Do Gerbils Eat Hay? Is It Safe For Them?

Do Gerbils Eat Hay

Hay makes the perfect bedding for your gerbil because it is easy to dig through which is what they love doing. You might see your gerbil chew the hay, but do gerbils eat hay?

Gerbils will eat the hay in their cage. It is important that they do not eat to much hay as it will upset their tummy’s and give them diarrhea

It is important to make sure they have constant access to gerbil food so they do not depend on eating hay when they are hungry.

Some hay such as alfalfa has calcium in it which is good for your gerbil, but only when eaten in small portions.

Do Gerbils Need Hay In Their Diet?

Do Gerbils Need Hay In Their Diet

Gerbils do not need hay in their diet.  Ideally you should feed them specially formulated mixes which will contain every thing they need for a balanced diet.

Hay should only be seen as a treat for your rodent and not a main meal for them.

Hay is perfect for them to use as bedding, but make sure to monitor how much of it they are eating.  Every gerbil is different, some will not eat any hay, some will eat a little bit and some will eat lots.

If you see that your gerbil is eating a lot of hay you might want to replace hay with another substrate that they wont eat.

What Kind Of Hay Can Gerbils Have?

Did you know that there are different types of hay that you can use for bedding? Most are good for your gerbil but some can be bad.

When first introducing hay in to your cage monitor how your gerbil gets on with it, It is possible that some gerbils are allergic to the hay so you will need to remove it as soon as possible if this is the case.

Types of hay gerbils can have include

  • Grass Hay
  • Timothy
  • Alfalfa Hay
  • Brome Hay
  • Botanical Hay
  • Oat Hay

Why Do Gerbils Chew Hay?

Gerbil chewing Timothy hay

Most of the time your gerbil will not actually be eating hay they will simply be chewing it, So why do they chew hay?

Gerbils like to chew on hay as this will help to sharpen their teeth. It also helps to sooth them when they are stressed or scared.

It is also a great way to relieve boredom.

Can You Use Hay In A Gerbil Cage?

If you are researching which substitute to use for bedding in your gerbil cage you might be thinking, can you use hay in a gerbil cage?

Hay is an excellent choice for bedding in a gerbil cage.  Hay is soft and is easy for the gerbil to dig holes through, it also mimics what they would nest in the wild.

Hay will also contain pests and parasites which will harm your gerbils if they were to get in your cage.  Before adding any hay in to the cage make sure to freeze it for two days in your freezer as this will kill the pests and parasites.

After freezing the hay, remove it from the freezer and allow a day for it to defrost before putting in to the cage.