Life in a group

The gerbil is a rodent that lives in GROUP and itís very important to know that! Often, in petshop, the clerk donít have enough time or just is not informed enough on animal to tell you how itís important to buy 2 gerbils instead of only one like hamsters. A lonely gerbil will be more stressed, will hide more often and its life may even be shorter. They may also bit more often or gnaw like crazy on their cage bars.



First of all, you must know that gerbils are very territorial and that they are even willing to fight and kill to protect their territory from intruders. If you try to introduce a new gerbil to a group of 2 that have been together for some month, it will result in the killing of the new one. They know each other by sent. If the other doesnít smell like the group, it will be attacked and maybe killed.



The declanning is when a group formed a while ago decides to brake. I read a lot of stories about that but we donít know the exact cause. It begins by little fight, then some injuries on the tail and front paws, the day after, the gerbils sleep in different nest. If they are not set apart soon enough, it may result in the death of one of both gerbils.

Until now, we cannot say exactly what is causing this behavior. But here are some precautions to take to minimize the risk.


Advices to minimize the risk of declaning

-When cleaning the tank, always put back a little bit of old bedding on the new bedding. This provides a sent to help the gerbils know that this territory is their own to both. You may take the bedding in their nest, as it is cleaner then the rest.

Never mix objects or toys from one tank to the other. This will mix the sent. Wash them carefully before.

Clean your hand each time you play with gerbils form different tanks. If you donít youíll put an intruder sent on your gerbil.



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