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Degu Discussion Twitching whiskers, curious noses, and all things degu related.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Is there any way to regulate how much one degu eats without limiting food to the other?

I give my Degus crocus bulbs to chew on because they're nice and hard and are good for gnawing. They're only small, so I put three in my degus cage over night. I heard crunching all night so I assumed they were having fun chewing them. (I'll never give them those over night again though, they're so loud.) I checked on my babies this morning, and Antony seems like he's nearly doubled his body weight... I may be exagerating, but he looks significantly larger than the night before. It would seem he'd eaten two and a half of the bulbs in one night, and was still working on the third. I tried to take it away from him, and he cried as soon as I touched it. He sounded just like a little kid shouting "miiiiiiine". It was a sound I'd never heard him make before.

Anyway, I'm worried about Antony's weight and was wondering how to put him on a diet without feeding Cleo less too, because she seems fine.

I may be feeding them too much. Twice a day I give them each: 2 chunks* of tomato, 3 chunks of lettuce, 2 slices* of cucumber peel, 2 slices of carrot, and a small danylion leaf. on top of this I give them a teaspoon of chinchilla pellets every morning and I keep alfalfa blocks and timothy hay in their cage constantly.
Chunks = Baby finger-tip sized
Slices = Thumbnail sized (and very thin)
Now that I hear it it does sound like a lot, but I've been told they bury extra food if you feed them too much, but I sit and watch them eat, and they finish every last bite I give them (the veggies anyway, they're not too keen on the pellets.) I try to make sure they eat out of separate dishes but Cleo likes to take her food and eat in the wheel, when she does, Antony tries to steal her food. I do my best to stop him though

This morning I tried feeding antony half the veggies I usually give him, and putting Cleo in the "temp cage" (it's what I put them in when I clean their normal cage) to eat hers so he couldn't steal it. it seemed to work, thought I'm not sure I can do that every day, if anyone has any other suggestions I would be glad to hear them. My poor pudgy little goo.

I also noticed today when I fed them that antony's fur was all sticking up, like an angry cat... brobably a really bad sign so advice please!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 03:21 PM
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Are you sure they can eat crocus bulbs? I haven't heard of that but they are probably ok.

What brand of chinchilla pellets are you feeding? I've noticed that many contain molasses which is bad for degus. Timothy-based (alfalfa is ok...timothy is just better, especially for losing weight) guinea pig pellets or degu pellets tend to be the best choices.

I would stop feeding tomatoes and carrots every day. Those are sugary and should only be fed as occasional treats. It's better to mostly feed leafy greens (romaine lettuce, escarole, chicory, arugula, baby lettuces, etc.), herbs (parsley, thyme, mint, basil, oregano, dill, sage, cilantro, etc.), and safe wild plants (dandelion greens, clovers, wild grasses, etc.). Then you can feed smaller amounts of some other kind of non-sugary vegetable like celery or cucumbers.

I would also stop feeding the alfalfa blocks. I mean, one would be ok once in a while but it's better to avoid them IMO.

You can decrease the amount of pellets and increase the vegetables. That will help with keeping weight down and encourage them to eat more hay which is always good .

Maybe you could put Cleo's dish near the wheel? Since she likes to eat there.

Of course, increasing the amount of exercise they get will also help with the weight issue .




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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sorry I've taken so long to respond, computer troubble, it's been out of comission for a couple weeks. We had to have the whole thing wiped clean, lost all my files and everything

I'm not exactally sure what brand of pellets they are, or even if they were chinchilla pellets. The pet store just had the food dumped into clear plastic bags the ones I bought had a "D" written on it with permanent marker, she said they were for degus, but they looked exactaly like the chinhilla pellets, marked with a "C"... come to think of it, they looked exactally like the "G" guinnea pig pellets too >.> it would be really nice to know what I was feeding them...

it's weird, I've been keeping an eye on them both and he looks bigger in the morning, then gets smaller at night, is it possible for degus to gain weight while they sleep because they are not active, then loose it during the day as they exercise? it sounds unhealthy.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 04:06 PM
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sorry I've taken so long to respond, computer troubble, it's been out of comission for a couple weeks. We had to have the whole thing wiped clean, lost all my files and everything

I'm not exactally sure what brand of pellets they are, or even if they were chinchilla pellets. The pet store just had the food dumped into clear plastic bags the ones I bought had a "D" written on it with permanent marker, she said they were for degus, but they looked exactaly like the chinhilla pellets, marked with a "C"... come to think of it, they looked exactally like the "G" guinnea pig pellets too >.> it would be really nice to know what I was feeding them...

it's weird, I've been keeping an eye on them both and he looks bigger in the morning, then gets smaller at night, is it possible for degus to gain weight while they sleep because they are not active, then loose it during the day as they exercise? it sounds unhealthy.
If you don't know what they are then I'd switch foods. I don't know where you live but if you're in the US then look for the degu food by Sun Seed...that's definitely one of the best (if not the very best) degu food available here. Then there's Brisky's which isn't perfect but still good . Hagen also makes guinea pig pellets which are fine for degus...no sugar or anything. You don't need to feed chinchilla pellets but mixing some healthy ones in with guinea pig food is fine. Avoid mixes full of colorful pieces, seeds, nuts, and corn. I would just get plain pellets. Some seeds and nuts as treats are fine, though.

When degus sleep (or are sleepy) they tend to puff up a bit and can look a little chubby. Maybe that's what's going on? Just pay attention to the weight when he's running around...not sleeping.

I hope that helps!




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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I live in Canada actually, so any advice of food brands will probably be in vain, though if you know any Canadian users could you pint me in their direction. I would be eternally greatful.

Degus aren't as common here as they are in the US so finding food specifically for degus may be difficult. Most pet store employees here don't know much about Degus, so I can't ask for advice or what they reccomend. I tried asking three people working in the same pet store the same question, and I got four different answers. lol
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 12:34 AM
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I live in Canada actually, so any advice of food brands will probably be in vain, though if you know any Canadian users could you pint me in their direction. I would be eternally greatful.

Degus aren't as common here as they are in the US so finding food specifically for degus may be difficult. Most pet store employees here don't know much about Degus, so I can't ask for advice or what they reccomend. I tried asking three people working in the same pet store the same question, and I got four different answers. lol
Well, I know Canada and the US share some brands so maybe you can look anyways?

Basically I would just avoid foods containing beet pulp, molasses, sugar, cane juice, honey, etc. Those are all forms of sugar. If possible I would get a pellet with timothy hay as a main ingredient. Also try to avoid foods with corn as one of the very first ingredients since it's often used as a filler. Guinea pig pellets tend to be better then chinchilla pellets but you could always mix the two.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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