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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya,

I fostered some degus a year back...and as such became a failed fosterer because I kept them :) However, I am having trouble with their diet and before last year I know very little of their history.

So, Harold and Humphrey came to me last year through someone who was going to "throw them outside" if they couldn't find someone to look after them. :mad2: So I took them in. Since then they have both been happy and healthy, if a bit shy. They are about 2, 2 and a bit years old now. They have been fed a constant supply of three different types of hay (but because one is so soft we tend to encourage them to use it as bedding rather than food): timothy, meadow and normal.

They have had pets at home degu nuggets which break down as 16% protein, 16% crude fiber, 3% oils and fats, 6.5% crude ash and 10% moisture according to the packet. We try and treat the with fresh vegetables but they wont eat them, even if we cover them in oats they just pick the oats off. They will eat dried food except dry vegetables. I try and try, I offer them fresh food daily and they never take it....well, apart from today where they have made their bedding with some of the carrot :rolleyes:

So, I have noticed over the last 2 months that Harolds teeth have not been orange, more of a pale yellow. I have read quite a bit about their teeth and the general consensus seems to be either mineral deficiency OR close to death...

As Harold seems to bounce from place to place, has not been losing weight and seems content in himself, I'm guessing its not the latter. So how do I get some minerals and vits into him? They have a mineral block but thats not exciting enough to eat...

Should I change their dry mix? Is there anyway to get them to eat fresh food as Humphrey won't eat something unless Harold does...!!

Thanks in advance! :)

x
 

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What's the ingredients list for that food? We don't have that brand where I live so I'm unfamiliar.

What vegetables have you tried? Have you tried feeding grasses, herbs, or flowers? Do you feed treats and if so, what do you give them?

Take out the mineral block, they don't need it.

By the way, some degus just have paler teeth in general. But definitely re-examine the diet just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for your reply!

The ingredients list is as follows:

Wheat, Oat Bran, Grass Soya, Peas, Unmolassed Beet Pulp, Yeast, Vegetable Oil, Mint, Mono Calcium Phosphate, Fructo-oligosaccharides, (Profeed min. 0.25%), Salt.

We don't have access to any "safe" grass as we live in a flat without a garden. However, when we lived with my folks they did eat grass. They eat dry herbs, mint, chives, basil leaves and rosemary. They have dried chamomile flowers occassionally but I wasn't sure if they contained sugar or not so it was only occasionally.

I'll take out the mineral block, they seem only to use if for perching anyway!

ETA: We have tried fresh carrots, curly kale, peas (they will eat frozen ones), sweet corn, mange tout, sweet potato and peppers. I thought they would've gone nuts for the kale because my rats do...but the goos just look at it and don't touch it...or they lick the oats-that we have put on it to encourage them-off.
 

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I have had a read and a long think. And I wonder if he has caused trauma to his teeth in some way? The only difference between Harold and Humphrey is that Harold constantly chews the cage bars...I've tried to get him to stop by calling to him when he does it and by attempting to stroke him when he does it.

We are going to have a cage revamp this evening with some enw toys, a big permanent digging box and some other things to try to stop him chewing.

Any ideas as to whether that could be the case?
 

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We have tried fresh carrots, curly kale, peas (they will eat frozen ones), sweet corn, mange tout, sweet potato and peppers. I thought they would've gone nuts for the kale because my rats do...but the goos just look at it and don't touch it...or they lick the oats-that we have put on it to encourage them-off.
Try different types of lettuce (just no iceberg...try romaine, red leaf, green leaf, etc.) and cucumbers. Remember, too, to keep offering vegetables even if they don't eat them at first. Sometimes it just takes patience--and often if one tries new food, they all will.

I have had a read and a long think. And I wonder if he has caused trauma to his teeth in some way? The only difference between Harold and Humphrey is that Harold constantly chews the cage bars...I've tried to get him to stop by calling to him when he does it and by attempting to stroke him when he does it.

We are going to have a cage revamp this evening with some enw toys, a big permanent digging box and some other things to try to stop him chewing.

Any ideas as to whether that could be the case?
While chewing bars could certainly cause damage, it probably isn't responsible for a color change like that.

By the way, are any other degu foods available in your area? The food you listed isn't dangerous but it just doesn't seem like it has much in it...very wheat-based as opposed to being made with hay. It's hard to say if that's the issue but just a thought!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, thanks. I will try the lettuce. I found lots of dried herbs at a local pet store as well as some dried black currant leaves and apple twigs which they have had some of.

We have revamped the cage with a HUGE digging box which of course they havent touched... :rolleyes: It will take a while, I know. We put some of their food in there and they watched us do so. They've got lots of new toys, so hopefully Harold will stop chewing the bars.
 
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