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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Smile Hello Everyone!!!

Hello, I am new to this site. My name is Heather and I am from Niagara Falls, Canada. I have a degu, his name is Fez. I actually bought him from a pet store about 2 years ago. He was just a baby then, he is definately full grown now!! Just a few questions if anyone can help. Although I have had him quite some time, I am still researching Degus. Mine is friendly but you can't take him out of his cage. He will jump on your hand, and he responds to your voice but won't come out?? He will nibble on my fingers, not biting me though, but any other contact his just runs down to the bottom level of his cage. He likes getting his chin rubbed and his belly but won't let me take him out. Is this normal?? He loves my cats, they go around the cage and he will climb up to see them. One of my cats lays next to the cage to keep him company My daughter and I didn't know at the time, we should have purchased 2 but he was the only one left. Is it too late to introduce another degu or has he been on his own too long? I noticed he has been scratching a bit lately. Not constant but enough for me to notice. Could he have mites?? I use the Carefresh bedding, not alot of it, he tosses most of it out on the floor and some Timothy Hay. I know I am asking alot of questions, sorry about that, I should know these things. He won't eat the guinea or chinchilla pellets, so I have been giving him a gerbil mix with fresh vegetables and dandelion greens. I can't find a degu food here in Canada. If anyone knows of a place could you let me know. I really want him to be eating the right food!! Sorry for rambling on, if anyone can give me some information I would greatly appreciate it.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 02:05 PM
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Firstly welcome to PT

Degus aren't a cuddly type of pets they much prefer to come to you on their own terms. He trusts you completely as he lets you tickle his belly and behind his ears and for degus that is a sign of complete trust in their owner, you also mention he jumps onto your hand which is also another sign he trusts you. I would work with him a little and try and go that next step so you can lift him up and out. I would try when he is in your hands lifting him up slightly off the floor and see how he feels with that and then each day progress a little bit more till you can lift him out of the cage and cup him securely. Reward him after each session so he sees it all as a good thing and knows it is safe. Most degus don't like being held so i wouldn't worry too much, most prefer to sit on your shoulder.

The nibbling is a greeting, its a greeting degus use with each other and with their human friends too, sometimes they do get a little carried away and nibble a little too hard but if they nibble you then they are normally just saying hello

Introducing male degus is tricky. I have done it a fair few times and it doesn't always end with positive results so that is something you need to be prepared for and it also takes time. If you was to get another degu then i would advise you get a youngster as adult males tend to accept immature males better then older ones. It also all depends on the degu aswell, if you feel your degu is lonely and it would benefit him then it would be a worth while thing to do

Degus tend to scratch a lot when preening, they also do it when they are hot as they cannot sweat. Has he got any fur missing? Patches of fur missing tend to be a sign of mites but that would need diagnosing at a vets.

Foodwise, i wouldn't feed the gerbil mix as normally gerbil mixes contain a lot of seeds which are fattening for a degu so are best avoided. If he won't eat chinchilla or guinea pig pellets then i would feed guinea pig mix as it will contain all the nutrients and vitamins he requires, look for one such as Gerty Guinea pig which has added vitamin c

Kirsty


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 03:46 PM
 
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welcome too pt jasmine i am sorry but i cant help you with the degus as i have never owned one al i have is 3 rats and a gerbil!!!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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Hi and wlecome to PT
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank-you for all your knowledge about Degu's. I thought the food mix was wrong, I will get the guinea pig mix tommorrow. I will try lifting him in his cage and see what happens. He really is a friendly little guy, just not cuddly. Once I learn how to post a pic I will send one. Thanks again,
Heather
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 12:10 AM
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Welcome! Amethystbelle has given great advice . I agree with changing the food...gerbil mix isn't good for degus.

You said he jumps on your hand...then can't you remove your hand and therefore get him out of the cage? Unless he jumps back in. You could also try luring him into a container and using it to transport him...that's what I do with new degus .




~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 #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hello: Thanks for replying. I have tried to move him out of the cage but he just jumps back in. Its almost like the cage is his safe spot and he doesn't want to leave. I have transported him out into a smaller cage when I do the cage cleaning. He's not too happy about that but the transfer isn't that easy. I have to put the small cage against the bigger cage with the doors open and he sort of jumps into the smaller one. Then he makes all kinds of noise until he is put back in his regular cage. As for the gerbil mix, that has been tossed and I am going out tommorrow to get a guinea pig mix. I am always on the net looking up degu's and what types of toys he could have. He has an exercise wheel which he loves, a little house, tubes to crawl in, I wonder if I could get him a hammock to hang from the cage. I had one for my rat and he loved it. Unfortunately my rat died 2 weeks ago, I think Fez is missing him. They were never in the same cage, but in the same room. Never any interaction with each other but they could see each other Would a hammock be a good idea or would he chew it to bits Thanks again for all the tips.
Heather
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 05:49 PM
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All my boys have hammocks and they love them, its lovely to see them snuggled up on a cold morning all cosy They have chewed them a little but nothing major. Another thing you could create for him is a digging pit, 50/50 mix of organic compost and chinchilla sand, it encourages his natural instinct to dig

Kirsty


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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Welcome to the board!

