When you are a pet parent to gerbils, you are constantly looking for the best diet and treats for your delicate little friends.
In the wild gerbils do a great job finding the nutrients their bodies need, but as pets, it is the parent’s responsibility to provide those nutrients.
The best way is to try to provide food that is similar to what gerbils feed on in their natural habitat, and their diet is based on a variety of seeds nuts grass, and hay.
Peanuts seem like a great choice of food but can gerbils eat peanuts?
Gerbils can eat peanuts, peanuts in shells, and even peanut butter, in the wild they eat the seeds and can deal easily with even stronger shells, peanuts are an excellent source of protein and high in various vitamins, minerals, fat, and gerbils love them that’s why they are among the best treats gerbils prefer.
We recommend using peanuts as high value treats to bond with your gerbils and feeding them healthy pellets, the one we recommend is the Oxbow Fortified Food for Gerbils (check the current price at Amazon), if they are given peanuts with other seeds gerbils tend to get picky especially when food is abundant.
You should also make sure you get good quality peanuts for your gerbils because if they are not well stored or of low quality, they could become dangerous for your gerbils.
You can get a good quality pack of raw peanuts at Amazon from a US-based reputed company.
Do gerbils eat peanuts in the wild?
Gerbils are omnivorous hoarding rodents, their staple diet is varied and changes throughout the year; depending on what season it is and what location they live in.
Gerbils mainly eat the seed and the green parts of whatever crops are grown locally, and peanuts make no exception.
Peanuts are part of the gerbil’s diet in the wild if they are grown locally since gerbils live in various parts of the globe.
In fact, the peanuts make a favorite food for gerbils and they’ll prefer them over many other seeds and that’s because it’s fat-rich.
Can gerbils eat peanuts in shells?
Gerbils are part of the rodent family, that is known for having strong continuously-growing teeth, in fact, they do need to keep gnawing on hard surfaces to keep their teeth from overgrowing, so a shell would not be a problem for gerbils.
Gerbils can easily eat peanuts in shells especially that the peanut shell is soft, and they are used to consuming it in the wild.
Some experienced gerbil owners preach about giving gerbils peanuts in shells to help them gnaw and simulate their natural dietary.
Can gerbils eat peanut butter?
Yes, gerbils can eat peanut butter but only as a high-value treat and in very small quantities, and should be used occasionally.
Even though peanut butter shouldn’t be used as a dominant food source in your gerbil’s diet, it’s probably fine to eat every now and then in small amounts.
Since peanut butter is very high in fat, a 100-gram portion contains a hefty dose of 588 calories, it can cause gerbils to get overweight that is why it’s better to use it as a treat.
Peanut butter is fairly nutritious, it provides many vitamins and minerals :
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6
Peanut butter is quite rich in antioxidants like p-coumaric acid, which may reduce arthritis in rats, and it also contains some resveratrol, pure peanut butter contains only 20% carbs.
Can gerbils eat roasted peanuts?
Gerbils can eat roasted peanuts if they’re not salted, honey roasted, or contain other spices, in very small amounts.
Nonetheless, according to Healthline, raw peanuts are healthier, when polyunsaturated fats are exposed to heat, as is the case with roasting, they’re more likely to become damaged or oxidized leading to the formation of harmful free radicals, which can damage your gerbil’s cells.
So, avoiding roasted peanuts would be the safest option for your gerbil.
Can gerbils eat peanuts shells?
In theory yes gerbils can eat peanuts shells, there is nothing toxic in the shells, but gerbils are not very interested in peanuts shells especially if there are seeds inside it.
The peanuts shells hardly contain any nutrients, so it doesn’t seem like a great idea to feed them to your gerbils while there is a variety of other vegetables and fruits you can use.
In case gerbils have nothing to eat they’ll give shells a try but again they will not be enough to provide the nutrients your gerbils need.
Can baby gerbils eat peanuts?
Gerbil babies for the first three weeks feed exclusively on their mother’s milk while growing their teeth, and starting from the third week they start gnawing on solid food along with mom’s milk.
At the age of three weeks, gerbils open their eyes and their teeth are fully developed, so they can eat peanuts.
young gerbils do need plenty of nutrients to grow and gain weight, so they can have a little extra portion compared to adult gerbils, but not too much though, or else they’ll get fat at a young age and have activity issues.
