Gerbils: The Best Small Pet
Gerbils: The Best Pocket Pets
Gerbils are great small pets, and they make wonderful first time pets for small children as well. Gerbils have long fuzzy tails, so they are good for those parents who have children who want a small pet but they don't like the creepy skinless tails of mice or rats. As long as you keep them together at a young age you can have 2 or 3 gerbils together in a cage with minimal to no quarreling between them, you can keep as many gerbils together as you have cage space, make sure your keeping males with males and females with females because if you mix them together you'll end up with more gerbils than you bargained for!
Gerbils can eat gerbil food that you buy at the pet store and you can also give them treats of fruits and vegetables, try to steer clear of overly processed gerbil or hamster "treats" you can buy at pet stores they can be harmful to your pets health. Small pets need exercise as much as a dog or cat would so don't forget to buy your gerbil a wheel! I recommend the ones that have solid bottoms, the wire ones have a history of cutting off little gerbil tails and that's just not fun for anyone.
Breeding gerbils in also fairly easy, just put a male and female together and let nature take its course, you can leave the male in with the female the whole time because he will help care for the babies, which will give mom a much needed break every now and then. Pregnant gerbil moms will need more food of course, she's possibly eating for 6 or 7 babies! Some bread soaked in a little bit of milk is a good start, she'll appreciate the extra nutrients and have healthy, bouncy, naked, baby gerbils in about 29-31 days. Now i know its exciting to see those wiggly little bodies all in a pile in the corner of the cage but don't try to hold them until at least they get their fur on, if you have a good relationship with momma and she trusts you, you can handle them much earlier but if your not sure don't risk it.
Those squirming naked little babies will soon open their eyes, which only takes about 2 weeks. Be careful when handling them at this stage because they will have a tendency to try to jump out of your hand. These little babies grow up fast and only become more and more cute as they grow. Make sure to handle them often so they get used to being messed with so that you or whoever you adopt them out to wont have problems catching them to clean out cages or to just play with them.
Gerbils are great fuzzy little companions who don't bite you unless you frighten them, avoid startling a sleeping gerbil and you should have a wonderful bite free friend for the rest of your gerbils life, which can be around 2 to 3 years if properly cared for. I recommend gerbils as first time pets because they are hardy and friendly, they don't randomly bite much like hamsters will and they lack the "creep" factor if naked rodent tails bother you, you and or your child will love to watch these small creatures antics and will have fun playing with these gentile little creatures.