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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - hope you can offer some advice.
I'm quite sad today because the newborn degus are dying.

When we got the two, 10-week old "girls" in January this year we were very excited. They got along famously and gave us hours of entertainment.

Last month Brooke wasn't just gaining weight anymore - she ballooned! Ok, can't deny it anymore "Belle" should be Bill. We waited for the big day and it started just after lunch today. I came home to find momma delivering - she had blood on her chest and hands from cleaning (I'm assuming). All seemed fine, but when I finally got a peek inside the house (from outside the cage) I saw a couple smaller ones not moving and obviously dead. Our whole family gave them space and kept our distance. About 8 hours later we thought we might take the deceased ones out. Turns out, they were not fully developed anyway. This left 3 rather curious babies. Both parents huddled in the house for most of the afternoon.

Suddenly, I see both parents out of the house going about their usual business and seemingly neglecting the litter. I know they're supposed to keep them warm at all times so I investigate the cage to see what's up. To my horror, I find a severed baby head outside the house!! I don't dare open the door and put my hand inside the house - nope not ready to do that yet. What is going on? Is this normal? I always thought Degus made great parents!?!

I've read that if they're scared or get spooked they might do this, but I'm heartbroken they are hurting their babies. I don't think there will be any left in the morning.

Anybody know anything about this??
Thanks for any advice...
Kris
 

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Degus do make good parents from what I read.
However your degus were too young!
6 months is the proper age of first pregnancies.

First time and young parents will react to pups this way.
Its common in ALL species that first time mothers and fathers have the tendency to cannibalize and/or abandon their pups.

Keep in mind, those others were premature it seems, meaning something could have been wrong with the other babies too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just knew they were too young! Not that it could be helped. We thought we were buying two females and never, ever wanted this!!
Well, I saw two moving this morning and the parents seem more attentive. There seems to be a non-moving one just outside the house, with a rather sad, depressed father huddling on top of it. I feel really bad for them. If they really don't know what to do but watch their offspring pass away or by accident because they are handling them too rough - how awful for them!
This has been such a terrible experience for all involved, I just can't imagine this for many years to come. As much as we are very attached to them - this is not what we bought and signed on for. I have always been responsible for all my pets thoughout my whole life. I've spent thousand upon thousands ensuring they were happy and lived long lives. I'm just not sure I can do this with this crazy, adorable creatures that mutilate their young!!! The place I bought them from is always willing to buy the babies as they are in hot demand, but I'm not sure I want two breeding degus.
Heartbroken and confused,
Kris
 

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I am very sorry and confused for your losses
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good News! - There are three, very cute babies now exploring their cage. Mom and Dad proudly introduced them to us - it was very touching - all five standing at the door cooing for us to greet them. Now we just have to figure out how to clean their cage - it's been a week since it's been cleaned and all their "birthing" bedding is still in there.
Has anybody had a litter? How soon can we handle the babies? I don't think Mom and Dad will have any problem hopping into their temporary cage - but I'm anticipating a challenge with the babes. I know we should wait until they are 8 days old when they can maintain their own body heat, but other than that - I can't find any mention of how young they can be handled.
Thanks,
Kris
 

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ive had lots of litters and ive handeled them all from day one..
 

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after the babies are afew weeks old you need to seporate the males and females
just get another cage and hopfully you have a girl and a boy that way everyone has friends. if you cant identify the genders you should take them to the vet to get the gender checked. you dont want any more premature parents
 

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Degu babies are quite difficult to keep, they need constant attention and the parents may not be as reliable as they seem, also, yes, the Degu's were too young! Sorry for your losses but happy to know you have 3 healthy babies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your replies. It was actually very easy to handle them once you trap one, they kind of freeze and let you pick them up. They stay super still and let you pet them too. I try to get the all a couple of times a day, but for all I know, I'm getting the same one each time!! I will try to post pics. We have homes for them already, but will get them sexed at the vet soon just to be sure.
 

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Your female will be preggo again. You should expect a litter again soon.

i would split the mom and the dad up and have a male cage and a female cage
 

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i had babies about a year back and after about three days or soo the babies are pretty ok for transfer for cleaning. as long as daddy is with them. my mother died after having the babies and as long as daddy was with them i could clean and move them when ever
 
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