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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Gerbils behaving strangely.

My gerbils have been fighting a lot recently, to the point they've drawn blood. I've been to all of my local pet shops and asked their opinion on it, and after doing everything they told us to, they're still fighting, so we've decided to split them up.

Now, we cleaned them out yesterday, and we noticed that they had a big pile of food, stashed up behind their bowl, where they'd taken it out of it and put it behind. We came down this morning, to find they've piled it all up again behind their bowl. One of the things one of the pet shops said was to get two sets of food and water. But we've noticed, that one of them seems to be moving all of the food from the old bowl into the new one.

Does anyone know where this behaviour comes from. We think, that they might be hiding the food, because the stuff piled up has pieces of sawdust and shredded paper over the top of it, as if they're disguising it.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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Try scattering the food around and don't use a bowl.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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I have been, one of them just keeps picking it up from where I put it, and putting it back into the bowl.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:35 AM
 
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Remove the bowl althogether.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
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Remove the bowl althogether.
How does this help? Are both your gerbils eating? If so then its nothing to worry about its a natural instinct to hide food. There is really no reason to remove the bowl as there is a good chance they will hide it somewhere else, my gerbils used to hide it in their bed. As long as the can both get their food its fine. If they are not then its ok to feed them separatley outside the cage. They should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 03:43 PM
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Hiding food is normal for gerbils. Mine do it all the time. They have food all over the place.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 05:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodentzRule View Post
How does this help? Are both your gerbils eating? If so then its nothing to worry about its a natural instinct to hide food. There is really no reason to remove the bowl as there is a good chance they will hide it somewhere else, my gerbils used to hide it in their bed. As long as the can both get their food its fine. If they are not then its ok to feed them separatley outside the cage. They should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening
I don't use bowls because i encourage natural behaviour in my gerbils.
Gerbils can get territorial over a bowl.
Also, you don't need to feed gerbils twice a day, one generous helping a day is enough.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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We've taken one of the gerbils out now, and put her in her new cage. We haven't seen either of them do it now their on their own, and they both seem a lot happier. The one we left in the main cage has started digging again, which she stopped doing when they were fighting; and the one we moved has been running around her new cage, and she's made herself a little nest in it, and she just seems a lot happier.

I do think it was the right decision separating them, because now neither of them are getting hurt.

Thanks for all your help everyone :]

[edit] oh, and before we separated them, one of them wasn't eating. The other one kept chasing it back down to the bottom of the cage. So we started putting food down to bottom for her, and the other one kept taking it back up. We bought two bowls, because that's what the pet shop suggested, as maybe one of them got territorial over the bowl, but it didn't make a difference. Now we've separated them, they are both eating and drinking fine.

Last edited by CookieDemons; 01-14-2010 at 06:11 AM. Reason: Forgot to add a bit :P
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:09 AM
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I just thought of this lol -
Whenever I give my gerbils a snack, like a piece of fruit or a piece of lettuce or anything I make sure it's an even amount because they always chase eachother over something they have but can't get. So I make sure each of them have one

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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We give them chocolate drops That was the one time they would stand near each other xD

I think my main concern about separating them, is that the new cage is on the table, whereas the old one is n a bookcase. I have a cat [who I've had since I was about 5/6], and we've only had the gerbils for about, 10 months. The cat watched them quite a lot when we first got them, but she's stopped now. My concern is the fact she can jump on to the table, but she couldn't get on the bookcase.

We've been shutting her our of the front room while me and mum have been out and during the night so she doesn't have a long time alone with them. After a few weeks I'm sure she'll be fine with them, like she was.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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We give them chocolate drops That was the one time they would stand near each other xD
Not real Chocolate?

I think seperating them was a good idea. It sounds like they may have been de clanning
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 03:43 PM
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I know gerbils can get territorial over a bowl, thats why I asked if one wasnt eating. Also, if fed OUTSIDE the cage they need to be fed twice a day as the food isnt available all day . If there was blood drawn (missed that in your first post) then you did the right thing by separating them
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Not real Chocolate?

I think seperating them was a good idea. It sounds like they may have been de clanning
No it's small animal chocolate that we got from the pet shop. We've also given them some yoghurt drops that we got from the pet shop and they love them too. Whenever they hear the little pot we keep them in rustle, they both pop out from where they are in their cages and come up the edges

Mum was worried about giving them one a day [like we do], but the actual packet says no more than five a day, so it's alright

Yeah, they both seem quite happy. What is your opinion on Rotastak cages for gerbils? Because we bought a Rotastak one for our gerbil that we took out, and she seems happy in it [we give her toilet roll tubes to chew on, and she runs around the tubes, plus she's got loads of shredded paper and sawdust so she keeps herself busy]; yet we've been looking at some reviews of the cages, and apparently they're bad for gerbils because they can chew through them. In the one we have; all of the sticking out plastic that she could get hold of, has a metal layer so she can't get through it. Do you think she'll be alright in it?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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From a personal point of view, i hate cages for gerbils in general lol. I really don't like rotastak though, i used to have rotastak for a hamster that i used to have and it was awful, i couldn't wait to sell it lol.

If any part of the cage is plastic, a gerbil will chew through it in time. Their are little buggers for chewing plastic
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