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Introducing a new Gerbil to a 2 and a half year old Male gerbil.

Discussion in 'Small Animal Chat' started by Rachael Potts, Feb 16, 2020.


  1. Rachael Potts

    Rachael Potts PetForums Newbie

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    One of my gerbils (male) has passed away today and I am looking into introducing my current (Male) gerbil to another 2 gerbils. Although my current gerbil has a suspected sent gland tumour, but is not being operated on. Do you have any suggestions as to introding new gerbil.

    Thank you for your help in advance
    Rachael
     
  2. TIGGS1

    TIGGS1 PetForums Member

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    Look at these siites
    1. How to safely introduce two gerbils | Pets4Homes
      www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/how-to-safely...
    1. Can You Introduce New Gerbils? | Getting A Gerbil | Gerbils ...
      www.omlet.co.uk/.../introducing_new_gerbils
      1
    2. Gerbils Companionship
      www.erinsark-petcareguide.com/gerbil-companionship
      Introducing an established gerbil group(3+) to another gerbil is possible but should only be attempted by experienced owners and I would only attempt this with male gerbils. It is important that the right personalities fit together to create group dynamics
     
    Engel98 likes this.
  3. Susanna11

    Susanna11 PetForums Junior

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    Unfortunately not all of the information you'll find online is quite accurate. Introducing an established gerbil pair or group to another gerbil, is never, ever a good idea. Not even by experienced owners. The only exception is when you are introducing two very young pups to an older male gerbil, but the pups should be young enough that aren't really an established pair yet.

    I can understand why you'd want to introduce two new gerbils, since you then hopefully won't have to go through another introduction in 6 months to a year. If you want to go this route, you need to go to a breeder who has young pups. Gerbils from a pet shop won't be young enough. You also need to be prepared that while the pups may accept your older male initially, as they mature and go through puberty they may decide they want to take over as the dominant gerbil. This can lead to a declan, and you may end up having to separate the gerbils. This is a risk in any clan, but it's more common with groups than pairs.

    If you choose to just introduce one new gerbil, you can choose a pup or an adult. An adult will a slightly more difficult and longer introduction. The instructions in the Pets4Homes link above are quite good. When it says to swap the gerbils several times a day, ideally that should be an odd number, so that they sleep on a different side each night. 3 is a good number of swaps. Much more than that, and they don't really have time to settle down on each side and spread their scent around, and they can suffer more stress. Make sure your tank is small enough for a split cage - about 60x30cm. Much bigger than this, and the split cage will have a lower chance of success or may take longer.
     
  4. Rachael Potts

    Rachael Potts PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your reply.

    The gerbil I currently have has as a suspected tumour although I have spoken to the vets and operating has a higher risk than success rate. I am wondering if I was to add another gerbil or another gerbil pair, whether they would gang up on him and potentially kill him, as he would be weaker and unwell. do you think it would be worth introducing him to other gerbils or leaving him alone for the rest of his life.
     
  5. Susanna11

    Susanna11 PetForums Junior

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    Illness and weakness would be a risk factor for a declan. If you introduce him to one or two pups, he is initially going to be dominant by default because he is the adult. However as the pups get stronger and he gets weaker, they may want to challenge him. This is more likely to happen if you introduce two pups rather than one.

    Whether to leave him alone for the rest of his life depends on a few things. Firstly, his overall state of health. If he is winding down a lot and not doing as much as he used to, an introduction may cause more stress than it's worth (both for you and for him).

    The other thing to consider is, do you want any more gerbils? If you get more, they will most likely be young gerbils. Do you want to keep gerbils for another 3 years? Some people take a very hard-line approach on this issue and will say that an owner's circumstances or wishes should never prevent them from introducing a new gerbil to a lone gerbil. I would disagree with that. When you keep a pair of gerbils, at some point you are going to end with one dead and one on its own, and even if you introduce a new gerbil, at some point you will again end up with a lone gerbil., You shouldn't have to stay in a cycle of introducing new cagemates if you aren't really interested in keeping gerbils anymore. I also think that while gerbils almost always do better with company, they can adapt to living alone, especially when they are older and not likely to live more than a few more months. It's my opinion that keeping him alone from now on is a perfectly acceptable option in the circumstances, though some will disagree.

    If you do want to have more gerbils, getting a pair of young pups from a breeder is a good option. You would need to be very vigilent for signs of bullying or tension. These may include, one gerbil sleeping separately from the others, one gerbil spending lots of time sitting on its own, one gerbil losing weight and condition. A safer option would be to only introduce one pup, but of course in a few months you will be faced with this problem again. You may get lucky and find another lone elderly male to introduce, which could also work. Just remember that you should only ever introduce one adult gerbil to another adult gerbil, never to two adult gerbils. One adult male, to two young male pups is the only exception to this.
     
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