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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Should i get a gerbil?

I've been looking at them (so adorable) and i want your opinion whether or not i should get them.
I myself am a teen.
I have 2 sisters 7 and 9.
2 dogs
1 cat
1 guinea pig
And of course my parents.
Does my family seem sane enough to get a gerbil. I was leaning towards 2 females but i dunno
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 06:56 PM
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I'd say you'd be fine getting gerbils. They don't take up much space, and they do well in pairs (same sex!!)

Two things I can tell you from personal experience, if you didn't already, is that gerbils are notorious escape artists and their tails de-glove extremely easily, so never grab them by the tail.

I had a gerbil named Mike who had a wheel in his tank. I started noticing that the school papers pinned to my cork board over his cage started getting shredded edges. It took me a while to figure out what was happening.

Mike would shove bedding under his wheel, then climb on his wheel to see if it would spin. If it spun, he'd climb back off and shove more bedding under the wheel and check to see if it spun again. He'd do this again and again until the wheel was so jammed up with bedding it no longer spun.

Then he would climb to the top of the wheel, catch hold of the mesh lid on the cage, and spider pig crawl across the underside until he got to a corner of the lid that was a leeeeettle bit loose. He'd then work his way through the mesh and climb out on top to freedom.

We had more gerbils at our library in one of those plastic tube systems. They would work together constantly to nibble holes into the tubes so they could escape.

As for the degloving. I was trying to catch a friend's escaped gerbil and managed to get hold of her, she slipped free and I reflexively tightened my pinky finger against my ring finger to try to slow her down. I accidentally snagged her her by the tail with just a tiny bit of pressure, and the skin covering of her entire tail slipped off as if it weren't even attached. Freaked me and my friend out. I know for a fact that I didn't grip it that hard, since I'm used to handling the guys, but in a split second, there it went.

But, they make sweet little pets, and are endlessly entertaining. They're much more active than hammies.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 06:58 PM
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I have 2 gerbils I have never had females, though, so I don't know if there's an attitude difference. All you really need is a decent sized tank (recommended 20 gal). Gerbils are CHEWERS! So please make sure you don't get them a crittertrail/habitrail.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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i have a 5-10gallon tank, 2 in fact. I looked it up and around there seemed the ideal size. I'm concerned about my little sisters handling them (tails)...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 07:57 PM
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yes a 10 gal is ideal, that's what I have. Just remind your sisters NOT to pick them up by the tail, and if it is a MUST do pick them up that way, pick them up by the base (the beginning, by their backside) their tails can come off easily, which happened to my Drake, i'm not sure how it happened, though. It probably got caught, I just noticed it being red at the tip. It also happened with my late gerbil, Mike. That was my own fault (I was 7) he kept tugging away but I didn't know any better and it just popped off.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 03:46 PM
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Hahaha Story & Angelica,you both had gerbils named Mike!
Sorry...just thought it was funny.

Anyway I think a pair of gerbils would be okay with your family.I only ever had one gerbil,a female named Ember.She never liked being handled,but would still come up to me.She chewed everything though.Out of all the rodents I ever had (rats,mice,hamsters & guinea pigs),Ember chewed the most and destroyed wheels,water bottles,dishes and even the plastic bottom of a cage.So I would not house them in plastic cages and I would get a metal wheel (as long as it does not have spaces the gerbils can get caught in) and glass water bottles...unless you want to replace things often.Gerbils are very active too,much more active then a hamster.




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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaRat View Post
Hahaha Story & Angelica,you both had gerbils named Mike!
Sorry...just thought it was funny.
lol yeah that is funny!

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