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Gerbil Babies

I bought 2 male gerbils 8 months ago and found out i have a male and female and i now have 3 little bundles of joy in the bottom of the cage ! 
when would be the right time to take dad out of cage ( he has been in cage since babies were born ) babies now 14 days old Mum may allready be pregnent again. Help !!


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  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    edited May 2015 Posts: 268
    Ah that's rather a shock for you!

    You need to get dad out straight away, as they mate as soon as babies are born so you probably do have another litter on the way but you could do without a third I suspect!

    Hopefully some of the babies will be boys, as you can introduce them once weaned to dad (adult gerbils can only be introduced via the split-cage method).

    If you need help sexing, it would be worth finding a decent rodent breeder near you or the vet if they are experienced with small furries. Wherabouts are you based?
    crittery.co.uk
    Exotic rodent husbandry and rescue;
    Resource website for rodents and small mammals;


    Please like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/critteryuk
  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    Posts: 17
    Yes we realized they mate straight away as we saw them at it and then found the babies 3 days later !!!! the babies are 14 days now dad is going back to the pet shop to be re homed when the babies are 3 weeks old that's next Friday. Im trying to find homes for the 2 baby boys and the baby girl is staying with me. the shops breeder is coming into sex the babies for me though its really just a confirmation .im in Derbyshire 

  • Posts: 529
    Could you not look at trying to rehome Dad with his sons? It'd be much nicer for him than being rehomed as a single gerbil just because his friend was mis-sexed when you got them
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    Posts: 17
    im not sure if the pet shop would do that ? as she would sell on the babies and make profit out of them 
    im trying  to home them so they don't have to go to the shop 
  • Posts: 529
    You'd have to ask the pet shop, I was just thinking if you could find a home for all three yourself they'd maybe be able to be together which would be nicer for Dad. From everything I've read reintroducing him to his sons when they're a bit older should go fairly well
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    Posts: 17
    Oh yes i completely agree i don't want to split them up at all id keep them if i could but i just cant afford them. all. I dont think the pet shop will do it and unless someone is will to take all 3 on its highly unlikely to happen 
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,187

    Hi cath, I`ve kept gerbils myself although mine were all male adults so I knew they were males when taking them on as all were from rescue/rehomes. It can`t be easy realising you have a male and a female when you wanted both to be the same gender. It does feel bitter sweet when you know you have to separate them.

    I would suggested keeping the two male babies with their dad personally as adult male gerbils usually accept baby males that are very young as they don`t see them as any threat, but a lot depends on the dad`s behaviour and whether he`s laid back or not. While your female and her baby would get on fine in their own set up. Is the dad`s tank/cage big enough to house three? As far back as I can remember, I have kept four males in a glass aquarium that was 36" inches long an a pair in a 30" inch long tank and these were adequate as they all got out to cause havoc on the floor while I sat with them!

    I do understand though having five gerbils could be a handful if you have other things to do or you work all day. But pet shops can be hit or miss when handing them back baby animals as they may well end up as children`s pets rather than adoption animals who usually fair better in finding a better home. The Pets At Home adoption area seem to do well with adoption animals, but I`ve also read a few reports that they don`t bother to ask questions of new prospective owners, so you want to try and be sure your baby boys are given the best home you can find them. If it was me, I would either keep them with dad, or hold onto them until someone (preferably an older teenager or adult) comes forward who really wants them or has some experience with gerbils.

    Sorry for the long reply! I hope it helps. x

  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    Posts: 17
    Hello Racing Mouse

    Dad is being homed as we speak :( dads temperament is very jittery and i feel better in an experienced home hence y im homing him. ( that and he keeps making mini gerbils !!) the mum is very laid back is becoming very nice to handle !. the baby boys i have found homes for 1 of them so now got to find a home for the other one instead of them going to that dreadful pet shop! im keeping mum and baby girl simply because mums pegnent again and she has the better personalty.  
  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    Posts: 268
    cath2323 said:

    the baby boys i have found homes for 1 of them so now got to find a home for the other one instead of them going to that dreadful pet shop!




