a gerbil mother
Many reasons can explain why
babies should be hand fed. Mother too old, sick, passed away, aggressive or
overloaded. To check if the babies are well fed, there should be a white mark on
the side of their belly. It's their stomach full of milk.
On this picture, the babies
are not even 24 hours old. You can see over the stomach (white arrow) a darker
area, it's their liver. You can also see the veins on the head.
If the mother can
take her role anymore, you have 2 choices. An adoptive mother or hand feed the
It is possible that you have
another female with babies with almost the same age. (1 week difference) If
you do, here is what you'll have to do. Take out mom and dad but leave their
babies there. Place the orphan babies with them and rub them gently into the
bedding, this way, they'll get the sent of the family. Then, place the dad.
He will smell them and clean them. I never heard of a dad attacking the new
babies, and I often use this technique myself. Wait for 5 to 10 and observe
if everything goes well. Then add the mother. Check carefully her actions.
There usually won't be any problem, but when the babies are too old and have
a lot of fur, the mom can attack them. The fur holds the sent a lot better
then bare skin. Older the pups are, harder it will be to give them in
adoption to a new mother.
Nothing equals the mother
milk and care. Veterinaries do sell milk formula for every kind of animal even
gerbils. But if you don't want to pay too much, you can make your own recipe.
Go to the
next page to see receipt made by the veterinaries Manon Tremblay,
specialized in exotic animal and who wrote the book: "La gerbille" édition