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.
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.