Is your female gerbil acting strangely? Do you suspect she is nesting? If you think your gerbil is pregnant then we have you covered!
In this short article, we’ll discuss all the facts so you know exactly what to do when your gerbil gives birth including the gerbil gestation period and important facts on how to handle new gerbils.
Related: Best Mouse Cage
What Is The Average Gerbil Gestation Period?
The average gerbil gestation period, or pregnancy length, for a Mongolian gerbil is around 25 days and the Fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi) is around 19 days.
Caring For A Mother Gerbil
Gerbils can be sexed accurately most of the time, but for a first-time owner or when going off the knowledge of a pet store employee, gerbils may be sexed wrong. A pregnant gerbil will begin building a nest in the corner of their habitat, and their stomachs will begin to be larger than the rest of them, producing a pear-like shape when viewed from above.
You should quickly prepare for the litter, as gerbils only have twenty-four-day pregnancies, and the pups are most likely due soon. If you hadn’t caught the signs beforehand, and now have a litter of pups, we can help you out too.
In both situations, the first action you will have to do is remove the male or all-male gerbils from the cage. If a female mates with a male even moments after birth, she can become pregnant again. Because a pregnant gerbil or new mom can become easily stressed; it is better for their health to let them remain in the original cage.
If you have multiple gerbils, please check each to tell their sex.
Male gerbils will have bulges near the base of the tail, and are usually larger in body than their female counterpoints. On the other hand, females tend to have larger nipples then males. If there are other female gerbils, it may help to also rehome them for a while until the pups have reached adulthood.
Leading up to the birth and post-birth you should raise the protein in their diet, where the easiest way being giving them more mealworms for a snack, and make sure she has a plentiful amount of water.
How To Handle New Gerbils
For the first week of life, you should not touch the pups. The pups will be blind, death, and naked, so they will need their mother by their side the entire time. Around ten days the pups will begin to grow their fur. You must wash your hands before interacting with the pups, but around this time you can begin interacting with them and even sex them, but do not separate them from their mother yet.
Near the age of two and a half weeks old, or eighteen days, they will begin to open their eyes. At this age, it is normal for them to begin to chew on things, and they might even give the food their mother eats a chance.
At about five weeks you should sex the pups, which you can do by following the instructions already shared, and separate them. This is when you can reintroduce the mother with the other females now, if you had separated them during the pregnancy and raising of the pups.
If you have decided to rehome one of the sexes, you can begin looking for a new home for the mother and her daughters or father and sons now. At around four months they will have reached full maturity, both reproductively and in their size.
So, that’s it! Hopefully, you’ve learned the exact Gerbil Gestation Period and How To Handle New Gerbils safely. Always remember to be gentle and patient with your new pets and give them time to adapt to their new world.
Disclaimer: This article is not a ’how to’ breed article, but only for accidental pregnancies. The writer advises keeping same sexed gerbils together, and separate from the opposite sex. Breeding without vet guidance can produce birth defects, and will lower the quality of your pet’s life.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.