Often asked: How many babies can a gerbil have?

How many babies do gerbils have at once?

A gerbil litter normally consists of five or six young, but can be anything from three to nine. In those rare cases where there are only one or two babies, the mother’s instincts may not kick in and the pups may die after a day or two.

Do gerbils eat their babies?

Gerbils and other rodents are known for eating their young. This grisly behavior is difficult to understand, but there are good reasons why it happens. The mother may be starving after a long illness during pregnancy. Or, because it has too many young, or another litter coming.

Will gerbil siblings mate?

A gerbil often accepts his sister as a mate, but inbreeding has its own negatives. Gerbils are polyestrous, which means they are sexually responsive or “in heat” several times a year. They can mate and rear offspring regardless of the season.

Are male or female gerbils better?

Some owners say males are more docile and friendly towards each other than females. Others say they have had no problem with female gerbil pairs. However, it’s generally a good idea to choose males if you want to keep more than two gerbils together, as they seem slightly happier in larger groups than females.

Do gerbils eat their own poop?

According to the Journal of Nutrition, rodents such as gerbils do eat their own poop. You may notice your gerbil eating its own poop soon after it goes to the toilet. Or, you can see them eating poop from another gerbil. They can even eat poop that has lain around for a while.

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Will a gerbil eat a dead gerbil?

When a gerbils dies, the other gerbils eat them. Of course when it is an adult gerbil it is too big to be eaten by one other gerbil. Pups however are most of the times eaten whole. This is completely natural and just to clean their nest.

Can gerbils change sexes?

Gerbils can‘t change their gender. A gerbil’s sex is permanent, and determined at the moment of conception. Female gerbils have two X chromosomes, and males have XY chromosomes.

What do I do if my gerbil is pregnant?

If you suspect that your female gerbil is pregnant, remove everything from the cage except food, water, nesting materials, and a reduced layer of bedding. Avoid cleaning the cage during the first few days of the pups’ lives.

How do you tell if a gerbil is a boy or girl?

Gerbil males have a distinctive bulge at the base of their tails. This is very obvious at four weeks old, which means you can easily tell the difference between males and females. Also, the two openings at the base of the animal’s tail are close together in males, but much further apart in females.

Do gerbils mate for life?

Female gerbils can continue to mate and have litters up to the age of two or so. At this age, rodents go through menopause. This means that the female can no longer have litters. Males can continue to mate for their whole lives.

How long can gerbils be separated?

Most pups are weaned by five weeks, and will survive if separated then. The gerbils will be healthier and happier if separated at eight weeks. Put the father and male pups into another tank. You could also put the pups and parents into same-sex pairings.

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Do female gerbils mount each other?

Female gerbils mount other females to show which one is dominant and which is submissive. This can be a regular behavior, but it is most common after you clean their cage. They may mount each other when in heat, but this occurs far less frequently when a male gerbil is present.

What is a gerbil baby?

Young gerbils are called pups after their appearance at about a week old when they look for all the world like a new born pup. Like the young of most small rodents gerbils are totally dependant on their parents for the first weeks of their lives.

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