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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Lots of Babies!

Hello all, I'm new here and haven't introduced myself just yet but I have an urgent few questions for anyone who can help.

I have what I thought were four male degus, until last monday morning when I woke up to eight babies! That's a grand total of twelve, WOW!

So my questions are,

(1) Can I handle these babies, without risk of rejection from mother?

(2) I seperated the mother (Tonk) from the other three males, should I re-introduce her to them with her babies soon or should I just keep them all seperate forever? They are in cages right beside each other and the males just sit there looking across at her for lengthy periods of time, I don't want to deprive dad of his young but I don't know which is the father and I'm afraid that because there are three males, there could be trouble.

(3) How soon do the babies start eating solid food and drinking water from the bottle? I know that weaning takes about six weeks, but do they start wanting solids sooner?

I would be so grateful for anyone's advice on this as I am completely lost, I bought the four degus from the same cage in the petstore, first I got two of them two months ago and went back and got the other two about two weeks ago because I just adore them so much. I certainly did not bank on having another eight! I really thought I had four males because the lady in the petstore said that they had all been together for ten months in the same cage and nothing had happened, a bit of detective work on the net soon told me that that can mean absolutely nothing and the fact that we now have babies!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2007, 11:46 PM
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(1) Yup. Many breeders handle the babies from birth . Unless the mother is completely terrified of people I don't think it'll be a problem.

(2) Well, if you put her back with the males she'll just get pregnant again and the males may fight over her. So I wouldn't unless you get the father neutered. Males do help raise the babies and are great fathers but you'll just end up with more babies that way =/.

(3) I believe they start nibbling on solids shortly after being born because they are so developed. By three weeks old they are eating a lot of solids.

I hope this helps. I admit that I've never bred degus or anything so I am going by what I read and am told. I had researched babies a while back when I thought one of my girls was pregnant. Hopefully someone with more experience can help soon .




~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 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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holy cuteness where are you from I so want some when they get older
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 02:12 AM
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*Missy*
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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ya can you show us pics of your babies
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2007, 11:27 AM
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Firstly congrats on the babies, baby degus are just the cutest In answer to your questions:

(1). The mother won't reject them if you touch them, degu mothers are different to other rodents in that respect. Its usually best to limit handling for the first couple of weeks as research has shown that handling babies in the first couple of weeks can cause some sort of brain malfunction in later life so it is usually advised to handle them as little as possible for the first 2 weeks and then start to increase it to get them tame.

(2). Have you sexed them all now? Unless you want more babies i wouldn't put the mother back in with the males and also if you do you run the risk of one of the males killing the babies as males fight over females. I would also move the males cage away from the female as females only come into season in the presence of a male and if she comes back into season it could start the males off fighting and they could seriously injure one another. The best solution would be when the babies are weaned at about 6 weeks of age leave the mother with the females and seperate the young males into a seperate cage.

(3). Babies start eating solid foods within a week from birth usually. It starts off with an odd nibble and then with encouragement from mum they start to try more and more. The same goes for water too, mum will show them what to do

Pics are essential too after teasing us about these cuties

Kirsty


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2007, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi again, many thanks for the advice. Our babies are doing really great. I have kept them all in a seperate cage with Tonk (mum) my three boys are slowly losing interest, I haven't moved the cage just yet but will as soon as I find a suitable spot for them.

So, here they are.....

The way we found them.


Tonk with her babies.


Later in the new cage.


Tonk with her babies.


6 days old.



6days old (yesterday) all snuggled up!


And last, but certainly not least, here are my three boys, Farnsworth, Kif and Zoidberg.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-22-2007, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh! I almost forgot, we have five boys and three girls! We're going to keep the three girls, they can live with Tonk. We have to get another big cage first though.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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Aww, thats too cute .
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 08:57 AM
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aaaawwww they are absolutely adorable, look at all those little faces

Kirsty


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear, the most dreadful thing has happened. I was just cleaning out the babies cage and found one of the boys dead. I am so sad, he was underneath the straw house and appears to have been squashed. I feel terrible because I haven't been doing a head count on a daily basis, I was leaving them alone as much as I could. I think he might be there a day or two as Tonk had moved her nest out of the straw house and over to the other side of the cage. The poor little mite didn't even have a name yet, I am naming him Kiowa just for memory sake.

R.I.P. little Kiowa.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 12:16 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss! R.i.P Kiowa


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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they are so so so so cute. I want babies now. sorry about the baby that died
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 01:30 PM
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aaaaawwww i'm so sorry for your loss

Kirsty


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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2007, 01:32 PM
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oh no! i'm sorry to hear!! these things happen, you must fogive yourself, it was an addident. Best wishes with the rest of the buggers!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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