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Sandpiper - what is useful for prospective growers?

The sandpiper is a rodent of the mysid family, found in the wild in Africa and Asia. These small rodents breed in dry, sandy areas, are usually active at night and hide in burrows during the day. Sandpipers feed on various plant parts and insects. In captivity, these rodents survive for up to 5 years.

If you decide to keep such a pet at home, you will first need to create a habitat close to nature and ensure a proper diet. If you follow the tips below, you will find it much easier to prepare for keeping such a pet. So, where should you start?


It is important to pay attention to the appearance of the gerbil: the coat should be dense and fluffy enough, and the ears, nose and eyes should be clean. A healthy gerbil should be reasonably active: if the animal is too listless, it is likely to be suffering from health problems. One gerbil can be bored, so you may want to get two pets at once (if you do not intend to breed gerbil, choose two females or two males). If you decide to breed two gerbils from different families, it is best to inject them no later than 8 weeks of age. It is useful to know that males get along more easily than females, who tend to defend their territory.


Although gerbils are sometimes kept in metal cages, please consider that your pet’s paws may get caught between the bars of the cage. Choose a plastic cage, aquarium or terrarium with a capacity of 80 litres or more (for 2 gerbils, a 38x30x25 cm cage is the most common choice). In such a cage, include a waterer, food dish, plastic wheel, climbing ladder, etc. The more activities your pet has, the happier it will be!

Keep the cage in a place where your pet will not be distracted by constant noise. It is also a good idea to make sure that the room is not too humid: although humid air is not harmful to cats or dogs, it can be disastrous for gerbils. Make sure that your pet’s cage is not exposed to draughts and direct sunlight.

Eating habits

gerbils are certainly not picky pets, but owners need to make sure that their diet is balanced. The most suitable food for gerbils is hamster cereal mixtures. Occasionally, gerbils can be given fruit and vegetables, but this should not be abused as gerbils do not often find fresh food in the wild. These rodents are very fond of millet groats and sunflower seeds, but the amount of sunflower seeds given should be kept very small, as frequent feeding on such seeds can lead to the death of the sandpiper.u

Although these animals live in the desert, where they often have to endure water shortages, fresh water must always be available in the cage. It is best to choose a watering trough for rodents that will not leak water onto the bedding in the cage.

Carrots, boiled potatoes, hazelnuts, peanuts, boiled beetroot, cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, pears, oats, cooked peas, soaked corn, dandelions, sea buckthorn, and rosehips may be given to gerbils occasionally. The gerbil can also be treated to various tree parts (oak twigs and leaves, chestnuts, apple twigs with blossoms, sea buckthorn twigs, etc.). Sandpipers should be fed twice a day, with about a teaspoon of food per feeding.

It is important to know that gerbils need to keep their teeth sharpened, so you can place a larger tree branch in the cage, or hang a salt or chalk “stone”. Captive rodents often suffer from salt deficiency, so it is important to make sure that supplies of this mineral are replenished periodically.


A sufficiently thick layer of litter should be laid in the cage, as sandpipers are very fond of digging burrows. You can choose natural wood sawdust litter, which absorbs moisture and odours well and is quite soft. Sandpipers are very fond of nesting in sand, so you may wish to provide a sand bath in the cage.

Certain types of litter can cause an allergic reaction in gerbils, which is usually manifested by a runny nose (you may notice your pet rubbing its muzzle more often). If the allergic reaction does not go away after changing the litter, it is a good idea to consult your veterinarian. You can put a layer of hay in the cage, which the gerbils can use to make nests.

It is recommended to change the bedding once a week. When replacing the litter, leave a small amount of the old litter, which will help the pet to adapt to the change. When preparing to clean the gerbil’s cage, move the pet to a different location (a small enclosure, plastic box, or other ).


If there are other pets in the house, such as dogs or cats, they should not be left unattended. Remember that dogs and cats may try to hunt rodents, so their “companionship” can ends in disaster. If you decide to let a gerbil roam around the house, do not leave your pet unattended. You can build a playpen to ensure that your gerbil does not hide under furniture.

If you decide to buy a gerbil for children, you should make sure that your pet is handled gently enough – you will need to be especially careful when the gerbil is handled. Although these rodents are very social pets and can easily get used to being handled by humans, it is a good idea to make sure that children do not squeeze the pet too hard.

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