There are two Guinea pig foods I am able to find here in BC, one called Living World extruded guinea pig. My Degu's loved it, though I've changed b/c Petcetera is now the only place that carries that food and i don't want to support them so i don't shop there (Plus they charge way to much).... a bummer. Anyways the next good one is called Martins Guinea Pig food, i use their rabbit food too, both great products. I found 1 pet store i could order it from, and now a feed store closer buy. You have to ask if they 'can' carry it, most places will be happy to order you in a bag.
When looking for a guinea pig food make sure it dosn't have cane molases in it (which neither of these brands do). It took me forever to find a brand that didn't have molasses in it. Finding food for a Degu is Canada is tough work but it can be done

This is my Degu mix -


Pretty much just Guinea Pig Pellets, some rolled oats, puffed wheat and a bit of millet mix. But mostly the pellets.
All my goo's are healthy and happy on this diet and it's not super expencive either.

Do you hand feed you Goo treats?
I've just been very lucky, all 5 I have here are super friendly. But giving them hand treats will help win his affection. I know with gerbils, if they are in pairs usually they are more friendly, as the other gives them a bit more confidence so they aren't scared of things as much... but then that's gerbils I'm not sure if it would be the same for Degus.

Good Luck with him, and hopefully he learns quickly how much fun you can be.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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hi and welcome!!!

an idea for getting Fez out (depending on your cage opening) - i used to sit in front of the cage opening so they could come out onto my lap and then give them treats whilst they were out...
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Angry Wrong Food Again!!!

Well, I went out to get the guinea pig food yesterday. Thought I got the right one, but after reading some posts I checked the ingredients. The one I bought has cane molasses in it. So another bag into the garbage I bought Fez an out of cage play area too. Its quite large, I just set it up on the living room floor. I put the big cage inside, opened the door and he hopped right out. The only problem was he tried to climb out so I had to keep a really good eye on him. Boy can they run The hard part was getting him back in his cage. I couldn't pick him up, he wanted no part of that, so I moved the big cage back in with the door open. He kept running around the cage, missing the opening, I really don't think he wanted back in My daughter and I managed to get him back in, he seemed really happy he was able to run and stretch. I am glad I bought it, now he can come out every day for a run!! Hopefully soon he will allow me to pick him up. I just can't believe how fast they are. Anyway, back to the petstore and this time I am going to read the ingredients
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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aaww.... The pet store should have a garuntee on the foods they sell, tell them the pet dosn't like it and return it for a in store credit.
If they don't you can donate the food to a small animal shelter or the SPCA.

I too had my goo Bruce running around for the first time on the floor, i found out he loves going down the stairs.... i'm lucky though he will stop for me so i can pick him up. I'm sure with a bit of time your Fez will learn to trust you and figure out how much fun people really are.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:38 PM
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I use a ramp with my boys so they can go in and out of the cage freely at playtime and so i don't have the stress of having to catch them

Kirsty


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I use a ramp with my boys so they can go in and out of the cage freely at playtime and so i don't have the stress of having to catch them
I usually do the same thing .




~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 #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up Great Idea

Hi Again: Thanks for all the great ideas. I am going to bag up all the unused food (plenty of it) and take it to our Humane Society in Niagara Falls today. I am sure they can use it I do have a ramp from Snickers(my rat, RIP) old cage that I could probably use. That would make it alot easier. Can anyone explain how to post a pic. I would really like to, but don't know how I bought the new food yesterday from a different petstore. I checked the ingredients, this one doesn't have cane molasses but has sugar beet molasses. Is that the same?? He won't eat pellets so I am having a real problem with the food. I see from other posts that degus can have some types of cereal. What is the best? Thanks for all your help

Heather
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alfalfa hay, animal shelter, cage cleaning, carefresh bedding, chinchilla pellets, dandelion greens, degu food, dried corn, gerty guinea pig, guinea pig, guinea pig food, guinea pig mix, guinea pig pellets, hay cubes, humane society, pet store, pig food, pumpkin seeds, rabbit food, rolled oats, shredded wheat, sunflower seeds, timothy hay


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