thinking about degus someday - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Degu Discussion Twitching whiskers, curious noses, and all things degu related.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,240
 
thinking about degus someday

i was thinking about getting degus someday. it wouldn't be for a few years cause i have enough (sometimes to much) going on right now. our local pet store just got some in the other day and after reading about them on paw talk they just seem like really cool pets. can anyone give me just really general guidelines ie cage size, diet ect.? thanks
sara8 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 05:12 PM
Paw-Talk Lifer
 
Amethystbelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 4,109
  
Firstly i would like to say degu's make the best pets and whenever you decide to get some you definately won't regret it. My advice is continue to do what you are doing and research them thoroughly as they require a little more care than some other pets

Cagewise you want the biggest you can afford. Height is generally better than width and as a general rule of thumb a cage should ideally be no smaller than 70cm (height) x 70cm (length) x 44cm (width). Degu's love to climb and are rock hoppers by nature so height is always ideally better than width when choosing a cage, one that they can have lots of different levels and view points. You also want to make sure you get a metal cage as they will gnaw through plastic in no time, i have first hand experience with that with two of my boys that was rescues as they had completley gnawed through the side of two cages when i got them. A cage should ideally consist of a shelf per degu as well to prevent any squabbling and a wheel, a nest box and a sand bath are a must, as well as a good solid food bowl as otherwise they will spill it everywhere They also require an escape proof cage as if there is a way out a degu will find it

The degu's diet is pretty frugal compared to other pets. They cannot digest sugars so it is important that their diet remains as sugar and carbohydrate free as possible otherwise it could cause the onset of diabetes (something to which they can be prone). The ideal diet should consist of either a ready made degu mix or guinea pig pellets (some people also use chinchilla pellets) and a mix such as gerty guinea pig. I feed my boys a mix of ready mixed degu food and the guinea pig pellets and mix and i've been keeping degu's for the last 8 years without a problem so it is a diet that suits them They also require a few fresh veggies such as sweet potato, broccolli, tomato, cucumber, spring onion etc... a few times a week. Fruit should never be given as it contains too much sugar although apple can be given as a rare treat occasionally. Fresh water is also a must daily. As is a continuous supply of fresh hay or dried grass for roughage. Treats that are ideal for them are puffed wheats, shreaded wheats, bran flakes, corn flakes, wholemeal bread (they go mad for it toasted) and on a less frequent basis things that can be given occasionally are raisens, peanuts, hazlenuts and the odd piece of apple.

They do make fantastic pets and are very loving and loyal towards their owner. They are such fun pets to keep and life is never boring with a degu around as they make so many different noises and do the silliest things and are so loving. If you have the space and time to give to them each day then they make very rewarding little pets

Kirsty


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Visit Degu Rock - Dedicated to Degu Care & Welfare Worldwide
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Amethystbelle is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,240
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
Firstly i would like to say degu's make the best pets and whenever you decide to get some you definately won't regret it. My advice is continue to do what you are doing and research them thoroughly as they require a little more care than some other pets

Cagewise you want the biggest you can afford. Height is generally better than width and as a general rule of thumb a cage should ideally be no smaller than 70cm (height) x 70cm (length) x 44cm (width). Degu's love to climb and are rock hoppers by nature so height is always ideally better than width when choosing a cage, one that they can have lots of different levels and view points. You also want to make sure you get a metal cage as they will gnaw through plastic in no time, i have first hand experience with that with two of my boys that was rescues as they had completley gnawed through the side of two cages when i got them. A cage should ideally consist of a shelf per degu as well to prevent any squabbling and a wheel, a nest box and a sand bath are a must, as well as a good solid food bowl as otherwise they will spill it everywhere They also require an escape proof cage as if there is a way out a degu will find it

