I took out the Nikon to get portraits of the new boys for my About page on here. Gerbils are invading Hammy Happenings. Now it’s Hammy Happenings and Gerbilations!
So, there is a story here about these Gerbils. When I entered the pet store I did not see Gerbils in the containers out front. It was all hamsters, rats, chinchillas, and mice. Disappointed I approached an employee and asked about when they would get Gerbils in. She said they kept them in the back because they were not popular and didn’t sell well. This instantly put me on alert and made me very sad.
She and I walked back there and she pulled out a tiny container they were kept in and I knew I had to get them. Not only because I came there for Gerbils but because I could not let them stay there in that little sad container with maybe a handful of wood shavings and a plastic (plastic is terrible for Gerbils!) house they had chewed up. I could smell urine wafting from them. Gerbils smell less than hamsters. And Hamsters are very clean animals. So, you know it’s a bad situation when you can smell Gerbil’s pee that strong.
Arriving home immediately put them in their new aquarium and of course after initial shock they became so excited. But skittish of us. I didn’t want to stress them out further or accidentally “de-glove” their tails in the process of getting them from their box to the tank so I used a drinking cup for them to hop in willingly and then let them hop out willingly into the new habitat.
This skittishness they exhibited – I initially felt that was natural. The stress of the move and such. But I realized a couple of days later they were not taming up at all. An experienced person from the forum told me that for just a little while I’d have to put them in a smaller cage where they would be forced to get used to humans. Where they were they were not exposed to people period. No view of them passing by or kids tapping at the glass or being handled by anyone.
I hate having them in something so small as a 10 gallon but I refer to it as the “training tank” and it’s working. Slowly but surely. They aren’t nearly as skittish. Everyday they get a little bit bolder. Especially Mercury who is the most distrusting of the two.
So, they can get exercise and also for help in bonding them to me I put them in a “play bin” (play pen lol). It’s the spare bin cage I made that Strawberry is no longer using as a double decker. I changed out the bedding and put some enrichment in there. They had such a ball in the space. I am going on the idea that they associate humans with fun. With good things.
And a cute little short vid of them checking out their play bin. I bet they wish they didn’t have to leave it! But it’s plastic and I know they would chew their ways out of there in no time!