Who here has ever had baby degus? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Who here has ever had baby degus?

We're wondering if our little Sage is pregnant. We've been bad lately and haven't gotten Sage and Basil out to play in several days (we've both been sick with a nasty upper respiratory infection), but I got them out today so that I could clean their cage and let them have a dust bath and some socialization time. She feels heavier than she used to, and her stomach is a little bigger. She feels "wider" than she did the last time we held her (we both think so). She's not as round looking as the pregnant degu in the book we have, and her teets aren't showing, which the book said is a sign of a pregnant degu. So I don't know if she's pregnant, just not *that* far along yet, or if she just decided to be a pig and get fat, lol.

If she *is* pregnant and has babies soon, is there anything special that we need to do for her or for the babies? I put a little house in her cage that she can use a nest, and I put an extra layer of towel at the bottom of the cage so that it would be more comfortable for the babies. (Unfortunately, the only cage we could find that was big enough for them that was not plastic has a wire mesh bottom. It doesn't bother Sage and Basil, but that may be because their cage at the shop had it, too. Yes, I know it's bad, but having a cage that they can chew out of and escape from is worse, kwim? We always keep 1/2 of the bottom of the cage covered so that they have a place to go with a "solid" bottom. Right now, the entire bottom layer is covered with a towel, so that if she has babies, it will be more comfortable for them.)

Is there anything else that I should do if she has babies?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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I got 2 males last January and less than 3 weeks later 4 babies arrived.. Yep strange but true.. They are in fact 2 females and one was heavily pregnant when we got them, she had no obvious signs of being pregnant either. The 4 babies turned out to be 3 females and one male..
Be careful picking her up, in fact avoid doing so if you suspect she is pregnant.. Just make sure there is loads of bedding in the cage and food etc.. Mine gave birth pretty quickly and without any problems.. We (me and hubby) were both shocked when we heard the noises that she made.. Just leave her to it, and try not too intervene.. When the babies are born they are the most adorable little things, avoid touching/picking them up for a while.. If you have a good relationship with her, she may allow you to pick them up, but be careful and dont upset/scare her, I have read that they can sometimes kill their young if they feel threatened! If you need anymore help just ask! Oh and Good luck!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 11:33 AM
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I have never had babies as only ever got boys but over the years i have read many articles and done some research so i hope i can be a little help to you

Steph's given you great advice and i only have a few things i want to add. Degus are pregnant for 3 months which you probably already know so she could be in the early stages from the sounds of it. You should avoid picking her up from now on as you could risk her miscarrying the babies from over handling. You should also remove dad as soon after birth as possible as she will be in season and could get pregnant straight away which will cause her great stress but after 3 days he can be put back in and he will help rear the pups and make them into more independent degu's in the long run. As Steph mentioned as well once she has had the babies shes best left of alone for the first few days or so as if shes worried or scared for her babies safety she will kill them to protect them although not heard of very often with degu's it is a rodent/lagomorph trait so you should be wary for the first couple of days. I have also read that a lot of stress or noise at the beginning of a degu pups life can have adverse effects on its brains development so for the first 3 weeks of life any handling and involvement should be limited. Also for the same reasons you should never remove the mother as this will stress the pups out greatly aswell so should be avoided as only she soothes them by her cooing! As for your cage floor is there anyway you can get some perspex to cover the bars of the floor with so its flat for the babies so they can't fall through?

I can't wait to hear about the babies if she gives birth, please keep us informed and goodluck

Kirsty


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I have never had babies as only ever got boys but over the years i have read many articles and done some research so i hope i can be a little help to you

Steph's given you great advice and i only have a few things i want to add. Degus are pregnant for 3 months which you probably already know so she could be in the early stages from the sounds of it. You should avoid picking her up from now on as you could risk her miscarrying the babies from over handling. You should also remove dad as soon after birth as possible as she will be in season and could get pregnant straight away which will cause her great stress but after 3 days he can be put back in and he will help rear the pups and make them into more independent degu's in the long run. As Steph mentioned as well once she has had the babies shes best left of alone for the first few days or so as if shes worried or scared for her babies safety she will kill them to protect them although not heard of very often with degu's it is a rodent/lagomorph trait so you should be wary for the first couple of days. I have also read that a lot of stress or noise at the beginning of a degu pups life can have adverse effects on its brains development so for the first 3 weeks of life any handling and involvement should be limited. Also for the same reasons you should never remove the mother as this will stress the pups out greatly aswell so should be avoided as only she soothes them by her cooing! As for your cage floor is there anyway you can get some perspex to cover the bars of the floor with so its flat for the babies so they can't fall through?

