Sharing mushrooms with gerbils is not something very common, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of food a gerbil would eat, but you’d be amazed what gerbils can eat.
You might have spotted some mushrooms growing in your backyard or maybe you just enjoy eating them and want to share a new treat with your gerbil.
Anyway, mushrooms are not the kind of food you want to experiment with, it’s always best to check with a vet before feeding your gerbils new foods that they don’t feed on in their natural habitat.
Unless you are a mycologist and did some extensive research on fungi like mushrooms it’s probably not a good idea to pick up mushrooms from your yard and feed them to your gerbils or consume them yourself.
Rolling the dice on a food that has thousands of similar varieties that are extremely hard to differentiate and with a good percentage of very deadly toxic ones is never a good idea.
Even if you have the expertise and you’re an experienced forager, you’d better stick to store-bought mushrooms, but can gerbils eat them anyway?
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Can gerbils eat mushrooms?
The direct answer is no, gerbils can’t eat mushrooms, the water content in mushrooms is too high, fresh mushrooms contain about 95% water, gerbils are desert species and do not handle water-rich foods very well and can cause them diarrhea.
Besides the water content, mushrooms contain small traces of toxins that are fine for humans to consume, but a small rodent the size of a gerbil that doesn’t consume a lot of water will probably have gastric troubles when eating mushrooms.
Mushrooms are a delicate food that could easily be moldy and it’s hard to tell if mushrooms are bad, cooking them usually sorts this problem but feeding them raw to gerbils can be dangerous.
Even if the mushrooms are properly stored and are fresh there are thousands of varieties of mushrooms, and it’s just not a good choice of food to be experimenting with.
There are plenty of mushroom poisoning cases every year but gerbils won’t be able to survive such poisoning that’s why it’s just best and safer to avoid it.
Looking for healthy treats to balance your gerbil’s diet is important, but not as important as choosing healthy and safe food for their main diet.
We recommend feeding gerbils the Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Food for Gerbils (check current price at Amazon), it’s made of natural ingredients and it’s in the form of pellets which is great for gerbils that tend to get picky when served separate seeds.
Can baby gerbils eat mushrooms?
From the age of three weeks to five weeks newborn gerbils start to mouth on solid food and their teeth are fully developed and they explore their surroundings, but they still rely on the mother’s milk.
Baby gerbils are weaned at the age of five weeks on feed on solid food, they can be introduced to fruits and vegetables to balance their diet, but they can not eat mushrooms.
Gerbils are considered adults at the age of eight weeks and they can eat whatever adult gerbils eat ad the same thing goes for what they can not eat including mushrooms.
Do gerbils eat mushrooms in the wild?
Gerbils are desert species, hint the name desert rats, they live in the arid areas where very few plants can survive.
Mushrooms being water-rich -about 95% water- can not survive in the gerbil’s natural habitat, where the temperatures can fluctuate considerably between night and day.
That’s why gerbils don’t feed on mushrooms in the wild, and even if they do come across it is generally not very appealing to them unless they have no other alternative.
Are mushrooms safe for gerbils?
Mushrooms are not safe for gerbils, they have very high water content and gerbils can handle them well, they’ll mostly cause them digestive problems.
Mushrooms, even the commercially grown and the ones consumed by humans do contain some toxins that could be dangerous for a small rodent, like the gerbil.
The gerbils don’t consume a lot of water and their body has adapted perfectly to keep most of the little water they get, they don’t pee often and their feces are very dry which makes them good pets because they don’t smell.
Are mushrooms good for gerbils?
Mushrooms are a good source of minerals and vitamins, they are rich in the antioxidant called selenium that helps boost the immune system.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin B and potassium, B vitamins help the body get energy from food and form red blood cells.
Unfortunately, gerbils can not enjoy the benefits of these healthy nutrients because they can not consume mushrooms, and therefore they can not be considered good for gerbils.
Do gerbils like mushrooms?
Gerbils will eat almost anything you give them if they do not have a choice, so you can only find out what they like if served multiple foods at a time in abundance.
In general, gerbils like crunchy and fatty foods more, they like the food they can gnaw on, mushrooms are not very appealing to gerbils, but you should be aware that they’ll try them if offered so, it’s better to avoid them.
How many and how often can gerbils eat mushrooms?
Gerbils should never eat mushrooms, not even in small quantities or on occasions, it can be dangerous and it’s not safe for them.
Mushrooms are not a good choice of food for gerbils, especially that there are a lot of good and very affordable fruits and vegetables they can eat.
Ways gerbils can eat mushrooms
Gerbils can not eat mushrooms in any form, raw, canned, or cooked, they are not a good choice of food for gerbils and can be dangerous.
Raw mushrooms can contain toxins that are dangerous to gerbils, and their water content is just too high for them.
Cooked mushrooms do lose the toxins but contain even more moist so they are no good for gerbils especially if cooked with other ingredients and spices.
Canned food is never a good idea for feeding your gerbils whether it’s mushrooms or any other food, they contain a lot of unnatural conservatives that are dangerous for gerbils.
Varieties of mushrooms gerbils can eat
All varieties of mushrooms are dangerous to gerbils, even the ones sold in groceries and used by humans because they do contain some toxins that in small quantities are fine for humans but can be toxic to a small gerbil.
Unknown varieties are even more dangerous, and in general they are all too water-rich to be fed to gerbils.
So gerbils should avoid all varieties of mushrooms even the commercially grown ones.
Mushrooms nutrition dataVitamins
|Vitamin A, RAE
|Lutein + zeaxanthin
|Vitamin B12, added
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
|Vitamin E, added
|Saturated fatty acids
|Monounsaturated fatty acids
|Tetracosenoic cis acid
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids
|Cis,cis-eicosadienoic n-6 acid
|Fatty acids, total trans
|Docosahexaenoic n-3 acid (DHA)
|Docosapentaenoic n-3 acid (DPA)
|Eicosapentaenoic n-3 acid (EPA)
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units
|Vitamin K (Dihydrophylloquinone)
|Vitamin K (Menaquinone-4)
Conclusion: can gerbils eat mushrooms?
- Gerbils can not eat mushrooms, they have high water content and contain acids and toxins that can be harmful to gerbils.
- Gerbils can not eat any variety of mushrooms.
- Commercially grown mushrooms are also not good food for gerbils.
- Gerbils can not eat mushrooms in any form even cooked.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans