What to Do if Your Gerbil Has Babies (And What NOT to Do)

What to Do if Your Gerbil Has Babies

Want to know what to do if your gerbil has babies?

Feeling a mix of excitement, panic, and a touch of "oh my gosh, what do I do now?" 😊

Trust me, I've been there too.

You're not alone.

And let me guess, you want to ensure those little furballs are safe and sound, right?

Well, you're in luck because I'm here to guide you through the steps to handle this adorable yet slightly overwhelming situation.

So, breathe in and get ready, because I've got your back.

Understanding Gerbil Gestation and Caring for Pregnant Gerbils

If you're a gerbil owner, you ought to understand how gerbil pregnancies work and how to care for pregnant gerbils. Here's the deal:

  1. Keep an eye out for bulging bellies in your gerbils - it's one of the most obvious signs that they might be preggo.
  2. Another clue is nesting behavior. Pregnant gerbils start gathering materials to make a cozy nest for their little ones.
  3. The moms-to-be tend to have a bigger appetite, so if you catch your gerbil chowing down more than usual, it could be a sign baby gerbils are on the way.
  4. Gerbil births happen fast and quietly, usually occurring inside or close to their nest. Make sure you give them a comfy area to settle in.
  5. Mother gerbils are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to taking care of their babies, but you should provide them with high-calorie treats and regular water top-ups.
  6. Female gerbils have a good chance of getting pregnant since they can go into heat every 4 days. So keep a close watch if you want to avoid any unexpected surprises!
  7. On average, gerbils give birth to litters of around 3 to 6 baby gerbils. Make sure their habitat has enough space for the expanding family.
  8. Baby gerbils even have a way of communicating with their parents, sometimes through ultrasonic signals. It's really cool to witness this bond between the little ones and their folks.
  9. After giving birth, female gerbils often mate again right away. So it's best not to stress them out by interfering and just leave them be.
  10. Oh, and here's a heads up: if you recently brought home some gerbils, one of them may already be expecting. So be prepared for the possibility of some surprise babies.

That's the lowdown on gerbil pregnancies.

Understanding Gerbil Gestation and Caring for Pregnant Gerbils
Female gerbils can mate again right after giving birth. Give them their space, some treats, water, and a cozy nest. You'll love watching the adorable baby gerbils with their parents.

Take care of your furry friends and keep an eye out for those adorable little additions to the family!

Now that you understand the ins and outs of gerbil pregnancies, it's time to delve into managing unexpected litters and what options are available for you and your furry friends.

Let me guide you through this crucial decision-making process!

Options for Your Unexpected Gerbil Litter

Gerbil surprise litters got your heart racing, huh?

No worries, though.

You've got a few ways to handle this situation like a boss.

  1. Find new homes for those little guys: If you can't keep 'em all, give them to loving owners who know how to take care of them.
  2. Check out local shelters: They know their stuff when it comes to finding good homes for gerbils.
  3. Brace yourself for some pups not making it: It's sad, but natural; if they need it, get them medical help.
  4. Make sure the gerbils are in same-sex crews: No extra breeding going on here. Find homes that welcome multiple gerbils.
  5. Understand why mothers sometimes snack on their babies: Things like stress or sickness can mess with their heads. Go see a vet for expert advice.
  6. Let baby gerbils hang with their moms and opposite-gender siblings until they're grown up: This way, they get proper socializing and no more making tiny gerbil babies.
  7. Plan what to do once the pups can leave their folks: Figure out when it's safe to separate them and sort out suitable places for them to live.

Follow these tips, and you'll make everyone, from the pups to the momma gerbil, happy.

And now let's talk about how to ensure the safety and well-being of your gerbil and her new pups in their enclosure...

Is My Enclosure Safe for My Gerbil & Her New Pups?

