complete needs of the babies, youíll need time and patience. I know I may seams cruel, but the best thing to do sometimes is to let things go, as life will decide. 

BUT If you want to try saving them, read this page.

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Question 4: 

My gerbil walks on her babies and she seams like she don't care about them.  

If itís the day the babies are born, you don't have to worry too much. The parents will run around and mate for several hours. Once they will be done, the mother will come back to the nest and take care of the babies.

But if the babies are some days old and that the mother just doesnít seems to feed then enough and just dig in the nest throwing babies everywhere, there may be something to do. It's usually because the mother has a stress. Try to place the tank in a quieter place until the babies are bigger. If you canít move the tank, put a piece of cloth on one side of the tank to provide a little privacy. Donít disturb the new family for the first week. Open the tank only to give food and water and don't disturb them. She will settle down in some time.

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Question 5: 

The babies are alone and scattered around in the tank and cold. 

You can slowly take then back to the nest, having previously rolled your hands in the bedding to acquire the sent of the gerbils. Read the previous question to know what to do else.Question 4 

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Question 6: 

Can I keep my gerbil with another rodent (hamster, rat, mouse, etc) 

No! Every species must be kept with his own species member. Only the guinea pig and the rabbit can be kept together. 

 

Once, I tried to place a one month and half gerbil with a young rat just to see the behavior of each individual. 

Here is the video

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Question 7:

My gerbil bits me, why?

The gerbil is naturally docile and friendly even if nervous sometimes. But pure aggressivity is rare in gerbils. It may happen that the gerbil bits because it is surprised, or injured. If the gerbil comes from a pet store, don't look any further for the answer. Maybe that the gerbil been hurt once, felt from you or just been scared while you had it in your hands. Give it some times to get used to you. Also, wash you hands, maybe that your hands smell something it would like to eat!

Ready about the taming process here

 

Question 8:

My gerbil has a strange bald spot on his belly

This is normal! this is his scent gland. Visit the Biology section for a picture.

 

 

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