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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I adopted a mother and two babies from pets at home yesterday (the babies are about 10 weeks) and the babies are fine to come up to my hand, run up my arm, however they tend to nibble a lot which can be slightly painful, I'v read that squeeking at them is meant to stop them because its hard grooming but I wanted somebody elses opinion :S

Also the mother tends to sit over the food bowl when its filled for the first 15/30 minutes and hog the food, she squeeks at and fights at the other degus trying to get food, I had to take some nuggets out and put them in another part of the cage just so the babies could have some. She has bitten me once; she got loose and I couldn't let her run behind a tv so I had to pick her up, and she drew blood (I know its not the best way to handle them but I had to do something), and she generally seems more nervous than the young ones. She's about a year and a half old and came in from a previous owner accidently pregnant.

Any advice on how to handle the mother and discourage the babies nibbling habit would be greatly appreciated :) Kelly
 

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The babies should grow out of it, baby degus tend to be very mouthy. Keep doing what you're doing for now. If they bite too hard in grooming, put them down and don't give them attention for a few minutes (after squeaking).

The food thing is easy to solve...get more food dishes ;). It's recommended to have one dish per degu.

Take things slow with the mom and let her come to you when she feels comfortable. If you're in that kind of situation again, try scooping her up with a container (I always kept one near the degu cage, it came in handy!) to avoid another bite. To socialize her, try sitting with her in a bath tub, pen, or other confined space. Offer her treats and gently pet her but don't force anything. She'll come around, it just sounds like she was poorly socialized in her previous home.
 

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I had just went through this with my older degu.He hated anything to do with humans, he would run and hide when I put food in his cage, or he would come and attack my hand when it was in there, and cleaning his cage was very very hard.His previous owners weren't the best at taking care of him so it took me quite a long time but he has after a few months warmed up to me nicely.He will come to me and get treats, let me give him lots of chin scratches (which is the cutest thing ever when they smile getting their chin scratched), and will sit on my hand and eat oats.He still won't let me take him out of the cage, but that's ok as long as he isn't biting anymore.Oats and very low voices when I talked to him helped more than anything, I would go by his cage numorus times a day and just chat with him very softly and in the mornings and before bed I get a tiny sprinkle of oats in my hand and he greets me at the cage ready to nibble them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As an update - things have got better :) the mother doesn't hiss at foodtime anymore and she even lets me hold her/never bites anymore, infact she's becoming very friendly and wants out all the time (although a lot of its to do with her wanting to escape which she's getting very good at :p ).

Seems the half hour/hour sessions a night in the bathtub and general taming methods are working.
 
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