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So i have a gerbil..

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So i have a gerbil..

Postby w0lfygirl » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:32 am

A couple months ago i got a gerbil for my birthday, he's slate gray with a white chest and a white stripe across both of his front feet, it looks like he's wearing a tuxedo with white cuffs so i named him Ace.

My hamster, Kiwi, died from old age in February and i wanted another little critter, especially since i don't have my dogs anymore either..which actually depresses me immensely every time i think about it. icon_confused.gif

The thing is, he chews everything in his cage, so i got him some wooden chew logs, but he doesn't touch them, he just wants to chew plastic.
Right now he's in a decent sized hamster cage until i get him a friend, but i plan to get a 10gallon tank, maybe 20, with a cage top and make him a few burrows and some neat things inside since i know they like burrowing. I understand the concept of getting 2 gerbils to like each other.
But.. he doesn't really like me. He doesn't bite, and has never bitten anyone that touches him. He lets me touch him, he just doesn't like it, and he always wants to be put down when i hold him.
I place his cage on the floor a lot and clear everything up and open it to let him run around once i know there's nothing that can harm him, and he crawls back in whenever he wants.
He's a good weight and size from what i can tell, and he's really sweet and quite a joy, but how do i get him to warm up to me? is it just his personality or is it from lack of a companion at the moment? :/

I bought him with plans of getting another a couple weeks later but my neighbor blew me off on a job that he promised and now he wont even speak to me, so that plan fell down hill.

He's not noisy, he doesn't chew his cage, he just chews everything plastic and doesn't really like being handled.. The plastic worries be since i don't want him to get sick from it but he really just breaks pieces and litters them around his cage, rather than eating them. I'm going to try to go up to a pet store and pick him up some edible huts and some hollow logs like you get for reptiles.

The amount he chews? after he got done chewing down the rims of a plate for his castle that i bought (you can put it together however you want with square and triangle pieces, it's pretty neat) he decided he'd move onto his bowl, it was half way gone after that so i had to take it away.
Now he's moved onto a staircase for a different cage that i poked through the wires so he has a little ramp to play and climb on, and it works fine and he actually really likes it, but he's been chewing it down. Luckily i have 3 more...

Papertowel or toilet paper rolls don't work, they're gone in a couple hours and i don't have that many to supply him with daily XD

And if his lack of cuddle-sense is in his personality it's fine with me, i love him anyways. :roll:

I just wanted to know if anyone had any tips, i've never owned a gerbil, and i knew they aren't so easily manageable and cuddly like a hamster, but i love gerbils, and i love their tails. :D

I'll try to get some pictures up soon if anyone's interested.
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby Ana » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:24 pm

Have you tried given him some plastic toys to destroy? My cat has a pet hamster,
and he's also a big fan of chewing plastic, the little wood chew toys and other pet
store treats do not interest him. I will occasionally give him a disposable tupperware
container, he can demolish one in 2-3 days. Pictures!!! Give us pictures!!!
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:03 pm

It's the texture of the plastic. You could try a deer antler from the dog section for a chew he might like.

If there's some treats he likes you can try to lure him onto your hand instead of picking him up. They will also prefer when you do pick them up if you scoop them from underneath rather than grab them from above.
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby w0lfygirl » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:59 pm

I guess that makes sense, I'll try to find the antler and see if he likes that. :shock: Gerbils are evil, lol, i just imagined a hoard of gerbils taking down a deer to chew their antlers off.

I've tried everything to get him to get on my hand, i usually just lay my hand open and he'll come sniff it and put his front paws on my fingers but he'll just try to nibble at my nails and then run off. He's not afraid of me, he just wont climb into my hands. I'm forced to grab him from above if i let him around my room and have to go somewhere if he wont climb in the cage himself, and it takes 30 minutes to catch him, he's so fast! I'm not used to a rodent so fast since i've only ever owned hamsters, and they were always slow and lazy, not bouncy and lightning quick. But that's another thing i like about him; his energy.

