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What can I use for my gerbils to dig into?

(25 Posts)
charliecat Tue 24-May-05 21:02:02

I have a plastic tank for them and usually bury kitchen rolls etc under the sawdust but they undig them and chew them and end up with just a sawdust/cardboard mountain.
I used to have a book and it said to use mud and something so they could dig it themselves and live naturally. Do I buy a growbag or dig in the garden or ?

Titania Tue 24-May-05 21:05:30

any organic garden peat is great for them.

Janh Tue 24-May-05 21:05:59

Our gerbils have a 3-storey plastic-and-metal cage with some sawdust (not much) in the bottom and a big stack of hay to make their nest in. It's fantastic to see what they do with it - it starts out a random stiff scratchy handful and they somehow smooth it out and make it soft and nice! (And eat it in their sleep, apparently, as it slowly disappears.)

They also have some wood to chew, failing that they gnaw the bars, and seem very happy and healthy (now watch one of them drop dead tomorrow!)

NomDePlume Tue 24-May-05 21:10:44

sand ?

tillykins Tue 24-May-05 21:13:05

a jumble of straw, hay and sawdust is good - ours loved rumbling through it and making lots of tunnels!

charliecat Tue 24-May-05 21:13:28

Have gave them a sand pit before They just chew the bowl and couldnt give a monkeys about the sand May try sand and organic peat mixed together...see if binds together with hay even. They seem to sleep a lot unless I entertain them with things to chew /move/rehouse themselves etc.

Janh Tue 24-May-05 21:16:09

Is your tank all on one level, cc? If so I would definitely try them with a multi-storey one, or else one of those plasticky ones with lots of rooms connected with tubes. Ours don't sleep a lot and are always bounding up and down the ramps. (Also we keep them in the hall so someone is always about.)

Do you feed yours on just dry food or fruit and veg too?

moondog Tue 24-May-05 21:17:03

God JanH, you know everything!
(Did you have a nice holiday btw?)

Janh Tue 24-May-05 21:19:49

Yes, it's true, moondog, ask me anything!!! (ahem)

I did have a lovely hol, thank you! Corsica is totally fab, anybody who hasn't been there put it on your list for next year.

charliecat Tue 24-May-05 21:20:03

It is on one level, its a huge fat plastic tank and I cut out cat food boxes with holes and we give them tunnels and glasses and do try and make it as fun as poosible but unless its glass or something uneddible they munch through it. They go through those plastic tubes in half a day the ones that come with the plastic colourful cages...
Dry food and leftovers and fruit and whatever we are having for lunch...they dont sleep for 2/3 days after having a cage clear out but do the next 3 till i change it round again.

Janh Tue 24-May-05 21:23:05

I have in the past bought DIY bathroom plumbing pipes for ours - you can make interesting tunnels for them out of those, with the bendy joining bits, and they are very tough plastic so take a bit of chewing. (You'd think the plastic would kill them but I suppose they don't swallow it...)

Do you get them out for a romp? The stairs make a good playground.

charliecat Tue 24-May-05 21:24:29

Oh yeah...when ive lobbed the cat out the back door, he would love to have them for breaky

SaintGeorge Tue 24-May-05 21:28:48

You could try taking both ends off some old food tins - if you have one of those 'safe' tin openers that crimp the end of the tin as they open. Only 'toy' that ever survived in our gerbil tank without getting chewed.

charliecat Tue 24-May-05 21:29:41

Nope dont have one of those.

Milliways Tue 24-May-05 21:40:46

I once tried using compost in my gerbil tank - they didn't like it

I used to put an entire bale of sawdust into tank + a whole load of that cotton wool type bedding and they made tunnels throughout the sawdust with that. Changed the whole lot about once a month.

Best toys were the really large ceramic things that you get for aquariums. We had a boot with holes in that they adored and a bridge to climb on. Looked nice too as unchewable. Cardboard tubes provided to shred.

I miss gerbils - DH hated them so when we got married they were not replaced after they died. Justs cats, dog & children now!

charliecat Wed 25-May-05 18:52:13

Well I have put a whole cage full of straw/hay/sawdust and sand plus a big cardboard tube from a carpet and the ramp they usually have to access the water/food. Oh and some kitchen towel for bedding as I didnt get to a pet shop today and sainsburys didnt have any fluffy stuff either. No peat only compost at the garden centre so couldnt even try it...
...anyway...daft gerbil jumped straight into kitchen sink where id ran the water to do the dishes so that was a near miss...daft bugger!

bubbaloo Thu 26-May-05 14:17:47

hi charliecat,
havent had gerbils for a while but did have about 60 at one time!!
i found sawdust and shredded paper was the best thing,along with loo rolls.
we kept ours in glass tanks and they used to love digging away in the sawdust and making tunnels.

sweetmonkey Thu 26-May-05 14:26:17

mine used to have a little log that had holes cut into it. they used to gnaw away at the wood and they loved it. got them fron pet shop. HTH

charliecat Thu 26-May-05 19:59:53

Mine must be lazy, if I put in a whole thingy of sawdust they just live on the top layer and when i clean them out the underneath hasnt been touched for 6 of the 7 inches of it...its just compact as they have been running about on it.
They are enjoying the hay and I can see tunnels appearing
60 2s hectic enough for me!

bubbaloo Thu 26-May-05 21:10:51

havent got them anymore.lets just say it was something to do with that hurricane we had in the 1980's.
wasnt funny at the time-i was very upset.

charliecat Thu 26-May-05 21:12:39

hurricaine? They blew away?

bubbaloo Thu 26-May-05 21:40:25

they were all in their cages in the garage.the garage had a window which smashed during the storm.most of the cages blew away,along with the gerbilsand i had lots of neighbours knocking on our door to report cages and gerbils in their gardens.
this isnt a wind up-it really happened and i was really upset at the time

charliecat Thu 26-May-05 21:40:58

Poor wee buggers

virago Thu 26-May-05 22:25:07

We keep two gerbils in a large glass tank filled to the top with 100% real peat. they love it and make burrows to sleep and store food in. We have a long tube from the inside of a roll of carpet that they come down onto the floor in ahd then they have free reign of the dining room floor.(Not actually used for dining in I might add!!) they love to come and sit by the patio windows in the sun and taunt all the neighbourhood cats that come to stare at them!cat me and I'll send you a video!

charliecat Thu 26-May-05 22:31:44

Excellent will do to send it too. we used to have cageless rat who slept on the bottom step of the stairs...then this cat wouldnt stop pestering us at the back door, then winter came and i couldnt bear to shut the cat out in the cold so the rat got caged and the cats still with us 5 years later

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