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This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Bushy-Tailed Jirds.

BUSHY-TAILED JIRD IMAGE

BUSHY-TAILED JIRD

BUSHY-TAILED JIRD FAMILY IMAGE

BUSHY-TAILED JIRD FAMILY

THE BUSHY-TAILED JIRD
Scientific name - Sekeetamys calurus

The Bushy-Tailed Jird is native to Eastern Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia. They live in an arid, rocky environment with solid soil. They burrow under boulders instead of underground. Since their natural environment is so rocky, they are excellent climbers, so watch out when you let them out.
The Bushy-Tailed Jird is related to the common Mongolian Gerbil. The Bushy-Tailed Jird is slightly larger than the Mongolian gerbil and it also has a longer tail that can become very bushy.

BUSHY-TAILED JIRDS AS PETS

The Bushy-Tailed Jird makes an excellent pet for adults and children who want an animal that is as enjoyable to watch as they are to handle. They are easy to care for.
Bushy-Tailed Jirds have a similar personality to the common Mongolian gerbil, with the following exceptions: First, they are friendlier than a gerbil. Second, they are calmer than the gerbil. When you add these two positive traits to the gerbils good personality, you end up with a little critter that is wonderful, it is bright-eyed and active but at the same time it will jump into your hand and want to be with you.
Bushy-Tailed Jirds are very active during the day and they are always busy re-arranging their home.
A Bushy-Tailed Jirds average life-span in captivity is 3-4 years.

HOUSING

Due to the high activity level of the Bushy-Tailed Jird a glass or plastic aquarium (at least a 15-gallon aquarium) or a wire cage of equal size is recommended. An all-plastic hamster cage with the tube attachments is not recommended, as they can chew out of these fairly quickly. Care should be taken if the cage has multiple levels, as the levels are usually made out of wire and a Bushy-Tailed Jird can easily be hurt if its leg falls through the wire. It might be a good idea to attach cardboard to the wire shelves to protect their legs. The cardboard will need replacing occasionally.
Place your Bushy-Tailed Jird cage in a spot that is away from drafts and direct sunlight.

BEDDING

Hardwood chip bedding, such as aspen is the best. CareFresh Pet Bedding or Pine bedding will also work as long as it is not dusty. The dust can cause upper respiratory problems. NEVER use cedar shavings, as cedar contains phenols, which can cause severe irritation to a Bushy-Tailed Jird.

ACCESSORIES

Supplying a house for your Bushy-Tailed Jird to sleep in is a good idea, just make sure that the house doesn't have a bottom, otherwise cleaning it is very difficult. Don't get fancy, the Bushy-Tailed Jird will use the house to sleep in as well as chew on. Any wooden objects put in a Bushy-Tailed Jirds cage should be easily replaced.
Nesting material should be supplied for their bed. Soft paper, such as toilet paper and paper towel, torn into strips works well. Shredded paper or fresh hay will also make suitable nest material. Cotton wool and the fluffy hamster bedding are not recommended.
A Bushy-Tailed Jird should have a wheel in its cage to get some exercise on. The wheel should be at least 7" in diameter. The wheel should be of the solid variety, as the Bushy-Tailed Jird could injure itself if its leg falls through the wire wheel. If all that you can get is a wire wheel, then "weave" some heavy card paper (cereal boxes work well) through the wire to make a solid wheel. The card paper will have to be changed once in a while. A caution with wheels, a Bushy-Tailed Jird could catch it's tail in the wheel and break it.
Bushy-Tailed Jirds need something to chew on. Their teeth are always growing and without something to chew on they will end up with overgrown teeth and they will not be able to eat. Small blocks of softwood, hardwood, cardboard tubes (paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes, etc), card paper, etc are great. You can also supply them with branches to chew on, and climb on, make sure that they are non-toxic and they haven't been sprayed. Some good trees are: apple, arbutus, manzanita, oak etc.
Bushy-Tailed Jirds should also be supplied with a dust bath two or three times a week. Use a small amount of chinchilla dust or clean fine sand in a large bowl or a large glass jar.