It's hard to scoop him from underneath though, he just sort of springs up then runs away from my hand unless i lay it open and stay still, the moment i move it's right to the other side of the cage. Sunflower seeds don't work and he absolutely will not touch pumpkin seeds, he actually shoves them away when i offer them to him. The petstore near by doesn't really have many treats that gerbils can eat, let alone ones they would actually like, so i've tried dried fruit chips and what not but he just snatches them then runs into his little castle. :wall:

I heard that gerbils need a companion to play with because they stay in colonies, so i almost got an older cream male, but i don't have a tank or a splitter to bond them through so i have to wait to get another, but could it be the lack of a companion is what makes him so distant?
He's not lazy and he eats and drinks well, i heard that it can effect that, but he's never been in a cage with another gerbil so it might be effecting his personality. And he seems pretty bored. Energetic still, just doesn't have much to do other than run around my room till i get the tank for him. I have a wheel for him but he doesn't like it, i guess he wants the metal ones they used at the petstore instead of the solid one i have. icon_confused.gif
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:10 pm

I'm not sure a buddy would make him bond any more to you but it probably would make him happier.

While wild rodents aren't taking down deer they will chew on bones and antlers they come across. They also are hunters(at least most of them including gerbils). They hunt insects. I used to catch moths for my deer mice and let them go in their tank and the were really good at catching them and ate the whole thing but we lived in the woods so I knew the moths wouldn't have been exposed to pesticides or anything. You could buy crickets and let one go in his cage now and then for enrichment and a special treat.

You could see if he like mealworms for treats but they wont be much good for hunting fun.

Maybe the wheel is too small?
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby w0lfygirl » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:29 pm

I'd prefer him to be happier, i don't mind him not climbing on me as long as he doesn't bite or attack me, he still comes up to me he just isn't comfortable being picked up.

Haha, i like your response to the gerbil army XD
I checked and they do have quite a variety of antlers, so i'll buy one for puppies, which is just a smaller one compared to the others.
There's actually a LOT of crickets at the petstore near by so that would be great for him, i just need to get a tank first, they would just hope right out of his cage. I'll see if i can find any mealworms to give to him, i just hate touching them, so i'll probably have to use forceps to pick them up with.. :wall:

Would he eat roaches or something? :shock: We have some living in our house because some neighbors we used to have brought them with them and never got rid of them, once they moved out their wasn't a decent food supply so they moved into our house. They're immune to pretty much everything we've tried, so hopefully when we move we wont end up bringing so many and we'll be able to get rid of what does over a couple months. Anyway, the thought crossed my mind, it's weird to think of him eating those, i'm sure a few have turned up in his cage in the last 2 months. icon_confused.gif

I'll try to get some pictures soon, i forgot that i packed my camrea, and all the pictures i have are on the sd card, and for some reason i can't get the pictures off of my phone, but i'll see what i can do
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:27 am

He probably would. You can buy feeder roaches online. I wouldn't feed regular wild house roaches as they could be exposed to too much like pesticides and diseases, that would be in them even if they look okay.
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby Lasergrl » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:21 am

Gerbils are not cuddley rodents, they are extremely active. They really don't like being picked up ever. They just kinda tolerate it eventually. They prefer to be on the move. They are more of a look at type of pet, or put in a running wheel kind of pet.
Rats are pretty cuddley but most small rodents really don't preffer to do much more then run over your hand or up your arm.
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby w0lfygirl » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:45 pm

Yea, it worries me that they get in there, they used to bother my hamster, but knowing they shouldn't bother him much makes me feel a little better since it wont stress him.
I haven't seen many in my room at all since i usually treat it, and so i don't think many get in there, it was just weird to think about.


LG;
Yea, i thought so, i just had a friend who's gerbil was really sweet, so i wasn't sure if it was just him or not, it doesn't bother me though, i just want to be able to pick him up easy when i let him play outside of his cage instead of taking 30 minutes to do so. Especially if i'm going somewhere on a moments notice.
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Re: So i have a gerbil..

Postby w0lfygirl » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:26 am

Here's a picture i managed to get off of my phone, it's the best one i had xP

Yes, i know there's not much bedding, but as you might guess from the box in the background we're moving, and most of the bedding is in his little castle anyway.
The cage is a little small but it's the same as the tanks in the pet store, and he doesn't like the bigger cage that i have. I'd rather use the money i'd spend on a bigger one, to get him a large tank so he can actually borrow around.
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