Ready-made gerbil food from the pet store is not only expensive, but also not necessarily the best food source for your rodents.
Fresh and homemade is definitely best here.
But what does the ideal gerbil food look like?
In this article we will tell you how you can mix your own gerbil food at home and what you have to pay attention to!
Important notes on this feeding plan
The diet of your Gerbils should be as varied as possible, so that your animals can draw many different nutrients from the food and thus still enjoy a fit and healthy life in old age.
In this article we will show you how to create the optimal food mix yourself.
The quantities in this article are for a healthy gerbil, without diseases, with normal weight and without special needs.
If your gerbil suffers from a disease or food intolerance, simply change the food a little.
For overweight animals you should reduce the amount of food a little, for underweight gerbils you should increase it accordingly.
These nutrients must not be missing in a good feed!
Especially important for the health of your gerbil are the trace elements zinc, iron and magnesium.
Animal protein should also not be missing from the diet.
To help you understand what a high-quality, species-appropriate and balanced feed should look like, let’s first take a look at what the desert racers eat in the wild.
In the Mongolian steppe, the animals feed mainly on dry grasses, herbs, grass seeds and various roots of steppe plants.
Adult herbs are also on the menu of gerbils.
The animal protein is provided by smaller insects, which are also extremely nutritious and saturate the animal for a long time. As a responsible gerbil owner, you should imitate this natural diet as much as possible.
Let’s take a detailed look at how you can mix the ideal gerbil food yourself in the following section.
How to mix the perfect food for your gerbils!
The basic basis of gerbil food should be cereals.
Here you will find a list of ingredients that you can mix together and feed without hesitation.
This mixture already contains all the important nutrients that the animal’s organism needs.
A healthy gerbil needs about 2 tsp of food as daily ration, hay and fresh food should be available in unlimited quantity. Our food mixture yields 500 g of gerbil food, if you need more or less food, you should increase or decrease the quantities accordingly.
- 150 g birdseed (make sure that neither rice nor poppy seeds are included and that the base is made of millet)
- 150 g small seed mixture, consisting of herbs and grass seeds
- 50 g of cereal mixture (barley, oats, buckwheat, emmer wheat)
- 50 g dry herbs
- 25 g unsweetened whole grain muesli (important: WITHOUT fruits and/or cereals!)
- 25 g dried mealworms (alternative: offer shrimp or a fresh, hard-boiled piece of egg the size of a thumbnail as a snack several times a week)
- 25 g dried vegetables and/or pea flakes
- 25 g sunflower seeds
Instead of sunflower seeds, you can also feed hazelnuts or walnuts.
Often you will find peanuts in the feed in commercial ready mixes for gerbils. These should never be fed, as peanuts often contain mold spores that can have a serious impact on the health of your animals.
Therefore, do not feed peanuts to your gerbils, but use alternatives.
In the next section we will look at what fresh food you can offer your gerbils in addition to your food mix to ensure even more well-being for your animals.
This green food you can offer to your Gerbils additionally!
Especially in the spring and summer months a lot of green sprouts in nature and invites you to pick one or the other plant and make your gerbils happy with it.
To make sure you don’t make any mistakes and don’t accidentally poison your gerbils – because there are some plants that don’t agree with your gerbils – you will find detailed information here about which plants your rodent can eat.
Keep in mind that you should always wash the collected fresh food thoroughly before you feed it to your animals, in order not to let germs into the enclosure.
It is taboo to pick food at the edge of the path or field!
Here the grass and co. grows especially high and juicy, but this circumstance is due to the fact that the feed is fertilized – and this fertilizer is poisonous for gerbils!
Therefore, look for wild meadows and pick there in peace.Deine Gerbils werden sich mit großer Sicherheit freuen, wenn du ihnen bspw. frisches Gras, Gänseblümchen, Melisse, Spitzwegerich, Breitwegerich sowie auch Löwenzahn anbietest.
When it comes to dandelions, opt for particularly fresh-looking, crunchy leaves that don’t have any brown spots or already look dried out or even diseased.
If you have discovered a place where a lot of fresh and juicy grass grows, take a little more of it with you, because the grass that you cannot feed, you can convert into hay yourself.
The advantage of this is that you can save money, but you can also make sure that the hay is of really good quality.
Look carefully when collecting hay and make sure that you don’t bring any ticks or other vermin home with you.
You should avoid the following plants when feeding gerbils.
To avoid harming your gerbils’ health, here’s a list of common, wild plants you should avoid when picking:
- Clover (has a strong flatulence effect and can lead to colic).
- Wild garlic
- Summer lilac
- Cherry laurel
This list is only a sample of the poisonous and incompatible plants. If you are not sure whether you are allowed to feed a certain plant, it is best to leave it out or inform yourself thoroughly before feeding!
It is unnatural to offer your gerbils food in a bowl.
For this reason, it makes sense to distribute the food around the enclosure several times a week so that your gerbils can really forage and satisfy a natural need.
However, make sure that the animals really eat everything, so that you don’t hoard more and more food in the enclosure and avoid that your gerbil overeats.
If you have an animal – or even several gerbils – where you have to keep an eye on the amount of food, then you should do without this game.
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