FEEDING + WATER
What do they eat in a day?
I have a whole section on this website dedicated to nutrition, but here I will break it down into daily amounts.
Usually 1-2tsp of the seed mix each day is sufficient, but more can be offered if needed. 1tbsp is preferable if it contains dried herbs and other ingredients. Additionally you can offer a small daily serving of fresh vegetables and herbs. Supplementing with protein is important, in the form of dried mealworms, dried shrimps.. Fresh water given daily.
How do you clean the sand bath?
Using a small sieve works wonders for cleaning out the sand bath, remove just the soiled areas (so the rest does not get wasted).
What daily cleaning is needed?
In general, gerbils are fairly low maintenance in terms of cleaning. Using a sand bath with chinchilla sand is recommended so doing a full clean of the whole cage is not required as often. Choose a deep bowl so that the sand will not get kicked out easily.
How do you check they're healthy?
First of all you should check that each of the gerbils are eating and drinking as usual. They can deteriorate very quickly if not, therefore it is important to ensure they have a good appetite. Observing them for just a few minutes a day will allow you to notice anything out of the ordinary (nasal/eye discharge, hair loss, injuries etc) so that is a good practice to do for a few minutes each day. You may also want to check their faeces and make sure they're not too runny etc. If they are in a pair/group, you can also take this time to monitor how they are getting on with each other, and make sure none of them are getting badly picked on by the other(s). Make sure their coat is in good condition (often if they have just woken up it may look a bit matted in places).