Pet of the Day

June 5, 2002

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Martha and Hazel, the Pets of the Day
Name: Martha, Hazel
Age: Two months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Gerbils
Home: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
   Martha and Hazel are sisters and are so cute and playful, but noisy. How can I tell them apart? Martha has a longer tail. Right now, I'm training them to come to my hand when I put it into their cage. Because they are still young, I don't pick them up too high, in case they get scared and jump. When I'm training them to get used to my hand, I put the nest portion of their cage in the bathtub (so they can't climb or jump out).

    When I got them, Martha and Hazel lived in just their main cage. Slowly, we've added a huge amount of Habitrail extensions onto their home. I was worried that they wouldn't climb in the tubes, but these girls seem to really like it. The only thing is, you always have to make sure they have healthier alternatives to chew on, otherwise they'll make do with the plastic edges of their tubes. As well, Habitrail should always be assembled with the help of adults, because sometimes the tubes are a bit hard to put together and take apart and you want to make sure they are secure. Also, you have to make sure that all the parts are well supported so that when the animals tear across the tubes, they don't break them apart. We had to put a bit of string onto the curvy tubes and hook it into the wall, so that they didn't rotate and break off. The tubes are a bit hard to clean, and Martha and Hazel are quite messy and leave food bits (and other stuff) in the tubes. I have to take them apart to wash them every once in awhile. Like most gerbils, Martha and Hazel are tricky to catch. so I have to wait until they are in their nest (the rocket ship at the end) and then undo a nearby section of tube, cap it and take the whole section away! Martha and Hazel are very cute, and fun to have, and we hope to enjoy them for a long time!

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