At the age of five weeks, baby gerbils are no longer pups and are considered adults and they should be fed adult food including peanuts.
Do gerbils like peanuts?
Peanuts are considered fatty seeds, yes even if the name contains nuts peanuts are actually a legume, but they are gerbils’ favorites.
Gerbils adore all fatty seeds and would pick them over other regular seeds that’s why it’s always better to feed them pellets where all the seeds are mixed so they don’t overfeed on fatty ones and become fat.
peanuts are often used as a treat to bond with the gerbils and enforce good behavior, most gerbils would let you hold them if you have a peanut in your hand.
Are peanuts safe for gerbils?
Even though peanuts are quite nutritious, they may also contain substances that can be harmful to gerbils.
Peanuts can sometimes be contaminated with a species of mold (Aspergillus flavus) that produces aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin poisoning can be fatal to gerbils, the risk of contamination depends on how peanuts are stored. Warm and humid conditions can make peanuts more exposed to the mold.
The risk of contamination can be effectively prevented by properly drying peanuts and keeping temperature and humidity low during storage.
Is peanut butter safe for gerbils?
Believe it or not, peanut butter is safer than raw peanuts when it comes to aflatoxin poisoning, according to the Scientific Research Journal there is a reduction of 89% of aflatoxin concentration during the production process of peanut butter.
Moderate consumption of peanut butter is unlikely to have any major negative effects on your gerbil’s health but there have been some cases of pets choking on peanut butter so serving it in very small portions is important.
Are peanuts good for gerbils?
Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and many key vitamins and minerals.
Peanuts are rich in protein, fat, and various healthy nutrients. Studies (rats-also rodents- were used as test subjects) show that peanuts are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Peanuts are literally packed with vitamins and minerals like biotin, copper, niacin, folate, manganese, vitamin E, thiamine, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Peanuts are especially good for gerbils that suffer from weight-loss or need to gain weight fast with healthy fats.
How much peanuts can gerbils eat?
Peanuts are better used as high-value treats, so, one peanut is more than enough, and anything beyond that would be too much for a gerbil.
The same thing goes for peanut butter, the 1/10th of a teaspoon is good for gerbils, peanut butter can be used to make a food mix with other seeds and nutrients your gerbil would refuse to eat.
Peanuts are very rich in fat and giving your gerbils too much could have adverse effects on their health.
How often can gerbils eat peanuts?
Like we’ve explained in this article peanuts are mainly used as treats or for gerbils that suffer from weight loss.
That being said, gerbils should be fed peanuts no more than once a week or once every two weeks in very moderate portions.
Feeding your gerbils peanuts too often will make them picky with their food and would probably make them reject less attractive foods making their diet unbalanced and therefore unhealthy.
Should gerbils eat raw peanuts or pellets?
It is always a good idea to feed your gerbils food pellets for a more balanced diet, gerbils tend to get picky with their food when it’s abundant.
If you give your gerbils separate seeds mix they’ll pick the ones they like and it’s mostly the fatty and leave the rest making their diet unbalanced and consuming a lot of fat.
That’s why feeding pellets will make them consume all seeds and hay without a chance to get picky and of course peanuts and other seeds can be used as treats.
Can gerbils be allergic to peanuts?
According to the National Institutes of Health animals are not normally allergic to food, so gerbils can not be allergic to peanuts or any other food for that matter.
Peanuts nutrient facts
Peanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates.Medical News Today
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of raw peanuts contain 567 calories and the following nutrients:
|Vitamins||vitamin B-3 (niacin)|
vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
vitamin B-1 (thiamine)
vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
folate (vitamin B-9)
Conclusion: can gerbils eat peanuts?
- Gerbils can eat peanuts as a treat in reasonable quantities.
- Peanuts are healthy and contain plenty of good nutrients that are good for gerbils.
- When eaten in large quantities peanuts can have adverse results on the gerbil’s diet.
- peanuts are better used as a high-value treat once every week or a couple of weeks.
- Peanuts can be used for gerbils that need to gain weight fast.
- Gerbils can eat peanuts in shells since they are soft enough for them to chew through.
- Gerbils can eat peanut butter also in small quantities.
- Gerbils should not eat roasted, salted, or honey-roasted peanuts.
Other healthy food gerbils can eat
- Apples (without seeds)
- Almonds (not bitter almonds)
- Green beans