Looking at getting Gerbils from here, 2 different groups I'm looking at, the trio called Caleb, Curtis and Cathy, (males neutered) but notice their 'arrived' dates, it seems they have only been together as trio for just under 2mths, so are they a high risk for declanning?
The other group I'm looking at is the male pair Pumpkin and Peanut, which should be a much safer option, although they are older, it's not a show stopper for me (btw my previous Gerbil used to nip when bored of being stroked, lol).
I guess I've kind of answered my own question, but I want opinions from more experienced Gerbil owners (my last one was 32yrs ago! So effectively I'm new to this).
It's possible that by the time I get the tank (end of the month), they'll all be gone anyway! But just in case, I thought I'd ask with plenty of time left.
Post by LilyandDaisy on Jul 18, 2020 6:39:08 GMT -8
Personally I would not recommend any arrangement that involves a neutered male to a brand new(ish) keeper. I'm having some trouble with my neutered male and female pair at the moment and I can only imagine two neutered males with a female would be more complicated. There's just not a lot of information about neutered male clans out there so with the problems I'm having I have to sort of make it up as I go along and hope it works. The dynamics are so different to all my same sex pairs.
The male pair look like the best option for a new keeper. 2 isn't necessarily that old. You can expect to have 6 months to a year, or more with them. One of the males I had as a teenager lived to nearly 5! I have a soft spot for older gerbils because I find their personalities mellow and (at least with females which I've mostly kept) they seem to be calmer together as well. My older are heading towards 18 months and it's bittersweet because on the one hand they're getting older, but on the other hand they're developing such nice temperaments and aren't as crazy and wild as when they were young.
Lol, no more crazy wild parties? They grow up so quickly!
Ok thanks for that , I thought that was likely to be the case, I hadn't realised though that neutered males seems to be relatively uncharted territory, interesting. Is neutering Gerbils a recent thing then? I've just remembered that the Swiss animal welfare Gerbil handbook, in part written by Eva Waiblinger, recommends against pairing females and neutered males....
Post by LilyandDaisy on Jul 18, 2020 7:35:32 GMT -8
Yes - I think the idea in that handbook is that demanding females stress neutered males out, which I can believe. When I looked on a German gerbil forum for experiences of neutered male and female pairs I found some people saying their pairs got on fine, and others saying the females were very controlling and the males were henpecked, which has been my experience. There were no reports of declanning though.
While it seems that neutering gerbils has been done for some years (although more commonly recently), most threads I find are of the initial neutering surgery and perhaps the introduction, not of the aftermath. So you're left wondering what happened next. It's also confusing because when people say their pairs get along, I don't know what standard they are using. If your standard for "getting along" is not killing each other, then yes, my pair get along. But as was discussed in a recent thread, a pair doesn't have to be fighting to be getting along poorly. I don't know how much long term follow up rescues do, so when they say they have success with neutering males, I've no idea what that really means.
Now any pair can have problems and declan, but at least with a straightforward same sex pair you will have lots of anecdotal evidence to draw on.
Re German forums, that reminds me theirs something else I want to follow up on, are their any particular german forums that are well known and active there?
Yea it all seems like a very grey area, I'll definitely avoid the trio! Getting along should mean getting along reasonably harmoniously most of the time, but it is a vague term, and some people 'stretch' it's meaning!
Yes, renmaus.de is still up and running and always being updated.
As for the sets up - I would certainly say the pair is safer long term, but if you were confident at spotting problems with clans and had space for a second tank if there were any issues, then why not home the trio. Someone needs to home them and it is far better they went to someone who was interested in the best for them (even if that mean splitting them up either straight away or at the first signs of a declan) than someone whoe just wanted three gerbils?
It might not be as straight forward with the trio - but if they aren't suitable together, they aren't suitable together with whoever they a kept by, but someone needs to home them?
Well, on paper I know what the signs of declanning are, I've read about it multiple times, but I haven't had a pair(+) of Gerbils since the late 70s when I was a young kid , so I'm not experienced at all.
Also, I don't really have space for another tank, and although my tank will be large enough to split, I wouldn't want to do a permanent split in it, as that would take the size from way above minimum (which I chose to give them a relatively large amount of running room, nothing compared to the wild of course! ) to marginally above the minimum.
Oh also, if I go back to work next month (I've no idea when I will be though!), I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on them until I got back from work at about 6pm.
Yea I was thinking otherwise the poor little things might be stuck their for ages , I'm sure their well cared for their, but with so many animals and not that many humans I don't suppose the interaction lasts for long.
Well, the good news is I didn't need to worry, the bad news is someone else has got those 2 Gerbils
The further bad news is that their are only trios left at gerbil and rodent rescue , the aforementioned 2 neutered Males +1F. 3M 1 of whom has a tumour in his ear, the other 2 are 2.5yrs old.
And a new trio of 3F, (all black! ) who are 1yr old. I love black Gerbils, but it's a trio again, if they were all of the same family, would that make the chances of declanning any less likely??
Btw, I would have the 3 older males, but as an inexperienced Gerbil keeper, I'd feel concerned about catching the symptoms late for putting him to sleep, and TBH, as a 'new' keeper I wouldn't want that certain worry straight off the bat!
That, and I would be paying for their adoption and shortly after paying to have 1 put to sleep! (How much is that anyway?)
So it looks like I'm going to have to look elsewhere, but their seems to be very little choice around here atm .
On the plus side, my tank is turning up much earlier than expected and is arriving tomorrow!
Oh no - bad luck - but at least people out there are rescuing gerbils all the time!
If you find a realistic and down to earth vet - PTS can be as little at £10 (no consult charge). As long as the gerbils had previously been seen by them and/or they had already been offered a treatment of any kind - most vets are quite fair about your final decision here. not sure what vets would do if you called them up blind for a PTS?
If you aren't sure about any of the trios on offer, then wait. Don't rush into something you aren't ready for, no matter how much you want to help. Nobody should get themselves pets because they feel they should.
Have you contacted Jackie at the NGS to see if there is a breeder near you who might be able to supply you with a settled older pair of brothers - the perfect first combo?
I have adopted from PAH before. They usually get the sex wrong, the character and the behaviour wrong, and often they are injured or scared too. However, I wouldn't swap the characters I have picked up from them for a slice of chocolate torte cake (argghh, that cake is sooooo nice)...
That is actually the breeder I got my gerbils from! She is really nice and my gerbils turned out to be absolute sweet hearts. She also has a lot of experience breeding and I'm quite sure she has some older gerbils for rehoming.