GERBIL DIET: general information

Should make up the bulk of their diet

Budgie seed can be used as the base for the mixture (one containing various millets)

There should always be a higher ratio of flour seed to oil seed

GRAIN & SEED MIX

You can source the ingredients from supermarkets, health food stores and online. 

Scatter feeding is best because this encourages natural behaviour and keeps gerbils active

The mix should consist of 70% flour seeds and 30% oil seeds, but

If they are growing, the oil seeds can be increased

1 heaped tsp (5-8g) per gerbil per day is usually sufficient. In general the food should last until the next feeding

Should be offered on a daily basis

A necessary and healthy addition to their diet

You can collect plants providing they haven't been sprayed with chemicals or soiled with dog/bird/other animal faeces

In nature you can collect forage such as dandelion, bramble, plantain & mint

You can dry forage yourself in a dehydrator/oven/in the sun, or you can purchase pre-packaged dried plants

DRIED/FRESH PLANTS

Dried forage is useful if you can't access fresh forage (e.g. Winter or if you live in an urban area)

Fruit may be offered, but only as an occasional treat due to the sugar content

It usually takes a while for gerbils to readily accept vegetables, but offer on a daily basis and get to know what their preferences are

A small, daily serving of vegetables in sufficient

FRESH FOOD

I usually offer fresh herbs with the vegetables. These are often available in supermarkets. You can offer coriander, basil, parsley and more

Some examples of popular gerbil vegetables include bell pepper, celery, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, fennel

Supplements

Protein

Gerbils do require a good supply of protein in their diet. They are not true vegetarian, despite the majority of their diet consisting of seeds and other plant sources. Many of the grains contain lots of protein.

In addition, it is a good idea to include the following 2-3 times a week:

  • Pea & soy flakes contain a good amount of protein

  • Live insects such as mealworms, may be offered

  • Alternatively feed dried if preferred

 

 

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are an essential diet component. I usually offer the nuts chopped up as a whole nut is fattening.

I offer one of the following (per gerbil) daily:

  • Sunflower seed

  • Pumpkin seed

  • Pine nut

  • Walnut

  • Cashew nut

Branches

Branches are a great supplement for gerbils. Branches also contribute to the abrasion of their teeth - this is important as they are continuously growing! The branches I feed include apple & hazel branches as these are most common where I live, and can be fed in larger quantities unlike some other branches. 

HAZELNUT TREE

REMOVE NUTS BEFORE FEEDING

APPLE TREE

REMOVE APPLES 

Treats

In general, I recommend avoiding pet shop treats. They often contain various unhealthy ingredients which may be harmful to gerbils. Some healthy alternatives include the following:

  • Goji berry

  • Coconut flake

  • Fruit 

  • Dried veg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. GRAINS & SEEDS MIX

2. DRIED PLANTS MIX

3. NUTS/SEEDS ETC

4. PROTEIN FEED

RECAP