Here's what you gotta do to keep your gerbil and her pups safe in their enclosure:

  1. Use mesh guards, so they can't escape and you can rest easy knowing they're secure.
  2. Make sure all platforms and levels are sturdy, to prevent any falls or injuries for momma and the babies.
  3. Find a cozy, warm spot for their cage, where the temperature stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Quiet is good too. 💤
  4. Give the momma gerbil extra food, water, and bedding, so she can get strong again and produce milk for those little cuties.
  5. Hang a low water bottle for the babies, so they can easily quench their thirst.
  6. Keep that enclosure clean on the regular, to reduce the chance of infections and ensure everything stays healthy.
  7. For the first week, remove anything risky from the cage, because them baby gerbils can't see yet and you don't want them getting hurt.
  8. The nest needs to be secure and safe, so accidents don't happen to those precious babes.
  9. Ideally, you shouldn't separate them, but if things aren't going well, consider giving them a separate space to ensure everyone's wellbeing.
  10. Remember, gerbils love company, so having another gerbil around can keep them happy and prevent any behavior problems.

Stick with these tips, and you'll create a safe and loving home for your gerbil and her adorable new pups.

Is My Enclosure Safe for My Gerbil & Her New Pups?
To keep your gerbil and her pups safe, you gotta make some changes in their home. Use mesh guards and secure the platforms. Keep the temperature around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it clean. Get rid of anything that might cause trouble during the first week. Only separate them if things get really bad for them.

And now, let's talk about what to feed these little ones as they begin their weaning process.

You have to provide a balanced diet for the baby gerbils, and I have some great recommendations for you!

What Baby Gerbils Eat?

In terms of nourishing baby gerbils, you have numerous choices of secure and nutritious foods you can provide. Here are a few alternatives for their menu:

  1. Soft veggies like carrots and peas can be lightly cooked until they're really soft, so the little ones can eat them without a problem.
  2. Grains like oats and millet seeds are great sources of carbs and should definitely be part of their meals.
  3. For protein, go with mealworms or cooked chicken (plain, no seasoning) - both are perfect for growing pups.
  4. Fresh fruits such as bananas and blueberries can be mashed or cut into tiny pieces for their enjoyment. Just be sure to remove any pits or seeds.
  5. There are a few foods to avoid during weaning: steer clear of chestnuts, apples, and spinach as they may upset their tummies.
  6. To encourage natural foraging behavior and prevent fights, scatter the food around instead of using a bowl.

And don't forget about providing water for your gerbil pups.

They come from places where water is limited, so offer them a water bottle too.

What Baby Gerbils Eat?
You gotta feed gerbil pups right, my friend. Give 'em soft veggies, grains, and protein-packed mealworms or chicken to help 'em grow. Fresh fruits are a nice little treat. But stay away from foods like chestnuts or apples that might upset their tummies. Scatter the food around so they can do some natural foraging.

In short, by offering a mixture of age-appropriate vegetables, grains, and protein sources to your baby gerbils, you'll ensure they get a balanced and nourishing diet as they transition from milk to solid food.

However, knowing what to feed your baby gerbils is just the first step.

Now, let's dive into the important details of setting up a separate gerbilarium for the weaned pups.

Trust me, you’ll want to create a cozy and entertaining environment for your adorable little ones!

Creating a Comfortable Gerbilarium for Weaned Baby Gerbils

Creating a comfortable gerbilarium for weaned baby gerbils is crucial.

First, select an appropriate size gerbilarium to create a cozy environment.

Line the gerbilarium with soft and safe substrate to make it comfortable for the baby gerbils to move around and burrow in.

Ensure easy access to food and water by including a water bottle and a dish for food.

Creating a Comfortable Gerbilarium for Weaned Baby Gerbils
For the crib of baby gerbils, pick the right size and pad it up for their comfort. Make sure they have easy access to chow and drink with a nifty water bottle.

Consider adding enrichment items such as a hide, wood for them to chew on, and safe toys to keep the baby gerbils entertained.

Please bear in mind that although baby gerbils initially live with their parents, they may eventually require their own separate space.

By providing these essentials, you can ensure that your weaned baby gerbils have a comfortable and stimulating environment.

Now, you might be wondering how to properly handle and care for these adorable baby gerbils as they continue to grow.

What is the best way to gradually increase handling sessions without causing stress or fear?

Well, let me share with you a week-by-week guide that provides essential information on how to handle and care for your precious little furballs.

Trust me, it only gets better from here!

