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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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What to expect?

In a couple of weeks I'm getting a pair of degus . I went to the petstore today and handled them for a while. They were pretty tame except one thought my finger was food and started nibbling on my hand . Didn't hurt at least . Anyways, I was wondering what to expect the first few days...obviously they're going to be scared so should I refrain from handling them for a few days? And I'd love any kind of tips you could offer...especially playtime/taming/handling tips. I've been researching them for over a year but I don't know everything, of course .




~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 #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami
In a couple of weeks I'm getting a pair of degus . I went to the petstore today and handled them for a while. They were pretty tame except one thought my finger was food and started nibbling on my hand . Didn't hurt at least . Anyways, I was wondering what to expect the first few days...obviously they're going to be scared so should I refrain from handling them for a few days? And I'd love any kind of tips you could offer...especially playtime/taming/handling tips. I've been researching them for over a year but I don't know everything, of course .
I have 6 degus, when I got the first 2, I took them home and put them in their new cage, and gave them time to settle in.. After a few hours, I felt brave enough to handle them, Yes they do bite, but you get used to it.
Cage size depends on how many you have, mine are in a large ferret cage, which has movable shelving, tubes,wheels, a hammock, rope bridges etc in it..
As for food, I give mine a mix of Guinea Pig pellets and Food, making sure there is no fruit or sugar in it. For water I give mine bottled which is low in Chlorine, EVIAN is one of the best..
Taming them is best done with food I think, let them come to you and sit on your hand, then feed them, a few of mine eat while sitting in my hand, some prefer to run off.. They each have their own little ways..
Cleaning out, I have 2 cages, the main one and a smaller one, which contains some toys and their sandbath. They go in there every day, for a bath, while I tidy out their cage, wiping the shelves, refilling food and water etc.. Once a week I clean their cage out properly, everything plastic gets washed in hot soapy water, the bottom of the cage gets washed out etc.. Then new newspaper and sawdust gets put in..
I think thats all, any more questions, or if you want pics, just send me a PM, or mention it on this thread..

Steph ~ Owned by 4 bunnies and 5 degus..


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:14 PM
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You will love the Degus! They are so much fun! We have 5, and they are total sweetys, and exspecting our first litter any day now. For treats ours love, pumpkins seeds, sweet potatos (raw), and rasins. Ours did bite a little at first but once they got to know us they stoped. (well 4 of them at least). We clean our cage about once every 2 weeks (our cage is 5' X 5' X 3 1/2'). They totaly love the chinchilla tubes, ours have made there nest in it. For food we give a 50/50 blend of Chinchilla and GP food. What names have you come up with for yours?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies . I'll try some of the taming tips you mentioned though at the petstore they seemed pretty tame already so it won't be much of a problem. The petstore is really nice. It's a small, family-run petstore that carries small animals and exotics mostly. They handle their animals alot . I have one question, though, I heard they chew alot and the cage I was planning on buying has four levels and the levels as well as the ramps are plastic. Will they completely trash it? The cage is pretty expensive and so I want it to last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyc510
What names have you come up with for yours?
I'm not sure yet...at the store there was a baby female, the smallest out of all of them, and she was really sweet and was letting me hold her. For some reason she looks like an 'Amelia' to me.




~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 #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami
Thanks for the replies . I'll try some of the taming tips you mentioned though at the petstore they seemed pretty tame already so it won't be much of a problem. The petstore is really nice. It's a small, family-run petstore that carries small animals and exotics mostly. They handle their animals alot . I have one question, though, I heard they chew alot and the cage I was planning on buying has four levels and the levels as well as the ramps are plastic. Will they completely trash it? The cage is pretty expensive and so I want it to last.


I'm not sure yet...at the store there was a baby female, the smallest out of all of them, and she was really sweet and was letting me hold her. For some reason she looks like an 'Amelia' to me.
My cage has plastic levels and ramps, they have chewed a bit, but if you put enough wooden chews in there, they prefer that.. Also you can buy cheap toys made of wood, so if they chew them, they are not expensive to replace.. Also I have found that if you have a fruit tree in your garden they like chewing the branches, what you need to do is, cut off a small branch, soak it in very hot water(so it kills any bugs etc) and then leave it to dry for a few days.. A apple branch seems to be popular, just put it in the cage, and hopefully they will spend most of the time chewing that, instead of the plastic.. When you get your cage, the best ones to get are those that are galvanised steel, not those in plastic coating, the reason being, is that I have had mine for almost a year, and it is going rusty, especially where the degus chew on the sides.. If you get the other one it is more resistant to rust.. That is what I will be getting soon.. If you want to see pics just PM me, and I will email you some..

Steph ~ Owned by 4 bunnies and 5 degus..


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Last edited by PURPLEBUNNY; 11-12-2004 at 04:51 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2004, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PURPLEBUNNY
My cage has plastic levels and ramps, they have chewed a bit, but if you put enough wooden chews in there, they prefer that.. Also you can buy cheap toys made of wood, so if they chew them, they are not expensive to replace.. Also I have found that if you have a fruit tree in your garden they like chewing the branches, what you need to do is, cut off a small branch, soak it in very hot water(so it kills any bugs etc) and then leave it to dry for a few days.. A apple branch seems to be popular, just put it in the cage, and hopefully they will spend most of the time chewing that, instead of the plastic.. When you get your cage, the best ones to get are those that are galvanised steel, not those in plastic coating, the reason being, is that I have had mine for almost a year, and it is going rusty, especially where the degus chew on the sides.. If you get the other one it is more resistant to rust.. That is what I will be getting soon.. If you want to see pics just PM me, and I will email you some..
Ok, thanks . We don't have any fruit trees but they sell branches from fruit trees at petstores so I can buy some.




~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 8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 05:17 PM
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Another thing to expect is when anyone new comes to visit they will be hiding or glaring at them for intruding as all of mine have been the same, if people they don't know visit they hide and glare at them till they go home. Its like a ghost town in their cages then!

Also a good trick to tame even the most unruly degu is to tickle them behind the ears or under the chin as they love that!

Goodluck
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 09:17 AM
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how are you getting on with your degu's? hope they have settled in well :O)
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