Do Gerbils Hide Their Food: How Long Can They Go without It?

Gerbils belong to the rodent family and are pretty intuitive animals. They may appear cute and tiny, but they’re also highly intelligent. Like every living thing on the planet, gerbils carry sufficient amounts of survival skills themselves.

They’re often seen hiding their foods; this concept is known as “hoarding,” and it’s pretty common in most animals, especially rodents/gerbils. They plan ahead if given less food; for example, the buried food helps them adequately feed themselves. Let’s explore the hoarding concept in gerbils in detail.

Do Gerbils Hide Their Food?

Yes, they certainly do so. Gerbils are known to bury half of their foods to have some for later. Although there are plenty of reasons for gerbils to hide their food, saving it for later is the most common one. Gerbils raised in homes with families tend to do so to have snacks for later.

Let’s begin by explaining the hoarding concept. It’s an instinct or a reflex for gerbils when given food. The food also remains fresher when they bury it. As stated above, they’re highly intelligent animals who know how to look out for themselves. There are two types of hoardings: scatter and cache.

Scatter hoarding is when a gerbil (or any other animal) hides different foods in different places. Given their intelligence, they probably remember where they hid it. Cache hoarding is when they hide all of their food in one unique place. They do so to protect it from other animals if they share a common space.

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You can’t really stop your gerbil from hoarding or burying their food as it’s a reflex that’s built-in in their nervous systems. But you can give them enough food when they’re hungry so that they might eat it all.

Do Gerbils Hide Their Food?
Do Gerbils Hide Their Food?

How Long Can Gerbils Go without Food?

If you’ve given your gerbil enough food and water, they can survive easily for two to three days. However, every gerbil is different. The time they can go without food depends on their age and size. But on average, most gerbils can easily do just fine without food for up to three days.

Since they’re also known to bury their food (as explained above), they always have some food stacked up somewhere. So, if you have a gerbil, don’t be too worried about their food eating habits. As a gerbil parent, you should care about their diet. But gerbils are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to taking care of themselves.

Even though they can go up to three days without food, it doesn’t mean you’ll feed them every three days. It’s only in the case if you’re ever in a situation where you have to leave your home without your gerbil, give them enough food, and they’ll be fine for a few days.

In a situation where you have to leave without your gerbil, please ensure you clean their gerbilarium. Failure to do so might result in your gerbil falling sick because of the piled-up bacteria. Such an infection can be deadly, so please be mindful of that.

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How often should you feed your gerbil?

You should feed your gerbil at least twice a day. If you feed your gerbil more than that it will get sick. You might want to switch foods on occasion (such as using a seed mix instead of lab blocks). If you do, make sure you change the food over within 4 days. You should be changing your gerbil’s water at least once per day and also clean their cage once per week. Not doing so will make your gerbil sick.

It is best to feed gerbils small amounts of food at regular intervals, so you should offer them a small amount of food every 2-3 hours, if possible. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you may need to increase or decrease this frequency as necessary to make sure your gerbils have enough to eat.

If you are keeping more than one gerbil, it is a good idea to feed them in separate containers rather than a communal bowl as this will prevent the dominant gerbil from bullying and excluding his or her cage mates from food. It can also help reduce inter-gerbil aggression, although it is essential that the individuals in a group are of similar size to one another.

It is important not to give your gerbil too much food or he will become obese and suffer from a range of health problems as a result. It is best if you buy lab block food specifically for gerbils so you know how much to feed them (although you can also use seed mixes).

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Always check the packaging of the food you buy to make sure that it is appropriate for gerbils. Some foods are too high in fat, sugars, and other ingredients which will be bad for your gerbils’ health.

Final Thoughts

Gerbils, like other animals, hide their food to protect it from other animals. They will also bury their food if they have too much. Gerbils can go without food for up to three days and should be fed twice a day. It is best to feed them small amounts of food at regular intervals.