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Just What Is A Degu

Updated on December 21, 2009
Many people hear the name Degu and wonder now what in the world is a Degu. Degu's are also referred to as Brush Tail Rats.
Many people hear the name Degu and wonder now what in the world is a Degu. Degu's are also referred to as Brush Tail Rats.
You really need to keep three or more Degu's together in a large cage or enclosure for them to be happy.
You really need to keep three or more Degu's together in a large cage or enclosure for them to be happy.

Do You Know What A Degu Is

Degu's are small rodents from Chile that are also known as the brush tailed rat though they are not closely related to rats. The Degu is more closely related to the Chinchilla and the Guinea Pig.

In the wild Degu's live in large groups in burrows. Degu's are social animals. Degu females nest together and feed each others young. Degu's have up to 15 unique voice sounds and they communicate well with each other.

Degu's are now becoming very popular as pets and you will now find them offered in most of your larger pet shops.

Degu's have unique bubbly personalities and are quite docile. They really do learn who the human is that takes care of them and they become quite attached. In captivity under ideal conditions they should live 12 or more years.

Degu's are social animals and like to live in groups. Don't try to keep one Degu by its self.
Degu's are social animals and like to live in groups. Don't try to keep one Degu by its self.

Degu's really do bond well with the person who provides them with their care and they are known to try to groom their human companions. Their incisor and molar teeth are going to continually grow and you must provide them with mineral blocks and blocks of wood to chew on. As they do like to chew on things a lot you can not keep them in plastic enclosures or in cages with plastic bottoms as they will shortly chew their way out.

You will find that degu's are one of the most curious animals you will ever meet. I would suggest adding little bells tied around your degu enclosure and several small mirrors. A large multilevel cage will work out best for your degu's. And you want to avoid cedar or pine shavings. Hardwood shavings are fine.

Like Chinchilla's Degu's need a dust bath so at least once a week provide a large bowl of chinchilla dust so the degu's can take a dust bath. Its really fun to watch them take a dust bath. Feed them high quality guinea pig or chinchilla food and rodent blocks. You should make grass hay like timothy hay available at all times. You can also offer a small amount of alfalfa. You can also offer in small amounts peeled uncooked sweet potatoes , carrots , broccoli and leafy greens. But only offer these items in small amounts as to much can cause diarrhea. Avoid vegetables that are members of the cabbage family altogether. Give peanuts , nuts in the shell and raw pesticide free sunflower seeds as treats.

Use gravity water bottles and be sure that you change the water often and every two to three days wash their water bottles with soap and water to prevent bacteria growth.

Never pick up your Degu by the tail because they can lose their tail as a natural defense method.

A exercise wheel should be a part of your degu enclosure as your degu's will really enjoy it and they need the exercise.You can give your degu's untreated branches of pine , apple , hazlenut to chew on. When they chew up the branches give them fresh branches. And degu's will enjoy the same toys as birds and parrots.

Restrict the sources of sugar in your degu's diet as they can quite easily become diabetic. You will want to give your degu's evening primrose oil each month to insure a shiny coat and healthy skin. Just add a few drops to their food about once a month.

Do Your Research:  Before you commit to buying any pet including a degu, please do your own independent research. Do everything possible to learn everything about degu's you possibly can before you ever purchase one. And remember you need to keep degu's in groups of two or more. Degu's are very social animals.

The text on this Hub Page was produced by Thomas Byers for this Hub Page and is not to be copied or used on other sites. Today's date is  Monday , December 21 , 2009.

Degus like to chew...a lot !

Degus As Pets

Feeding My Degus

Do you own a Degu? Post your comments , questions , suggestions or tips now. Let us all hear from you soon.

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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for a well informed hub.

      Take care

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      philipbonde 

      7 years ago

      Degus are considered as most wonderful pets ever ...they can chill you out with their significance importance...

    • profile image

      philipbonde 

      7 years ago

      Degus are considered as most wonderful pets ever ...they can chill you out with their significance importance..

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Before you commit to buying any pet including a degu, please do your own independent research. Do everything possible to learn everything about degu's you possibly can before you ever purchase one. I figured that covered it. But yes they should check state laws.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      You may want to include, that Degus' are not legal to have as pets in every state, so if interested, one needs to check state laws.

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