Do I need to obtain another gerbil? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need to obtain another gerbil?

As explained in another post...I picked up two mice and one gerbil (all females) for my daughter today. The mice are in one cage and the gerbil is alone in another cage. The petshop guy said that gerbils had to be kept alone...but that mice were social...

The mice cage seems HUGE for the two tiny girls...I'm wondering what the rule of thumb is there...e.g. should I get her a couple more...dunno lol

My big question is with the gerbil though. I'm trying to read up on them and am seeing very conflicting reports.

Some sites say that gerbils are very social and should never be left alone. Claiming that a lone gerbil has a shorter life span and that it needs the other gerbil for grooming etc....

Other sites say gerbils are too territorial and cannot be kept together unless they are put together prior to becoming 8 wks of age...

I have no idea how old her little gerbil is but it is small and I'm fairly certain it's pretty young...just dunno how young.

Should I be quickly seeking out another gerbil...I'd prefer female since breeding is not something we should be entertaining. Or...should I remain with the notion that her gerbil should be kept alone?

Cage size is not an issue...the mice and gerbil all have a huge cage with plenty of "whathaveyas" to entertain themselves with...

Really appreciate any assists with these lil critters.

--
p.s. She named the mice Ginger and Socrates and the gerbil is Pandora

- Deb

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 07:21 PM
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I've never owned gerbils personally, but I can tell you that I know several people with multiple gerbils living together with no problems...In high school we had gerbils in Biology class...there was probably about 15-20 of them in 4 different cages all over the room, but they were all connected with little tunnels that ran up the sides of the walls at an angle and then a whole system of mazes were hung by the ceiling for their pleasure...we never had any fights with any of the gerbils and they loved their ceiling maze! (it was just a pain in the butt to clean out the tunnels every week and rebuild the maze)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 07:43 PM
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I have 2 females, however I bought them knowing they were sisters. They have never been split up nor will they unless some terrible fight ensues. I have also been told it is harder to get females to accept each other than it is for males to accept each other. But since mine were siblings I've not had any problems.

When you introduce to strange gerbils from a different litter I think there is the smell issue. You should never bathe a gerbil in water, but somehow you have to get each gerbils smell on the other so they can be accustomed to the new partner. You would have to do this before introducing them. Once you do be prepared for some tiffs, just watch for bloodshed. If there is, it was probably to soon, and just keep mingling the smells.

P.S. The best place to find the other gerbils smell is where they sleep. Pick up that area and pick up the other gerbil using that bedding so it rubs off on it.

P.S.S. I hope my information makes sense and is reliable. That is what I have been told however. I hope it helps.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 09:47 PM
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I have been told where I work that gerbils are colony animals and can live together. While it's always best to get from the same litter, if you do an introducing period I see no problem in them getting along.

Karen

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 10:48 PM
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Yeah, gerbils shouldn't be kept alone. You might want to try introducing them using the Split-Cage method...( http://www.agsgerbils.org/Gerbil_Car...opt.html#split ). I hope it helps ^_^.




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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 12:32 AM
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I had gerbils when I was a kid and never had a problem with fighting. If the one you have now is a baby you might want to try and find another young gerbil so the introductory time goes smoother.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone....

I think I'll go on the hunt for another young gerbil today. Unfortunately the one we obtained was all alone so getting a sibling doesn't look like it's in the cards... Hopefully with careful introductions we'll be ok

- Deb

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well we did it

The new gerbil has been titled "Peanut"

Picked her up early this morning and placed both gerbils in a 20 gallon aquarium with nothing but fresh bedding just to see "what would happen" while also having a divider in hand just in case.

They scurried around and sniffed each other and scurried some more and sniffed each other and did this for hours.... We finally decided they didn't seem to mind the company and tried them in their cage...

Up and down the tubes they went...around the wheel they ran. And now they are both sleeping TOGETHER tails intertwined all snuggly and warm.

I don't think we could've hoped for a better situation especially knowing they are from different litters etc.

We got lucky!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew )

- Deb

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 10:00 PM
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Aww! Congrats on the new addition. I'm glad they are getting along ok.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 03:25 AM
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How precious!

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2004, 01:43 PM
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What a cute visual! Glad they were able to get along so well.

Stephanie

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