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  #1  
Old 07-08-2006, 06:12 PM
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Question

degu feeding


i wonder when/how everyone feeds their degus. do you keep a constant bowl of food in their cage? do you only give them XXX amount a day? then give them treats? or what?? i'm really curious and also really curious on how to really get my degu, Jager to let me hold him w/out him freaking out and running all over the cage? much help would be greatly appreciated,
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Old 07-08-2006, 06:32 PM
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I fill their bowl up in the morning and again at night (so basically, there's always food in it). From what I understand, they will only eat what they need (although they'll sometimes bury more of it). I also keep a constant supply of timothy hay. I give treats once or twice a week (shredded wheat usually).
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:05 PM
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b/c i'm also trying to train mine to come to my hand per degutopia's directions where they say "" New degus will be scared of you. By putting your hand into their cage (their 'safe' home) and backing them into a corner you are acting like a predator and they will try to escape. Repeatedly doing this will cause them to become afraid of your hand and you. So don't do it!
Instead, let your degus come out on their own. Let them explore. Let them sniff you. If a degu approaches you on its own, reward them with a cornflake. You will quickly see that this results in your degu choosing to come up to you more, and the others will learn that coming up to you means good (not bad) things happen to them.
Degus regard getting food as a very good thing, which is why you are able to train them. It's known as positive reward feedback.
Once your degus have learnt to approach you, stop rewarding them for doing so. Instead, only reward them when they put their forepaws on your open hand. Soon they will all be doing this.
Next, stop rewarding for this and instead only reward them when they climb onto your hand fully. Of course you
must give them the food and let them jump off your hand or you could scare them and undo all your hard work.
Now you have got to this stage, you can pick them up. Let them jump on your hand, pick them up and hold them for a while and then put them down, then reward them straight away.
After a few weeks training, your degus will love being picked up.""

So i tried apple and my degu will come close but not take it...and so i guess it is a long process but is there any advice anyone has besides time??
THANKS
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Old 07-08-2006, 09:30 PM
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I mostly feed timothy hay (they have it available all day) and fresh veggies (mainly carrots, sweat potatoes, various herbs, and romaine lettuce). They also get Brisky's Diet Degu Pellets (about a tablespoon each every day).

For treats they get walnuts, peanuts, dried carrot slices, and the occasional piece of corn or cheerio. Make sure the nuts are unsalted, though.
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Old 07-08-2006, 10:39 PM
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oohh. thanx, i think i'm gonna do something like that to not have a full bowl (which is about 3 cups of food ) of pellet & grain mix. i might just keep a consistant timothy hay supply and give measured amounts of food...esp while training him...so he is a lil hungry/interested in snacks but more opinions/how others do it would be great
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:50 AM
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Mine have hay available, and about every other day (or so) I'll dump in about 1 cup of food for each degu in the cage... The boys I give a little bit more... They're a good size and still eat their hay and have pellets sitting there when I dump in more the next time... I feed Mazuri Guinea Pig pellets...

Oh yeah, and I do handfeed them pellets when I walk by, or occasionally a bit of dried cereal... So they learn that I'm the food giver.. They don't like to be held, but I can pick them up without getting bitten... They've never been too tame, and my girls are more willing to climb onto me for treats...
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:39 PM
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ahh....see my boy is still a little guy so i know that the food available to him is too much and i know that they can be trained so that is my goal...

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Old 07-09-2006, 01:01 PM
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My boys have food in their cages all day every day and i top them up once every day if needed, i used a mixture of guinea pig biscuits, pre made degu food and guinea pig food and in the 8 years i have been keeping degu's i haven't had a problem with it. They always have a fresh supply of hay available and treats are given sparingly and alternated on a daily basis they usually consist of puffed wheats, shreaded wheats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried corn, dried peas, dried carrot, the occasional nut such as a peanut or a hazlenut or brazil or walnut and sometimes little pieces of toasted wholemeal bread. They also have fresh veggies and favourites include broccolli, fresh peas, carrot, tomato, spring onion (scallions) and cucumber. And they have fresh water daily too.