HANDLING

The best way to pick up a Bushy-Tailed Jird is to scoop it up in your hands or to let it walk up into your open hand. Don't try to pick up a Bushy-Tailed Jird by it's tail, it could come off and it won't grow back.
Once you have the Bushy-Tailed Jird out, be careful, as the Bushy-Tailed Jird may walk off your hands (they can't seem to tell how far away the floor is). It is a good idea to sit on the floor or on a couch while you have the Bushy-Tailed Jird out, this helps avoid any injuries from falling to the floor.
The Bushy-Tailed Jirds sense of smell is very good, keep this in mind when you go to handle it. If you have just been eating, your hands smell like food. To a Bushy-Tailed Jird, your finger smells like the potato chip you ate 10 minutes ago, and it may try to eat your finger! Don't worry, it usually realizes that your finger isn't food. If you have anything on your hands that give off an offensive odor, you may not even notice it, but the Bushy-Tailed Jird will and it may bite in reaction to the smell. Always remember to wash your hand first. As they say "first impressions", well a Bushy-Tailed Jirds first impression of you is your smell.

BUYING A BUSHY-TAILED JIRD

Whether you are buying a Bushy-Tailed Jird from a pet store or a breeder, you should ask questions, even if you know the answers from your own research. This will tell you how knowledgeable they really are. If they don't know what they are talking about, buyer beware! If they don't want to give you any information or want to help you, buyer beware!
Check out their facilities carefully. Look for overcrowding, dirty cages, unhealthy animals, smell the air. If the animals are overcrowded and/or the cages are dirty, be very cautious about buying a Bushy-Tailed Jird. There shouldn't be any sickly animals in sight, any good breeder/pet shop will have a "sick" room for any animals that aren't up to par. If the establishment/breeding facility has a very strong odour, be very careful, even if it looks clean, the smell is coming from somewhere. Any place, that has animals, will have a smell to it. The larger the facility, the stronger the odour. They just can't clean as fast as the animals do their business. But if the odour is overpowering, then there might be something else under the surface, use caution.
Check the health of the animal before you buy it and handle it. If they won't let you handle it before you buy it. They may be hiding something, WATCH OUT! Handling the Bushy-Tailed Jird tells you how tame it is and you have a chance to check its health. Look for discharge from its eyes and nose, sneezing, wet rear end and firmness of body. If it has any of these conditions or its body appears thin, don't buy it. Don't even consider another Bushy-Tailed Jird from the same cage as the other Bushy-Tailed Jirds may also have the same problems. The Bushy-Tailed Jird you choose should be bright eyed and interested in what is going on without being too nervous. There eyes and nose should be clear, the rear end dry and the body firm to the touch.
If possible, check references. Referrals from other satisfied customers will tell you a lot about that breeder's/pet shop's quality of animals, their care and concern for the animals well-being, their "customer service" and how much information they are willing to share.

DIET

A good quality rodent mix that has a variety of small seeds and grains in it, and is low on sunflower is good for Bushy-Tailed Jirds. Bushy-Tailed Jirds can get quite fat on a diet that is high in sunflower. They can also be given rodent blocks as part of the diet. Some rodent blocks consider themselves as a "complete diet". There are a couple of problems with this. First, the blocks are boring. Second, if they can't figure out a complete diet for humans, then how can they honestly say they have a complete diet for rodents (rather general, huh?). The Bushy-Tailed Jirds should also get, on the occasion, monkey biscuits, hay, apple, carrot, broccoli, yam or dandelion and mealworms. All of these should be fed in small amounts and only as a treat, too much green stuff can give them the runs.
A Bushy-Tailed Jird diet should be supplemented with a mineral stone as well as with a good quality vitamin supplement.

This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Bushy-Tailed Jirds.


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Last updated February 2009