thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

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thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:13 am

Lately, I've been thinking about bringing another kind of rodent into my life. I found out my local mouse breeder also breeds gerbils. I've never really considered gerbils before but I might interested in well bred tame ones who are already bonded. And I keep seeing these adorable tiny little rats. I had a rat when I was little but I didn't know anything...i feel like the only way i can make up for the horrible care i gave it is to pay it forward and take really good care another rat (or 2).

I don't have any vacancies at the moment, not do i expect any in the near future but i think i might add a new species to my menagerie!

I'd love to hear anyone's experiences with gerbils or rats.
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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by Artistwolf on Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:55 am

Well, just from what I've heard, rats are super awesome, cuddly little guys... I absolutely love them although I've never had one. My friend had a couple though (rats must be kept in groups of at least 2), and she really loved them. The problem is that they tend to get cancerous tumors easily, and don't live any longer than mice... But I guess that just puts them just as heartbreaking as mice.

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by olimarthemouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:34 am

I've had two gerbils (still have one of the, the other one sadly passed away). They are the cutest little things. I do find them harder to deal with then hamsters, because they are super messy. And no matter how many toys you buy them, they go through pretty quickly. The one of mine that passed would let me hold her, the other, who's still living, hates being held; but most gerbils are very friendly. I love gerbils because you get them in pairs. but I personally recommend getting at least three, because having two caused some territorial problems for a few months with me. I'd recommend them if you don't mind a messy looking cage, and if you get three of them.
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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by Brynne on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:12 am

Gerbils are very sweet, but are NOT hand pets. Most  love to get out of their tank to play in a bin, but panic at the owner's attempt to pick them up.  They can easily live to FOUR years of age!!!  Male littermates do very well living together. In fact, males have the loudest voices when they cluck with joy during grooming sessions. 
Gerbils instantly chew every bit of cardboard they are offered into tiny bedding-sized pieces. Plus they love to dig very enthusiastically in all of the corners. (Give them a clear glass jar to 'dig' in- they LOVE it!  They willl dive in, turn upside down, and flail all four limbs as if digging in real dirt.) Both of these actions produce a  lot of dust.
Gerbils drink almost no water, so they make the tiniest amounts of urine and their poo has no smell.

Rats are reported to be more intelligent than the other small rodents and can live for several years. Their poo tends to have an offensive smell. They have the sharpest nails that usually need to be trimmed.

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by MouseLover on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:15 am

Oh I pretty much plan on working my way through the entire order of Rodentia Very Happy Harvest mice, african pygmy dormice, gerbils, duprasi, rats, you name it - I want it.

Someday when I have the room, I definitely want rats. I've never had them but know many people who do, and they're awesome. They're like a tiny dog, or half mouse half dog. My cousin's rats used to curl up and sleep in the crook of her neck Very Happy I know that girls tend to be more active and curious, and tend to be the better choice if you want to teach them tricks, whereas boys tend to be more laid back (can actually get very lazy as they age) and are more likely to be the prefect snuggly lap rat Very Happy Personally, I plan to go for a couple of boys. Like mice, they must be kept in pairs/groups, but in this case even boys like the company Very Happy Health issues are pretty much identical to mice - respiratory problems and tumours being the most common. They do tend to live a little longer than mice, 2-3 years rather than 1-2, with perhaps 2.5 being average.

I only know one person who has gerbils. She really loves them, they're really energetic and fun. As mentioned, they're the biggest chewers, they chew through everything. I don't know that much about them really, except they have those lovely almond shaped eyes Very Happy apparently they don't need cleaning out too often, because they're desert animals and thus pee/poop very little.

I just love rodents, I want them all, give them to meeeee!

EDIT: Just read what Brynne said about gerbils not being hand pets, and have to say that my friend would not agree. Her gerbils are very tame and seem to be as good to handle as mice. Maybe it depends where you get them from? You may have better chance with a gerbil from a breeder who has been handled from a young age.

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by Brynne on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:21 am

Ah, that's good about your friend's gerbils!  If anyone can tame a rodent, it is scaredymouse!

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:38 am

I've never seen a gerbil, so I know nothing about them. Rats are supposed to be friendly, I was considering a rat once but they seem like more work than mice, and you need a lot bigger cage. Rats are intelligent and sweet animals, so if I were you, and had the proper time and care for a rat, I'd go for the rat!

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:44 am

yeah, that's the thing... I know a gerbil breeder and she keeps posting baby pictures! she's killing me! and I very much enjoy watching animal antics, so even if they weren't friendly, i'm sure i'd enjoy them nonetheless. I have 2 robo hamsters, I imagine gerbils are similar. i'm leaning towards rats, though... for the snuggles.

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:06 am

scaredymouse wrote:yeah, that's the thing... I know a gerbil breeder and she keeps posting baby pictures!  she's killing me!  and I very much enjoy watching animal antics, so even if they weren't friendly, i'm sure i'd enjoy them nonetheless.  I have 2 robo hamsters, I imagine gerbils are similar.  i'm leaning towards rats, though... for the snuggles.
Yeah, rats seem cool! They have the ability to form a bond like a dog, and enjoy snuggles, I've even seen people teach rats how to fetch like dogs! Plus they look really similar to a mouse, just like ten times bigger. By the way, if you do decide on a rat or two, keep them in a separate room from your mice, rats are natural predators of mice and the smell of a rat can stress a mouse out, leading to bad health of the mouse.
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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by Peachy on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:09 am

Rats always sound fun, but they're so big! Shock

My gerbils were sooo much fun to watch!! After Georgia died I gave Polly a hammock in her topper and she moved everything up there... spent all her time stuffing it full of shredded egg cartons, paper towels, and aspen. It was a mess! She slept in it though. Smile
In her bin you could sometimes see her digging all the way at the bottom of eight inches of bedding. Neat! She enjoyed Cheerios too. I'd hand her one and she would wait for a second so she could stuff them both into her mouth and run off to eat them. Neither were into being held, but they would stand still so you could pet them. I'd love to get gerbils again someday, I didn't get any more because the complicated introduction stories scared me away. lol

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by MouseLover on Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:24 pm

I agree that rats seem like more work, but they're so friendly and smart I think it'd be worth it. I guess it depends what you want out of your pets though.

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by CallaLily on Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:44 pm

I don't have experience with either of these pets but when I'm torn between which pets to get I always put together a side-by-side comparison on their care needs. It helps me in determining which would work best for me.

Of course from what I've seen of your posts, you'll probably end up with both eventually. Razz Laughing (and they'd all be super lucky to have you!)

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:24 pm

The gerbil breeder has Siamese gerbils!  I didn't even know that was a thing.

Here's the papa and the bubs. That's a handsome gerbil!

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:26 pm

Is it just me or do gerbils look like a hamster with a tail?

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Re: thinking about cheating on my mice and hamsters

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:58 pm

not to me. gerbils are so much slimmer and their heads are shaped totally different. I have 5 hamsters, so I basically stare at hamsters all day Smile

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