Um, I thought we had two male gerbils?

Nope, turns out you had a male and female gerbil, and now you have a whole passel o’ baby gerbils.


P.S. these are such delicious morsels that I bet if you hold one up to your ear, you’d hear tiny gerbil-snorgling-your-ear sounds. Right Gabrielle S.?



  1. too cute!

  2. book_monstercats says:

    I’m not going to hold them up to my ear, I’m going to eat them!!



  4. Yeah, they’re cute but what happens to the babies? Or if the mothers pregnant again? It is just adding to the population of unwanted animals 😦

  5. somehow most rodent babies look like furry worms which is of course terribly cute.


  7. Wow, a Nuff within four comments. I think that’s a new record!

    They should have been arranged in a different order, so as to form the rare GerbOreo.

  8. Same thing happened with my hamsters. “Churchill” turned out to be a girl-hamster, and before I knew what was happening there were 4 hamsters! Such tiny pink cutitude!

  9. They are even cuter once they start walking but before their eyes open. It’s bumper gerbil city!

  10. i’m afraid of putting it up to me ear…. what if it crawls inside?!?! the legendary ‘babel gerbil’ can make me hear all the animals of the world!!! although, it would be nice to have a chat with them… eh

  11. Hey, you shouldn’t handle them unless you want them to be eaten by their mother! You’re risking them being rejected which is a death sentence.

  12. Yep, I flunked hamster sex ed also. Magnifying glasses don’t help enough.

  13. Bob, in hte case of gerbils, that’s a complete myth. Hamsters yes, gerbils no. Mama may move her nest after being disturbed, but she won’t eat the babies unless they die on their own and even then that’s rare. I had a breeding pair that produced I don’t know how many litters and she only ate two pups that I know about. And that was late in her life so there may have been other things going on as well. Otherwise I was handling those guys pretty much from the time they had fur.

  14. check out the feet action in the back and on the yellow one ….. does that qualify as eye capsules?

  15. ShelleyTambo says:

    Okay, peeps, enough with all the “mothers eat their babies” crud. One of my gerbils had six litters, totaling 36 babies, and she only ate one, a runt that died.

    And before anyone starts wailing about letting animals breed, let me say, I was 10 years old. Lesson learned. Oh, and even the vet was wrong when sexing them.

  16. ShelleyTambo says:

    Right on, Cleo. We also handled our babies, and mama never cared.

  17. Faekitty (Heather) says:

    Sharon- Lol! There is also some stubetude going on with the yellow one as well. Cutie pies!

  18. useta hada kitteh says:

    A whole handful of gerblets! I ‘splode.

  19. I used to trade my baby hammies back to the pet store for store credit … which wne towards a new cage so I could keep mama and poppa ham from making more hamlets. 🙂

  20. ShelleyTambo says:

    greenighs, that’s what we did at first, until the pet store set up their own breeding program with one of our girls. That bugged me even at ten years old–hypocritical, I guess, since we’d let our female have so many litters.

    And I did used to hold them so their noses snuffled in my ear. Be warned, it tickles.

  21. The same thing happened to me. I started out with two FEMALE white mice and ended up with 12 white mice (two adults and 10 babies). WOW

  22. Why do I want to leek their little heads?

  23. Peg of Tilling says:

    Hors d’ gerb! Nawm nawm.

  24. This is a welcome break from last-minute paperage. Lovin’ the tiny, pink noseages and the barely-there earsies. I want one to live in my ear!!

  25. Persephone says:

    Happened to me too!

    They are totally adorable when they’re just starting to grow fur (pre-fur they kind of look like erasers).

  26. Those are some sweet little gerblets.

    If you hold a gerbie up to your ear, you end up hearing, “peep peep peep peep” very softly. 🙂


    We used to get baby rodents all the time in our house…hamsters, gerbils, rats, chinchillas, even a degu’. Somehow the house was a breeding ground.

    Aw, wook at those teeny feetsies! :poit: Blargh I am ded!



