Jerboa For Sale
Jerboas, small rodents native to the deserts of Asia and Northern Africa, have very powerful back legs and can jump as high as three feet in the air. They are only about the size of a person's fist, but they have disproportionately large ears. They are quick and agile and most in erratic ways, combining darting and jumping.
No Jerboa currently listed for placement
Jerboas are rodents native to the desert environment, specifically North Africa and Asia. They transport themselves by jumping with hind legs at least 4 times the length of their arms. Although they are not actually of the mouse family, they are often called mouses. They are the smallest in the rodent family and are more similar to the kangaroo. They jump around in a zig-zag pattern; great for evading predators, but not very energy efficient. There are surprisingly 33 different species of this fist-sized rodent. Among them, is the Long-eared Jerboa, the animal responsible for the longest ear to body ratio in the animal kingdom. This rodent has adapted this way to cool its body by means of dissipating warmth through its blood flow through the ears.
The desert rodent is nocturnal, which may also help with keeping cool and preserving energy stores. Unfortunately for the species, the owl, their most feared predator is also a nocturnal hunter. Its Jerboa's atypical jumping pattern and sense of hearing that often saves its life. Like many types of rodents, Jerboa are smart and evade predators using many tactics. They create burrows, some made quickly and simply only to use as hiding places and others more elaborate for nesting and storing food.
Breeding Jerboas in Captivity
Breeding jerboas in captivity is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Only the most experienced breeders have had success. Jerboas that are currently in captivity have been caught in the wild, but this activity can be detrimental to the native populations. Therefore, jerboas are rare in the pet trade. Most of the jerboas that are available come from people re-homing older animals.
What does a Jerboa eat?
While jerboas can survive on very little water – an adaptation from their desert habitat – they need a diet that included fresh produce such as kale, cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, parsley, and sprouts, because they extract moisture from plants. A mix of canary seeds and millet can also be offered, along with hay to help aid digestion. Jerboas should eat the leaves and roots of vegetation; never the fruit. They can also be given rehydrated lentils as a form of protein.
In the wild, the Jerboa can go long lengths without water and can get it from its food sources. In captivity, the Jerboa's diet is kind of complicated. Fresh produce of leaves and roots (kale, sprouts, carrot, cucumber, parsley, and red and green peppers), a canary mix, millet, and hay to aid its digestion are Jerboa diet staples.
These fast critters are known to jump up from hiding to examine their surroundings and pop down again to remain hidden, a trait that was adopted by Britain's military group appropriately named “The Desert Rats” during World War II. They still exist today and have had a giant half-ton sculpture of a Jerboa made of armored military vehicles created in their honor by British sculptor and artist, Anna Redwood.
Due to their ability to jump up to 3 feet and kick quite hard if startled, its best that they are given adequate space when kept as pets. Jerboas are not successfully bred very often in captivity, which makes them rare pets, even in the exotic pet trade. They require environment replication, including live vegetation and similar triggers they'd experience in the wild to be happy pets. They are not considered good pets at this time. The most common species available in the pet trade are the Greater and Lesser Egyptian Jerboa. They can be kept together as long as they are kept in a sizable environment. They are most commonly kept by experienced keepers or those who have re-homed an older pet that's already been in captivity for some time. Keeping of Jerboas in the United States is nearly unheard of due to its endangerment status and its reputation for carrying “Monkey Pox”. In 2003, Adam J. Langer, the leader of the Quarantine and Border Health Services of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, banned the importing of the animal for any purpose outside some scientific research exemptions. Some believe that domestication of the breed could save its populations and it would certainly be a popular choice of pet because of its cuteness. The supposed scientific reason we find them so irresistible is due to its short face and big eyes that “remind us of human babies” as stated by Rob Voss of NYC's American Museum of Natural History.
There is no shortage of interesting facts involving Jerboas. They are a great example of “convergent evolution”, which means that their 33 species have adapted to traits and characteristics of the species around them, such as the kangaroo and other desert dwellers.
Housing a Jerboa
An enclosure or pen that is large enough for them to sprint and jump in, with a dirt floor for burrowing, should provide the jerboas with opportunities to entertain themselves. Placing food items in various spots around the enclosure will give them a chance to explore and use their natural curiosity.
Because they jump high and run fast, jerboas need a lot of space. In the wild, they construct elaborate burrows to store food and hide from predators, so housing that allows for digging and burrowing is preferred. Live vegetation will enhance their environment.