Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Proud Mother of 5 Babies

So, today started out strange. Sarah Kate got up around 6:45. I heard her come out of her room and got out of bed to greet her. I met her at my door where she told me she had heard squeaking in the gerbil cage and looked in to make sure they were OK. Then she said, "Snowflake had babies." We've been wondering if Snowflake was pregnant for a few weeks now so at first I thought it was more just wishful thinking on Sarah's part. However, she raised her hand close to my face and said "See!" Sure enough there was a tiny baby gerbil in her hand. I turned around and woke Kenny up. I wasn't ready to deal with this on my own.

Three of the baby gerbils right after their birth before they had been moved to the nest.
Close up view of the babies.

We went in their room where we found Snowflake still giving birth. She had 5 babies, one of which died either shortly after birth or before it was born. It was very interesting to watch her pop out her babies. We had to convince the kids to leave them alone, which was very difficult. Kenny got the one that died and we decided to give it a burial by water. This made Sarah very sad. We had to convince her that we couldn't bury it because the ground was frozen and that it wasn't OK let it stay on top of the fridge until the ground thawed. Finally we were able to flush it. Actually Ben helped Kenny flush it and Sarah Kate had to leave the bathroom so she didn't watch.

Snowflake - Sarah Kate's gerbil and the mom

Speeder - Ben's gerbil and the father
The rest of the day was spent watching the gerbils to make sure they didn't hurt the babies. Both Snowflake and Speeder have been great parents, building nests, sitting on them to keep them warm, and so on. Around 4:00 Sarah went in her room to get some socks on and she came out to say that there was a new baby all by itself. Sure enough, Snowflake had another baby. Kenny was worried she was rejecting it so he kept a close eye on them. It took Snowflake awhile to realize that this new one was hers, but once she did the baby was welcomed into the nest.

Speeder checking in on the nest.

Snowflake checking in on the nest.

So, we are the proud parents of two owners of 5 baby gerbils. Snowflake and Speeder are doing a great job as parents and the kids are sooooo excited. It's the first experience I've had with baby animals and I'm excited to see what happens next.

1 comment:

edsajadaha05 said...

What an amazing experience you must have witnessed. That sounds so exciting for the kids.