Hello, I'm Wizzard I'm from the USA (Ohio). I ended up here on this forum because well you all were the first ones to pop up with the most info. I recently purchased a degu (Lilly). I am adamantly looking for her a friend, as the shop that I got her from only had her. The shop sold me a cage that is entirely to small though at the same time it's also my fault for not doing the research before hand so I need help finding her a new one.
She currently is in this cage:http://alturl.com/5xobm (wire floor removed so she doesn't get bumblefoot) I am looking at getting this one will it work even when I get a second or possibly third degu: alturl.com/6w6tz
There is so much info here, the beginners guide was very informative and greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the forum and the weird world of degus.
Please feel free to ask any questions you need to, there really are no silly ones when it comes to these little guys.
I agree that the cage she is currently in is way too small, but as you will see from here, we get the same problems with pet shop advice and cages all over the world, and its impossible to research everything before getting a degu. The new cage you are getting is much better, although I would be wary of one with plastic floors, degus are prolific chewers and can demolish anything chewable with remarkable speed. You may need to cover the floor with something more durable, I would recommend an all metal one, which in the UK is called the Aventura, but I'm sure that someone on here will be able to tell you (and post a link) to the USA equivalemt.
We got our first degu seven years ago when my daughter spotted it in the little pet store in town, in a five gallon fish tank, marked "free" as the owner's degus had had a litter and he was the only boy. We got him the biggest cage we could find locally, which was still too small, and had to have another pet store (big chain store) order in a companion for him, as there were none locally in the rescues. From there we moved them up into the Double Critter Nation cage that you are considering. It's the best!
IF you are anywhere near Cincinnati, there is a group of three degus up for adoption on Hoobly.com . The next closest listing is Michigan. Do keep an eye on Hoobly, and Petfinder, as they occasionally show up on those sites. Your local Craigslist may sometimes also have a listing. Otherwise, ask the pet stores if they could order one in for you. Be very specific as to gender and age, since we knew we had a 4 month old male, we requested a male of 4 months or younger, to help them bond quickly (which worked). Then, check the gender yourself before you take it home. Also, put word out with any local rescues who deal in small animals. They don't always put degus up on their listings because almost no one knows what a degu is, so they advertise the more popular animals, but they might have some or know of another rescue who does, and can refer you to them. I got my latest group of three brothers from a rescue who has dozens (someone dumped a box of about 20, mixed genders and all females pregnant, on them) but only puts a listing up occasionally.
The Critter Nation is an awesome cage. Yes, it has plastic trays, but they are inside the metal frame, so even if your degus decide to chew it, they won't escape. If you look at my cage, we put wood strips all around the edges, and in seven years and now 5 degus later, no one has chewed the trays (yet. I probably shouldn't have tempted fate by saying that.) If they do chew them, you can either order metal replacements, or rebuild with wood. If you add extra levels like I did, it is easily suitable for 3 degus, and add a bit more and it's okay for four. Since those pictures were taken of our original build, we've added more shelves and tunnels and hidey-holes for our guys. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes to find them in there, there's so many places for them to go. Good thing they know me as The Bringer Of All Things Tasty and come right out to see what I have for them.
This IS the best Degu site, really (I'm not just biased, honestly). It is up to date on best practices and advice, and very friendly. There are many with incorrect info, especially on feeding (don't trust ANY of the sites run by pet stores, they will tell you all kinds of sugary treats are okay for degus). There is one that is perhaps the ultimate in precise, up to the minute info, but has very little tolerance for anyone not meeting their standards, so it gets a bit difficult since here in the USA we do not have many of the best items and foods available like they do in Europe.
Again, Welcome! Ask all the questions you want. And, we love pictures!
Currently unsure of Lilly's age I'm going by the shop I got her at today to ask some questions. Such as can they get me another or know where another one is and possibly see if they know her approximate age. I'm pretty sure at some point something happened to her tail as it is only 3.5-4 inches long. I looked at the degutopia guide on how to get them acclimated to one another but without knowing her approximate age I don't know which guide to follow.
This may sound a weird question, but are you sure she's a girl? This is something you need to be sure of before getting a friend for her. You will also need to check any suitors. If in doubt we can always help you if you have any pictures of her 'nether region.'. Making sure you have two of the same sex can be more important than different ages.
I'm following the guidelines on here for introductions.
