Oats known scientifically as Avena sativa are grains that are commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, they are brimming with nutrients and are considered one of the healthiest grains on earth.
What’s fascinating about oats is that they are as good as a meal for people and work equally well as livestock feed.
So if you have a gerbil at home as a pet, it’s totally understandable to think about feeding it oats, but can gerbils eat oats?
Yes, gerbils can eat oats, in fact, it’s one of the healthiest grains you can feed them, oats are packed with nutrients and fibers, and make as healthy a snack for your little pet as for you, however, gerbils can only consume raw oats, in reasonable quantities but not oatmeal or cooked oats.
It’s important as a gerbil owner to be always looking for treats and new foods to balance your gerbil’s nutrition, but what’s more important is to choose healthy and safe food for their main diet.
We recommend feeding gerbils the Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Gerbil Food (check current price at Amazon), it’s healthy made of natural ingredients and in the form of pellets which is best for picky gerbils.
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Do gerbils eat oats in the wild?
In the wild gerbils feed primarily on a variety of seeds, grass, roots, plants, and insects on occasions.
Gerbils are desert species, that live in the arid desert climate, hint the surname desert rats, in their natural habitat very few plants have adapted to the extreme fluctuations of temperature.
Oats don’t typically grow in the desert and do not survive well the winter-frost or the burning sun, that’s why it’s rare that gerbils in the wild consume any.
Introducing gerbils to any new food that does not grow in their natural habitat should be done carefully, and gradually.
Of course, gerbils can eat a variety of human food even though it’s not part of their natural diet but they are very sensitive to sudden changes in diet which’s why it needs to be done gradually.
Do gerbils like oats?
Gerbils will generally eat anything you give them, they do like fatty seeds more than anything and will get picky if offered a choice, that’s why we recommend pellets.
Gerbils also like food that has a crunchy texture, anything they can gnaw on they’ll probably like, and oats are no exception.
Most gerbils seem to like oats, and consume them even in the presence of other foods, which means that they like their texture.
Can baby gerbils eat oats?
Baby gerbils from birth to the age of three weeks are blind their eyes open around 17 to 19 days after birth, that’s why they do not move around much and feed only on their mom’s mile.
At the age of three weeks the gerbil’s teeth are fully developed and their eyes open and they can explore the surroundings and start to mouth on solid food, but they still rely mostly on the mom’s milk.
Newborn gerbils are weaned by the age of five weeks and start to consume solid food like seeds or whatever, you’re feeding adult gerbils.
At the age of eight to nine weeks, gerbils are considered adults and can eat regular adult food and treats like oats.
Are oats safe for gerbils?
Oats are not toxic or poisonous to gerbils, so they are safe to consume, but they are a source of fat and calories, that’s why they need to be consumed with moderation.
Feeding your gerbils too much oats can cause diarrhea, bloating, or even make them overweight eventually.
Oatmeal on the other hand I made with water and gerbils are known to consume little water and can get diarrhea when they eat water-rich food.
In general, oats are no danger to gerbils and are considered a healthy food for them so you can be assured that they’ll be fine consuming it.
Are oats good for gerbils?
Oats Are Incredibly Nutritious, They are a good source of fiber and carbs, and contain more fat and protein than most grains, that’s why gerbils like them.
Oats are an excellent source of antioxidants especially a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats.
Oats are also a good source of fibers, and they can have laxatives properties, that’s why it’s best to consume them with moderation.
Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant compounds, they contain, Manganese, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, and other minerals and vitamins B1 and B5
All in all, oats are loaded with good nutrients that can be very healthy as a supplement to the gerbil’s diet.
How much oats can gerbils eat?
Oats like we’ve mentioned are an excellent source of nutrients, but they do have laxative properties and are rich in fiber and fat so they should be consumed with moderation.
It’s best to use oats as a supplement to your gerbil’s main diet consuming too much could cause bloating and diarrhea.
The best portion for gerbils is to feed them a small teaspoon after their meal but it should only make around 10% of their diet.
How often can gerbils eat oats?
When feeding gerbil treats, it’s better to alternate between different treats and not use one every day to make sure your gerbil is getting all the nutrients he needs.
Different fruits and vegetables have different nutrients, so it’s best to choose a new food every day for a balanced diet.
Feeding your gerbils oats once or twice a week at most is the healthiest option for them.
Can gerbils eat oatmeal (porridge)?
Oatmeal is typically made by mixing oats with water and other ingredients, which makes it not a good food for gerbils.
Any food that contains too much water is not good for gerbils, being desert species their bodies are well adapted to consuming very little water, so their systems can’t handle water-rich food.
Gerbils can get diarrhea when they consume large quantities of water, their body can’t handle it, their body is built to preserve the little water they get in the desert by peeing less often and even their feces are very dry that’s why they don’t smell.
Ways gerbils can eat oats?
Gerbils can eat oats in different forms as long as they’re not mixed with water, in fact, gerbils can eat oats products like cheerios and it’s one of their favorite foods.
Can gerbils eat rolled oats?
Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming and flattening process.
They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take much less time to make, but they should not be fed to gerbils as porridge.
Can gerbils eat quick oats?
Quick oats or quick-cooking oats are rolled oats that go through further processing to decrease cooking time.
They’re partially cooked by steaming and then rolled even thinner than old-fashioned oats, but they should not be fed to gerbils as porridge.
Can gerbils eat steel-cut oats?
steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat.
To produce steel-cut oats, the groats are chopped into pieces with large steel blades, they also can’t be fed to gerbils as porridge.
Oats nutrient information
Oats are the healthiest grains to consume they are packed with good nutrients that can be very beneficial to gerbils.
Here is the full list of the nutrients found in oats:Vitamins
|Folic acid||0.00 mcg|
|Pantothenic acid||1.349 mg|
|Vitamin A||0.00 IU|
|Vitamin A, RAE||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B12||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B12, added||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||0.119 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.0 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.00 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||54.00 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.626 mg|
|Iron, Fe||4.72 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||177.00 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||4.916 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||523.00 mg|
|Potassium, K||429.00 mg|
|Sodium, Na||2.00 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||3.97 mg|
|Aspartic acid||1.448 g|
|Glutamic acid||3.712 g|
|Phenylalanine + Tyrosine||1.468 g|
|Methionine + Cysteine||0.312 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||1.217 g|
|Dodecanoic acid||0.024 g|
|Hexadecanoic acid||1.034 g|
|Octadecanoic acid||0.065 g|
|Tetradecanoic acid||0.015 g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||2.178 g|
|Hexadecenoic acid||0.013 g|
|Octadecenoic acid||2.165 g|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids||2.535 g|
|Octadecadienoic acid||2.424 g|
|Octadecatrienoic acid||0.111 g|
Conclusion: can gerbils eat oats?
- Gerbils can eat oats as a supplement t their main diet.
- Gerbils should not eat oats everyday or in large quantities.
- Oats are packed with nutrients and are very healthy for gerbils.
- Oats have laxative properties and can cause diarrhea that’s why they should be consumed with moderation.
- Gerbils should only eat raw oats, oatmeal has too much water for gerbils.
Other foods gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans