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which home should I get for a trio of gerbils

(16 Posts)
EdwiniasRevenge Wed 05-Jun-13 14:25:11

I have ruled out the rotastack style due to chewing and lack of burrowing space.

This one

Is the one recommended by my independent pet shop (where we will be getting the gerbils). Advantages are that fully enclosed so no throwing rubbish out. Looks like they won't have much headspace for climbing abd playing though.

I think I am leaning towards this one from pets at home.

Although it has a smaller footprint it has much more head space and with the wire design more scope for enrichment as toys can be hung and attatched.


EdwiniasRevenge Wed 05-Jun-13 14:29:39 is the independent pet shop one

.. ..

Pets at home one

Sorry I forgot to enable links

EdwiniasRevenge Wed 05-Jun-13 14:30:25 is the independent pet shop one.. ..

 Pets at home one

Sorry I forgot to enable links

BonkeyMollocks Wed 05-Jun-13 17:36:13

Personally I would go for neither - both are far too small for 3 gerbils and both can be easily chewed out of!!

The wire top one would need the floors covering too because walking across wire would cause bumblefoot.

Your best bet is to find a second hand cheap fish tank and let them loose in that! Fill 2/3 with substrate , hide cardboard in there and they will be in heaven!

I wouldn't worry too much about toys and hanging things - they will get love and shred wink . Just keep a supply of toilet roll inners and boxes and you have yourself you own recycling station and save your pennies! grin

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 07-Jun-13 20:32:34

We have the Falco(larger one) from Zooplus for our 2. Worth every penny and they love it.You can see their tunnels and there is loads of space to be creative.

Tinyfeetbiggob Fri 07-Jun-13 20:35:39

We had a second hand fish tank which they loved with a homemade rota stack extension above it.

lurcherlover Fri 07-Jun-13 20:45:22

Out of interest, if you do the fishtank full of substrate, how do you clean it? Doesn't the wee/poo get mixed in all the sand? I'm considering gerbils as future pets for the dcs so it would be good to know about cleaning implications...they're the only small furry I haven't kept!

EdwiniasRevenge Fri 07-Jun-13 21:01:02

Well we have got a larger version of the pets at home. I bought it before there were any replies on this unfortunately so that is what we are stuck with, at least for the time being.

We have only had them 2 days but we are using a chinchilla sand bath as recommended by our independent pet store. They are using that as a litter tray so the majority of solid waste is removed daily. I plan to get an old sieve so I can recycle the chinchilla sand.

Apparently they are adapted to not urinate frequently as they are dessert animals.

At the moment I am changing their bedding every other day (they don't actually sleep in their nest hmm. I plan to change the substrate (I am using shredded cardboard but I am not actually convinced thats ideal as they don't seem to be able to create stable burrows) once a fortnight.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 07-Jun-13 21:22:34

Blimey we don't do all that.

Our cage is huge and filled with wood shavings which we change once a month,they have a dish of chinchilla sand which we change weekly. They have several little homes,tunnels and hidey holes(hanging coconut,wooden houses,a wooden chalet etc) which we put shredded paper into but they drag it all down into their burrow under the wood shavings.We put in any brown paper from parcels which they shred.

They never smell and never seem to wee.When we change the wood shavings it's like new.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 07-Jun-13 21:27:16

I do think the pets at home one is waaaay too small and verging on cruel.In Germany there are restrictions on cage size ie minimum sizes,it annoys me when I see the cages in Pets at Home.

You'll need to cover up all the metal flooring as their feet could get stuck between the bars.

EdwiniasRevenge Fri 07-Jun-13 21:27:43

I was told not to use wood shavings. I have a huge bag to use up and can get them dirt cheap from the farm but was advised against due to respiratory problems.

I can promise they wee...I got wee'd on today when getting one out to handle....

EdwiniasRevenge Fri 07-Jun-13 21:29:06

I have already covered up the metal flooring with cardboard as they clearly weren't comfortable on it.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 07-Jun-13 21:32:48

Mine love the Pets at Home shavings,the book we have recommends them but not cedar.I think one square foot or above per gerbil is the recommended size.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 07-Jun-13 21:33:44

I think ours must wee in the sand tray.

KRITIQ Sun 09-Jun-13 00:37:32

It's been about 6 years now since I last had a gerbil, Gareth, who was a solo male I fostered initially, but there was no way he was going anywhere smile

He was in a largish glass tank filled with layers of straw, peat, straw, peat, etc. This only needed to be cleaned out once every 3 months or so. It was a bit of an operation to catch him as he'd been accidentally "free range" before the rescue was called out to capture and rehome him, so he was never happy being handled, but I basically just started digging and as soon as his head popped up, I grabbed him! He loved the tunnelling and although he wasn't "tame" and wasn't in a pair/group, seemed to be about the most content gerbil I've had.

I'd had gerbils about 6 years before that and they were either in wire cages or plastic tanks but always on sawdust. I didn't realise now that the scratching in the corner they did on sawdust was a sign of boredom/frustration because they wanted to be digging tunnels and couldn't. Some gerbils also bit at the cage bars - even ending up with a bloody nose - again, signs of boredom from not being in an environment even close to their natural one.

I don't know what the current thinking is (I'd not go by what a pet shop says though - I'd look at gerbil forums and gerbil keeper websites) but I can say the peat and straw in a tank method did make for one very happy gerbil.

ProtegeMoi Sun 09-Jun-13 02:29:01

As others have said, both are way too small.

I have a pair of gerbils in a 4 foot fish tank with a hand made wire lid. Got it free from free cycle, and a good clean later put it to use.

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