The Degu is a social animal and must always be kept with more than one. Degus are very friendly and curious animals that rarely bite. They are not stuffed animals.
Degus are active during the day with a small lunch break. The degu is found in the wild in a strip that runs from the west coast to the slopes of the Andes Mountains in Chile. The animals make long corridors in which they hide their food, among other things.
Systematics : Octodon degus, Octodontidae family, order Rodentia
Head-rom length: 12.5 to 19.5 cm
Degus belong to the order of the rodents and are small, folivorous / herbivorous (herbivorous) mammals. They are active during the day, very social and live in nature in large colonies of different family groups consisting of about 10 animals. As pets, they also want a partner by their side. They have a life expectancy of approximately 5 to 7 years, but can also age. The body length is 12.5 to 19.5 cm and they reach a weight of approximately 170 to 350 g.
Degus are the most common rodents in Chile. They mainly inhabit the central and northern areas with low bushes and good hiding places from dense herbs and grasses. They also like to be in stony soil layers with a loose bottom. There they build wide branched trenches. They are also increasingly found in fields, gardens and parks. Degus mainly feed on vegetable food.
Degus have their own nutritional needs.
Teeth of the Degu
There are two incisors in the upper and lower jaws, which, like the molars, continue to grow for life. A raw fiber structure in the diet is therefore absolutely necessary for the health of the teeth.
Stomach of the Degu
The stomach is a so-called full-stomach. It is only moderately muscled and therefore cannot independently transport the knit to the next part of the intestine. The following food portions supposedly take over that task.
Blind bowel from Degoes
The appendix is the so-called fermentation chamber. The fine dietary fibers that are converted into proteins, vitamin B complex and vitamin K by the special bacteria go there. The appendix causes the appendix to be taken up again.
Diabetes & Degus
To prevent diabetes, you should not give any fresh fruit or other sugar-rich and starchy components. This is also important when choosing the feed. Degus must receive a high crude fiber diet of at least 20% fiber and a starch content of no more than 6-7%.
Housing of Degoes
Degus does not like to live alone. It is optimal to maintain a community consisting of several females or a castrated male and several females. They become very confidential and are easy to tame if you deal with them intensively.
Place of the Degoe stay
The location of the cage must be draft-free. Since degus likes to bathe in the sun, direct sunlight in the morning and in the evening is very pleasant for them. However, they must always have shade available and the ambient temperature must not exceed 32 ° C. It is best to place the cage in a raised position so that the animals do not feel that they are prey.
Size of the Degoe Cage
A minimum size of 100 x 50 x 100 cm (W x D x H) is recommended when keeping up to 4 degus of the same gender. A larger, more structured cage makes more movement possible. Extra free range under supervision promotes their natural behavior, such as exploring and playing.
Furnishing the Degoe accommodation
The raised animals need a lot of activities and exercise. You can offer them this through the correct layout of the cage. Several cages, seats at different heights, clay and cork tubes and climbing branches belong in every cage. To satisfy their strong urge to move, degus are very happy with a running wheel with a closed running surface and a minimum diameter of 30 cm. A sand bath with chinchilla sand to clean the fur should not be missing either. We also recommend that you put food in stable clay or ceramic bowls and water in drinking bottles. Sufficient good quality hay should be given daily in a coverable hay rack.
Ground cover for Degoes
The litter must be well-absorbing and odor-binding. A thick layer of litter makes it possible to build corridors. It is important to regularly replace the litter (clean the urine corners daily). Litter types from linen or straw, such as cozy bedding or Bed O´Linum are particularly well suited for this.
How can I tell that my Degu is sick and not feeling well?
It is important to check the animal every day. Only someone who knows the animal well will notice, for example, if it behaves differently, turns away from the group or owner or if it eats and drinks less. Weight loss and changed behavior with regard to tampering and urination can also indicate a disease.
In addition, sick animals often exhibit reduced washing and care behavior. This makes the fur rough. Indications of pain are, for example, a crooked back, a huddled posture, a ruffled coat, half-closed eyes, and grinding teeth. If the degu shows any of these symptoms, then the vet should definitely be consulted.