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Gerbil

Lifespan: Up to 6 years
Size: About softball size
Sexual Maturity: 9-12 weeks old
Gestation: 22-27 days
Litter Size: 3-7
Weaned: 3-4 weeks old

FOOD

  • A gerbil’s diet should consist of:
    • 75% square meal
    • 10% dried hay, grains, seeds & dried veggies
    • 5% fresh fruit/veggies (spinach, carrots, apples)
  • Avoid these foods:
    • Chocolate & other candy
    • Onions
    • Uncooked beans
  • Treats may consist of:
    • Treat sticks
    • Prepackaged chew sticks
    • Plain grain cereals (such as plain Cheerios)

Caging & Environment

  • Gerbils are social animals and can be housed together in an appropriately sized cage.
  • Caging should be made of wire or an aquarium with metal screen lid, as gerbils are voracious chewers. The cage should be well-secured; gerbils are escape artists!
  • Caging should include a hide area, food bowl, water bottle, and metal screen exercise wheel.
  • Bedding should be about 1” deep. Offer additional nesting material to satisfy the gerbil’s natural gathering behavior.

Behavior/Handling

  • Gerbils are friendly by nature and rarely bite, but can nip if they feel threatened. Try hand-feeding treats as a start.
  • To pick them up, scoop them into your hand.
  • Never pick up a gerbil by the tail, as this can cause injury.