  29. i love how the last little fella has his arm over the middle one. i guess they’re good friends already.

    awk! too cute!!!

    snorgle snorgle mmmmfff ehn!!!


    Yep, we have our own “surprise! You’re gonna be parents!” story too…only in this case, my parents didn’t know how, ahem, energetic the little buggers can be during mating time (which tends to be every chance they get…) and presented their then-10-year-old daughter and then-7-year-old son with a Habitrail cage covered by a festive sheet and bow. With a flourish they pulled the cover off–

    –only to slam it quickly back on again. Too late though. Eyes wide as saucers and his jaw slack in shock, it was my brother who got the first word in: “Mama, um, were they wrestling?” The inevitable Talk About The Birds And The Bees took place on Christmas night…

    Six months later we had at least 100 hamsters. It was then that I decided maybe separating them was a good idea. It seemed like that was all those little boogers ever did together!


  31. The bebeh in the back, arm draped protectly over li’l bro’: ‘S ok, just open yr mouf and suck.

  32. Careful about giving them back to the pet shop…we found out they were being bought to feed snakes 😥

  33. Our own “surprise” experience: we had had pairs of male gerbils twice before. (The first pair we found in the bushes after some moron “gave them their freedom”–to nearly be eaten by our cat!) So we thought we’d try two females. Turns out Louise was pregnant when she left the shop and had a litter four days later. As if that wasn’t enough, turns out Thelma was actually a young male who grew up and got her pregnant again. So instead of two, we had eleven. Everyone but us thought this was hilarious…. We adopted out a few (carefully examined) same-sex pairs and kept the rest, in a LOT of cages– also turns out female gerbils don’t want to live in pairs and we had to separate them all…. Made for good Cat TV, though.

  34. In adulthood, I find gerbils a bit too twitchity for my taste, but the pink muzzlepuff on that little yeller guy–smooch.

  35. Add me to the list of people who have had this happen. Twice actually.

    So I am an expert on the stages of baby gerbils. It goes Eraser, Seal, Grasshopper. These are in the “seal” stage.

    By the way, is that a wittle tail I see draped over the middle one’s bum?! 🙂

  36. useta hada kitteh says:

    Okay, I’m not bein’ a Nuff here, I just have no experience with gerbils, hamsters, and others of their ilk. Are they just way too little for spaying or neutering? I’m assuming so, but what do I know?

  37. VERY CUTE. The cream colored one should be in the middle to make a Gerbil Oreo.

  38. Wouldn’t baby gerbils be gerblets? Just sayin’. 🙂

  39. UHK: you can neuter male gerbils. A vet friend of mine described the op to me once. Apparently their testicles as so wee it can be difficult to tell if you’ve excised them properly. I don’t imagine that the post-op confirmatory sperm count is possible…

    *has trouble imagining gerbil with tiny plastic specimen cup*

  40. ShelleyTambo says:

    Our female gerbil was spayed–but only because she was having trouble having her last litter. She died a few days later, so definitely lesson learned. Even if they weren’t so small, most people probably wouldn’t want to spend the money to have a $6 pet sterilized.

    Jackie–we never had a problem with females from the same litter together. In fact, when one would go into heat, the other would try to, um, oblige her.

  41. Bob:

    Momma Gerbs have no problem with you playing with their babies


  43. one of the Erins says:

    Y’know… my hedgehog turned out to be a girl, too… good thing we only had one or this might have happened in a much pointier fashion!

  44. you guys r silly says:

    Wow! I thought that WE were the only ones who bought 2 gerbils that the seller
    were BOTH MALES!
    We had them for a couple of months & never even saw any gerbil funny business. The day I glanced in the cage and saw a wriggling pile of tiny naked pink SOMETHINGS in the corner, it took me a couple of minutes to make sense out of what I was even looking at!

  45. Muadiblets!

    Gerbils were the very first pets I ever had. I think I was 3 and I adored them. I still miss the 4 of them. (and have since had all kinds of pets, including more gerils.)

  46. Just joining the club here…my two “males” had twelve babies. Hmm.

    These guys are gonna get even cuter. When the BEF kicks in and the floof expands (but they’s still wee bitty things), they are super-anerable.