The degu's diet is pretty frugal compared to other pets. They cannot digest sugars so it is important that their diet remains as sugar and carbohydrate free as possible otherwise it could cause the onset of diabetes (something to which they can be prone). The ideal diet should consist of either a ready made degu mix or guinea pig pellets (some people also use chinchilla pellets) and a mix such as gerty guinea pig. I feed my boys a mix of ready mixed degu food and the guinea pig pellets and mix and i've been keeping degu's for the last 8 years without a problem so it is a diet that suits them They also require a few fresh veggies such as sweet potato, broccolli, tomato, cucumber, spring onion etc... a few times a week. Fruit should never be given as it contains too much sugar although apple can be given as a rare treat occasionally. Fresh water is also a must daily. As is a continuous supply of fresh hay or dried grass for roughage. Treats that are ideal for them are puffed wheats, shreaded wheats, bran flakes, corn flakes, wholemeal bread (they go mad for it toasted) and on a less frequent basis things that can be given occasionally are raisens, peanuts, hazlenuts and the odd piece of apple.

They do make fantastic pets and are very loving and loyal towards their owner. They are such fun pets to keep and life is never boring with a degu around as they make so many different noises and do the silliest things and are so loving. If you have the space and time to give to them each day then they make very rewarding little pets
thank-you, you've given me lots to think about. i won't be ready for a long time but when i am they sound like alot of fun.
sara8 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 07:45 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 799
 
I think AmethystBelle pretty much covered it Degus really are great pets, they're not usually the sort that will let you pick them up but with some patience, they will love you in their own ways. They're really funny sometimes when they get an idea in their head and they make the craziest noises. I'm sure you'll love them if you get them Good luck!
DorkyChantelle is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 10:36 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 402
 
Yes, I agree. AmethystBelle did cover the topic pretty much. I got two degus from a rescue in March, and at first, they were kind of skittish and wouldn't let me pick them up, not even with a fight. Slowly, I started scooping them up, offering them treats, feeding and watering them regularly, and most importantly, TALKING TO THEM. They got used to me saying, "Hello, boys!" each morning, and then they started coming right up to the cage. Soon they started squeaking. There was a point in time when Beebo would let me pick him up, scooping him up under his belly, and when Quinny would run from my hand, but now they both pull themselves up my hand, climb up my arm to my shoulder, or will gladly sit in my hand (at least Beebo will). I have to say I must disagree with you, DorkyChantelle. My degus love being picked up and beg for attention. Anyone getting degus must consider that they are very messy. They kick some shavings, when they have dust baths, it can get all over the place, (they also track it with them, wherever they go. I don't mind, because seeing silver, sparkly little degus makes me laugh) they drink a lot, so urinate a lot, and eat a lot, too. I give them meals, offering food in smaller portions at certain times in the day. That seems to work better than leaving food out, as it will get waste in it, or simply get abandoned. Degus are also a lot like squirrels. They love space to run around, and often will want to run and not spend time with you. Degus also have MOODS, I've noticed. Most other small animals have less prominent moods. Rats are usually always in the mood to come out. Hamsters will come out, but usually would rather sleep, and gerbils are either tired or awake, and the rest depends on how they're raised. Degus have mood swings. Sometimes they are happy and want to come out, and sometimes they just want to hide. They can bite, but I've only been nibbled a few times, and they never nibble anymore. Just lick. You have to really respect how a degu feels, and not force it to do anything. By doing that, you'll develop trust. But you have to trust them in order for them to trust you. Don't jump when they nibble your hand, don't scream, don't hold them strangely or poke them scaredly. They'll get jumpy, just like you. I clean my degus' cage once a week, scrub it down to get the mess off (they leave crums from their food and that gets mixed in with water) and sometimes I do it every 3 days, just depending on how messy they are that week. (My degus make a big mess but generally don't smell bad). Degus also live for quite a while more than most small rodents. 5 years is average, but as much as 10 years has been reported. If you're thinking of getting a degu, keep looking on this forum and do your research! Keep in mind that these are the foods you should generally stay away from:

Fruits
sugary treats (containing any form of sugar)
lots of fatty acid in any food
too much calcium
alfalfa (to a minimum, please)

But they love timothy hay!

Good luck and sorry for such a long post. Degus are a handful to explain for me.

