AND this is my 50th post!
I know, I know. Gerbils would probably be happiest with a tank full of substrate to burrow in. The longer and higher the better. But I think as Gerbils also love a change up in their environment to stave off boredom that having a burrow box now and then is good fun. So, I found a sizable and sturdy, thick cardboard box (mine seem to never have an interest in chewing through thick cardboard) and filled it up all the way with substrate and put a piece of driftwood on top so they’d have the “roots” to burrow between and under like in the natural environment and then left the rest of the place low level substrate, place their sand bath in there, and some tunnels and such. On top of that is a gigantic piece of driftwood to climb and perch and use as a ladder to get in and out of their burrowing box.
Well, I wasn’t too surprised but they love it! They have been spending a great deal of time in and out of their burrow box and climbing and jumping off and onto their driftwood “tree” and running about their flat area. And the sand box was an addition a week ago when I changed out their substrate completely and did a clean. They go to the bathroom in that just like my hamsters. So, now I have litter trained Gerbils! They also (like the hamsters) enjoy to groom in the box and do their zen type meditation it seems. Gosh I love these guys!
I also placed a lot of things for them to chew up and gnaw on within their burrowing box and tossed a handful of food for them to forage about inside. Having it so contained (smaller but much deeper burrowing space is much more fun for them so far. Pretty much, I think it’s mainly the idea that Gerbils like to have change to keep it exciting and the newness of this is making them come alive again.
Making these Gerbils happy and playful is always such a high light of my day. They had such dismal beginnings and now I feel like I’m giving them so much.
Let Mercury give you the tour of the sandbox/aka litter box, the food/treat bowl (a terra cotta pot), the overlook (very top of the driftwood), and now entering the burrowing box.
I tell my husband often – if these guys are so much fun can you imagine “normal” gerbils? Meaning – gerbils who were socialized and had more humane beginnings than these guys? The type who are more tame and hop on your arm and want to explore outside the tank and get to know their people? We’ve come a long way. And I know that by the end of this year we’ll have come and even longer way. Will it get to the point they are so tame they are hitch a ride on my shoulder? I don’t know. Maybe they never will. And that’s okay. If I didn’t have children I’d spend so much free time with them that they probably would have overcome quite more in a shorter period of time. At the same time the activity of my oldest child running about has done it’s job in getting them less skittish of our movement too. Without children I’d be working somewhere else all day.