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Gerbil - Pallid Breed Profile

General
Other Names
 
Lifespan
On average the Pallid Gerbil can live 2 to 4 years. 
Breeding
The Pallid Gerbil can start breeding at between 11 14 weeks of age. At about 14 months the gerbil is usually no longer fertile; however the have been known to breed up to 20 months of age. 
Average Litter Size
Litters can vary from1-10, however on average the Mongolian Gerbil can produce 4 to 5 young. 
Gestation Period
The gestation period is between 20-23 days. 
General Physical Description
The Pallid Gerbils are quite small, smaller than the more common Mongolian Gerbil. They are bright white underneath and orange on the body. They have a long tail with little hair on it, their eyes are large and their ears are large and stand erect. The front feet are small and the back legs are long; each foot has long, thin nails, which allows them to burrow. They have developed legs, body and coat colour suitable for their natural habitat. 
Size
On average the Pallid Gerbil is about 24cms long (this includes body and long tail) and weighs up to 36.3gms. 
A well-balanced dry gerbil mix will contain most of the necessary nutritional requirements that a gerbil needs however the diet should be supplemented. These gerbils like to have their diets supplemented with insects, such as crickets and mealworms. In fact they prefer them to fresh fruit and vegetables. An earthenware bowl is the best type of feeding dish to use, as they are harder to knock over than the plastic ones, also they are not chewable. A water bottle fixed to the outside of the cage, with the water tube going into the cage, ensures a fresh water supply is available. 
As gerbils are great gnawers their housing has to be of a non-chewable material Aquariums make the most suitable houses for this gerbil; the aquarium must have a adequate lid on it to prevent the gerbil getting out and any predators getting in. The aquarium when filled with an adequate layer of suitable burrowing material will provide an ideal environment. Fine sawdust can cause eye irritations and cedar shavings can cause allergic reactions and irritations to the gerbil due to the oil it contains. As the Pallid Gerbil likes to climb it is a good idea to hang relevant climbing apparatus from the lid. Bedding material can be provided and the best thing to use is paper wool or hay. Other bedding that is not suitable is any man made fibres and materials that can, and will, become stuck and cause stomach blockages. The gerbil can also get its limbs stuck in the bedding. The cage should be cleaned out weekly and any old food removed. If it is necessary to wash the cage then only use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning small rodents cages. An earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle will also be required to feed and water the gerbil. 
Characteristics
Suitability For Children
The Pallid Gerbil is suitable for both children and adults. They are friendly, curious and, in general, have good temperaments. As they are slightly smaller than the more common Mongolian Gerbil they are that bit harder to catch and handle.< 
Character & Temperament
Gerbils are happiest when kept in mixed sex pairs but mixing the sexes will result in lots of baby gerbils. They can live together in single sex groups, although a gerbil can exist quite happily on its own as long as it is given plenty of attention, toys and activities to keep it occupied. 
Sleeping Habits
The Pallid Gerbil is active both day and night. They have bursts of activity and as a result have to take the odd forty winks here and there. 
Toys & Exercise
The cage itself could be furnished with items, such as a wheel, to provide exercise for the hamster. Some hamsters do not like wheels or the hamster balls that they can run around the house in. The ball is better suited to the larger hamsters like the Syrian. As hamsters love to burrow a box filled three quarters full with shavings is ideal so they can burrow and tunnel as much as they like. They also like to climb. It is possible to provide plenty to entertain this hamster with using household items, such as toilet roll tubes and boxes. 
Grooming
Types of Coat
The coat should be smooth, soft and glossy. 
Colour
The Pallid Gerbil ranges in colour from pale orange to red/orange with a bright white underside. 
Other
Intelligence
As the gerbil is generally very curious by nature you can use this to your advantage. When you approach the gerbil do so with a food it is particularly fond of. Its curiosity will get the better of it and it will come to you. Using this method will help to develop trust between you and your pet. Over a period of time you will be able to train the gerbil to carry out some simple tasks. Gerbils will learn quickly what is required of them but patience and understanding is required to gain their confidence. 
Show Characteristics
 
Country of Origin
North Africa 

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