A gerbil. Pregnant gerbils need a lot of food and materials to build a nest.
If you believe your gerbil may be pregnant, there are a few steps you should take to support your pet during pregnancy. The first step in caring for a pregnant gerbil is providing her with enough food to support her growing litter. You should also provide the gerbil with enough material to build a nest and prepare for the young. In the later stages of pregnancy, handle the gerbil with care, keep it away from extraneous odors, and prepare for the birth of the litter.
Plain yogurt can be given to a pregnant gerbil.
Before you make the extra effort to care for your gerbil, first make sure she is pregnant. Signs of gerbil pregnancy include increased hunger, weight gain, and abnormal stomach lumps. If your female has been left alone with a male, there is a high chance that she is pregnant. Healthy adult gerbils usually conceive after mating only once. If your gerbil is pregnant, expect her to have gerbil babies within 21 to 28 days.
Once you’ve determined that your gerbil is pregnant, start feeding him extra food. Pregnant gerbils must receive additional protein and calcium to support their development. Dry dog food, kitten food, boiled eggs and chicken are all good sources of protein. To ensure she has enough calcium, you can also give the pregnant gerbil small amounts of unsweetened plain yogurt and cheese.
During pregnancy, your pet may want to prepare for the gerbil litter by making nests. It is not uncommon for a female gerbil to build and destroy multiple nests during pregnancy. Some gerbils also wait to build a nest until the young are born. If your gerbil wants to nest, make sure he has the materials to do so. Sawdust, wood chips, hay and newspaper are sufficient materials for nesting.
In the last few days of pregnancy, check your gerbil frequently to see if she has gone into labor. Handle it very carefully and make sure it has enough water. You’ll also want to keep your area free from extraneous odors. Strange smells like new pets or litter can make a pregnant gerbil act aggressively towards her litter. Not having enough water can also cause a pregnant gerbil to behave abnormally.
While caring for a pregnant gerbil isn’t usually difficult, it can get a little more complicated after the litter is born. In most cases, gerbils are thoughtful parents. Still, you should understand that you can have anywhere from one to eight puppies that will need food, adequate shelter, and possibly new homes. It is also possible that some of the puppies will not survive. Preparing for these possibilities will make it easier to deal with after the litter is born.