Posted: March 13, 2012, 4 a.m. EDT
Q: Do gerbils hibernate? I recently lost my two male gerbils and buried them, but it was about 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the garage where they were kept. It’s a heated garage though. Were they just hibernating? I didn’t bury them for a few days, and they were not cuddled up together. They were about 2 or 3 inches apart from each other, not like normal. My mom said that they were not breathing, and they did not move when she picked them up by their tails to place them into their coffin. Did I bury them alive? Is it too late to dig them up? I live in Indiana, so it is quite chilly here. They are only 2 or 3 inches in the ground.
A: No, gerbils do not hibernate. And though it is sad that your gerbil pair passed away, you do not need to be worried that you buried them alive.
A temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit is cold for gerbils, so if you get another pair, the temperature I recommend that you keep them at is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (same as is comfortable for people).
The best gerbil housing is a glass aquarium with a mesh wire top for many reasons, including keeping gerbils protected from drafts. Gerbils should have a wooden nest box in one corner of the tank and unscented toilet tissue to make a nest. This way when it gets cool they can snuggle together inside a small area that will hold their body heat.
The best spot for placing the gerbil house is a place inside your home that family members pass by several times every day. This way the gerbils will get plenty of attention, plus they like to watch you as much as you like to watch them. And, if your gerbils are ever acting strangely you will notice and can figure out what is going on right away.
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