All creatures on the earth will reproduce according to their habitats. And all the creatures when they are pregnant have to take care according to their lifestyle. When they are in captivity, you have to care for them as they could care for themselves in the wild. This is the only way to keep your pregnant pets healthy.
How do you know when your female Gerbil is pregnant?
Gerbils are excellent at hiding their pregnancy. So there are some tricks to find out about their pregnancy. You can find out by the following,
- The gerbil’s belly will look rounded and swollen.
- Their nesting behavior and their personality get change.
- Pregnant gerbils can become aggressive and nervous as their due date approaches.
What to do when you know that your Gerbil pet is pregnant?
When you got to know that your gerbil pet is pregnant, you have to do the following,
- You need to remove everything from the cage except food, water, and nesting material.
- Also, you have to reduce the layer of their bedding.
- You should never clean their cage for the first few days of their pregnancy period.
- Remove the male gerbil from the cage.
- Consult your vet for their better health.
- Do not disturb the pregnanty gerbil. Any disturbance could be disastrous. The mother gerbils can easily get very stressed and may then abandon their younger gerbils or even eat their younger gerbils.
Why should you remove the male Gerbil from the cage?
The female gerbils like to stay without any disturbance. If you do not remove the male gerbil, that could make the female pregnant again soon after the female gerbil gives birth. This will reduce the quality of health of the female gerbil, and may make her milk supply dry up.
At what age can your gerbil breed?
The gerbils can mate and breed at 9 weeks of their age. But this can affect the female gerbils to get pregnant so soon. They will mate with any opposite gender gerbils, even with their parents or siblings. This kind of mating with their near relatives will result in breeding unhealthy baby gerbils.
The gerbil can breed until the age of 2 years old. After 2 years, the gerbil’s fertility and their health will get decline and they are not much stable to breed. Even if they breed after their 2-year old, they will give birth to an unhealthy baby gerbil which will be smaller and cannot have normal growth.
So, if they want to breed a healthy baby gerbil, both the female and the male gerbils should be at least 3 to 18 months of their age.
The average pregnancy period for the gerbils is 24 to 26 days. They breed year-round.
Number of baby Gerbils per breeding
The gerbils can give birth between 1 to 10 baby gerbils at a time. Giving birth to 4 to 8 baby gerbils is common in female gerbils. If your gerbils give more than 8 baby gerbils, the mother gerbils may struggle to feed them. Because the female gerbils will have only 8 nipples.
Note: The parents will kill their 1 or 2 younger gerbils if they give birth to more than 7 to 8 baby gerbils. This is because the mother gerbil can safely feed her remaining babies more easily.
Only the very young and the very old gerbils give birth to fewer baby gerbils. They will not be much stronger. And they may die after 2 to 3 days of their birth. Because the mother gerbils in that case will not be having much strength to raise their baby gerbils.
The male and female gerbils can reproduce nearly 50 to 53 young gerbils over their reproductive lifetime.
Why is your Gerbil pet not getting pregnant?
Some gerbils will face infertility issues because of the following reasons,
- Ovarian cysts (This occurs in the older gerbils and is the major cause for the infertility)
- Old age or too young (Either male or female)
- Sexual immaturity
- Exposure to pesticides or other toxins
- Nutritional deficiencies, and disease.
Environmental causes of infertility in gerbils are as follows,
- Incompatibility with a potential mate
- Environmental disturbances
- Low temperatures
Healthy diet for your pregnant Gerbil pet
The gerbil pregnant will get more hungry than before. And also, the female gerbils need to grow their babies in their stomachs, and also they should give birth to their younger. So they need a lot of energy. So you need to provide your pregnant gerbil pets with more meals than before. You also need to add some sources of fat and protein like,
- Nuts and seeds
- Chopped up egg (hard boiled or scrambled, without oil or seasonings)
- Small pieces of hard, low-lactose cheese (e.g. cheddar or parmesan)
Since the gerbils are mammals, they give birth to their younger ones and feed the younger gerbils with mother gerbil’s milk. The baby gerbils are commonly known as pups. They are born pinkish in color without fur on them. They are too sensitive at this point, and all they can do is squeak, wriggle, and suckle.
They are unable to adjust to their own temperature. So they are completely dependent on their parents to grow up. The pups can open their eyes at their 17 to 18 days old. At this point, they will have their fur on their skin, developed teeth( they start to chew the cardboard, food, or anything), and the pups will look like a small gerbils.
The mother gerbils will feed their baby gerbils for up to 4 weeks. At this age, the pups will start to eat solid foods and start to drink water from the water bottle.
Do not separate them from their parents until they reach 6 weeks old. Because the baby gerbils need to complete their social and emotional development from their parents. They can also stay with their parents until 8 weeks old.
The pregnant gerbils should be taken well care of and do not let be stressed out. Try to give their own space during their pregnancy period by separating them from their partner(male gerbils). Try not to disturb them.
Do not let the old gerbil have bred. Because the born pups from the old father or mother gerbils will have weak health and reduced growth.