I can't wait to hear about the babies if she gives birth, please keep us informed and goodluck
Yep Thanks Kirsty, I was going to mention some of that, but I forgot too! Good luck!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the advice. I'll look into the perspex thing and see if I can find any around here. We also have a couple of "throw away" cutting board. Basically just thin, flexible plastic that were designed to be used once and thrown away. If I can't find anything else, it should be pretty easy to connect the three of those in the same size shape as the floor of the cage and use that as a cover. The ladder that leads to the second floor is attached to the bottom of the cage, so something easy to cut would be ideal.

Thanks again for the help!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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Degu babies...

As previously said respect moms first week or so with the pups. It would NOT be unusual for an otherwise lovely pet degu to become agressive enough to bite while protecting new babies. They will go back to normal after the babes are weaned. MAKE SURE the wire spacing is small enough. One dimension should be 1/2 inch the other doesn't matter. Babies are born fully furred and eyes open after 90 or so days and they start getting around fast.
Be careful with breeding if you do indeed have a male and female - they are still considered exotics and you must be usda licensed to breed, sell, or even give them away.

Last edited by nygerbil; 03-25-2005 at 11:46 AM. Reason: wrong word
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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If she does have babies, I'll check with our local wildlife and fisheries department to see if my state requires the liscense. The breeding would only be a one time thing, so maybe I'll get lucky and they won't make me spend tons of money for a piece of paper.

A male/female pair was the ONLY set available in my area, and to go out of state to get two same sex degus would have been too expensive with the high gas prices, horrible gas mileage on the car we had, and the cost that people wanted for the animals.

We pretty much decided when we got them that if they ever had babies, we'd keep all of one sex then find homes for the others. I hate to seperate the parents since they've been together for so long, but I just don't think that there is enough interest in this area to keep breeding them. I'd run out of homes very quickly. I think it'd be best for them and their offspring for the dad to be with his sons and the mom to be with her daughters. That way we don't have to worry about overbreeding or inbreeding. I will check up on the liscense, though, if she has babies, just in case I need it.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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One solution...

One solution to the lack of degu availability in your area would be to keep the female pups together with mom and the males together with dad. If you have pups and a lot of males you may only want to keep one with dad. Males do not so as well in larger groups as females can. There are many variables with degus due to the large differences in personality.
We faced a similar situation when ANde and his lady friend came in as rescues. SHe was clearly very pregnant. I decided to see about having Ande neutered so that the pair, who were in such a deplorable state when they arrived, could stay together. Well poor little Ande had been so neglected for so long that the vet said he would never survive surgery. Thankfully we had one of each gender born and we kept him with his son and her with her daughter. It worked out very well.
Do be aware that they can and will probably breed immediately after she gives birth so if they are not at least split caged by then you will likely end up with another litter. Yes, degus can be hard to place and so many are unwanted - they come in to us on a regular basis as rescues. I just don't get it as they are wonderful little friends.
Most states do not require a state license for the breeding of a non-dangerous animal such as this. The federal required license is only 30.00 per year for anyone making less than 500.00 from the sale of the babies. Best!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgimom
If she does have babies, I'll check with our local wildlife and fisheries department to see if my state requires the liscense. The breeding would only be a one time thing, so maybe I'll get lucky and they won't make me spend tons of money for a piece of paper.

A male/female pair was the ONLY set available in my area, and to go out of state to get two same sex degus would have been too expensive with the high gas prices, horrible gas mileage on the car we had, and the cost that people wanted for the animals.

