Gerbil Reproduction -1

Gerbil Reproduction

Of course it is nice to breed a litter of gerbils, but you need to be sure in advance whether the young have a good home to go to, because they must be separated from the mother in six weeks or so. You can ask you pet shop whether they need your gerbils or perhaps neighbors, friends or acquaintances will take them.

Should you be left with young, then you must find another way of housing them, because they really must not be kept in the same cage with their mother. One solution, of course, is to go out and buy several more cages as homes for the youngsters, but this is not an option for many people. So only start to breed if you’ve found good homes for the young!

Male or female
To breed gerbils, you first need to be sure that you have a male and a female available. With gerbils, the difference between the sexes cannot be seen at a glance. You have to examine them closely under the tail.

As with most rodents, you can tell the sex of a gerbil from the space between its anus and its genital opening. This distance is much larger on male you can also easily see the shape of the scrotum.

Fertility
Gerbils are fertile at about three months of age. As pregnancy takes approximately 24 days, healthy couples can have their first young at the age of four months. It is advisable not to mate a female gerbil before five to six months of age, as she needs all her energy for growing in the first few months. A female gerbil can have young up to an age of fourteen to twenty months. Her most fertile age is around her first birthday. Beforehand and afterwards, she will have fewer and smaller litters. One female will raise approximately seven litters in her life. There are generally four to five young in one litter, but there can be up to ten. If a gerbil has give birth up to so many young, she will be less fertile for a while after the birth. This is natural protection to allow her to recover. Females can be mated immediately after an average litter. This is also no problem, as sucking her young delays the next birth. When the new babies are born after four weeks, the older ones are already approaching independence.