Tag Archives: males

How do gerbils take care of their young?

Gerbils are born helpless, blind and hairless and so need the care and attention of their mother from the moment she gives birth to them.

The mother will create a nest for her young pups and then line it with fur from her belly to keep them warm.

A newborn baby pup will instinctively find their way underneath their mother’s warm belly where they will find her nipples that provide them with the nourishing milk that they need.

When a mother is nursing her pups, it is important that the family is not disturbed in any way because any disturbances will distress a nursing mother.

If she is greatly distressed, she may even engage in cannibalistic behavior with some of her young. It has been known before. This will be because of a deficiency in animal protein in her diet.

The pups will be hairless and so will need the continued warmth of the mother for the first few weeks of their lives until hair starts to grow.

Whenever the female leaves the nest, the male may intervene and snuggle up to the young to provide the warmth that they need.

The mother may also provide them with sufficient nesting material to keep them warm without the need of having a parent there in the nest.

When they are born, pups are without hair and will have their eyes closed.

Do not attempt to touch them during this time as they are incredibly sensitive.

Then after about four days, their hair begins to grow and will develop over their body.

It will grow more densely as time goes on.

During the earlier days of their lives, it is easier to determine their sex as there is less fur on their body covering up nipples.

Their eyes will begin to open after about three weeks.

They will then start to explore their surroundings away from the nest.

The mother will keep a close eye on them and bring them back if they happen to stray too far.

They will then start to look for their own food and seek out water themselves.

It is then that they start to gain their first semblance of independence.

It is important to remember that young gerbils become sexually mature at around four months old and so if they are around each other at this age, you may be getting more baby gerbils than you bargained for.

So before they reach this age they need to be separated out, males with males and females with females.

 

References:

Arkive

 

How Do Gerbils Mate?

Rodents have a variety of different ways their males and females will mate. Because they are such a vast family that includes guinea pigs, rats, chinchillas, degus, and mice they will usually have a species-specific way that they will mate.

So how do gerbils mate?

The mating rituals of gerbils will differ from their rodent counterparts and will very much relate to the way they communicate with each other.

The male and female will need to be placed together in the same cage obviously to start with.

This will only be for a limited time to allow them to mate together.

The male will usually chase the female looking to copulate with her.

Once she has given into the male’s persistence she will allow him to approach her.

The male approaches the female’s genital area.

It recognizes her willingness by her scent which the male will pick up.

The male will then chase the female around her cage.

The female will usually make it difficult for the male by kicking him and running away.

Once the male has caught up with the female, he will sniff her genitals before mounting her from behind, inserting his penis and copulating with her.

The coupling of gerbils can be quite ardent especially as the male is quite capable of mounting the female several hundred times in a half day period.

Once they have finished…

When they have finished, they will stand behind each other and take turns in cleaning its own genital area after each mating.

Occasionally the partner also thumps excitedly but without too much noise with its hind legs.

Once this has happened the female will make a run for it again before the male can mount her again.

However, once the male has caught up with her again, he will do the deed again.

Once they have mated a number of times, they will need to be separated otherwise it will keep happening.

A male and female gerbil will mate together often if you let them and so it is important to remove one from the other.