We pretty much decided when we got them that if they ever had babies, we'd keep all of one sex then find homes for the others. I hate to seperate the parents since they've been together for so long, but I just don't think that there is enough interest in this area to keep breeding them. I'd run out of homes very quickly. I think it'd be best for them and their offspring for the dad to be with his sons and the mom to be with her daughters. That way we don't have to worry about overbreeding or inbreeding. I will check up on the liscense, though, if she has babies, just in case I need it.
Could you not get Basil neutered and then keep him mum and all the female babies and then just rehome any males you might have? Just a suggestion if you are attached to Basil

Kirsty


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
Could you not get Basil neutered and then keep him mum and all the female babies and then just rehome any males you might have? Just a suggestion if you are attached to Basil
I totally agree with you Kirsty.. There is no way I could part with any of mine..
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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If we do have to split them up, I'm thinking we'll likely keep the boys (unless we have tons of girls and can't find enough homes). I adore Basil and would love to keep him. The people at the shop worked with a little, and he's a lot more social than Sage is. The people at the shop discovered that Sage bit some of the time, so they no one bothered to hold her and try and socialize her because they didn't want to get bit. She still bites sometimes, though she is getting better. He is much more friendly than she is, so I'd love to keep him. But at the same time, it's going to be hard to find a good home for a degu who bites.

I need to pick up some heartguard for our puppy sometime in the next couple weeks. I'm going to ask our vets office if they can neuter Basil and how much it would be. I really want to keep Basil. But I'm afraid that if I give up Sage, she'll be mistreated or ignored because she bites.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
Could you not get Basil neutered and then keep him mum and all the female babies and then just rehome any males you might have? Just a suggestion if you are attached to Basil
You can NOT do that. A male in a clan of females would be deadly! The girls will fight for who will breed with him. We've seen this in the last group of girls who came in as rescues and 3 out of 4 had pups. When the male pups reached about 6 weeks of age the girls were getting very very aggressive with each other, vying for who will breed. The minute we removed the boys things settled right back down to normal.

I would either keep all the girls together and set up the boys in pairs or just get him neitered and kepp your original pair. Males are NOT known for doing well in large clans. Girls very often are fine as long as it is just girls. Sometimes it takes a while for the degu to trust again if she had been mistreated in her previous ebvironment.

Last edited by nygerbil; 03-29-2005 at 11:21 AM. Reason: forgot something...
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgimom
She still bites sometimes, though she is getting better. He is much more friendly than she is, so I'd love to keep him. But at the same time, it's going to be hard to find a good home for a degu who bites.
What are the times when she has bitten? I have found that many degus can be cage territorial. One of our rescue girls is like that. If I pushed my luck with using my hands to take her out of her cage she likely would have bitten me - all the warnings were there. Instead I use a plasic measuring cup to scoop her out of her cage and put her in my hands with that and all is fine then. Now she will just get into the scoop on her own - happy medium I guess.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nygerbil
You can NOT do that. A male in a clan of females would be deadly! The girls will fight for who will breed with him. We've seen this in the last group of girls who came in as rescues and 3 out of 4 had pups. When the male pups reached about 6 weeks of age the girls were getting very very aggressive with each other, vying for who will breed. The minute we removed the boys things settled right back down to normal.

I would either keep all the girls together and set up the boys in pairs or just get him neitered and kepp your original pair. Males are NOT known for doing well in large clans. Girls very often are fine as long as it is just girls. Sometimes it takes a while for the degu to trust again if she had been mistreated in her previous ebvironment.
If thats the case then why does Steph (purblebunny) keep a male with 4 females and they all get on happily? And why have i seen it done loads of times before? Theres a lot of people out there with one neutered male with a group of females and it works out for them, but every group of degus is different and whats good for one isn't always good for another so if it didn't work for you sorry but i have seen it done and know people who do sucessfully have groups of males and females so please don't have a go at me for stating what i know can be done and with sucess. I do know something about degu's as you don't keep them for nearly 7 years and learn nothing, i've actually researched them as part of my job. I was only trying to offer advice as this is a friendly forum

Kirsty


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Last edited by Amethystbelle; 03-29-2005 at 12:44 PM.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I was only trying to offer advice as this is a friendly forum
Experiences differ and I've not seen that combination work out - just lookin' out for the wee ones and sharing MY experiences.
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dust bath, males together, neutered male, respiratory infection, split cage, upper respiratory infection, wire mesh


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