Creating a good Splicage
Gerbils are social animals that become depressed if they are alone too long. The catch is that gerbils are extremely territorial and will do anything to kill an intruder.
The only safe way to introduce two unknown gerbils together is to make a cohabitation by splitcage. To put it simply: you divide a vivarium in two by placing a grid partition in the center. The two gerbils can see each other, smell and interact, but they can't touch each other, and therefore get hurt.
Here is a list of possible combinations.
The easy ones : Two 8 weeks old (or less) pups
The possible ones that might require time : An adult with one or two 8-10 weeks old pup, an adult male with an adult female (preferably in heat), two adults
The difficults, almost impossible ones : Two 1 year or older females
An important thing is to remember that you should NEVER attempt to introduce a gerbil to an already established clan. Clan means two gerbils more than 10 weeks old that are together. Attempting to add a new gerbil will cause an imbalance in the hierarchy and will inevitably end up in battle.
How to proceed
Make sure you have a 10 gallons tank. It's small, and that's exactly what we want. No toys should be there anymore. The goal is to bore the gerbils as much as possible in order to force them to interact as much as possible.
When your separation is secure, put new bedding on each side, but in very small amount.
Every day, swap the gerbils sides. You can also switch them between 1 and 4 times a day. The goal is to mix the smells and for them to sleep in each other's nest.
When this is the case and they do not show signs of aggression through the split, take the most dominant gerbil and put it in the space of the other. If it's a male with a female, you should put the female in the male's space. If it's an adult with a youngster, take the adult.
Cohabitations usually take one to two weeks, but may take up to a few months in some cases. You have to know how to be patient.
How to make one yourself
There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube that show how to do a temporary split, but I thought I'd show you how mine are done! They are permanent but we can remove the grid. Convenient for breeders!
10 gallons tank (if it's bigger, it'll be less efficient)
A strip of metal (we took it in metal, but steel is better!)
Something to make a metal rail (either a U-shaped piece or two L-shaped pieces)
An outdoor double-sided tape (it holds better, especially when washing the vivarium)
A hacksaw (or a sandblaster with a blade)
How to make it
Coming soon !