GERBIL DIET : COMMERCIAL FOOD
Although there are not many gerbil food brand to select from, choosing a brand which is both healthy and natural can prove to be difficult. Often times manufacturers will group together gerbil food with hamster/mice food and claim that it is suitable as a main feed for all of these animals, despite different nutritional needs.
Some owners are starting to make the switch to a more natural diet for their gerbils. Unfortunately branding of gerbil foods can be very misleading, and despite many of the products being described as 'natural', 'complete food' and 'prevents selective feeding', when you take a look at the composition and additives in these foods, you may be surprised to realise they are not so healthy and natural after all.
Gerbil foods on the market generally contain too many bulking agents (usually in pellet form) which are often left out by them and contain little nutritional value. Wheat is often used as the main component of the food as this is a cheap bulking agent and as a result the food lacks variety of other nutritious ingredients.
The majority of gerbil food available on the market contains many artificial additives, most likely as a result of the food being overly processed, so additives are added to compensate for the nutrients lost in the manufacturing process. In reality, if gerbils are receiving a well balanced diet and a nutritious, natural and minimally processed feed mix then additives are not needed in their food.
It is becoming more popular that brands are switching to a complete pellet feed which claims to prevent selective feeding and contain everything they need in order to be healthy. It is much more stimulating for a gerbil to be able to select the individual components that they require, rather than consume the same pelleted formula everyday. The more variety of natural, healthy ingredients, the better! Many brands claim their food is 'complete' however fails to mention the importance of other feed components such as feeding fresh vegetables and herbs.
Sugary ingredients such as molasses (a byproduct of the sugar industry) are also commonly added which can be detrimental to their health, not only due to the dental problems it can cause, but can also lead to an overweight gerbil. Many brands also add a high percentage of dried fruits - despite fruit being natural and minimally processed, the sugar content is still too high to be part of the daily diet and should remain a treat.
Ideally, the food should contain a variety of grains, pseudo cereals, seeds, herbs, flowers, leaves and a small amount of other healthy components such as nuts, cereal flakes, roots and additionally a protein source which can be given separately. The food should closely replicate what they would be consuming in nature.
On our shop we stock high quality, natural gerbil blends which contain a large variety of ingredients including many organic grains and seeds, as well as herbs, flowers leaves, roots, cereal flakes. The composition of the foods have been carefully put together to ensure your gerbil receives a well balanced diet which closely resembles their natural diet. Our gerbil blend even includes antioxidant rich, organic goji berries, native to their natural habitat in Mongolia! We never include any additives, artificial ingredients or syrups/molasses, and our blends contain are large variety on ingredients to ensure they are receiving plenty of variety.