Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for untame...

Twin Squeaks, again, has a great article on this.
Ramona sitting in my hand
It takes patience to help a gerbil gain this much trust.
Start Slowly
The key to taming a gerbil is to take things SLOOOOOWWWWWLY. Many people are discouraged that some gerbils are skittish when they first come home. However, once you earn their trust, gerbils are among the tamest rodent pets. In this tip, we look at three ways you can start to earn your gerbils' trust.

Three Taming Tips
Method #1: Take your time. Put your hand in the tank, palm down, for 2-5 minutes at a time. Do not attempt to pet or pick up your gerbils. Let them sniff, crawl on, and explore your hand. If one of your gerbils nibbles your hand, it is probably out of simple curiousity. Don't jerk your hand away. Instead, blow a quick puff of air at your gerbil's face and say, NO. Each time your gerbil nips, blow a puff of air. Soon, your gerbil will learn that hands are not something to put in his mouth.
After your gerbils have been comfortable crawling on your hand for several days, you may try slowly lifting your hand about an inch off the ground. Then slowly lower your hand back down. Once your gerbil is comfortable with this movement for several days, you may start to gradually lift your gerbil higher.

Peek and Trixie eating from Nathan's hand
Nathan's Peek and Trixie learn to trust him as they eat out of his hand.
Method #2: Put a pile of food in your hand and carefully place your hand on the floor of the tank. Let your gerbils come to see your hand as a giant food dish. Do not attempt to lift your hand. Simply let your gerbils sit next to or on your hand, rummage through the assorted seeds and treats, and have a snack. This teaches them to trust you and to associate your hand with good things.
Once again, if a gerbil nips your hand, blow a quick, gentle puff of air and say, NO.

Method #3: Create a play area for your gerbils. Many people have found that letting gerbils play in a dry bathtub or in a homemade playpen (with supervision) a few times a week helps tremendously with taming. You might fill a large plastic tub with bedding and toys so your gerbils learn that you take them to fun places. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for time-lapse...

Just a quick video of some time-lapse photography... 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for six...

Just six random pictures I found online and especially liked!

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for random...

Just a few random pictures that I thought were pretty neat! :)

I loved this human sized run-around wheel. :)  Isn't that cool!?

An ingenious animal playground. :P

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for quirky...

Julie Persons takes the cutest pictures of gerbils... and super creative too!

I love all her quirky hats. :)

Here are a few of my favorites...

Go check out her awesome photography!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for photography...

Here is a tip from Twin Squeaks Gerbils that I really liked. Enjoy!!
Mike and Toby peer out of their box.
One way to get better photos is to give your gerbils a small cardboard box during the photo shoot. (See Tip #6.)
Most of us like to have good photos of our favorite pets, but gerbils can be very difficult to photograph. This is because of their small size, because they live inside glass tanks, and because they move so quickly! In this tip, we'll provide some tips for taking better photos of your gerbils. Most of these tips are written with digital cameras in mind, but even if you use a film camera, you should find some helpful tips here.

1. If your camera has a macro mode, use it. Most digital cameras have a setting called macro mode. This setting lets your camera focus on closer things than it otherwise could. You may not need macro mode when you take a photo of a larger animal such as a dog, but when you photograph a tiny gerbil, macro mode can help your camera focus on the little guy.

2. If you're shooting through the glass walls of your gerbils' tank, shoot at an angle rather than straight on. If your flash fires straight at the glass, the light will reflect off the glass, and instead of seeing your gerbils in the picture, you'll see a bright blob of light. By shooting at an angle, the flash bounces off the glass and away from you.
Desert settings make a nice background.
Aquarium backgrounds with desert scenes make nice backgrounds for gerbil photos. (See Tip #3.)

3. Hang an aquarium background. There are many aquarium backgrounds available at your local pet shop. These will add some color to your photos and make them more interesting. Some of the best backgrounds for gerbil tanks are ones designed for reptile tanks! This is because reptiles, like gerbils, are at home in desert settings. You can often find aquarium backgrounds with sand, cacti, and desert plants.

4. Give your gerbils something to do. Give your gerbils a treat, a new toy, or a toilet paper tube before you start taking pictures. You'll have better luck getting a gerbil to sit still for photos if he's happily munching on a Cheerio or if she's busy tearing apart a toilet paper tube!

5. Press the shutter button halfway down and then wait. Your gerbils will probably move too fast for your camera to focus and snap the photo. You can get around this by pressing the shutt button down halfway so that your camera focuses. Then hold your camera still and wait for your gerbil to walk into the frame before you press the shutter button down the rest of the way.

6. Give your gerbils a small cardboard box. This is one of our favorite tricks. Give your gerbils a small cardboard box right before you start taking pictures. Your gerbils will crawl into the box to explore it. Aim the camera at the edge of the opening to the box, press the shutter button halfway down so that your camera focuses, and then wait for your gerbils to poke their heads out of the box. As soon as one of them pokes his or her head out, snap the photo.

7. Crop your photos. It's easier to get good gerbil photos if you don't zoom your lens all the way in. You can always use a photo-editing program later to crop the extra background out of your pictures so that the gerbil's up closer and framed better.

8. Take lots of pictures. Don't get discouraged if your gerbils often jump out of the way before your camera captures the picture or if you get some blurry shots. The more pictures you take, the more likely you are to get lucky and capture one really good picture. You'll also get better at predicting your gerbils' actions so you can plan where you need to focus the camera. Don't get upset if you don't get many good pictures. Just keep trying, and you're bound to get a few good photos of your gerbils!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for obtain...

O is for obtain... how to get some gerbils!!

First of all, there is the American Gerbil Society breeder list, with lists of all the registered breeders.  These are going to be wonderful, sweet, healthy gerbils.

Also, there are rescue sites, like petfinder.com.  Any gerbils you rescue is more likely to have behavioral problems, but can also be super sweet and loving. :)