Our gerbils are very happy in their gerbilarium but it is important to get your gerbils out and play with them regularly. They like being with humans and are naturally inquisitive and they need to get used to being handled so getting them out for some fun time is very important.
When we first got them we had kept the box the gerbilarium came in and would put them in that with some toys for a while. But they always seemed a little frantic in it and it wasn't particularly big and I eventually got very annoyed at having a massive box in the living room so we needed a new option.
Enter gerbil bath-time play-time.
No you don't put water in you crazies.
Put an old towel* down in the bottom of the bath, set out some toys and away your gerbils go!
Spot the hilarious gerbil standing up
Things that gerbils love include:
- something to hide in
- old t-shirt to play in
- tubes to run in and out of
- dust bath (gerbils have dust baths like chinchillas)
- snacks in case hunger strikes
They absolutely loved scampering about and having fun in the bath. I felt pleased that they were getting some decent exercise and it's just so much fun to watch them having a good time and exploring all over the place.
Plus you get to take good pictures like this;
This is a picture of Tyrion Lannister looking for a way to get out of the bath.
It seemed that no matter how much fun the gerbils had in their bath, after a while they started to look for a way out. We had visions of being able to leave the gerbils in the bath for a run around but witnessing Tyrion coming incredibly close to reaching the height of the bath from a standing start made us realise that bath-time fun-time had to be supervised.
This wasn't huge fun for us. I love my gerbils, but when I found myself sitting on the toilet, crocheting whilst supervising gerbil play-time I decided that it would be good to look for other options.
Enter....Gerbil playpen fun-time.
The Person found this in a pet shop in Burton on his lunchbreak. I was initially sceptical - the gerbils can easily jump the height of this, but at least if we were going to have to supervise playpen fun-time then at least we can do it in the lounge, watching tv at the same time.
Please notice the new addition to fun-time in the form of that big yellow ball. That has caused us a few problems.
I had a hamster when I was younger and I always wanted one of those balls that you put them in and let them run about the house in, but I was never allowed to get one. Mum was convinced it would fall apart and the hamster would be on the loose and the cats would find it...you can imagine.
But I am a grown-up now and I can get a ball for my gerbils and I was so excited for them to be in it.
Only problem was the gerbils just didn't really like it. We would put them in it and they would have a little run and then mostly just stand still in it and not move at all. Gerbils are not often still so we felt it wasn't a good sign. Luckily for us the ball also came with two openings that you can attach - a solid one for when they are free-running and an open one that you can attach to a stand and they can hop in and out of and have a run around in.
They. fricking. love. it. As soon as Ser Jorah Mormont sees it he jumps in it and spends most of gerbil playpen fun-time absolutely galloping in it like a maniac. Tyrion was a little more cautious at first and didn't want to get in but he's come round to the idea of it now. There have even been times when they are both in it, running. Of course every time I try to take a photo or video of that, one of them jumps out.
Gerbil playpen fun-time is a great way to try and take photos of your gerbils. Just be aware that they may come out looking a bit like this;
Gerbil fun-time play-time is immensely important for gerbils and their gerbil parents, but you don't need to have bath-time fun-time or even playpen fun-time - all you need is yourself and your gerbil and a nice seat on the sofa. As long as you have your wits about you, you yourself can become a gerbil playpen and your gerbil will scurry about like the little gerbil they are.
And when they are still you can take photos like this;
Gerbil fun-time play-time.
Not just fun for gerbils.
*I cannot emphasise 'old towel' enough. Gerbils like to eat things and dig at things and they will eat through material. Trust me. I have the holes in my clothes to prove it.