Remember degu's don't like being handled that much. They aren't a cuddly pet. I would keep on doing what you are doing with the training as they do respond very well to treats If he doesn't become as hand tame as you would like, the best way to handle a degu and the most safe is to cup it in both hands and then gently lift it out, that way they can't wriggle or jump and also they don't like being grabbed so it is the best approach. But keep up with the training and let us know how you get on
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:01 AM
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Mine jump unless I hold them like this:



On occasion I can hold them like this, but they always look for a way back to the cage:



They are curious lil guys though, see.. even my timid one will come up to me at the lid:



Just feel like sharing pics.. here's one of them and their hay:
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:56 AM
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i'll share some pix too
Jager Cruising in his ball

sitting on my hand (right after i got him)

another right after i got him


Otherwise...i can get him to come out of his cage if i place his ball in there and he knows he can go run around in it and that's it. He'll come up to my hand if i'm holding a treat but won't take it from me and sometimes he'll come close to my hand then go crazy and run away and around his cage really fast. i dunno wish i could make him love me
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:04 AM
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With degu's its all about trust they won't do something till they trust you fully. Jager is on his own so he will bond with you as you will be his mate so to speak. Degu's thrive on company of their own kind so a single degu tends to attach itself onto its human carer and bond to them as they take the place of another degu. How long have you had Jager? If it hasn't been too long i wouldn't worry too much and keep working with him as he needs to get used to you and learn that you won't hurt him. It can take quite a while for a degu to trust you fully but once you are in there it is worth the wait
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:14 PM
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yea, i've had him a couple weeks and part of that time i had to let him stay at my boyfriends becasue my stupid landlord decided to spray for bugs (adn i didnt' want the "kids" to be exposed to that) so i know it's all a long process....but i know that i need to be able to catch him so i can put him in His ball to exercise and to clean his cage...but as i said earlier as soon as he sees my hand in 'his territory' he bolts around or just sits in the corner and squeaks but sometimes he is curious adn will let me stroke the top of his nose....so i guess that's progress.....
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Old 07-10-2006, 05:08 PM
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I would maybe set aside 15 minutes extra (if you can afford the extra time if not do it when you get him out) a day and work on him. I would start by sitting quietly next to his cage and let him get used to the sight and smell of you, make sure that you are on his level as we must look huge to a degu in comparison of size. I would do this with the cage door open and i would also lay your hand in the cage so he can run over it and get used to feeling safe around you. He will gradually become braver and venture onto your hand more, this may take upto a month to happen and sometimes longer (dependent upon degu). Once he is used to you he will crawl up your arms and out of the cage and probably sit happily on your shoulder for a few seconds before darting off as only degu's do. Once he is more confident try using both hands in there and when you are confident slowly try cupping him gently from underneath and supporting his body so he can't escape and lifting him in the cage and see how he reacts. Once you are confident and he seems ok with it you should be able to lift him out the cage no worries. Degu's don't like being handled and will often fight it but cupping them is the safest method as it prevents injury and the chance of escape. He will soon get used to you, degu's just need a little time as they are very social creatures and with time and patience they will normally come round
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:41 PM
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ohh. thanks. great advice i sit by him alot and talk to him we have 'conversations' where if i say his name, he'll squeak back...i'll start putting my hand in there for him to look at more often though. I just got him his official 'dust bath' house and he LOVES it!! and he has his timothy hay now too!! he's the happiest ever!! he'll take a bath and then run around the cage, snack on some hay, then jolt back and take a bath again!! he's so cute when he does it too!! he scoops all the sand to the middle then plops onto it (like we do w/leaves in the fall) hehehe.... he's a doll!
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:19 PM
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Cool pics! But can you show me some of how to hold my degu?? That would b great!!! THX
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cage door open, degu food, dried corn, dust bath, guinea pig, guinea pig food, guinea pig pellets, pig food, pumpkin seeds, romaine lettuce, shredded wheat, sunflower seeds, timothy hay




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