Gerbil Lifespan: How to Raise a Gerbil

There are millions of animals in this world, some big, some small and some even tiny. There are birds, domestic and wild animals, carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores, and the creatures are divided into different categories based on their habitat, what they eat while hibernating, and many other factors. Gerbils are very small and mouse-like looking animals. Gerbils belong to one of the subfamilies of rodents.

Gerbil Lifespan

Gerbils are also known as desert rats. Since gerbils are small animals, they do get eaten more quickly by larger animals, so they tend to have a shorter gerbil lifespan than most other animals. However, the average gerbil lifespan is completely different.

gerbil lifespan

Gerbils are most commonly found in India, Africa, and certain parts of Asia. Gerbils belong to the family Rodentia, kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, order Mammalia and order Rodentia, specifically the subfamily Gerbil. Some gerbils are even adopted as pets. For example, the Mongolian gerbil, also known as the clawed gerbil, has even been adopted as a pet in many countries. There are more than 110 species of gerbils in the world.

gerbil lifespan

The average gerbil lifespan is 2-4 years. Adult gerbils have a body length of 148-183 mm and a tail length of 55-62 mm. In the wild, their adult weight usually ranges from 22-44.6 grams. Captive adult males are approximately 25% larger than non-pregnant adult females. Adult captive gerbils are approximately twice as large as their wild counterparts. This may be due to several factors.

gerbil lifespan

Can gerbils still breed at 2 years old

In the wild, they may be slightly shorter in age than those in captivity. Macaroni gerbils are essentially adults at 2 months old, and captive-bred ones can breed year-round. The gestation period is 19 days. Their *average* litter size is 3 to 9, and they are weaned at about 3 to 4 weeks.

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Breeding period is long, up to more than 7 months, breeding 2-3 times a year, pregnancy rate is low, the pregnancy rate in late June is 33.3%, and decreasing month by month. The pregnancy rate is 33.3% in late June and decreases from month to month. There are 2-11 litters per litter, mostly 4-6 litters. Meridian gerbils grow 10 times from spring to fall, and their reproduction rate is about 90%, with less than 1% living to one year in nature.

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Greater gerbils breed from April to September each year, with a peak in May to July. They have 2~3 litters per year, with a gestation period of 22~25d and litters of 1~12 litters, mostly 5~6 litters. Female rats born in the spring can participate in breeding that year. The pups overwinter in the mother’s burrow, and then separate and start breeding in the spring of the following year.

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How to raise a gerbil

For a pair of gerbils, a cage that is about 12 inches by 24 inches by 12 inches high is a good minimum size, but since gerbils are active, a larger cage is always better. Glass aquariums can be used and are preferred by many homeowners. Aquariums allow for a very deep layer of bedding so that the gerbil can dig holes, which is natural for pet gerbils. A secure mesh cover must be used to prevent escape and allow ventilation. Wire cages can be used for gerbils, but gerbils do have a tendency to kick the bedding out from between the wires while digging, which can cause a mess. Gerbils also sometimes chew on wire cages, resulting in painful nose sores and tooth injuries. For wire cages, the bars should be spaced no more than 1/2 inch apart, but be aware that any wire cage can cause legs to get stuck.

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Gerbils also need a nest box to feel safe. Gerbils will hide in the nest box and then use it for sleeping. A sturdy wooden or ceramic nest box is preferable to plastic, which will be quickly destroyed by chewing. Wood may also be chewed, but will last longer. Clay planters are another possible option for use as gerbil nest boxes.

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In addition to providing nest boxes, many materials for climbing and enrichment activities are available, such as thick planks, stable rocks, ladders, ramps and platforms. Safe chew toys should always be provided. Wooden toys or simple blocks of wood, twigs, hay, wood and rope parrot toys and small cardboard boxes are all good choices for chewing. Toilet paper tubes, despite being quickly destroyed, will likely be the most popular toy.

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After knowing this, we also need to know about the gerbil’s food. Gerbils are actually omnivores, and they can generally eat anything that is vegetarian. Foods that we normally eat such as cereal and rice can be eaten by rats, but of course this is the staple food category.

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They can also eat vegetables such as carrots, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes are all good for them. But be careful, when feeding vegetables can not have a very stimulating flavor, and also pay attention to the amount of feeding, never give them too much at a time, because if you can not eat it all, it is very likely that it will be moldy in the box, which destroys their nest, usually you can give them some snacks, such as human consumption of melons, cookies, chocolate and so on.

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In the process of raising gerbils, we should also carefully observe their living habits. Generally, gerbils like to sleep during the day and be active at night, so in order to well avoid being noisy ourselves, we have to put the gerbils in a place where people can’t hear them, because after they come out to be active at night, they will scurry all over inside the box and also play with the toys inside the box.

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Besides, don’t touch their teeth easily, because gerbils can’t see what’s in their mouths when their eyes are up there, and they will think we are giving them food, and will start biting directly.

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All in all, in the process of keeping gerbils, we have a lot of issues that need attention. This gerbil is very cute in appearance and will not easily give us trouble. In the process of raising also does not have much cost, so we are very suitable for raising this small mouse, but must pay attention to the usual care. Only if you take care of them carefully, you can let these little gerbils have a better life and grow up to be more adorable.