We have one room in the house where we can keep the Degus we're thinking of getting... problem is, sometimes it collects heat, and I read the ideal room temperature for Degus is 17-20 degrees, I think.
Now, if we kept a room temperature thermometer in there and left the window open whenever it started getting hot, would this be ok? Just in case it's relevant, the window is one of those smaller ones at the top of another, so there wouldn't be a massive draft I think. I think we'd also have one of those nets covering the gap so flies/wasps/moths can't get in, since I don't believe they'd deal well with them?
Of course, if it's not suitable and we find no workaround, we just won't get any.
Why don't you measure temperatures inside the room (the way you would have it with degus in it) and outside for the rest of this week? The forecast is for warm and hot days, so you will get a better idea what temperatures your degus would be exposed to. There are some tips to keep degus cool on particularly hot days, but it could be a problem if temperature would be too high for much of the summer.
you are right about the ideal temperature for degus, however, saying that, it is also impossible to maintain this temperature during the summer, winter months, especially over here in spain! we have our degus in our front room, currently the temperature is 37 degrees in this room, i have the window opened wide, allday and all night and also have a ceiling fan that is left on permanently, still its impossible to lower the temperature. my degus do not seem to suffer, infact one is running on its wheel as i speak and another chewing on his cage bars...lol they have the odd little nap during the day but they definitely do not seem stressed out by the heat, unlike myself, im struggling to cope with the weather...lol all you can do in the warmer months is try and cool the room as much as possible, i change their water 2-3 times a day so atleast they can have cold water, they have a tile in the cage so that if they wish, they can lie on that to try cool themselves down however they dont use it. i did buy them their own fan and directed it at the cage, they didnt like it much and resulted in a huge fight leading to the death of chips so i wouldnt recommend directing a fan at them! basically, im sure your future goos will cope fine ps........i think its the colder months you should be more concerned about, once i found choc and chips shivering due to the cold so i would try and make sure that the room is heated in the winter months.
Seems like you've been given some good ideas. Firstly do as fred says and measure the room temperature. That way you know exactly what you're dealing with and how to act. Secondly if you are going to get air-flow through the room make sure that the cage is not directly in the draft as the goos are prone to getting respiratory infections this way (i'm sure you already know this but doesn't hurt to say it )
I'm sure you know the issue with high temperatures is that goos can't sweat, or pant like dogs (correct me otherwise). In the wild they would burrow to keep cool so we, as owners, need to give them an alternative. I haven't needed to use the chin-chiller tiles or anything similar but if somebody has experience with them could you share your thoughts and opinions please.
Lastly nuttz, how do you degus do it! They must be mad running in that heat. I'm used to being in 37C heat, hell I even have had to work in 44C heat (Malta gets very hot!). But there's no whay I'd be able to run in a wheel... if I were a goo that is!
Earth probably retains the coolness better. But the digging pit is a good idea for getting out of the direct sun. And it should be a bit cooler. I still think the chin chiller is a better idea, or marble, or anything that will keep the cold.
@ maltesa, i guess they climatize to the heat, there really isnt any escaping it as im sure you understand. all we can do is offer some way for them to cool down but TBH the heat doesnt seem to bother my lot, as i said before, it seems to be the cold that they hate the most. i sometimes wonder how my kids manage to play football in this heat, i guess its the same with the goos. only another month or two at this heat and it will start to cool down again, back to the smelly log fires...lol
nuttz and malteser – yes, if one reads the degu pages from northern countries one can hardly believe that nuttz' goos are alive, let alone happy. However, degus in the wild are regularly foraging at temperatures of 40 plus degrees. I believe this has to do with the general climate and humidity plays a major role. Spain is so much more like Chile than the UK. I don't know anything about the history of degus in Spain but as I understand it, they are still not very common. I wonder whether some selection process may have taken place, i.e. few pups from degus sensitive to heat.
ava - bottom line, I think we should still be careful about the temperatures we keep degus in in the UK (not that I have a problem with this in Scotland :(). There has already been some good advice how to keep them cool. If it gets very hot, one could think about a “cooled digging pit” because as malteser indicated the substrate won't retain the coolness for long. But let's first see what your temperature measurements say.