All gerbil owners want to ensure that their pets are healthy with fluffy and reflective shine hair.
For this to happen, proper nutrition is paramount for healthy gerbils. But can gerbils eat carrots? The short answer is, yes, but occasionally.
Gerbils cannot live on carrots alone. Indeed, even if they like it when they are given, this food is not part of their basic diet. Their diet is mainly composed of seeds of various grasses, bulbs, herbs, leaves, vegetables, and fruits. So the carrot leaves may be more suitable than the carrots themselves. These can still be given, but only as occasional treats.
Carrot Nutrition Facts
Carrot root contains carbohydrates, protein, and pectin primarily. The more orange-carrot root is, the more carotene it contains, up to 1,656 vitamin A and 9.938 mg beta-carotene.
Carrots are a good source of vitamins B1 and B2, B6, C, E, H, K, and PP. The edible parts of carrots also contain trace elements: calcium 36 mg / 100 g, magnesium 16 mg / 100 g, sodium 82 mg / 100 g and potassium 282 mg / 100g.
Gerbils need vitamin supplements because their immune system is extremely vulnerable.
Eating carrot tops helps to improve digestion, strengthen the nervous system, and cleanse the body of toxic substances.
The aerial part of the root contains trace elements such as:
Such a rich vitamin and mineral composition speaks in favor of carrot tops in the gerbil diet. But this does not mean that you can offer carrots in unlimited quantities.
Inclusion of carrots in the diet
- improves appetite;
- boosts immunity;
- improves the quality of offspring in pregnant gerbils;
- increases milk production in females.
Gerbils are happy to eat carrots in large volumes, but the owner must control the amount of food consumed. Can gerbils eat carrots?
Of course, they can but in small quantities.
The nutrients contained in the leaves on the top of the carrot are different.
They include mainly water, fiber, and luteolin-7-glucoside, which acts as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, uric acid lowering, anti-tumor, antibacterial, and anti-viral. Fiber promotes digestion and defecation in gerbils.
The most important health-promoting ingredient in carrots is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a provitamin of vitamin A.
This compound protects gerbils against the adverse effects of free radicals, which can bind to substances found in cells and harm cell membranes as well as cell division.
Vitamin A provitamin delays the aging process. Beta-carotene strengthens the immune system, protects the lining of the digestive tract and respiratory tract against infections.
It plays an important role in antiatherosclerosis prevention by reducing cholesterol levels.
Beta-carotene ensures proper functioning of the eye, especially at dusk, and conditions the proper keratosis of epithelia.
Ways Gerbils Can Eat Carrots
Let us take a look at the types of carrots to feed to Gerbil and how to prepare them for safe eating.
Fresh raw carrots
Washed raw carrots can be given to gerbils at 50–200 g per head per day.
The maximum amount of carrots is fed to lactating females, who need juicy vitamins.
For gerbils, you can give not only table sweet carrots, which is designed for our table but also a special feed crop.
This type of root crops is more productive but has less sugar in its composition, which is not so important for animals.
In winter, carrots for gerbils can be stored in the following ways:
- in the cellar; in the sand
- in earthen trenches or piles insulated with straw and earth
- frozen; thaw before feeding
Due to carrots’ ability to almost completely preserve vitamins for a long time, it is possible to provide livestock with cheap and healthy food until the summer comes.
Raw carrots have 33 kcal in 100 g, while cooked has 30 kcal.
Since gerbils do not chew very well, raw carrots should be given when grated, crushed into small pieces, or rather cooked.
You can boil the carrot in water until it softens a little or, if you want, you can do it with a drizzle of olive oil.
Different colored stools may be observed when your gerbils eat carrots but don’t worry: this is because of the beta-carotene that gives this food its typical color.
Some studies indicate that cooked carrots have their nutrients more easily absorbed than raw carrots.
A good option for hot days! For young gerbils with teething in formation, frozen carrots are an excellent way to relieve itchy teeth.
For winter feeding, pickled carrots can be prepared. Carrots are thoroughly washed, cut into pieces, and laid in jars or enameled buckets.
They are then poured in cold 5% of saline solution.
This is later stored in a cool place (cellar, cold pantry). The fermented product is not subject to spoilage and fully retains its vitamins throughout the year.
Along with carrots, gerbils can also be given carrot tops.
Gerbils with an appetite to eat fresh, leaves, and stems. In terms of nutrition, the aerial part of the vegetable is comparable to medium-quality hay.
In order not to harm gerbils that have a sensitive digestive tract, you need to follow some rules.
Carrots as a new feed should gradually be introduced into the diet of gerbils, beginning with small portions.
Each animal is first given a piece the size of a walnut.
Within a few days, the daily rate of the vegetable is adjusted to the recommended one.
Fresh and pickled carrots are given as a whole or cut into pieces. So that gerbils do not throw vegetables around the cage and do not stain them.
You can fasten the carrot with a wire to the wall of the cage.
Carrot leaves give high-quality nutrients when they have no signs of rot and mold. It is laid in a manger, like hay or grass.
From what age can gerbil eat carrots
Carrots and carrot tops can appear in the gerbils’ diet from the moment they leave the nest (at 20–22 days) and still sample the food that their mother eats.
If there is different food in the cage (hay, grain mixture, vegetables), young gerbils will not eat too much of the new product but will try each type of food a little bit.
See our TOP 8 Recommended Gerbil Cages here!
Carrot itself is not dangerous for gerbils and can be fed to many animals, without exception. But excess product distribution can cause:
- indigestion (diarrhea);
- hypovitaminosis, which is expressed in hair loss.
It is necessary to adhere to the norms of giving food, and there will be no problem. Gerbils’ breeders need to remember that it is not worth taking carrot leaves in unverified places.
Many farmers and gardeners use chemicals to control pests and vegetable diseases.
When sprayed, they settle on the tops and make it poisonous. Feeding gerbils with this product can lead to their death.
For the same reason, carrots purchased in the store must be washed with a brush or peeled before giving to the gerbils.
Conclusion: Can gerbils eat carrots?
Carrots are an essential source of nutrients and maintain the health of gerbils.
They are rich in vitamins and minerals, hence very beneficial to the animals. It is good to alternate carrots with carrot tops in the diet to maintain normal and digestive function.