Degus in a French Pet Shop
I'm over in france at the minute, and went shopping today in a french pet shop where i wanted to buy Rum, Raisin and Jerry a present!
I went to this shop and ended up quite upset, as they unexpectedly had NINE degus in there. They were all quite young, males and females in together kept in a glass and mesh enclosure, half a hexagon, about 70cm long at the longest point and probably about 30cm wide. I'll give them credit because the cage was clean, but some of the degus were obviously ill.
For a start, most of them had parts of their tails missing, in some cases, they only had about 3 or 4cm of tail left. This may be due to handling, or possibly due to the all wire wheel, and several degus all trying to use it at once.
At least two of the degus had bald patches, one has red scratches/bloody area around his chin, most likely from fighting. A couple of the degus were huddled in the corner, or under the one twig shelter they had between them.
Whilst i couldn't get a really good look, at least half of them had white teeth, with very little yellow on them.
The good news is that most of them were still quite active, playful and curious as degus should be.
I don't speak french and suspect that if i did, i may have lost my temper... i would have said a heated few words to the owners...
I felt awful knowing that these gorgeous young little degus had already gotten off to a bad start, and i hope that whoever takes them home actually does some research into how they should be kept.
I also discovered that there are at least three degu companies that produce degu food in france... i checked out the ingredients on one of them and they had lots of peanuts and locust beans in the packet.... a bit high in fat??? I only use those as treats. (The degus in the shop looked as though they were being fed on a mixture of sweetcorn and some sort of pellet.)
The place is called Zooland near Geant in Angouleme, Charente. If we had come by ferry... i would have smuggled them home despite the fact they were 25Euros each (£18?)!!!
It was very upsetting, and it made me miss my guys even more!