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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Well as stated I am new to owning Degu's. I had been eyeballing them at the pet store for a couple of weeks before I actually bought them but finally gave in. The people at the pet store gave me some tips but not a whole lot. basically I just have some questions I was hoping you could help me with to better care for them. Right now this is my set up. I have them in a (don't know size) but pretty good size wire cage with a flat bottom that is plenty big for two degu to run around in. I am using carefresh litter. an excercise wheel. and of course their food and water bottle. I got them a couple of non flavored chew toys as well since the people at the store told me they can't have sugar or fresh fruits or anything. Got a dust bowl for them as well. When I picked them out I picked out two that were of the same sex from the same cage since they would have been adjusted to each other already. I've been sticking my hand in there periodically stroking their heads with my finger trying to calm them down. Right now naturally I think they are still scared as they have moved very little from their corner of the cage (just got them yesterday afternoon) and one makes a loud squeaking noise when I pet him. which I read they make a lot of noises and are very curious and like to chew a lot also that they don't really like to be held but don't mind sitting in the palm of your hand. So is there any care tips that you can give me? How often should I dust them? How can I get them to adjust to me and their new environment? Pretty well any tips you can give will be appreciated. thanks!
 

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Hi, i have 3 degus, and to help settle them in, i was giving them a sand bath every day as it cleans and keeps their fur healthy, Give them plenty of timothy hay every day aswel as it is good for them. You can give them sweet potato as a treat but only a little and say once a week aswel, I put a little house in there cage because its there safe haven and they like to sleep in it and cuddle up. if you have any toilet rolls they love shredding it and it keeps them busy to. mine also have other toys like a coconut thing that swings which derek loves to chew.
Because i have 3 i put 3 food bowls in as they would fight over just the one so to stop that i added more.I give mine a herb treat specially for degus that they go crazy over. you can get it in pets at home and it costs £2.99.
Do you have any shelves in your cage as they love to climb around and explore things.
I hope this helps you out a little bit. :)
Love Derek, Scrappy and ninja xxx
 

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Hey there,

As a new owner myself, (has been just over a few months) I know where your coming from, to start off I found with my goo's one thing that helped me break the ice was improving their cage, they may have room to run around but they really love to climb, if your in a wire cage maybe you could build a shelf.. or if you have a bandana around make a hammock, my littlest guy effing loves sleeping in a hammock.... you seem to know a bit about there diet so I assume you got them food with no sugars or salts.. do you have any Hay for them? i'm pretty sure a pile of hay should always be around... my guys always have their timothy hay and it's probably the only thing they all agree on... if the squeek he's making sounds like an alarm clock just really consistant on timing.. it usualy means he's really freaked out and just wants to be left alone... the way I got my Goo's to warm up to me was just talking to them a lot at first as crazy as that sounds, then when I realized his their fav foods, i'd start putting my hand in the cage full of treats and would turn my head and watch tv pretend I didnt care either, be pacient they won't just run up, or they might. but once they get used to taking from your hands you can start handing them treats all the time, all of my guys now stand at the different fronts of there habbitat and wait for me to give them treats now, we can even hold treats with are lips and let them take them from our mouths, Degu kisses hahahahha

Good luck and I hope others respond as well giving you more ideas, if you need any kind of help I work online so i'm almost always around..

Also 3 out of my 4 Degus don't really like to be petted, they'll let it happen now and than but its taken me over a month to get to this point, so depending on your Degu's nature.. it may take awhile..

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the advice!

So I have made a little progress with one of them over the past few hours alone. When I go in the cage I always make sure they know I'm coming just so I don't startle them. One of them (I call him the escape artist because he managed to get out of his box as soon I st it down to set their cage up and took us awhile to catch him) he ran at first upon seeing my hand but has now just started sitting there and letting me stroke the top of his head. Earlier he even kind of leaned up on my finger and was smelling the rest of my hand. The other one doesn't want anything to do with me yet. I tried the idea of trying to see if they will take the hay from hand. Neither one did yet but it as good because both them had no fear of getting close to my hand then. The skittish one was the first to actually take it as soon as I set it down though. So I'm happy about that. These little guys are just funny to watch! the one that is taming quickest seems to have taken a liking to running around the cage in the past couple of hours. I've seen him sniffing the wire of the cage but as of yet hasn't tried to climb. may still be figuring it out because at the pet shop they kept them in an aquarium and they had no wheel or nothing to play on. I will be trying the used toilet paper rolls though! that would be a fantastic and cheap chew toy. I just don't want them to get bored or anything so I figure different kinds of play toys would be good for them. Unfotunatly the cage is pretty good size but not tall enough to put in shelves. On the upside I already had the cage so I was just using it till payday and going to get them a bigger one if I don't just decide to make one on my own. All in all I'm trying to give them attention while at the same time trying to give them some space to explore on their own. I put down a little house in there earlier for them to take their dust baths in. neither are brave enough to enter it yet though. I may try to just see if they are more used to a bowl or something for them. the pet store didn't have a dust bowl in there so no idea how often they gave them one really.
 

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It's good that you're planning to get a taller cage, they'll really appreciate it! :)

One trick is to sit with them in the bathtub and let them climb around. Degus are curious animals so eventually they'll come over to you. Treats are good bribery, too! Herbs, dandelions, vegetables, nuts, and sugar-free cereals are some good degu treats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm loving these little guys. I had one of them crawling up my hand earlier. Only the one the other is going to take a bit of time still it seems. One seems to be confused though. They are both males and one keeps trying to mate with the other :doh: ...These are alot of good tips on treats they can have! I have noticed that the shyer of the two is starting to come around some. He's moved around some but when he's not trying to mate he just kind of slinks around the corners of the cage. The one that is coming around keeps trying to find an escape route or something lol...he seems abit fixated with the door of the cage. Of course as soon as I open it he bolts. That one though does seem to let out a a quick sharp chirp when i first pet him...just one and stops. Might do it again a couple of minutes later but usually it's just the one and doesn't do it again. The other one when I pet his head he just sits there with his ears laid back.
 

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They aren't mating, that's just a show of dominance :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well that's a relief!! the way they were going I thought I was going to have to rent them a hotel lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey is this normal for them to not be interested in their dust bath? One of them rolled in for like half a turn and neither wanted to mess with it after that aside from poop in it. rather I'm using dust sand at the moment.
 

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My goo's have a dust bath 24/7 and use it as a litter box as well, when I clean it they'll usually get a use or two out of it, then it becomes a litter box again lol
 

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i only leave thier bath in there for say 30-40 mins as they use it as a toilet other wise, and they dont seem to need it, although i do put it in each day to make sure they can use it :)
 
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