Handling your gerbil
Before you start handling your gerbil let it first get used to your hand. You can do this by placing your hand inside their cage and just letting them sniff around it. They may occasionally lick or nibble at your fingers. You should let them do this, as gerbils hardly ever bite to hurt. They do this to learn what you taste and smell like. It is how they will recognise you in the future.
After your pet gerbil has gotten used to your hand, you can try to pick it up and let it play around. It might want to jump off and run away at first, but with time it will learn to get used to being around your hand. Sometimes they want to jump from one hand to another. You should let them do so instead of forcing them to stay put. Forcing them to do anything or holding them up too high frightens them. Also holding them up high raises the risk of injury if they manage to jump off.
It is good to have the gerbils on your hand facing you. They tend to get less frightened when they are looking at you. Even then if they try to run away or jump off your hand, you should not stop them. Gerbils are shy creatures who can get easily startled if you make a loud noise. They need to get used to the kind of noise humans make.
Hand feed your Gerbil
You should try feeding them when they are playing around on your palm. Gerbils don’t usually bite, but they tend to nip at your fingers to gain familiarity. Therefore, it is important for you to not be scared when they do this. If your gerbil is particularly jumpy about human touch and bites whenever someone tries to cuddle it, you should first try holding it by wearing a pair of gloves. Keep using the gloves until the gerbil is used to your touch. You will be able to handle it barehanded once it stops biting your hand.
Once the gerbils are used to your hands you can stroke them or cuddle them as much as you wish. The key to taming a gerbil is patience. They are timid creatures that are not used to the amount of activities and noise that humans are used to. Therefore, they may take some time to get accustomed to the size and sound of a human.
This is the reason why children should not be allowed to handle gerbils until they learn to do so properly. They may not realize that holding them too tightly will scare the gerbils and they will jump out of their hands. They might also bite the children’s hands a little too hard causing injuries.