  47. My pet gerbils were the result of a presumed male-male pair turning out to be not that. The gerbils belonged to a sister of my friend, and I adopted two, then 3 more when my friend wasn’t able to keep them. All are confirmed to be male.

    Unfortunately, I discovered I am very allergic to gerbils…fortunately, my dad loves them and takes good care of them and I can visit whenever I like.

  48. I got a hamster girl when I was maybe 8 years old. She was in her own little cage, and never had anything but nose-to-nose contact with my sister’s boy hamster. Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks later, I come home from school and see a veritable herd of squirming pink ham-babies.

    I guess she wasn’t sexed and separated early enough. >_< !!! Stupid pet store.

  49. I think Petco/Petsmart/petswhatever use the eeny-meeny-miney-moe method when they figure out the genders on these little guys. Apparently the gerbils have no problem figuring it out though…

    Funny because this happened to me too. Damn cross-dressing gerbils.

    So when Petco, PetSmart, Petwhatever tries to determine the gende

  50. Wow. 49 gerbil comments and not a single one is a Richard Gere joke 😉 !

  51. …and that’s Comment #50, then.

  52. My “surprise” incident involved starting with 6 (supposedly) male white mice, bought for a science experiment in HS. I taught them how to run through mazes, changing the configurations, timing them, etc – it was fun! However, shortly after we got them, we ended up with 36 little wriggling, pink erasers! I was only 14, and my Dad “took care of the babies” – I’ve never asked what that meant, I don’t think I wanted to know. I separated the adults after that, and had them until they went over the rainbow bridge.

  53. I once had the cutest little guinea pig. She was put in the cage with all the other girl guinea pigs, and that was that.

    until we noticed that some of the girl guineas were getting preggoed, and my cutest little piggie ever was the culprit. We hadn’t really named him up to that point, but formt hen on he was known as “Trouble.”

  54. *starts up double boiler and adds chocolate*

  55. Bebeh gerbies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My life is now complete.

  56. 1. Is gerbil overpopulation really a problem?
    2. We bought a guinea pig and her “daughter”. one day a 3rd guinea pig appeared in the cage. We renamed the “daughter” ed, short for oedipus.

  57. acelightning says:

    Cleo (and others) – I was breeding gerbils for a while (helping my son with a junior-high science project), and they definitely do eat their young. I would have to check the litter in each cage a couple of times a day, and every once in a while I’d find half a baby gerbil 😦

  58. Ace, not saying it doesn’t ever ever happen, just saying that it’s rare and that there are usually more factors at work than just being disturbed by humans. The American Gerbil Society even recommends handling pups from a very early age – at about day 5-7. Chances are that the pups you ran across had died beforehand and mom was just after some easily available protein. Rodents will eat their dead as I recently found out thanks to some elderly rescue mice.

  59. I too got two male gerbils, only to find out a few days after I bought them that one was pregnant. Luckily it turned out that the other one was a girl as well, or I’d have a ton of little gerbils.

    However, my gerbils ate all four of the babies, none of which were dead beforehand. A friend in vet school told me that gerbils will eat their young if they don’t think there’s enough food/water/shelter to support them, and since my gerbils were newly bought and still getting used to each other and their new home, they probably couldn’t handle the babies.

    Too bad, though– they were cute even as little pink slug things!

  60. He he, I always thought I’d avoid these types of problems by a) getting hamsters from either a reliable source, and b) only keeping one hamster at a time (which is the only way one can really keep Syrian hamsters anyway). I was wrong. I rescued a bunch of adorable little rats a while back, and, despite my warnings, a friend took two girls. Problem was, they’d been kept with male rats for a couple of hours. Two weeks later, the most adorable baby rattlings I’ve ever seen.

  61. sidney: jinx!

