Environment

Jerboa

Dipodidae (family)

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Environment

Jerboas will jump when startled so their vivarium should take this into consideration. A minimum size for a pair is 6 x 3 x 3 feet with allowance made for at least 6 inches of substrate due to protect their legs whilst jumping and also to allow them to make deep tunnels. They benefit from the addition of a sand bath to help keep their fur clean although it is also possible to use this as their base substrate. A temperature of around 22-26 degrees should be maintained.

A good quality hay makes excellent bedding, and alfalfa and timothy hay make good additions to their diet. Hay is essential to aid digestion with uneaten portions used as nesting material. They benefit from routine dust baths to prevent buildup of oil in their fur.

Large cork tubes and carboard tunnels make good hiding and nesting areas and you can also add rocks and other items. Although they do not climb, as their legs suggest, they are very good at jumping.

Jerboas can also have a solid based wheel. This must be the larger sizes. A heat lamp should be used and although not essential, it can be helpful to add UV.

The very low success rate of captive breeding for Jerboas mean that only experienced keepers should attempt this. Some experiences suggest that a certain level of salt and minerals and environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and air flow must be met. In the wild breeding season would also herald the addition of fresh shoots and greens which can be difficult to replicate in a captive environment. Seeds can be planted and the vivarium misted to allow growth although some wire netting may be needed to allow the seeds to mature.

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