Finding the right Food
Attention, certains éléments de cette page pourraient être choquants à lire et voir mais sont néanmoins pertinents.
Finding good, suitable food is no easy task. In Quebec, brands are limited and most foods "for gerbils" are prepared for gerbils and hamsters, two species with different nutritional needs. Ironically, rat food is often much better suited for gerbils.
Nutri-blocks are ideal in the sense that we avoid sorting, and therefore the deficiencies related to it. Seeds mixes are good, but adjustments often have to be made. Homemade mixes are often better because the ingredients are better.
There are two aspects that you should pay most attention to when choosing your pet's food: the nutrient levels and the ingredients used. Your gerbil's diet should contain at least 14% protein, but not more than 20%, with an ideal of 16%. For fat, it is between 3 and 9%, with an ideal of 5%.
There are also things to avoid. Foods with pieces of alfalfa should be avoided, as gerbils will not eat them. Also avoid anything that you would not eat raw: citrus peel, raw potatoes, apple seeds. Foods that have millet should be avoided, as it is used as a filling. Most of the time, it will be necessary to decorate a mixture of seeds with oat flakes in order to better balance it.
What I am is largely based on my personal experience as well as the opinions of other breeders and is therefore intended as a guide.
Now on Sale
Homemade blends, if done right, can be great and of much better quality than most foods available. The problem is, they are not worth doing if you only have a few gerbils. They are more profitable when you have a farm.
Recipes to come!