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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Registered!

River poses for a picture.

River poses for a picture.

It’s official! I’ve registered at ASG (The American Gerbil Society) as a breeder! Hopefully my listing will be up soon.

Previously I had said I wouldn’t do this, just because of the fee. I thought it was $10 a month. However, I was wrong! It’s $20 initially and then $10 a year! This will allow me to register my individual gerbils and provide purchasers with a pedigree. As well as be listed on the ASG website! I’m excited! Hopefully I will get some interest from potential buyers this way.

In other news, my two breeding pairs are getting along wonderfully. They are sleeping together in the same nest and grooming each other a lot. Very cute. Hopefully they will breed sometime soon. For now they just seem to be good friends. 🙂

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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in The Clan

 

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Introductions

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Using a “split pen method”, Smellin’ Good spray, and having young gerbils to work with, I successfully introduced my breeders today! They are currently sleeping all snuggled together with their new mates in their appropriate tanks.

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The Doctor & River checkin' each other out.

The Doctor & River checkin’ each other out.

Amy watching Rory from a distance before going to greet him.

Amy watching Rory from a distance before going to greet him.

So excited to meet the babies someday. Currently they are a bit young to be interested in mating, but soon that should change.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in The Clan

 

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The Cheapest & The Best

Henry enjoying a toilet paper tube

Henry enjoying a toilet paper tube

Toilet paper and paper towel tubes make the cheapest, but one of the best enjoyed toys for gerbils! Leave a little of the paper on it and your gerbil will enjoy ripping it off and constructing a soft fluffy nest with it. Cutting longer tubes in half doubles the fun.

 

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Gerbil Quirks

 

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Pet Store Shortcuts

At the pet store where I work, we strive to take top notch care of the animals we have in our store. We treat any sick or potentially injured animals and are very proactive about their health.

However, sometimes shortcuts must be taken. Our animal provider generally sends odd numbers of gerbils. Three, five, seven, nine. No matter my efforts to sell them in pairs, there is always one sad gerbil left alone. When the next shipment of nine or so gerbils arrives, it is in the lone gerbils best interest to be reintegrated into the group. A huge no-no in most gerbil forums and websites. But I am here to tell you that not only is it possible, but it can take as little time as five minutes, requires no cage divider, and has a 95% success rate.

The reason gerbils attack one another is because they smell different. They don’t smell like one of their own “clan”. (Unless they are kept in restricted quarters and begin fighting for space.) The trick to introducing them peacefully is to mask their personal scent.

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Smellin’ Good is a pet safe deodorizer sold at our store. One small spritz on the rear end of all gerbils involved in the introduction and–at least with young male gerbils–they welcome one another with open paws! By the time they’ve rid themselves of the baby powder scented spray, they’ve been with each other for over an hour and are all sharing one smell. A newly formed clan!

I have literally introduced three groups of three with this method and come back to find all nine sleeping together in one hide house.

I cannot guarantee this method always works, just that so far it has always worked for me in a pet store environment. Tomorrow I am going to attempt it with mine, with much caution. I will post an update later.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Gerbil Quirks

 

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Things that go “Thump” in the Night

No matter how careful you are, no matter what you take out of their tank before you go to bed, no matter how many ways you attempt to cover your ears with a pillow,

Your gerbils will wake you up at night. 

Whether it be thumping their little feet because they heard a noise, chewing, digging, running on a wheel, “talking” to one another, they will drive you to the edge of insanity and then push you right off.

Unless you particularly enjoy laying in bed with murderous thoughts running through your head, I highly suggest keeping your gerbils in a room other than your bedroom.

I have no where else to keep mine, so they are all on my desk, just two feet or so away from my bed. I’ve gotten pretty used to it by now, and have taken steps to avoid at least some of the noise. Such as applying a dab of Vaseline to the joints of their wheel to keep the squeak at bay. Taking the wheel out seems to just drive them to do other obnoxiously loud things, so controlling the squeak has been the best solution so far.

Have any noise reducing tips? Please comment and share!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Gerbil Quirks

 

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Tank Toppers

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(Yes, I know their water is low. I cleaned and refilled it after taking this photo.)

Tank toppers are a great way to add extra space and interest to your gerbils home, without the mess of escaped bedding that often occurs with critter trail style cages. They also allow you to mount a water bottle on a different level, and place a food dish on a different level, encouraging shy gerbils to come out into the open to eat. Toys can be hung or snapped to the bars and provide new chew and play options.

Your tank topper should be chosen with the same ideals as a wheel. It should have grid style floors to avoid tail or foot injury, and should be made solely of metal. I purchased mine from Amazon.com.

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Warnings & Tips:

Bar biting is when a gerbil obsessively gnaws on the bars of it’s cage. It can cause baldness on the nose and possible damage to the teeth. It is generally a symptom of boredom and can usually be prevented if other chew options are available. Usually. Henry (pictured above) however is a notorious bar biter no matter the toys and chews I provide. The best way to stop this bad habit is to only allow them to have their tank topper every other week. This prevents boredom and is good for their mental health.

If you are breeding your gerbils, only allow your pair to have a tank topper while there are no young present. Newborn gerbils may be placed by their mother under a ramp, where they are in danger of being crushed if you move it unknowingly. “Toddler” gerbils are clumsy and can hurt themselves falling from the highest level. Wait until your babies are of weaning age before allowing them to have access to a tank topper.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Gerbil Care

 

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Habitat Setup, Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Step One:

Take one tank of appropriate size and insure that it is clean.

Ten gallon tank

Ten gallon tank

Step Two:

Add three(ish) inches of bedding and squish it down.

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Step Three:

Add crinkles (optional), water bottle, chew toys (wood & toilet paper tube), and food. (Wheel and hide house not pictured)

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Step Four: Just add Gerbils!

Place gerbils in tank and watch them explore! Pictured are the Doctor and Rory.

(Remember that step five is the lid. Don’t forget the lid. 😉 )

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This should be repeated weekly to insure clean, happy gerbils!

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Gerbil Care

 

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