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Placing Gerbils

Libby Hanna

2020 updates by Cathy Bickel

Placing a litter of babies is generally not all that difficult, particularly if you have children and your children have friends. Be generous about letting your kids' friends visit and hold pups when they are small.


Because gerbils are usually placed in pairs, the average litter needs only 1-3 families willing to adopt before you are done finding new homes. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that the proper way to handle a male-female pair is to allow them to have two litters.


Beyond shamelessly pushing gerbils on your kids' friends, here are some other ways to place gerbils.


When advertising through sources like Craigslist, beware of people searching for feeder animals, or, in the case of larger pets, those looking for "bait" to train fighting dogs. Charge a fee of at least $10 per animal and insist on seeing a complete housing set-up including tank, water bottle, wheel, lid, food and bedding to deter people with less than noble motives.


Local pet stores may accept animals, but keep in mind these cautions: not all pet stores understand the importance of introducing gerbils gradually, so animals could be injured; some pet stores give away relinquished rodents for free, making your beloved pups a free meal for someone's snake. Pet stores also don’t usually insist gerbils be adopted in pairs.


Ask the local librarian, dentist's office, pediatrician and others who have lots of young visitors if they have ever considered a tank of gerbils. Gerbils are rarely allergenic, have little odor and are awake during the day.


On a pleasant day, take your gerbils to the playground. They will be the talk of the town.


If you have a local friend who is an AGS gerbil breeder, tell them about the pups. They may have a waiting list of adopters, and may take a couple of pups.


Keep them all. For $35 or so, you can get a set of shelving that will hold three tanks of gerbils. Get one with at least 15" of vertical space for each shelf. More is preferable so you can open the tanks without moving them. Tanks themselves are inexpensive, and many people have free equipment to give away on Craigslist or Freecycle. You may even be able to find the shelving there.

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