The curiosity surrounding degus. - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Degu Discussion Twitching whiskers, curious noses, and all things degu related.

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-04-2006, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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The curiosity surrounding degus.


First off, I believe I should introduce myself first. I'm new here, and to be honest, I haven't personally had a degu yet, though I am planning on it. I've been a breeder of many different small animals, such as hamsters, mice and rats. I do understand that degus are very different, as I've researched and also have a friend who owns one. And before I go onto my topic, I want to say that yes, I know that degus aren't happy living alone, but you don't know the story behind this particular little girl. Aw, now that I've mentioned it, I have to go into detail!

You see, I had seen degus in pet stores before my friend got one. I live in Canada (more specifically Saskatchewan) and I've noticed an abundance of degus in pet stores. I've heard they're rare in some places, but I don't have to worry about finding a few little critters here. Anyway, back to the story, as I'm going off track. My friend called me and told me she had bought two degus. They were two girls, but the petstore thought they were both male. At first, I must agree that it's hard to sex degus, but all you have to do is look at a set of pictures, and then it's stuck in your memory forever.

However, tragedy did strike. My friend's younger sibling, who is known to be a great nuisance, knocked over their cage, and the two degus were perfectly unharmed...However, the smaller one ran under a couch, and was dead when finally found. There was no sign of being squished, or physically hurt in anyway, so we figured it might have been a heart attack of some sort.


The poor degu was very miserable without her sister, but when she was taken out, she spent time with my friend's gerbil (Bob). They actually developed a rather intimate relationship, and moved in together. Degus are incredibly social, I've noticed, and can, though against popular belief, get along with an array of different rodents. I think, though, that like many animals, the degu only got along with Bob because they had met when the two degus were just babies. Even from the start, though, Bob would climb up on the two degus backs when they were sleeping in their play pin and sleep. It was actually pretty adorable to see a little white gerbil sliding down slowly from their backs sleepily.

Now I've gone on too long! But finally onto the topic...


Many people consider degus rodents, however due to recent studies, it's concluded that degus are not, in fact,
rodents, but more closely related to rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs.

What are your views?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Welcome to Paw-Talk! That was a very cute story with the gerbil, it's cool that they get along so well

As for your question, I would say I agree with this statement. I own 4 chinchillas (I've also owned rodents in the past) and I would definately consider my degus to be part of the chinchilla family rather than the rodent family. I believe they're closely related to squirrels.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I believe they are too. They get along with chinchillas and squirrels as if they're other degus. I used to own a squirrel, in fact--I found him amongst dead baby squirrels on a lawn...Apparently the nest fell down and they all died of starvation. However, I fed the baby formula, and soon enough fruits, veggies and other mixes for rodents, such as hamster and gerbils, and the little guy grew up very well. He was always sitting on my shoulder, and believe it or not, he loved chocolate. He was a very spoiled squirrel. However, he got too big for the large cage we had for him, and wanted out. He now lives in our neighborhood, fending for himself. We miss him, especially me, but it's great to see him so big and healthy, jumping from trees with his own family.
It just teaches us a lesson--Wild animals are meant for the wild, but they can be tamed to cooperate and trust humans.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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I do have a few questions for you, however.

Before posting, I had read many topics on this site, and many things you've posted.
You have experience with degus and breeding, so I thought maybe you could help me with some questions.

I've only bred small rodents that can be from completely separate cages, never introduced and completely different, and yet still mate successfully. You just have to make them visit each other regularly and know the female's so-called "routine". She has to, of course, be in heat for any mating to be successful.
Now that I think about it, the female would never let the male mate if she wasn't in heat.

Of course this leads up to my question:
Is it possible for two degus, from two different houses, to be introduced every once in a while and mate at one point?

And on a final note, does anyone know how often a female degu goes into heat?
I was just thinking of getting two boys and breeding one with my friend's girl. She's really healthy and tame, and I've always loved being a breeder.

I'd also like to make more degu-awareness.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 04:10 AM
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Hello and welcome to PT

I agree with Kandy i consider them closely related to the guinea pig and chinchilla more so than the rodent family due to the area in which they come from and their dietry requirements etc....

In answer to your questions. Female degu's only ever come into season when there are around males as they are induced ovulators and only become fertile in the prescense of a male. So the female would have to be in close contact with the male for a few days so she could smell, see and hear him in order for this to happen. So if you wanted to breed you would need to either bring the male to you for a week or so or vice versa preferably with the female staying in her own home so she isn't stressed out. Degu's can be tricky to breed especially when they are unfamiliar to each other and also it depends on whether they want to breed. I know people who have kept a breeding pair for a few years and still nothing has happened so sometimes it is just a waiting game

Kirsty


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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However, I do believe I'll try, and if there's a problem, I'll purchase a female.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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But I think it's a good thing that they come into heat when the male is around. Good one, mother nature!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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Amethystbelle gave great advice (as always ). Good luck with your degus!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up

Thank you very much. I've found an adoption center with 11, tame little babies that need homes. I've fallen in love with two boys, Beebo and Quinny, and I'm going to pick them up myself after deciding there was no other way to get them. Also, my friend has found that you can adopt an iguana for just 30 bucks, and is probably going to get one. (She's wanted one all her life, by the way.)
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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Congrats
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I know! I'm so excited.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 05:23 AM
 
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theyre very very cute... wish i had baby degus!!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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I like the adults a lot, too. I think they don't lose much cuteness at all. They just look a bit more "Babyish", if you know what I mean. They just have more young-looking faces.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 09:38 AM
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All Degu's have the ability to show that baby cuteness especially when they want something like a treat or two They grow up so fast though one minute they are tiny and the next thing they are adult size but still cute non the less, would swap any of my boys for the world

Kirsty


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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I wouldn't swap mine for any other for all the tea in china!

little loves!
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baby degus, breeding pair, guinea pig, pet store, pet stores, separate cages, wild animal, wild animals


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