Post by hladinisakti on Jan 19, 2022 14:27:15 GMT -8
Hi everyone. I purchased a little female gerbil named Lilly. I had heard years ago about females being territorial and males were better being kept with a friend, so I only purchased her. After coming on this forum and reading so much about them really needing a friend I went back to the pet shop I got her from and they were all sold. I just found out that there is a store 3 hours from me that a has a female, but I am so concerned that they may fight because they are not family. Lilly is small, maybe 5-7 months old. What are the odds she would get along with another female at this point. I've had her for 3 weeks and she is doing well but I keep feeling guilty that she is alone. Anyone here have good luck with females staying bonded and being happier together then alone? I have read about the split cage introduction. I'm just curious on how many females still like having a friend after a year. I couldn't bare her getting hurt. Thanks for any help.
Ah, no - females get a bad reputation out of error really. Female pairs and male pairs are just as likely to live together happily their entire lives if they are sibling or have been in a pair together since they were very young. Females can be more likely to declan (squabble) in a mixed trio than males and so the label stuck for pairs too.
Using the split tank intro technique is the only one we can recommend on this forum - as (when properly done) it is the safest way to do it for the gerbils themselves - and very effective.
Any single female is a good candidate for a split with another single adult gerbil, as both are already mature and are meetings as unchanging equals (ie - they are what they are). Some people might suggest a single female very young pup for an easy intro - which would be true initially, but as they mature into an adult they may change character slightly of course.
Post by hladinisakti on Jan 20, 2022 11:58:27 GMT -8
Thank you for sharing. We have been hit with some bad weather here so hopefully I will be able to travel tomorrow and see if the other female is still available. I had just read stories about females deciding they would rather be alone after 8 months or so, so I just didn't want to take any chances. I also read that they can fight to the death because they can't escape the dominant one like they would be able to in the wild. It was just a little stressful trying to decide the best way to go.
I'm just curious on how many females still like having a friend after a year.
Much as we'd like to be able to tell you some solid stats on that, sadly, AFAIK, that data doesn't exist. I recently (ish) started to collect such data in this thread, but it's far too early to draw any conclusions atm.
betty I was under the impression that female pairs were slightly more likely to declan than male pairs, is that not the case then?
Either way hladinisakti, I'd say it's worth getting your little a girl a friend , and watch how they get on during the split intro and after.
I see you've just posted whilst I posted the above message .
So I'll add that whilst declans leading to fighting could result in a death of a gerbil, my impression is that it is very rare for it to get that far (would you agree betty ?). Usually people see signs before that they are not getting on well, like rapid chasing, minor squabbling becoming much more frequent, separate sleeping, 1 gerbil frantically trying to leave the cage when the lid is removed etc. If it helps, I've been on this forum regularly now for a year and a half, I don't recall a single gerbil being killed in a declann (if anyone remembers otherwise, by all means correct me!), even though there have been declanning reports in that time. But it's not guaranteed of course.
As a matter of interest I did a forum search for 'Gerbil killed' (not using Google, but the forums own search engine, which won't be as good, but still interesting).
This forum opened 18 yrs ago (2 days from now!), my search turned up just 3 threads where a gerbil had been killed by another! I was surprised it was that low tbh, but even if some have been missed somehow (e.g using different words), it does at least show that it is rare.
Post by LilyandDaisy on Jan 26, 2022 8:58:34 GMT -8
Are you able to split one of the cages into two halves with a removable divider?
The problem with the side-by-side cages method is that while you can do the swapping, when it comes time to do the introduction for it to work you really need to merge the two gerbils' spaces rather than placing them both in one gerbil's space or in a neutral area.
But side-by-side cages could work as a kind of "soft introduction" before you do the real split cage, if you wanted to take things a bit slower, which with two adult females might not be a bad idea.
Looks like duct tape to me, but either way, I hope it's only used to cover the ends of the mesh, although that said, they're likely to chew it anyway. Could chewing duct tape cause problems for gerbils?
Sorry - not sure why I didn't get a notification for this thread but as you said it is still up in the air for declan data.
I can't remember ever having a declan myself with females between sibling pairs, very young non-sibling pairs, mother and daughter pairs or split-together female pairs. But I certainly had trios of ANY kind declan - in fact I simply stopped creating any trios or quads with females ever again after so many failures.
I think females are more likely to declan overall when 'unbalanced' for sure (as they live in a matriachal society in the wild making females more wired for control) but I have had so many female pairs retire together into old age that I prefer not to have them written off. And certainly a young female pair is better overall than a single I think.
As for a single gerbil killing another - unless they are already unwell or they are not being watched closely when they are active - this is also so very slim as to be almost a very rare exception. They can seriously injure each other if they want to for sure - and the state of my lovely old lady after two sisters ganged up on her was my personal tipping point for 2-pup-trios. She was such a sorry state (torn ear, scabs all over, hugely swollen foot and ripped tail). Most tales of 'killing' are of course a passed gerbil being chewed at afterwards.
I haven't recently seen the updated stats for the declan/split thread we have going - but of course you can't always tell if the females were related when store-bought - and those picked out of a possible non-sibling group aren't always recorded - so often the female stats could be slightly squiffed on that front.
Additionally - any really sticky tape could be a gamble so do watch out for pulled or chewed areas. I totally got stuck to some duct tape today by BOTH my wet nitrile gloves and couldn't get myself free. All rather embarrasing!!
but I have had so many female pairs retire together into old age that I prefer not to have them written off.
Sure, I wasn't implying they should be
Re you and duct tape, that would have been funny to see!
Beware Gorilla duct tape then, that stuff is super sticky! If you have to apply multiple bits of it, and you use your bare hands, it actually removes (very thin) amounts of skin from your finger tips and cause them to be tender!
I've had random threads fail to notify me of updates too on the odd occasion. I guess it's a bug, but a rare one it seems so it'd be hard to report or pin down by proboards support!
Post by hladinisakti on Mar 1, 2022 13:28:44 GMT -8
I used masking tape and all went well! They have been living together in the same tank for a few weeks now, a 40 gallon breeder aquarium and they seem to get along great. It was so stressful trying to get everything right but that was all on me. They were perfectly fine. Thanks for all the help! You guys are great!