    Please don't home gerbils separately, they really do need company. Lone gerbils have a much shorter lifespan, and can become rather depressed. A pair are much more fun to play and interact with as well. It doesn't take any more effort to look after two rather than one :)
    crittery.co.uk
    Exotic rodent husbandry and rescue;
    Resource website for rodents and small mammals;


    Please like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/critteryuk
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited May 2015 Posts: 1,187
    I agree with Crittery. It`s better if the little boys can stay as a pair as they are still very young and are still initially learning from one another, so their social skills are better as a result. If the person rehoming one can happily take both, that would be better for the boys. If they can`t, then I would look elsewhere for their sakes rather than rehome them as singles as two gerbils are no more expense than one. Single gerbils are usually a result of an adult de-clan, especially with female gerbils. Males are more laid back having company so your two brothers would be ideal company for one another. x
  • Posts: 529
    Yeah, I'm sorry if this sounds mean but rehoming them all as singles seems cruel to me. Its why I kept suggesting trying to rehome Dad with his sons, they'd all be far happier if they could go to homes with company. Rehoming them as singles just forces them to live a less happy life than they would if they had the company of other gerbils. Everything I've read also says that behavioural or nervous issues often get worse in single gerbils so Dad may end up more jittery now he's off to a new home on his own :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    Posts: 17
    I understand your concerns, i had a lone gerbil and she did very well on her own with lots of love and attention i know there social animals and are better off in pairs or groups but the baby bays are going to homes where they will loved and looked after and that's all i need. i came on her for advice and i got it and thank you all for that i did try to re home all the males together but no one was interested.  
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,187

    That`s a shame. Pairs can de-clan as adults and that means the owner has to provide another cage/tank, but pairs usually do fine, especially males unless one gets old or ill and the cage mate picks up on that weak energy and starts to dominate/pick on the other gerbil. But that`s not set in stone.

    It`s your call cath, but even if the two boys could have stayed together and the father as a single, that would have been a better scenario for them. Whoever is rehoming them from you may consider this if you give them the details. Two gerbils are more fun than one! x

  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    Posts: 268
    That's a shame, but sometimes it can't be avoided. Do feel free to pass on the details of this forum to them, if you feel it will do any good :)

    How is mum getting on?
    crittery.co.uk
    Exotic rodent husbandry and rescue;
    Resource website for rodents and small mammals;


    Please like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/critteryuk
  • cath2323cath2323 Lemming
    edited May 2015 Posts: 17
    Racing mouse and crittery thankyou for the concern mum is dong just fine and so are babies, Yes 2 gerbils is more fun however one of the babies is being introduced to another male around the same age via the split cage method so he should be on his own ! and the other one is going to be a lone pet both will get the love and care that they need. and im about another few weeks i will be on here saying we have more pinkies as mums preggers again

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited May 2015 Posts: 1,187

    It might be a good idea to start thinking about any new babies arriving and where their futures lie. It`s good that dad isn`t in with the mum this time around so if she does have any, she can`t get pregnant again so she can concentrate on the little ones in peace.

    Hopefully the split cage person will manage to pair her gerbil up with this youngster. It should work if she gives it plenty of time. Removing the splitter too soon could put things back, so giving it a couple of weeks to begin with and see how they go. Adult males are usually good with young baby males but the adult has to be laid back and not a territorial nut! If he`s had male company previously, that would help. I did one adult male to younger male intro once and the little one was just put into the adult male`s tank, but I knew my adult male was such a wee softie, they hit it off immediately with a few protest squeaks from the baby!

    It was so lovely to watch actually. I could see the smile on my adult male`s face! He was a darling wee gerbil and such a gentle little thing. x



    Thanked by 1cath2323
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