Handling and Care Tips for Baby Gerbils

Here's how to handle and care for baby gerbils to keep them healthy and happy:

  1. Take it slow, champ. Gradually spend more time with your little gerbil buddies as they grow. This helps them get comfortable with humans, no stress or fear involved.
  2. Be gentle when picking them up. Use a scooping motion from below to avoid any accidental harm. Safety first!
  3. Before and after handling these cuties, be sure to wash your hands. You have to keep their sensitive noses safe from scary scents or nasty germs.
  4. When your gerbil kids reach around 5 to 6 weeks old, mama can take a break. At this point, they're good at finding their own grub. Time to spread those wings!
  5. By about week 9, separate the little fellas by their gender. Mixing things up could lead to unwanted baby gerbil explosions. Keep the peace, my friend.
  6. Keep an eye on these mini furballs' health. Watch out for any signs of sickness or issues with their development. Your sharp eyes are key!
  7. Don't hesitate, dude. If you've got worries about your gerbil's well-being, reach out to a vet. They're the pros who can give you expert advice and ensure your little buddy is doing great.

Show some love and TLC to your baby gerbil, and they'll be jumpin' for joy.

Their happiness and healthiness depend on you, pal!

But did you know that male gerbil dads also play a crucial role in parenting their young?

Yes, you heard it right!

Handling and Care Tips for Baby Gerbils
Handle and care for baby gerbils like you mean it. Spend more time with them to build trust, gently scoop 'em up to keep 'em safe. Wash your hands before and after handling those little rascals to avoid spreading germs. Keep an eye on their health and if you need help, consult a vet, my friend.

These furry fathers exhibit a range of paternal behaviors and are influenced by hormonal changes, making them highly involved in caring for their pups.

If you've had your gerbils for over 4 weeks, removing the dad from the tank could disrupt this active caregiving dynamic.

Let's dive deeper into the fascinating world of male gerbil dads and their contribution to their offspring's upbringing.

Stay tuned!

The Active Role of Male Gerbil Dads in Parenting

Male gerbil dads are crucial in raising their young, showing devoted paternal behaviors influenced by hormones.

They play an active role in parenting and should remain in the tank if the mom has babies.

The Active Role of Male Gerbil Dads in Parenting
You gotta let the dad gerbil stay in the tank when the mom's had her babies. Keep things safe and interesting for them all, with places to hide and lots of stuff they need. And ensure they've got extra food to help them take care of those little ones.

Once you've had gerbils for more than four weeks, it's best to keep them together.

The hormonal changes experienced by male gerbil dads push them towards active caregiving, ensuring they make substantial contributions to their offspring's upbringing.

Their dedication is evident as they actively participate in raising their pups, proving that they are committed fathers who take pride in their parental responsibilities.

Parental Responsibilities of Male Gerbil Dads

Summary / Takeaway:

  1. Look for signs of pregnancy: swollen belly, nesting behavior, increased appetite.
  2. Gerbils give birth quickly and quietly, usually don't need intervention.
  3. Provide high-calorie treats and daily water top-ups for the mother.
  4. Female gerbils can come into heat every 4 days and give birth to litters of about 3-6.
  5. Baby gerbils communicate with parents, even ultrasonically.
  6. Leave female gerbils alone after birth, as they may mate again immediately.
  7. Be prepared for some pups not surviving, consider finding new homes.
  8. Rehome gerbils in same-sex pairings or trios to prevent unintended breeding.
  9. Keep baby gerbils with mother and opposite-sex siblings until sexual maturity.
  10. Choose a warm and quiet location for the gerbilarium.
  11. Provide extra food, water, and bedding for the mother gerbil.
  12. Maintain temperature between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. Clean the enclosure regularly to reduce infection risk.
  14. Remove hazards during the first week.
  15. Separation may be necessary but not encouraged.

And that's all for today, folks!

Just before you leave, can I ask you something? Did my blog post turn out to be helpful for you? If it did, it would mean a lot to me if you could share it with your friends and family. You'll find social media sharing icons that allow you to easily share. Thank you so much in advance!

Until next time,

-Alex Amber

Alex Amber

Hi there! I'm Alex, and this is my blog, Gerbil 101. As you've probably guessed by now, this is the go-to blog for all things gerbil, covering topics from gerbil care to food, drink, health, behavior, and so much more. I truly hope you find my care guides useful, as I put a lot of time into writing them!