Carrots are on the top of the healthy vegetables our moms used to make us eat before we get any dessert, and we do the same with our children and pets but how about rodents can gerbils eat carrots or is it a rabbit specialty?
Gerbils can eat carrots and they are as healthy for them as for us, they are great to balance the gerbils’ diet since they naturally eat seeds, vegetables and fruits are only supplements. Carrots are root vegetables and they are similar to what gerbils eat in the wild so it would be the perfect choice for a snack.
Still, there are many questions to be asked about how much should your gerbil have and the best way to give him carrots and which parts of a carrot can the gerbil eat. These questions and many others will be answered in this article along with some data about carrots to guide you to feed your gerbil the best-balanced diet.
Looking for healthy snacks for your gerbils is important, but not as important as choosing safe and healthy brands for their main diet.
The best gerbil mix we recommend is the Oxford Garder Select Gerbil Food ( check the current price on Amazon) it’s not the cheapest but it’s made of pellets which are best for picky gerbils. The problem with cheap seed mixes is that gerbils pick the best seeds and just leave the rest so you always get less for your money and a lot of unwanted seeds to clean.
Can gerbils eat all types of carrots
Just like most fruits and vegetables, there are multiple varieties of carrots and each is different in terms of shape, color nutritional value, and taste.
However, in most cases, they are very similar in their composition, nutrients, and all the health benefits.
Gerbils can eat all types of carrots but of course in small quantities, because they are only a supplement to their natural diet which is the seeds mix.
The types of carrots gerbils can eat
There are five types of carrots and are fine to give your gerbil these five types and each type has multiple varieties and it’s all based on shape and size.
These are the most common carrots the one everyone thinks about when they visualize a carrot on their mind a carrot that is long and skinny and orange.
This type is the most popular in stores and it’s similar in shape to Imperator but thicker in width, it has more sugar and should be given in even fewer quantities to gerbils.
This type is similar to Danvers in size but it’s almost cylindrical and has a near-red flesh, it’s sweet and great for soup.
The chantenay is identical to Danvers but shorter this type of carrots if often grown in heavy or rocky soil areas.
This type of carrots is the last thing you’d think about when you hear the word carrot and they are less popular than the rest of the carrots.
Can gerbils eat other carrots parts
Carrots are root vegetables and they are great treats for gerbils, but can they eat other carrot parts we don’t?
Can gerbils eat carrots’ tops
Gerbils can eat carrot tops just like they eat carrot flesh, there is nothing dangerous about the carrot tops, and they contain the same nutrients the carrot does.
Carrot tops have a bitter taste to them and that’s why we usually get rid of them but gerbils won’t mind the taste.
You can feed your gerbils a carrot top since it’s crunchy and they love the food they can gnaw on for a while.
Can gerbils eat carrots’ leaves and flowers
The carrot plant can be regrown from a carrot top, some people do eat it and use it in some recipes. However, it’s not that common to find these in carrots sold at stores.
Even if you can find a carrot with the plant and flowers still on it’s probably full of pesticides and other chemicals so it would be better not to feed them to your gerbil especially that carrots are only meant to be snacks and not a primary diet.
Can gerbils eat carrots’ seeds
Since gerbils feed naturally on seeds one would ask if they can eat all sorts of seeds and wonder if they can eat carrots seeds.
Not all seeds are alike, while some seeds are full of nutrients and considered a great food for many rodents, others especially fruits are poisonous like apples.
Carrot seeds are not considered poisonous, but they don’t seem to be appealing to rodents and if given the choice won’t approach them, so unless you have no choice, it’s better not to feed your gerbils, carrots seeds.
All in all, carrots are great for gerbils but it’s best to stick to the carrot flesh when feeding your little rodents.
Ways gerbils can eat carrots
Carrots are used in many recipes and are often used many times a week and are always available in our homes in many forms, but what are the ways gerbils can eat carrots?
Raw carrots flesh
Feeding your gerbils fresh carrot flesh is the obvious way to do it, you have to wash it though just to make sure there are no pesticide residues.
Carrots lose their crunch when kept for too long, gerbils can eat them but they’ll enjoy them better if they’re still fresh and crunchy.
Cooked carrots are ok to give your gerbil however, they should not be cooked with anything else that could cause disturbance of digestion to your gerbil.
Boiled carrots are fine since they have not been cooked with any other substances, but is there really a point to cooking carrots before feeding them to your gerbil if he prefers raw carrots.
Dehydrated carrots are very tasty and sweet, everybody loves them but they are very concentrated in nutrients since the water dried.
So the portion needs to be smaller or else you’ll be feeding your gerbil much more nutrients than he needs.
Gerbils can eat carrot puree but just like cooked carrots why would you if you can just give them the carrot top or flesh to gnaw on and they’ll prefer it.
