Gerbils love treats, they are great for handling and general training. Gerbils adore sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and safflower seeds. They just plain love nuts! (Which I purchase raw at Trader Joe’s). I also give mine craisins, dried banana, raisins, and unsalted, unbuttered popcorn (which they go wild for) as treats. Unsalted pretzels are another hit. Believe it or not, gerbils actually eat fresh foods… it’s good for them! Give it to them in small amounts though or they may get diarrhea. Gerbils also enjoy hard boiled eggs (sparingly as it has a lot of protein), dandelion leaves, (be careful about where you get these) slices of apple, and meal worms. I know of one recipe that my gerbils like (rip my hand off for!) that I got from a friend. I grab some sunflower seeds, molasses and flour. I put the sunflower seeds and molasses together and have them stick together till its a sunflower-seed ball, then if needed I thicken up the molasses with a bit of flour. The gerbils love it, I give it to them as a rare treat on the holidays. Be careful, but experiment! Look through websites and see if your gerbils like certain foods! Have fun with it!
So you got your gerbil and he or she is a bit skittish. Well, first of all that’s completely normal and can be cured easily. I like to use this taming process (which is at the bottom of the page). It worked very well in getting my gerbils to trust me more. A lot of people prefer to go the treats route. In which you put sunflower seeds in your palm, and as the gerbils take the sunflower seeds in your hand you slowly start to handle them more, and more and they associate treats with you. Using these methods earlier is better, and remember if you have a pair of gerbils they are easier to socialize. Gerbils are very social creatures and should be kept in same sex pairs anyway.