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:
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.