Updated table above. Err, they're definitely piling on the weight, especially Blake!
I haven't changed their feed quantity, but I was given the last 1/4 of a bag of gerbil feed (pellets) from a friend (whose daughter's gerbil died recently), and I've been feeding them that every other day (so they don't get bored of it) instead of their regular seed mix. Surely that can't be responsible?? I was planning to leave the feed at 7g ea/day and see if their weight drops off through the spring, but I'm getting uneasy about that now!.....
The only thing I've noticed is that Blake usually finishes off his pellets, whereas Avon often has some left the next day, he's clearly not so keen on it! But even so, Avon is still gaining weight. I'm tempted to bin the pellets, but it seems such a waste, and I don't like wasting food in particular! That said, the packet is nearly finished now.
Post by LilyandDaisy on Feb 14, 2022 12:41:36 GMT -8
Do you feed them every day? You could try doing "fast days" where they only get fresh food.
Would it also be possible for you scatter their food over a solid surface, like a platform, rather than the bedding? That way you can see how much they actually eat, as perhaps they are still getting more than they need. I don't think mine eat 7g each every day. I used to go by the 10g/gerbil/day rule but I think that rule might be better for pellet-style diets which overall are less calorie dense. With a seed mix style diet, which is more calorie dense, I think it's too much.
It's always worth experimenting with brands of food as well to see if you get different results with different foods.
Yea I feed them pretty much every day, with the odd occasion I don't if I see a build up of food. I stuck to 7g/ea as that stabilised their weight, until December anyway, weird!
Oh I gave up putting most of their feed on the bedding a few weeks after I got them, and then completely several months later (about when they 1st declanned) as Blake just couldn't find much of the food in it (I swear he barely has a sense of smell!), and then it'd get buried anyway. So I've been putting their feed on the platforms (and formerly on their hut) and also on the glass ledges of the tank. Although the platforms do have some bedding on their making it hard to see the food. I guess I'll just have to cut back the feed if they go up again.
Post by LilyandDaisy on Feb 16, 2022 13:19:44 GMT -8
Out of interest, I weighed the average quantity of food that I usually feed my gerbils and it came out as 12g. It lasted them the best part of two days. That's maybe 3-4g each per day. This is my homemade mix which has 15% protein and 12% fat. So I'd say your boys might easily be fine with less than 7g each.
Interesting, I guess I could cut their feed again now. Although last June when I cut it back to 12g/day, Avon in particular was losing weight. Of course they're older now, perhaps they have slower metabolism now? I'll decide on their next weighing.
97 .... 22/07/21 ... 94 97 .... 28/07/21 ... 95 92 .... 11/08/21 ... 96 90 .... 25/08/21 ... 97 (increased feed to 14g/day, been unable to feed Avon 4 treats/day, he ignored them!) 92 .... 16/09/21 ... 99 93 .... 30/09/21 ... 99 95 .... 15/10/21 ... 96 (declanned again 3/10) 95 .... 27/10/21 ... 95 91 .... 10/11/21 ... 93 (Mostly been able to feed Avon treats again, but only if I drop them in front of him, he won't take them from my fingers! lol) 96 .... 24/11/21 ... 96 92 .... 09/12/21 ... 97 97 .... 24/12/21 .. 102 Avon is beginning to take treats more often from my fingers again 98 .... 07/01/22 .. 100 103 .. 22/01/22 .. 107 107 .. 07/02/22 .. 114
Post by LilyandDaisy on Feb 26, 2022 15:40:17 GMT -8
When Avon won't take treats from your fingers, does he take them (eventually) if you put them on the bedding? I was wondering as when gerbils aren't sure about a food they take longer to make up their minds to eat it, and that means if it's just briefly presented on your hand they will reject it. If you leave it in the tank they will often eventually try it. I found a study once on hamsters and gerbils, which described a "latency period" between rodents first encountering a food and them starting to eat it. A longer latency period is associated with greater suspicion of the food.
Perhaps the times when Avon doesn't take treats from your hand are times when he's less interested in food in general.