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Hi, I bought my two pet degus one month ago from a local pet store... little did I know was that one of them were actually pregnant. The mother had babies 5 days ago now(7 of them), and I wanted to know a few things out from the more experienced baby degu owners.

1. When is it possible to pick up the baby degus? (The mother and the other degu in the cage who appears to be another female are quite trusting of me and will let me pet them even though a baby is right beside it).

2. They are currently all in a 20 galleon aquarium (so there is now 9 degus in this other than the 2), I dont want to move them too soon because I know I need to keep them with the mother for 4-5 weeks minimum but I have a large 3 level cage waiting to put them in with bars which are around 1cm apart. When would I be able to move all of the 9 degus into this cage?

3. Does anyone know a good site with extremely clear pictures of how to sex degus? We are unsure if the second degu is actually a female or not (as of right now we think its female). We did seperate it for 3 days and then put it back in the cage but we dont want to have another 7 in 3 months time.

If someone out there could please help me out with this, it would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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Firstly hello and :welcome4: to PT :) Congrats on the babies, 7 for the price of 2 is quite something but its not uncommon as a lot of petshops despite knowing the risks keep mixed groups and a lot of people take them home and a few weeks later wake up to a surprise...

1. Regards handling it is normally best to minimise handling till the third week as research has shown causing stress to the pups can have an adverse affect on the way the brain develops causing problems in later life. So only handle if needs be. Once you get to the three week mark you can start handling them but only for short periods and always make sure mum is close by so not to stress them out. Gradually increase the time you handle them as they get older so they get used to being handled etc...

2. I would personally wait a while longer before putting them in the large cage as young degus can be escape artists and the gaps they get through can be surprising and also there is the safety factor as babies don't see any danger and could fall quite easily in a large multi story cage and cause themselves serious injuries if not death. I would think that by the time they are 4-5 weeks old they would be big enough to go into the larger cage if you supervise them for a few days and see how they get on :)

3. Sexing degus can be pretty hard if you aren't used to them as both sexes appear pretty much the same underneath as the males testes lay inside the body. The gap between the appendage (urethra) and the anus is greater in males then in the female where there is hardly any gap. This is the diagram i use on my website.




The top diagram shows a male degu note the distance between the anus and urethra is greater then in the bottom diagram of the female where there is hardly any gap :)
 
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