  62. acelightning says:

    Cleo, I didn’t want to be *too* disgusting… but I also had a cage for separating the males from the females, and I’d frequently see two males (any two) “boxing” with each other. After one such incident, I discovered a dead male… with two visibly broken limbs, one of which had been partially chewed. So you’re right about them eating their dead. But I also think that females will eat their young for other reasons as well. Animals are not bound by the societal conventions humans invent…

  63. Yitzysmommie says:

    Normally I’m not much of a rodent fan, but this pic made me SQUEEEE too. The teensy muzzlepuffs! The mini earz! The feets! The cuddleage! I was hoping I could hear their tiny honkshus….do gerbils honkshu?

  64. you guys r silly says:

    Yitzysmommie – But Of Course! EVERYTHING *prosh* honk-shus!

  65. Looks like Sidney owes Wolf a mocha.

  66. Rich Fader says:

    “In retrospect, lighting the match was a big mistake….”

  67. Tinderblast says:

    Wow, I must be the only person here who’s had gerbils and *not* had a miss-sexing accident. Good to finally see them on CO, though!

  68. one of the erins says:

    Tinderblast, I didn’t have a mis-sexing accident, either… our two “males” turned out to be actual males.

    Must weigh in on the boxing discussion though… when I was … maybe 12?… we had the abovementioned gerbils, and we looked in the cage one day to see that one of them had somehow gotten a front foot taken off… chewed off we figured? We never really figured it out. He lasted a little while longer, but he wouldn’t move around a whole lot, and as he got older/more feeble, the other (healthy) one started to get seeds for him, crack off the shells, and feed it to him. (Then all he did was mope around after the first one died. It was pretty sad.)

  69. This is probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!!! OMG!

  70. I at least have a happy story to tell about injured gerbils…one evening my dad and I noticed Howl, one of the gerbils, was not moving around a lot. I took a closer look and I realized there was blood spattered on the walls of the aquarium! I put him in a gerbil ball to get a better look, and we found he had a puncture wound below one ear. We think it was caused by their wheel; they’d managed to chew it to create a sharp edge and I think that’s how he hurt himself.

    The next morning, my dad took him to the vet, who cleaned his wound and gave my dad some antibiotics to put in his water. Howl got better and we were able to reintroduce him to his brother/cagemate using the split cage method without incident. He’s still doing fine, a couple months later!

  71. Villy — had the piggie thing happen just recently. I was sold two females, and by the time I discovered Kazumi was a boy and Jung-Freud started showing a bit more than just tubbiness, I calculated that he had impregnated her AT the store.

    This was a PetCo, incidentally.

    However, Jung-Freud is a very content little mother, and her two piglets are adorable. I’m still a little shifty-eyed at the about-to-be-renamed male in his new separate cage, though. Little pimp-daddy.

  72. I think gerbils are cute, I really do. Unfortunately, though, what comes to mind right now is this song from someone’s childhood – certainly not mine!:
    Jesus loves the little gerbils
    All the little gerbils of the world
    Red and yellow, black and white,
    He can eat them in one bite
    Jesus loves the little gerbils of the world

  73. Sonora Ricklefs says:

    One: what are they?

    Two: I don’t care what they are but they shure are adorable!!!

  74. See, this is why I’m glad I have rats. Rats are fairly easy to sex, as the males have AMUSINGLY LARGE TESTICLES. It’s pretty rare to figure their gender wrong, although it (rarely) does happen. Also, sometimes the girls get pregnant at the petstores!

  75. I just had the same thing happen with two bunnies I adopted from a humane society. They said they were neutered brothers. Last Thursday nite one of the ‘boys’ had ten babies. They are so cute.

  76. darkshines says:


    *smooshes them*

  77. jackie31337 says:

    A friend of mine had a mysterious bunny incident when we were teenagers. She knew she had a male and a female, so she kept them in separate compartments in the hutch. One morning, she found the male in the female’s side of the hutch, and had no idea how he got there. The family assumed her little sister put them together to watch them um… get it on. They continued to keep them separated, but the male kept ending up in the female’s side of the hutch. They finally realized that the “wall” separating the two sides didn’t go all the way up to the top, and the male was actually able to squeeze over the top to get in to the female’s side. I’m not sure how many litters it took for them to figure it out.