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Degu Octodon degus Rodent World Rodent


Name Dutch: degu
Scientific name: Octodon degus
Origin: Chilli
Age: Average 5 to 8 years
Height: between 12 and 20 cm long (without tail)
Birth: Gestation period: 90 days on average, Litter size: 3-10 pups
Activity: Day active
Stay: room aviary or terrarium/aquarium with sufficient ventilation
Minimum size: 80X50x80 (WxDxH) for 2-3 Degus

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The Degu is a friendly and curious rodent that is closely related to the Guinea pig and the Chinchilla.
It is not very well known among the general public, but the Degu is very suitable to keep as a pet. Due to their inquisitive nature, they become tame quickly and rarely bite. However, they are not suitable as a cuddly toy, they are too mobile for this. The Degu originates from the Andes Mountains in Chile. You will find them both climbing and clambering on the rocks and while diligently building underground passages. They live in large colonies consisting of several family groups. Also as pets it is therefore important that they have at least one congener. Like guinea pigs, Degus communicate with various beeps and growls.

Squirrel Degu Eating

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The Degu's digestive system is still fully attuned to its original living environment. The food should therefore be fairly sober and high in fiber. In nature, their diet consists of dry, arid grasses, tough twigs and shrubs. The minimum fiber content of the main feed must be 20%, in addition unlimited hay must be present. The Degu must be able to eat throughout the day. His stomach is not strong enough to transport food independently to the next part of the intestines. The nutritional slurry is pushed forward by the next meal. They absolutely cannot tolerate a high-fat diet and cause problems for the liver, an occasional sunflower seed is fine, but never give Degus fatty nuts such as peanuts. Also sugars and starchy ingredients are not digested well and quickly result in a kind of diabetes. It is therefore better not to give Degus fruit (fresh or dried). The starch content of the food should not exceed 6-7%.

Suitable snacks are: dried herbs or flowers, rose hips, goji berries or a small piece of fresh or dried low-sugar vegetables.

Degus do not drink much, but fresh drinking water should always be available.


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Given their mobile nature, it is important that the Degus have a spacious enclosure with plenty of climbing opportunities. The minimum dimensions for a duo or trio of Degoes consisting of the same sex is 100x50x80 (WxDxH), more animals naturally require more space. It is important that the material of the cage is Degoe-proof. The animals know exactly what to do with their teeth and will find every weak spot, and then make an exit from it. A suitable accommodation is made of metal, glass or a combination of both. Wood and plastic are absolutely unsuitable. Glass has the advantage that the Degus can also dig well and that no junk ends up next to the enclosure, a disadvantage is that the ventilation is often limited and the temperature (too) easily rises too high. It is also important that no caulking edges are accessible to the Degus, because they will gnaw them away. An enclosure with metal bars or mesh ventilates much better and gives you more direct contact with the animals. The disadvantage is that more junk can fall outside the cage. Sometimes degus like to gnaw on the bars so that the whole cage vibrates. This can give a very annoying sound.

Degus are very sensitive to drafts, so do not place them in direct airflow and away from the ground. The Degu is a huge sun worshiper and enjoys some direct sunlight in the cage, but it should never be in full sun. A good alternative is to place a good sunlight lamp above the accommodation, so that they can decide for themselves when they will lie under it. Of course, there must be sufficient hiding places and a good layer of dust-free ground cover, so that they can also root around in it. The last thing that should absolutely not be missed is a sand bath. Degus' fur gets dirty and greasy after a while. To keep their coat in top condition, Degus regularly roll in the special sand. In addition to sufficient space to play, dig and climb, you can also give Degus a running wheel. This allows for even more exercise. Please note that the wheel has a closed running surface and a minimum diameter of 30 cm.

Degu Squirrel In His Cage


Degus are active during the day and therefore very entertaining housemates. They fill their day by climbing and clambering through their cage. When you approach the cage, they are curious enough to immediately come and see who you are and if you may have brought something tasty. Degus quickly recognize who is feeding them and will greet you with a variety of beeps and whistles.

The Degu is a group animal pur sang! During the day they love to wash each other, they play and frolic with each other or you find them all resting in a heap.

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The body of the Degu is blunt and thus resembles that of the Guinea pig and the Chinchilla. Degus are 12 to 20 cm long without a tail and weigh between 175 and 300 grams. Their furred tail is 10 to 16 cm in length and has a nice plume at the end. You should never lift Degus by the tail! As a result, the skin of the tail can peel off, after which the tail dies.

The standard color of the Degu is brown/grey. The other common coat colors are: blue, gray, sand, white and fur.

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