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General Gerbil Information

Description - Larger than a mouse, Syrian hamster size, with large rear legs compared with the front. Pointed face.
Varieties - White, black, silver, greys, sandy colours.
Latin name - Meriones unguiculatus
Origins - Africa, Middle East
Rarity - Quite common.

gerbil

Breeding

General - Easy to breed, ok to leave male and female together with young.
Maturity - 12 weeks
Ovulation - 4 - 6 days
Rest Period - Able to become pregnant immediately after birth.
Gestation - 24 - 27 days.
Food Supplements - A good gerbil mix
Litter - 4 - 5 young
Weaning Period - allow 4 weeks.

Housing

General - Wire cage , 30cm x 60cm, preferably a glass or plastic gerbilarium.
Types - Wire cages with plastic base, but these can be chewed through.
To make gerbilarium use a glass tank and fill the base with chopped straw and peat to a level one third of the total height. Gerbilariums are now readibly available in pet store and online.
Base - Shavings or wood chips, not pine or cedar.
Feeders - Water bottles and food pots.
Toys and Accessories - Anything gnawable, eg, wooden tubes, many toys for chinchillas are suitable
A ceramic or metal container for taking a sand bath, gerbils love baths and it keeps their coats healthy, use chinchilla sand.
Location - Out of draughts and direct sunlight.

gerbil

Health

General - Very clean animals, most learn to toilet in a specific area
Nose - Sometimes because of burrowing the tip of the nose becomes sore. Use antisceptic ointment.
Injuries - Treat with antisceptic ointment. If severe consult vet.

Food

General - You can use a good hamster mix, but preferably a good Gerbil mix
Supplements - small quantities of greens, sunflower seeds, or various treats. Mineral block useful to keep teeth short. Gerbils also love nuts and you can now buy natural treats and grasses, which are eaten readily.

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