Baby Persian Jirds at 1 - 22 days old.
This is a page with photos of my Baby Jirds in the first 3 weeks of life. For more information on Persian Jirds and more pictures of older baby jirds go back to the Baby Persian Jird Index and choose one of the links on the left. This page is a little bit of history as it was created in 2001.
Here it is - the first photo of our new litter of baby Persian Jirds. They were born on Friday 10th August 2001 and this photo was taken on Thursday 16th August 2001 at 6 days old.
Amy the female Jird was 3 years old. Although they mated a lot the previous summer, nothing ever came of it. We decided that they probably didn't have enough space and extended their cage as (to see this look at the Jird Cage Page). They then didn't mate at all this summer until a few weeks ago. I had decided that they were a bit old and didn't really think much of it until Amy started to look rather thick around her lower stomach. I thought it was only a couple of weeks since they had been mating so was caught out completely when I got home to find she had given birth.
We had minor chaos because we thought we'd leave the top of the cage on for 24 hours so as not to disturb Amy. Unfortunately she decided that it would be a good idea to pick up one of the babies and move it upstairs. My husband blocked the hole up to prevent her doing this and of course she got frantic and started moving babies and leaving them all around the tank. She was also doing continual somersaults around the glass bar at the top with a baby in her mouth.
I removed the rope and box to stop her getting up to the glass bar, gave her some more bedding and just left her alone. Luckily she settled down and gathered up all her babies into a bed in the corner of the tank.
Then she moved them into the nesting box. Then later in the week she moved them out again. She now moves them at least once a day. They are starting to get around a bit at a week old and it wasn't long before she spent all her time retrieving them.
This photo was taken on the Saturday when they were eight days old. You can't tell that much difference but they are larger and darker and are beginning to develop a fluff layer and whiskers.
Poor old Eric was looking most miserable all on his own but there doesn't seem to be any trouble between them so I left him in there. He was thrown out of the nest when they were born and is keeping his distance but he looks really wretched - his fur is a complete mess. In contrast Amy looks really well. This is different from gerbils where the male takes an active part in their upbringing. This means that the babies get left on their own when Amy goes out to forage - sometimes she seems to forget them and curl up with Eric.
I've never seen a small animal eat as much as she does at the moment. Her diet of gerbil food is being supplemented with sunflower seeds, live meal worms (all I can say is ugh), broccoli and cheese for the calcium.
She has a very small litter and so they are all fat and healthy. I think the small number may be due to her age - I don't think that there were any more when they were born. She is most unperturbed at me photographing them although I've taken great care not to touch them at all.
You can see that they are different from baby gerbils only because they are larger and have bigger eyes. I believe that they develop a bit more slowly but we will have to see. Hopefully she will bring them back out of the nest box again so I can get some more photos.
Here are some more photos taken on Tuesday 21st August at 11 days when she finally bought them out again. They are bigger and have their brown fur. Mum moved them back into the nest box shortly after this. She is beginning to have trouble picking them up as they are getting quite large. Their ears are more obvious and they are getting more obvious slits for their eyes.
The first escape from the nest box that we saw was at 15 days. This photo was taken at 16 days old on the 26th August when one of them made a break for it. Mum soon bundled him up and unceremoniously dumped him back in the nest. As you can see from this (admittedly not terribly good) photo at this age they look like proper little Jirds although their eyes aren't open yet. You can already tell them from gerbils by the big eyes, long tail and very white underparts.
Over the next few days we got a lot more exploring. One of them got right to the far end of the tank on about day 19.He was obviously quite lost but after a few worried beeps mum came and put him away. On the morning of day 20 I came down and the first one had his eyes open. By the end of the following day they all had. Once their eyes were open there was no stopping them and they began to explore the cage. This photo is taken at about 20 days when the baby's eyes hadn't quite opened yet and mum is trying to get him back into the box.
We managed to get some video footage on days 21 and 22. I'm going to put some clips up when later. Video works much better than still photos as they move so fast it is so difficult to get a good one. The parents were mating a bit half heartedly on day 21 so I guess we could get another litter - although it seems pretty unlikely after taking 2 years to produce the first one.
For more pictures of older baby jirds go back to the Baby Persian Jird Index and choose one of the links on the left.