Does she have a tuft on the end of her tail? Its not unusual for degus to lose part of their tails to injuries etc. so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
She is most definitely a female checked for myself after the mistakes with the pet shop. Her tail has hair on it until approximately 1/16th of an inch from the end of her tail where the hair stops so no really noticeable tuft at the end of the tail. As for her food I currently have her on it is Vitakraft Sunseed Vita Prima Degu formula and timothy hay daily. Since I am coming into owning her for the second week I was going to give her some fresh organic Kale.
Last Edit: Dec 27, 2016 16:37:19 GMT by wizzard843
I have been using the Sunseed Vitakraft Degu pellets for my guys for 7 years. So it seems to be a decent pellet for them. Not too many choices here in the US, and I have to order it online as no one carries it locally. (Hint, when you see a good price, order several. The expiration dates are usually up to two years out. And, sometimes, when the suppliers on Amazon are low, they jack up the price to something ridiculous, so I always stay way ahead of the game in order to avoid that, ordering my next lot as soon as I am starting my last bag or two.)
My goos never went for fresh veggies, so I ordered a bunch of dried ones and made my own mix. My current three guys, who came from a rescue a year and a half ago, won't even touch fresh grass from the yard, only dried, so I get orchard grass, oat hay, meadow hay/grass, and alfalfa hay to supplement the daily timothy hay, on a random and rotating schedule. Of course, they mostly run it up to stuff it in the giant hay mound they have buried their huts in, but I choose to believe they eat it later on (since the entire cage has not yet disappeared in a giant hay mound, they must indeed be eating it at some point).
I also found a place that sells natural (undyed, no chemicals) freeze-dried rose petals, they love those as a daily treat.
If you want sources for the dried veggies and rose petals, I can look those up for you. I buy a big load about once a year, so offhand I don't remember the names of the places.
Hello, Wizard! Welcome to the forum!! You've been well taken care of on here, and Winic's help will be so valuable to you as she has excellent experience with all things degu related Stateside, not to mention being a very experienced degu owner. I've nothing more to add to all that you've already been told. As said earlier, don't hesitate to ask any questions. We are glad to help as much as we are able.
1 Bichon/Shi-t-zu Ollie (b'gollie), 1 Standard poodle, Indie
She seems to like the fresh veggies a lot and we have a rather large dehydrator so making dehydrated veggies/flowers isn't difficult at all. And the shop where I got her stocks the food; so I should be ok for now. However I would still love to know where you are getting the dried stuff just in case it will come out cheaper.
For a quick and easy seed mix, that can be store bought from any pet store or online, look for a "soak and sprout" seed mix in the bird department. Being "soak and sprout" mix means there will be no pellets or additives in it, and being for birds means no chemicals or treatments, as birds are very sensitive to them.
You're lucky she likes the fresh stuff. My first two boys liked a few fresh things, especially stuff from outside. My current three were born at a rescue and lived there their first two years, being fed chinchilla pellets, hay, with shredded newspaper for substrate and cast off k-cup boxes for a hut. They've taken quite happily to the sunseed degu pellets, and have learned to eat the dried veggies, rose petals, and a seed mix I toss in for them to forage for, but won't touch anything fresh, not even grass, won't take any of the bigger seeds like sunflower or pumpkin from me, or fresh twigs, or so many things they ought to like. Still working on it.
Pretty normal!! If she isn't sure what it is, but it smells good, she is probably thinking to come back to it some time. You can pull it out from where she hid it and give it a good crack so that she gets the idea that there is a way to get inside and retrieve the yumminess therein. Then the next time you give her a nut, she will be much more aggressive in opening it.
She went back and dug it up shes working on it as I type this. I figured it was most likely normal but with my being so new to rodents. I thought it would be a good idea to ask regardless of what I thought. I have another question I am currently giving her access to a dust bath every other day is this to often or to little; and how often should I be changing out the dust.
She hasn't gone to the bathroom in it yet. However she does appear to eat the dust after she is done with her bath is this normal or is she a weird goo. She is also trashing pretty much anything plastic will this harm her or is she only gnawing it and not swallowing it.
OK this is the gross bit, she may be eating the poo she's had in there, degus do eat some of their own poo. This is perfectly natural so nothing to worry about.
She will shred anything chewable in the cage. Does she have any wooden toys she can chew on instead? I've removed everything plastic from my cages as it just gets destroyed. Willow and applewod are good, and you may be able to pick some up at a pet shop. Another great thing for them are cardboard tubes (either toilet roll tubes, or a cut down section of a carpet roll tube). She will chew it, but the resulting debris will be soft and she'll have fun destroying it. Not to mention keeping her teeth down.