Degu Cages - What is the best cage for your degu?
This is one of the degu cages we use and it really is worth every penny. The Little Zoo flight degu cage has big solid doors make for easy access and cleaning. Wooden shelves and ramps make it ideal for degus. The bottom tray comes out for easy cleaning and comes with an optional wire mesh base which you can either remove or cover with ceramic tiles to prevent your degus getting bumblefoot. We also like that this degu cage is raised on a stand so your degus get a good view of you! Its also great for underneath storage for your food and sand bath. Follow the link and read more reviews at amazon. We added some hammocks and extra shelves to create more levels. There's a tutorial on our videos page on how to make a comfy hammock from an old hood.
The Costway cage is also a great cage at a great price, but you will need to add some wooden shelves and cover the floor with hemp roll or tiles.
Is a Degu the best pet for Kids?
Exotic pets are not always the best pets for kids, but Degus can be a good choice for older children. They may not be the best pet for younger children as gentle handling is required and when it comes to cleaning the degu cage then adult help will be needed. Careful consideration needs to be given to feeding too, as children will need to learn that Degus cannot eat things that other small pets like hamsters can.
SnuggleSafe Microwave heat pads
We've just ordered two of these pads for the degus. I've heard great things about them and I'm hoping the degus will love them. Coming from a naturally warm climate they like to be cosy. Amazon prime means we only have to wait 24 hours for them too. I'll be posting a review this weekend, once the boys have had chance to try them out.
DEGU QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is the best cage for degus
Degus need a large metal cage with bars no more than 2cm apart. Large cage doors will make for easy cleaning. The bars should be metal because they will chew them. Avoid plastic and painted coatings.
What does a degu need in the cage
One of the fun things about degu cages is adding all the things your degu needs to be happy and healthy.
Here we list the cage accessories you will need
1. Shelves and levels
Degus like to run and jump, so lots of levels are needed in the cage. These should be made of solid metal or wood and should be solid, not wire. Degus that have wire inside their cage may develop bumblefoot. Some cages come supplied with suitable shelves, however don’t be put off buying a cage with plastic or wire shelves as these can be easily replaced and sometimes covered inexpensively. Depending on the distance between perches and levels, you may also need to add some ladders. Degus can jump, but don’t expect them to fly!
Degus like somewhere to chill out in peace, and somewhere, often the same place to sleep. My degus like to construct their own little ‘shanty hut’ under one of the low shelves with bits of paper and hay which they sometimes retreat to in the daytime, then at night they sleep in one of the homemade fleece hammocks (see the tutorial on our videos page on how to make these)
They like to keep warm, so a temperature of around 20 degrees is ideal in the room. If it gets chilly we use microwave heat pads for the degus to sit on, which they like very much. There is a review of the heat pads on our reviews page.
All degus are different, so it may take a few attempts to see what their preferred sleeping arrangements are. When we first got our degus we bought them a little wooden house, but they only sat on it, and never went inside! The little reed huts were also popular but were destroyed in a matter of weeks. Small cardboard boxes are also good for degus to sleep and hide in. Stick to natural cardboard, i.e. something which isn’t heavily printed. They will shred it at some point, but at least it hasn’t cost anything.
Again, no wire floors, keep them solid. Out Little Zoo flight cage has a wire floor insert which we covered with ceramic tiles. You then need to add some wood shaving s to the base of the cage. This is why you should try and get a cage with a deep base, otherwise you will have a lot of poo and sawdust on the floor all the time. The Savic Royale cage is ideal for this, and my degus are saving up for one!
Degus like to chew, so don’t ever give them plastic toys. Wooden sticks are a great addition, as they also help to keep the degus teeth down. You can buy bundles of suitable sticks, or if you have fruit trees in the garden, then these are also ideal. In the summer I give our degus apple, plum, cherry and hazelnut tree branches with the leaves still on. Make sure they are free of pesticides and from a disease free tree.
Degus like tubes too. Cardboard tubes and hay tubes are ideal, but don’t spend a fortune on them as they will get chewed up. Most degus won’t generally eat cardboard, they just shred it.
Degus need fresh clean water constantly available, and a glass water bottle held in place with a metal clip is best. Living world bottle are great quality and well priced.
6. Feeding bowl
A small metal bowl for you degus food is a good addition. We also like to scatter and hide some food to help with enrichment. When we add fresh hay to the cage, we always sprinkle it with a few seeds so the degus can forage naturally for it.
7. Sand bath
Your degu will need to have a sand bath a few times a week to keep their coat healthy. Use chinchilla bathing sand for this, and use a large metal tub. You can see one of degus taking a bath in a large metal trough on our videos page.
8. Degu Wheel
Again, no spokes or bars, the wheel must be solid. We use British made Tic Tac wheel which are big enough and silent for our degus. See our review page for these.
Do degus smell
No. The cage should be cleaned out at least once a week to avoid odours, but degus are clean and not smelly animals at all. Their poop is firm and pretty much odourless, but their urine will smell if you allow it to build up, i.e. if you don’t keep the cage clean. They might not smell, but they are quite messy. If you don’t have a cage with a deep base, expect to spend a lot of time hoovering up wood shavings and poop that will fly out when they dig and run.
Are degus noisy
Degus make lots of noises, around 20 different sounds. They don’t constantly talk, and some will make more noise than others. We’ve got one rescue degu that hardly makes a noise.
What do degus eat
A degu’s diet does not have to complicated. You can buy pellet food specifically for degus. This can be supplemented with some fresh vegetables too. What you have to watch out for is the sugar content as degus can get diabetes quite easily. Unlike many other rodents you can’t give them anything sweet, even apples and carrots should be fed in very small amounts to avoid diabetes.
The fat content of the diet also needs to be controlled, and this is why nuts can only be given once a month.
How long do degus live
The degu lifespan is six to eight years as a pet
Do degus live together or alone
Ideally degus should live together, so if buying for the first time, always buy in pairs or more. These should be existing groups as degus can’t just be introduced to each other. Introducing degus to each other is a long and not always successful process. However there are many situation where you may end up with a single degu, and this is not the end of the world. You will just need to ensure you give them lots of fuss, exercise and time out of the cage. We have a single rescue degu who just doesn’t get on with any of the other degus, and he has adapted to his single life well. He now knows he can bury his food and no one will dig it up!
Are degus tame
There is no guarantee you will be able to pick your degu up. Some are very tame and sit on your shoulder, and others just don’t want to know. However, don’t give up as it can take time for them to trust you. Feed treats fromm you hand, just hold your arm in the cage and wait till them come and feed off your hand. Oats are good for this because they take long to eat, and they are too small for them to run off with. Degus are very curious animals and they just can’t resist coming to look at what you have. Keep talking to them too, they will get used to your voice.
Once they seem relaxed, try and give them a little tickle on the side of the neck, on their forehead or behind the ears. Don’t try and stroke them straight away, as they don’t generally like being touched on their back or tail.
We want to share our experience of keeping Degus. These creatures are fun and inquisitive and make great pets for kids or adults. You might be thinking of buying a Degu or cage so we wanted to create a resource for all the things you need to know. Or you might just want to have a look at ouir Degu videos or blog. This is a free website, but to manage our overheads, we do make a little commission with some of our product links.