Gerbil Information - Handeling And Treatment
Size: between 7-9 inches measure from tip or nose to tip of tail.
Life Span: 2-3 years with some reported cases of 5-6 years.
With half their overall length being made up of tail, the gerbil is a relatively small animal. The hair is banded with gray, yellow and black with a white stomach. The tail is usually the same length as the body and is covered with fur and a has a tuft of fur at the end.
Gerbils are naturally very social animals and are best kept in small groups. Easily tamed and handled make them a favorite pet for younger kids. Very curious, always willing to explore and crack or crevice. Active at all hours of the day and night.
Gerbils spend a lot of time grooming themselves and their group member. Not only is it important to maintaining a healthy coat, it is an big part of their social interaction.
It's a fact of life, gerbils love to chew. At so
me point they will chew through every toy house your place in their cage. That is why it is important to keep a good supply of chew toys and gerbil treats to allow your to do what comes natural to them.
The natural environment for gerbils is underground in a complex maze of tunnels and burrows. Adding a healthy layer of wood shavings allows your gerbils to burrow in their enclosure.
Tip of the Day - the cardboard inserts for paper towels are perfect for your gerbil to play in as well as chew on.
Young gerbils will make a high pitched squeak. Adults will make noises when playing or stressed.
Through patience and consistency, taming and handling a Gerbil can be accomplished quite easily.
Here are a few tips on the best methods for handling Gerbils:
The most recommended method of carrying a gerbil is to gently secure it in the palm of your hand. You can hold the loose skin on the back of the neck to prevent the gerbil from getting away. This is a safe method. However, I prefer to keep a hand on top of my gerbils and leave an opening so the gerbil can see out.
Still not comfortable handling your gerbil. Try this, use a cup or can on it's side and allow the gerbil to walk into it. Once inside, tip the cup or can up and cover the top. Gerbils are good jumpers. Never pick up a gerbil by it's tail!
Taming you gerbil is going to take time and patience. Once you are able to handle your gerbil, a whole new relationship takes form between you and your gerbil.
Keep these tips in mind when you are ready to start working with your gerbil.
Patience. This is the key ingredient to your success. Remember that your gerbils are going to be in a new home with totally new surroundings. That is going to make them nervous. Give them time to adjust. Keep maintenance to a minimum. Always speak softly and move slowly the first few days after your gerbils arrival.
After your gerbil has settled in, start spending more time around the cage. Offer a chew stick or another treat when they approach the cage bars. This will allow the gerbil to get used to your scent and associate you as a positive presence.
Once you have you gerbil eating out of your hand, you will want to progress to the gerbil climbing on top of your hand to retrieve the treat. Once your gerbil will climb your hand, the next step is to start tickling it's sides and scratching the back of it's head. Scratching behind the head imitates their natural grooming techniques.
> Remember to handle your gerbils regularly to keep them socialized. Active and curious by nature, your gerbil will appreciate any time it receives outside it's cage. One of the best small animal toys I have purchased is the hamster exercise ball. The more exercise your gerbils receive during the day, the more they will sleep at night and the more you will sleep also.
Gerbils are social creatures and it is recommended to keep more than one gerbil. Living alone in a cage is likely to stress a single gerbil and therefore it may be more difficult to tame. Starting out with a small group of young gerbils would be the ideal situation. Just remember to be patient and consistent. Use treats for the positive re-enforcement and make sure your gerbil is getting plenty of exercise.
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