to Know the Fat-tailed Gerbil
This is a Fat-Tailed Gerbil also known as Duprasi.
Pachyuromys duprasi is found in desert regions of Egypt and Morocco.
They are exceptionally adorable animals, about 3-4 inches in length with
soft, silky fur. Their tail is a real conversation piece. It is covered
with small hairs like peach fuzz and is about 2 inches long. This tail has
a most peculiar quality. The tail can become thickened and club-like when
the animal is well-fed. It is where the animal stores part of its excess
fat. Nursing mothers usually lose weight in their tail but quickly regain
its original shape after weaning the litter. The color of the fur can vary
slightly and is normally gray to buff brown. Some animals are decidedly
more apricot-colored than others. They have short ears and well-developed
claws for digging.
In the wild they eat leaves, seeds and insects. In captivity, we recommend
feeding them gerbil/mouse dry mixture, alfalfa hay, rodent block and meal
worms. An occasional treat of fresh fruits and veggies such as apples, pears,
sweet potatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, etc. will be welcomed by this
adorable little animal. The rodent block is a necessary addition because
it will not only provide nutrition, but will help satisfy their chewing
Gestation is 19 to 22 days can go as long as 28 with litter size ranging
from 3 to 6. These animals can breed up to 3 times a year. They become mature
sexually at about 6 months of age. Captive specimens have lived 5 to 7 years.
They need a nest box in their enclosure in which to sleep, build their nest
and raise their family. Nest boxes can be made from many 'cast-off' articles
around the house, such as an old camp coffee pot turned on its side, an
opaque water pitcher, etc. Cardboard or wooden containers are not suitable
because they are difficult to disinfect. Plastic containers will eventually
be chewed beyond recognition. We keep large quantities of breeders paired
off in 1' x 1' x 2' wire cages made of 1" x 2" mesh. We use 1/4" mesh on
the floor of the case to prevent loss of babies and spilled food. They can
also be kept in 5.5 gallon aquariums. We recommend aquariums for pets. They
should be kept from 70 to 80 degrees F.
Water should be supplied in a water bottle that has a stainless steel spout.
These animals are voracious chewers and will destroy anything plastic or
rubber. Be sure that your aquarium has a top that is made of strong wire
because they can chew threw the tops made of plastic mesh. Use dishes that
are crockery or metal. Be sure they cannot climb up the water bottle holder.
These animals can climb readily, but normally do not jump.
As a special treat, give them a small bowl of clean sand to dust in occasionally.
This will help keep their fur from becoming too oily.
These little animals are naturally gentle and rarely bite like hamsters
do. Mothers with babies and occasionally a wild caught animal or one that
is rarely handled will give a warning nip.
Handle youngsters after their eyes are opened to get them used to you and
the smell of humans. They become loving and wonderful pets and the soft
fur is very pleasant to the touch.
R-Zu-2-U Animal "Terms"
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