Is there a list or anything of decent Degu breeders, locations etc? If not, I think it would be an awesome idea to create one with a bunch of criteria to stop inbreeding/farming. I realise this is only a community forum but if people come on asking where to buy a Degu or where to get more info it would be awesome to say chat to this person they are close to you and can show you the cages and talk through ownership.
Having brought mine from PAH, I think if I had the choice I would of gone elsewhere as they info they give on caring for them is nowhere near as good as this site
I think most of us just sort of direct people to rescues rather than breeders, as there are more than enough degus needing good homes, facing over crowding etc due to breeders and petshops. We don't really advocate breeding due to this, but I think in one of the sections there is links to the rescues we know of. I'll have a look for you in a bit, I'm just working on an assignment and keep getting distracted lol.
I think as long as there are breeders out there you're always going to find people inbreeding and farming, seeing as they're so easy to reproduce and people think they can make money off the degus that are any colour other than "agouti". If you do a quick google search on places like preloved or gumtree there's people trying to get £50/£70 for babies that are patched or silver, when they're worth the same, if anything less, than agouti degus because firstly, they aren't rare, secondly, creating new colours is done through gene mutations and inbreeding, which is why we always advise people to get pure agouti, because the other colours are at higher risk potentially of health complaints. The actual "rare" colours like sand, red, black etc. are definitely non-advisable to purchase. The "non" agouti colour that's probably most healthiest is the silver, then patched, then the others I can't speak for as they're pretty rare and will have been inbred severely to get pure black, pure white, red, sand and so on.
I don't think the forum on a whole would like to be seen promoting buying from breeders, when there's degus that need homes in rescue centres or that are for sale online from people who no longer want them.
We also don't advise to buy from pet shops, they obviously buy from breeders, can't sex the animals correctly, give appalling care advice and housing advice, they also don't really care too much about welfare, breeding correctly etc. Same kind of deal really. The pet shops are what creates the huge abundance of degus who don't have good homes anymore. They also lie about their "adoption" sections, to make it look like people have brought their animals in that need homes, whereas I would say 9/10 the animals that have names and are up for "adoption" are stock that hasn't sold for a while, or have health issues. They've all come from p@h breeders.
Just my thoughts on the matter, I can't speak for the forum on a whole, these are my opinions and based on what I've learnt here and witnessed and getting to know other members, this is what I believe to be the case.
I second every single word you wrote emily. It's true of all animals sadly. Rescues are full with long waiting lists, they need a home before any more unwanted animals are bought into the situation. You forgot to mention the people who wouldn't class themselves as breeders, they just can't be bothered to neuter or house their degus correctly & subsequently sell all the litters that happen. They don't consider breeding lines or health, just a handy way to make a few quid. Backyard breeders are the worst. Bet a lot of pet shops get them from this source as well as people who would consider themselves breeders.
Also, we see a lot of accidental pregnancies here on the forum (through no fault of the owners - either the degus were miss-sexed or came pregnant, or occasionally escapees result in pregnancy) & we would encourage people to adopt one of those babies, or adults who are no longer able to be kept for whatever reason.
To be honest, I'm only here because the forum doesn't recommend breeders. If it did, it would be against all welfare advice & I'd hate to see that. For further reading why breeders & pet shops are the main cause of abandoned animals this is good reading - www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/national-rehoming-study/ (although it talks about rabbits, you can substitute any pet)
3 rescue rabbits - Zak,Janis & Jim 2 rescue cats - Eddie & Nala 2 rescue dogs - Jack Russell Stan, Romanian Terror *cough* terrier Minnie 3 degu - Jelly, Leadbelly & Bo. 3 chinchillas - Sir Ian McKellen & Sir Patrick Stewart & Dame Maggie Smith 3 adopted Guinea Pigs - Aaron, Bea & Heidi
R.I.P my best friends Cat & Bengi, my first & best friends. Never forgotten, always missed.
We have a list of rescues and rehoming sites in the adoption area. Do you want me to put a copy in the beginner's area? And perhaps include the bit about choosing degus from the beginner's guide? The rescue and rehoming list probably needs sorting out if anyone has some time. Remind me about this.
I think a lot of the links are general small animal rescues and it's so long since I looked at it I don't know how much will still be accurate, so it's probably a case of testing the links and looking for current rescue places that rehome degus.