Gerbils don’t feed on cooked food in the wild so it’s best to stick to similar food to what they naturally eat.
Can baby gerbils eat carrots
Gerbils grow up so fast that they can feed on adult gerbil food staring from two weeks old, and in most cases unless born in captivity, most breeders and pet stores sell five weeks old gerbils and older.
If you buy your gerbil at a pet store you don’t really have to worry much about his diet and you can feed him regular adult food unless you specifically ask for young gerbils in which case you should get the mom and the whole squad since they need their mom’s milk the first month.
It is best when buying baby gerbils or adults to ask the breeder or the pet store for the seed mix they’re using so you don’t suddenly change their diet. Gerbils are very sensitive to sudden diet changes and the best thing is to keep feeding them the same seeds mix and gradually changing it to what you’re planning to feed them.
Gerbils from birth to two weeks old
Gerbils from birth up to two weeks old only feed on their mom’s milk, they have no teeth to gnaw on food and it’s better not to make any changes at this stage and keep them with their mothers.
They can’t handle any adult food and you should not try feeding them any sort of food even other animals milk unless the mom is absent.
Gerbils From Two Weeks To four weeks Old
At this age, gerbils start to grow teeth and can eat seeds along with the mom’s milk so there is no need to add any fruits or vegetables at this point.
Two to four weeks old gerbils can eat carrots but it’s better if they feed on their natural diet like seeds not to compromise their taste judgment. Anything sweet is better not to be given to young gerbils.
Gerbils at five weeks and older
At the age of five weeks, old baby gerbils can eat whatever adult gerbils eat and they are totally weaned and don’t need to be with their moms 24/7 if you’re planning to move them.
Weaned gerbils can have access to fruits and vegetables in reasonable quantities according to their size.
How much carrots can gerbils eat
Like we’ve explained earlier, carrots are only meant to be a supplement to the gerbil’s natural seed mix diet, a snack you can feed them every few days to complement the nutrients they don’t get from the seeds.
We recommend changing the fruit or vegetable you give your gerbils every day for a better and much more balanced diet.
Feeding your gerbil carrots everyday is ok but they’ll have insufficiency in certain nutrients carrots don’t contain.
A carrot top is generally more than enough for an adult gerbil and you can feed double that amount to young(under six months) or nursing/pregnant gerbils.
Do gerbils like carrots
Gerbils love the food they can gnaw on and carrots especially when still fresh are just great and crunchy, gerbils can’t have enough of it.
Gerbils seem to prefer the actual flesh of a fresh carrot than carrot tops, but if they’re given no choice a carrot top is still a delicious crunchy snack.
Here is a cute video of two little gerbils taking turns in eating a nice carrot.
Do gerbils eat carrots in the wild
Carrots are root vegetables and they are close to some of the plants gerbils usually feed on in the wild, along with their primary seeds diet. However, carrots are not really on the menu unless they accidentally find them.
Carrots are not really that common in the wild and gerbils generally don’t like to live in places where there is too much activity so it’s very uncommon to find gerbils around carrots plantations.
Can carrots be dangerous to gerbils
Carrots are generally a safe and healthy snack for your gerbils and they don’t present any direct threat to their health.
Giving your gerbils only carrots can be dangerous though since they do not contain all the necessary nutrients gerbils need for a balanced diet.
Carrots are root vegetables so they are not heavy on pesticides and chemicals but cleaning thoroughly is advised and taking the skin out would be even better.
If your gerbil is not used to eating carrots it can cause some digestion problems if you suddenly start feeding him good amounts of carrots.
Changing a gerbil’s diet all of a sudden causes problems in most cases that’s why it’s better to introduce new food gradually.
The only threat a carrot could present to a gerbil is perhaps giving him bits that are too small that he could choke on other than that it’s a safe snack.
Carrots nutrition facts
Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of other health-supporting nutrients.
Carrots contain all the great nutrients a gerbil would need for a balanced diet along with his seeds mix, but it doesn’t mean you can only feed him carrots.
Here is a chart of the nutritious elements found in a carrot and as you can see it has almost all the necessary minerals and vitamins the body needs and that’s why carrots are considered one of the healthiest foods on the menu.
Final verdict: can gerbils eat carrots
- Gerbils can eat carrots, in fact, they can eat all types of carrots without any danger.
- Gerbils should be fed carrots in small portions not to disturb their diet.
- carrots are not a substitute to the gerbils primarily diet and can only be used as a supplement to provide other nutrients their seeds diet could lack.
- The vegetables and fruits given as supplements should be diversified for a more balanced diet.
- Gerbils don’t feed on carrots in the wild, so they can’t be given carrots every day.
- Baby gerbils can have carrots and adult food starting from the second week and permanently from the fifth week.
- Gerbils can eat carrots in different ways if the nutrients portion is taken into consideration.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans