Post by nycgerbillover on May 24, 2020 5:16:01 GMT -8
I have one gerbil baby (she’s not an actual baby) whose weight fluctuates between a low 60-gram level and under 60 grams. She is healthy, inquisitive, active and beautiful but I fear that she isn’t weighty enough. I have one gerbil who weighs 30 grams more than she does! She is admittedly a little bony. I feed my four female gerbils food and treats (all manner of nuts and seeds, mealworms, etc. (they don’t like fruits or veggies)) in abundance. How can I get this gerbil to gain weight or is she ok as she is? She is my slimmest gerbil. Thank you in advance for your help.
Post by monkeygerbils on Jun 3, 2020 7:59:06 GMT -8
I would say she is a little underweight but as long as she is actually eating she should be OK maybe try some fattier treats like sunflower seeds but make sure she has a balanced diet still on of my gerbils is 65 grams even though he eats loads. Way more than his 80 gram brother.
Post by nycgerbillover on Jun 29, 2020 12:23:37 GMT -8
Thanks. I do give her all manner of nuts and seeds but she is still so slim! Her sisters weigh 80 grams, 92 grams and 95 grams, respectively. I don't know what to do but she is definitely eating, active and healthy so maybe I shouldn't worry.
I had a few small gerbils who all weighed in at around the 60g mark no matter what I fed them.
However the most dominated female in a clan of 4, she may really get the short straw of everything. If you aren't already I would certainly scatter feed across the entire tank and have at least 2 water bottles in totally opposite places ideally both in really open places (ie not at the top of a ladder or 'the only thing on the top level'). These things tend to reduce a gerbils ability to control another gerbils diet.
Also, health conditions and stress can cause digestion to not be as effective as normal (we all know what a nervous tummy is like before a job interview, performance or whatever). So the amount of food going in might not represent the amount of food actually being digested.
I would certianly keep an eye on all their weights regularly, and perhaps start to watch their behaviours a bit more closely to wtch how they all interact.
Remember though - gerbils are very psychological in their domination - so they can guilt each other out for eating as they know they were eating.
Like when you are on a diet (or your mum has just made a lovely cheescake) and your fridge makes a certain noise when you open it - and there is only one way into the kitchen past the lounge. You can't even THINK about going in there when the family might hear - they will all know what you are doing!
Same sometimes with gerbils (and cats and dogs etc) - they need to be able to eat when noone else can see it's them - then they don't have to answer to anyone about it. Great in enclosures with lots of changing enrichment (distractions), scatter feeding (more than one fridge), and always two ended tunnels, dens and houses (more than one way into the kitchen).
It just means that the more dominated gerbils have a bit more of a chance to be 'normal' without rocking the boat!
Lets hope she soon feels able to eat more without getting into gerbil trouble...
Post by nycgerbillover on Jul 2, 2020 8:08:38 GMT -8
I certainly hope she eats more! She used to weigh around 50 grams! Now she holds steady at 62 grams. It’s hard to grasp gerbil psychology because I don’t actually see my alpha being a total bully. Anyway, now there is plenty of food all over the tank for her. Thank you for your concern and information! I appreciate it.
I know - it took me a long time to realise how the clans worked. So many people - including me earlier on - couldn't see a declan coming.
One day they were friends, the next day they were covered in blood. I couldn't understand it.
Then - after a lot of reading on here, asking questions and my own observations (as well as some understanding of canine and feline behaviour) I think I now understand how it works.
Just as with people who don't need to say anything for you to know what triggers them, gerbils (cats and dogs) do the same. I remember reading something about cats 'guarding the stairs' in a house and also dogs changing character/gaining weight/settling down more easily when the other dog in the house passed away that I started to think along the same lines for gerbils.
Having seen my own gerbils change character and weight in different clans, I can only assume it plays out like this for them too?
As with humans - someone doesn't actually have to beat you up all the time to affect your behaviour.