Figs are my favorite fruits and I’ve been fortunate to have two “Ficus carica” common fig trees at home, and I’ve fed them to my gerbils for years that’s why I am excited to write this article.
I can positively say that gerbils can eat figs and they do enjoy them, figs are naturally sweet so it’s best not to feed your gerbils more than a small portion of half a teaspoon, and not to feed them figs every day, as they contain some levels of acidity and fibers and are known for their laxative properties so they can cause gerbils diarrhea.
I personally have been feeding my gerbils figs for years and none of them ever had digestive issues eating them, you just have to keep to the proper serving size and make sure their diet is balanced.
It’s important to look for healthy treats for your gerbils, but not as important as making sure their main food is healthy and safe.
I strongly recommend using the Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Food for Gerbils (check current price at Amazon), we like it especially because it’s made of natural ingredients and in the form of pellets which is better for gerbils that tend to get picky when served seeds.
Table of Contents
Do gerbils eat figs in the wild?
In the wild gerbils feed essentially on seeds and a variety of grass, roots and plants and occasionally insects.
The gerbil’s natural habitat is arid and it’s so difficult for any fruit trees to grow in those conditions especially with the fluctuations of temperatures between night and day.
Being desert species gerbils also known as desert rats will probably never encounter figs in the wild, the tree itself can survive the burning sun of the desert but the fruits will mostly get sunburned.
Introducing your gerbils to a new food that doesn’t grow in their natural habitat is risky that’s why you need to do your research before feeding them, especially that gerbils are known for having bad reactions to sudden changes in diet.
Can baby gerbils eat figs?
Baby gerbils are born with their eyes closed and teeth not fully developed and they feed exclusively on their mother’s milk until the age of three weeks.
At the age of three weeks the newborn gerbils’ teeth are fully grown and their eyes are open and they start to explore their environment, but still, they mainly feed on milk until they’re five weeks old.
At five weeks gerbils are weaned and can be introduced to solid food of regular seeds mix, fruits, and vegetables.
Gerbils are considered adults at the age of eight weeks and can eat any solid food you feed their parents including figs.
Are figs safe for gerbils?
Figs are not poisonous or toxic to gerbils, so they are safe to consume, but they contain high levels of natural sugar and are known for their laxative properties.
Gerbils can eat figs if they do not consume too much, not that are not safe but because they can cause diarrhea if they eat too much.
I have been feeding my gerbils fruits I personally grow in my garden for years and figs are one of their favorites, and we’ve never had any problem with it.
Figs like all fruits and vegetables fed to gerbils should only be used as a supplement to their main diet which needs to be of high quality and they need to be in a cycle to get the most nutrients possible.
Are figs good for gerbils?
Figs are by far on the top of the healthiest fruits in the world they have a very positive effect on the digestive system.
Although they are rich in sugar it’s all-natural and healthy and does not present any risks, they have been used in many cultures as natural sweeteners replacing sugar and are still used to this day in some countries.
Figs are cholesterol-free, fat-free, and sodium-free which makes them perfect for gerbils reducing the risk of them getting overweight.
Figs will also provide small amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
In addition to natural sweetness, figs provide fiber and antioxidants. If portion-controlled, they can make a great addition to your gerbil’s diet.
Do gerbils like figs?
Gerbils adore figs they can’t have enough -but should not- mine anyway seemed to love it for its natural sweetness and the crunchy seeds.
Most gerbils will like figs and I’ve never had a gerbil that doesn’t like them, they love to hold them and gnaw their way into the crunchy seeds.
Gerbils in general like sweet and crunchy foods, they like to gnaw on their food and especially fatty seeds.
Can gerbils eat all varieties of figs?
There are over 700 named varieties of fig trees, but most of those are not grown in gardens or commercially so it’s rare to encounter them.
The ones that are widely grown and sold in all food stores around the globe are the common figs, and there are many types within that variety.