Last edited by Keppeh; 05-07-2006 at 10:39 AM.
Keppeh is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 10:41 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 402
 
Also, keep in mind that degus are like children. They want the foods that are bad for them more than anything, because they taste good. No matter how much they squeal for that cookie you're eating, don't feed it to them. Offer some bread, or uncooked oats. They'll love it just as much, and it will be better for them.
Keppeh is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 01:05 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 799
 
I just meant that degus generally don't like being picked up although she very well could get degus like yours who enjoy being scooped up I wish my degus would let me do that. They love climbing all over me though.
DorkyChantelle is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 03:05 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 402
 
Sometimes they like being in my hand, but sometimes not. They're nice little guys. They do enjoy being scooped up though.
Keppeh is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 03:06 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 402
 
At first I couldn't recognize them, because they looked almost the same. Then Beebo had an accident and the end of his tail came off. Now he has a shorter tail than Quinny, but he's also softer, smaller, is darker in color and also has bigger, pointier ears and generally a pointier face.
Keppeh is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 04:23 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 237
 
Hi!! There's not really anything for me to add, but I've had mine only a short time and I've got really attached to them.

They're so friendly, mine have never bitten or attempted to bite me! They 'groom me' regularly, and occasionally in the course of grooming they do get a bit over enthusiastic and catch me with their teeth, but I've taught them not to do that and they are more gentle with me now, bless them.

Mine don't like being picked up and cuddled as I can do my rats, but they like to sit on my knee, Rosie will sit on my knee for ages at a time. They are 2 year old rescues though, so I have no idea as to how they were treated before they went into rescue.

Anothe major 'plus' for me is the fact that they are relatively hardy animals and they live for 5 years or more. Much as I love my rats, I do find it heart-breaking to lose them at 2 /3 years, so knowing that the degus will live longer is lovely.

They are 'demanding ' in that they let you know when they want attention, mine squeak at me with a different squeak to the ones they use to each other. Sort of an 'Oi!! Speak to us!'' squeak, lol. But that is what I find so endearing about them, for such little critters they have such huge personalites.
Hanlou is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 05:00 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 16
 
RE: Degu Treats

Please, please folks - remember that while they may not be "sugar" in the sweet sense that anything high in carbohydrates is nothing more than a complex sugar! The more processed a carbohydrate is (such as the puffing process for puffed wheat or rice) the "worse" it is for the system.

Please be just as sparing with bread, cereal, etc. as you are with raisins when it comes to treats!
SulaBlue is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 05:15 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 41
 
All the info is really helpful. I would love to get degus one day too, and it's good to know that there are people out there who know so much about them. I've been fascinated by them since I saw some in a petshop, they look just like big gerbils! From reading your posts it seems like they're quite different to gerbils though, especially in terms of food. Thanks
Becs is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 07:23 AM
Paw-Talk Lifer
 
Amethystbelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 4,109
  
Quote:
Originally Posted by SulaBlue
RE: Degu Treats

Please, please folks - remember that while they may not be "sugar" in the sweet sense that anything high in carbohydrates is nothing more than a complex sugar! The more processed a carbohydrate is (such as the puffing process for puffed wheat or rice) the "worse" it is for the system.

Please be just as sparing with bread, cereal, etc. as you are with raisins when it comes to treats!
That is why you should always check the ingredients of anything before you give it to them, i only give my boys natural organic stuff and anything they do have is given SPARINGLY and only ever as a treat and always rotate your treats around. Puffed wheat is in fact one of the safer treats besides fresh veggies as it is highly nutritious for them, got no real nasties in it and it makes them feel fuller faster so from just one treat they will feel satisfied The key with degu's is to be SPARING and only ever give a little and not very often!

Kirsty


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Visit Degu Rock - Dedicated to Degu Care & Welfare Worldwide
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Amethystbelle is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,240
 
thanks to everyone who took the time to post answers there are some passionate degu owners out there.
sara8 is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 07:48 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,284
  
Good luck with your degus when you get them.. Great advice from everyone so far, so I dont have anything to add, except they make great pets...
Purplebunny is offline  
Reply

Tags
chinchilla pellets, degu food, dust bath, dust baths, food bowl, gerty guinea pig, guinea pig, guinea pig pellets, local pet store, nest box, pet store, timothy hay


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome