Gerbil Care??

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Gerbil Care??

Post by Colors on Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:05 pm

Hi! I'm pretty new to this site and know it's for mice. But I was wondering if anyone here knows a decent amount of info about Gerbils? I really want to get some and I need to ask a lot of questions. I might be getting two of them near to my birthday (in six months), so I have plenty of time to learn lots about them. Here are a few of my questions:

1: Which is better, males or females? I keep finding opinionated articles about which is better. (I want them to get along, yet I want the tamest bunch I can find. I'm stuck with small animals and can't get something bigger.)
2: I have a dwarf hamster and she's really tame. (Winter White) Are Gerbils generally tamer than DWARF hamsters? I know that they're tamer than Syrians for a fact.
3: Are they prone to more or less disease? I want them to be healthy for a long time. My mice kept getting sick awhile ago because of too much urine (I wasn't cleaning much) But now I clean a lot more often than I used to. I know that Gerbils are one of the cleanest (and odor-free) of all rodents.


Thanks! Smile I want to learn everything. Very Happy
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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:18 pm

Since they are illegal where I live, I don't know much about them. However, I've heard they are very difficult to introduce, so if you want/need multiple, I think you are better off getting an already bonded pair. Maybe you have a reputable breeder where you live, that sells gerbils in pairs that are tame? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, that's just what I've heard.

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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Colors on Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:53 am

The closest breeder is too far away, so I always go to pet stores. They seem very healthy and quite tame most of the time. Only a few times I had to deal with nippy, aggressive mice and hamsters. I really don't know what Gerbils are like, I hope I can find out lots of info about them soon. Wink
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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Artistwolf on Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:49 am

Well, I know that gerbil males get along better than females, but I believe they both need friends anyway. They do best in a 15 or 20 gallon tank with a topper and the tank should be filled like at least halfway full with substrate, like Aspen. Unlike mice, they do quite well on aspen shavings and it's easy for them to tunnel into.
That's about all I know.

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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by scaredymouse on Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:51 am

I think a lot of our members aren't checking in as often due to the holidays, so in case you don't get the information you are looking for, be sure to keep checking back. I know we have gerbil people in the group. We also have a lot of fish people, hermit crab folks, hamster enthusiasts, reptile/amphibian keepers, a chinchilla person, and dog/cat parents.

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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Colors on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:01 am

Okay, thanks guys Very Happy I'll probably get males then if I get any. I don't want any fights to occur.
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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by goldfishfanforever on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:05 am

Mousecheeks wrote:Hi! I'm pretty new to this site and know it's for mice. But I was wondering if anyone here knows a decent amount of info about Gerbils? I really want to get some and I need to ask a lot of questions. I might be getting two of them near to my birthday (in six months), so I have plenty of time to learn lots about them. Here are a few of my questions:

1: Which is better, males or females? I keep finding opinionated articles about which is better. (I want them to get along, yet I want the tamest bunch I can find. I'm stuck with small animals and can't get something bigger.) From what I have heard males are less likely to fall out and fight however I had a pair of females and they were perfectly friendly with each other and were great with each other.
2: I have a dwarf hamster and she's really tame. (Winter White) Are Gerbils generally tamer than DWARF hamsters? I know that they're tamer than Syrians for a fact. I don't know where you have heard they are tamer than a Syrian because I believe this is untrue. My females were not necessarily cuddly but they were friendly however compared to my Syrian's I believe that a Syrian is much friendlier and tamer but it also depends on their personalities.
3: Are they prone to more or less disease? I want them to be healthy for a long time. My mice kept getting sick awhile ago because of too much urine (I wasn't cleaning much) But now I clean a lot more often than I used to. I know that Gerbils are one of the cleanest (and odor-free) of all rodents. My gerbils only really got sick once and that was due to mites however they can and do stink depending on what they urinate and poop on but overall they smell less than mice but maybe a bit more than hamsters.


Thanks! Smile I want to learn everything. Very Happy
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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Colors on Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:34 pm

Actually I would be getting a topper for the 10g now Smile So that'll make a bit more space to work with.
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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Drago on Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:38 pm

For a first time gerb owner, stick with males. Males are much less dominant and likely to fight, they are naturally more social than females and thus are easier to maintain without any squabbles. I agree with goldfish fan's point on Syrians being more tame than gerbils. My gerbils are sweet little ones, but my Syrians are definitely by far, much more calm and personable than gerbils. They have the equivalent personality of dwarf hamsters, small, energetic, except they're much calmer and easier to handle. Gerbils don't get sick often if they're properly cared for. In fact, gerbils are quite long lived little guys, living an average of 3-5 years. I clean my gerbils cages every 2/3 weeks as too much cleaning causes stress, and they smell the least out of all the rodents you can own. You mentioned keeping them in a 10 gallon with a tank topper, but I'd highly recommend a 20 gallon for gerbils. Gerbils are super active little guys who love running and burrowing, and are probably the most active of all the rodents. If you get a 20, you won't NEED a tank topper, but it's still recommended to get one. These little ones are such fun critters to have around, but need a careful and attentive owner to provide for them. Best wishes

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Re: Gerbil Care??

Post by Colors on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:18 am

Yeah, if I get gerbils I'll be getting two males. I'm not able to get a 20g aquarium, so I'd be getting a tank topper. I know that more floor space is better, but once they are tame I would be taking the gerbs out to play for at least 30 minutes every day. They'd also be getting a lot of stimulation with toys and very deep bedding. If possible I'm also planning to squeeze a wheel in there, I'm pretty sure it's a 12 inch. Their diet would be mainly mouse pellets and some of my homemade mix, and I would measure their food so they wouldn't gain too much weight.

I've read about cage cleaning and that if you clean too often they will get stressed. So I started it with my hamster, can't exactly say the same for my mouse, as mice are quite stinky. It does save a lot of bedding anyway and I'm not the one really paying for my pets, my parents are. So this is a great way to save money! Smile

For me, I've only had a Syrian once. We made many mistakes with her, and she was living in a critter trail. She wasn't a bit tame from what I remember, and she actually was pregnant when we got her. So we had four more hamsters a little while later. The mom and all but one baby died from unknown causes. We think that they died from a certain disease, but only mom showed symptoms (bloody nose). The last baby left escaped one last time and never returned. That was when I was only 4/5 years old. Now I have a dwarf hamster and she's super sweet. She actually paws the cage when she wakes up for attention and jumps straight onto my hand. Of course we never had much time to tame my Syrian since she was pregnant and we had to leave her alone when the babies were born. And I haven't gotten another Syrian since, so I really don't know how tame they can be. *Shrugs* Very Happy
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