Four of them are the most popular and the ones you’ve probably eaten before:
Celeste is a small to medium-size brown or purple fig that grows on a fairly large tree. It produces dessert quality fruit that ripens earlier than most other figs.
Alma figs aren’t much to look at but the fruit has an excellent, rich flavor. It ripens late in the season.
Brown Turkey produces a crop of large, tasty figs over a long season. The fruit has attractive flesh and few seeds.
Purple Genca, also called Black Genoa or Black Spanish is a large, deep purple variety with sweet, red fleshgardeningknowhow.com
All of these varieties are safe for gerbils to eat, in general, all commercially grown figs that we can consume are also safe for gerbils.
How many figs can gerbils eat?
Like we’ve mentioned earlier figs are certainly very healthy and great for balancing the gerbil’s diet, but their laxative properties and natural sweetness can have an adverse effect on gerbils if consumed in large quantities.
Gerbils should have no more than a half teaspoon of fig per day, anything more than that could cause diarrhea but nothing serious.
They do not contain any fat so even overweight gerbils that you’re trying to make lose some weight can consume the same portion safely.
How often can gerbils eat figs?
Figs and all other treats that you use to diversify your little gerbil’s diet should not be consumed every day.
The best way to consume figs and other fruits, is in alternation with other fruits once or twice a week at most to make sure your gerbil gets all the nutrients he needs.
Figs nutrient facts
Figs are among the healthiest fruits you can get your gerbils, they are a good source of nutrients, although sometimes it’s the nutrients that are not present that make such fruit healthy.
Figs are cholesterol-free, fat-free, and sodium-free, especially the sodium part because gerbils have adapted to consuming very little water so sodium-rich foods can cause them dehydration.
Here is the full list of the nutrients found in figs:Vitamins
|Vitamin A, RAE
|Lutein + zeaxanthin
|Vitamin B12, added
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
|Vitamin E, added
|Saturated fatty acids
|Monounsaturated fatty acids
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids
|Fatty acids, total trans
|Phenylalanine + Tyrosine
|Methionine + Cysteine
Ways gerbils can eat figs
Figs are eaten and prepared in multiple ways sometimes raw and other times cooked, in jam and smoothies, but how can gerbils consume figs?
Can gerbils eat raw figs?
Of course, raw figs are the best way for gerbils to consume figs, but they need to be stored properly.
Fresh ripe figs should be kept cold, they can last for several days when kept cold. Figs can also be frozen for up to 12 months.
It is best to clean the figs carefully and remove the skin before feeding them to your gerbils.
Can gerbils eat dried figs?
Dried figs contain less water, so they’re more concentrated in calories, sugar, and nutrients, but other than that they have the same nutrient value as fresh ones.
Dried figs are safe for gerbils to eat but they need to eat a smaller portion than fresh ones because they contain a higher concentration of nutrients.
Can gerbils eat cooked figs?
Figs do lose some of the nutrients when cooked and should not be fed to gerbils especially if cooked with other ingredients and spices that could be more harmful to gerbils.
Can gerbils eat figs jam?
Gerbils can not eat fig jam or any jam for that matter, it contains too much sugar and added ingredients gerbils should not eat.
What parts of the fig plant can gerbils eat?
Gerbils should only eat ripe fruits and no other part of the fig tree, all the other parts, stem, leaves, and even the unripe fruit produces a milky white liquid called latex.
The white latex produced by figs is extremely irritating and can be very harmful to gerbil, and that’s why it’s best to remove the skin.
Figs that are not entirely ripe, with parts of the skin near the base still being green, may still contain some latex in the green portions.
Conclusion: can gerbils eat figs?
- Gerbils can eat figs and they are good for them and very nutritious.
- Gerbils can eat fresh ripe figs and dried figs but not cooked figs.
- The leaves, stem, and even the skin of unripe figs contain latex which is very irritating.
- Gerbils can eat all commercially grown varieties of figs.
- Figs are good for overweight gerbils, they are fat-free and cholesterol-free.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans