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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2006, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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New foster pets

I just addopted two three your old male degus from Petco. how often should I give them dust baths do they need a deep cage like gerbals and what other basics should I know
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 04:05 PM
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Firstly welcome to the mad world of degu ownership. They make fantastic little pets and there is never a dull moment with a degu around Make sure you do a lot of research into them as they require a little more care then other small creatures!

They need very large cages, the taller the better as degus are rocker hoppers and need the space to be able to do so. I have 4 tier chinchilla cages for my boys which are made totally of metal as they can and will chew there way out of plastic so when choosing a cage make sure it has a metal base. Also becareful about adding wood to the cage as most woods are toxic to them so if you choose to add any wood or branches make sure it is either kiln dried pine, hazlenut, hawthorn or eating apple as they are the safest woods to use with them. A wheel is also a must with degus too, a solid one is best to prevent injury. They appreciate most things you give them and will appreciate a house to sleep in as well as a wheel and maybe some rope to climb on and something to chew on.

My boys have access to their sand bath 24/7 as i keep the sand house in the cage all the time so they can bathe naturally like they would in the wild. If you can't keep it in there all the time them i would suggest letting them have access daily if thats not possible every other day at the least as sand not only keeps their coats clean it also helps remove stray hairs especially at moulting time.

The main thing you need to think about straight away is diet. As they require quite a strict diet. As degu's can become diabetic if they are given to much sugar so they need quite a frugal diet. The best diet for them is a mix of guinea pig pellets and guinea pig mix. You need to make sure they are mollass free as thats bad for them and never feed rabbit food as it can contain a chemical that is toxic to degu's. Also becareful with chinchilla pellets as they tend to contain mollasses which like i mentioned before are bad for degu's as they are a form of sugar. I use a mix of guinea pig biscuits and guinea pig mix (such as gerty guinea pig), i also give them as a treat a little pre mixed degu mix which is made up of seeds and dried veggies such as peas and corn. I have been using this diet for the last 8 years without any problems. My boys also have a fresh supply of good quality hay and fresh water daily. They also get veggies every day or so such as carrot, fresh peas, tomato, cucumber, spring onions (scallions), broccolli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans, sweet potato (make sure you rmeove the skin as its toxic) and the occasional bit of cabbage. Always becareful with greens as they can cause bloat so always limit the amount of peas, lettuce and cabbage. Treatwise you need to limit them i give my boys a mix so they always get something different. they get a mix of puffed wheats, shreaded wheat, raisens, dried carrot, dried corn, the odd peanut (in the shell good for wearing the teeth down), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted wholemeal bread, little bits of cracker, wholemeal dried pasta and i occasionally (a couple of times a year) give them a whole nut such as a hazelnut, walnut or brazil nut as it helps to keep the teeth trim and makes them work for the treat

Goodluck with your little guys

Kirsty


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a load for all the info how much dust should I put in thier dust box(chinchilla dust bath that is in the shape of a house) And I take it fruits are a bad idea for treats?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 03:08 PM
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I know the dust bath you mean, i used to have 3 in each of my boys cages now only one house remains out of three as the boys shreaded the other two in days so we all have ceramic ones now I put about an inch and a half of depth in sand, in the houses they waste less then in a bowl so you can add a little more. It will need changing as and when necessary.

Fruits are a no no with degu's as they contain a lot of sugar which is bad for them so its best to avoid them totally. The only exception occasionally is a little tiny piece of apple but i wouldn't give a lot and only ever occasionally

Kirsty


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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again thanks a ton for the info haha
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chinchilla pellets, dried corn, dried pine, dust bath, dust baths, gerty guinea pig, guinea pig, guinea pig mix, guinea pig pellets, kiln dried, kiln dried pine, pumpkin seeds, rabbit food, sunflower seeds


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