My boyfriend and I recently made the plunge into goo-dom. We have two roughly 12week old babies, Bob and Linda.
Here in the USA, they are an uncommon pet, and we are finding ourselves getting a lot of conflicting information. And we are seemingly unable to find a store near us that actually has anything safe in stock.
I come here to seek help and advise of actual Degu parents. First hand knowledge has always seemed the best to me.
I apologize in advance as we are still getting accustomed to the life and the care of these wonderful beings. I'm sure I will be asking silly questions.
We will tell you and everyone else new to the forum, there are NO stupid questions when it comes to degus!! LOL!! They are weird, crazy, busy, opinionated, headstrong, curious, little loves, and they seldom do what you think they will do. Get used to being surprised! Please ask any and all questions that you may have, and don't worry, we've been where you are and totally understand how you are feeling.
If you have spent any time looking through any of the boards, you will see that the topmost threads are all stickied . . . there is a stickpin on the title . . . which means that thread and all like it have information in it that we have found to be important and crucial for caring for our degus. Some threads are going to help the owner more than the degus ie. how is your day going; and the rest will be beneficial to both, ie. how to set up a bought cage, how to build your own cage, what food mixes do you feed your degus. Read, read, and read. The learning curve for degu husbandry is steep, and the first three months can be challenging as you try to sort it all out, but they are well worth the effort!! Again, don't be shy to ask questions, we are here to help!
I'll give you a "freebie" here . . . yes . . . degus eat their own poop. It is totally normal, and is actually essential to their good health and digestive processes. It looks gross, yes, but just turn away and pretend you didn't see anything! Here is a second freebie. Since you have a male as well as a female, you might as well learn now . . . male degus are diligent to clean and maintain their AHEM intimate anatomy . . . ROFL!! Eventually, if you haven't already, you will come upon him spending some "quality" time, and this is often done somewhere in the cage where the greatest number of humans may enjoy the display and be in awe of his . . . body. Also be warned . . . they have a great sense of timing and will "perform" this display when you have guests.
1 Bichon/Shi-t-zu Ollie (b'gollie), 1 Standard poodle, Indie
Amazon.com carries plenty of safe degu stuff. I have used the Sun Seed Vita Exotics Prima Degu Formula for pellets for years now. Just check several of their listings when you order it, the price can vary widely and they don't always bring up the best price first.
Seeds and dried herbs and flowers are also available on Amazon. I ordered a whole bunch of seeds on Amazon of the "Food To Live" brand, they are fresh and clean and really really nice. Made my own mix. For dried vegetables, I use Northbaytrading.com . They have excellent product, we buy for both degus and us people, too.
When I last ordered dried flowers and herbs, I was very unhappy as most of them the pieces were much smaller than the company said they would be (and I had even called and talked to someone there.) When I got my order and saw what they had sent, I complained and was told, tough luck, then don't buy it again. So I can highly recommend that you NOT USE Monterey Spice company. However, again I can say that Amazon now carries all kinds of stuff you can order.
Timothy hay you can buy in any pet store, just find the brand and type your goos prefer. Mine like greener, leafier timothy hay, sometimes the bags are like that, sometimes they're coarser and more stems, so we just look through the bags in the store until we find one that's right for them.