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Anyone got degus?

(12 Posts)
Wenchelda Thu 21-Apr-16 19:23:38

I'd never even heard of these animals before today - me & dd went to pet shop to get info about hamsters and gerbils but saw these lovely little creatures and they are adorable. My dc are desperate for a pet - DH refuses a dog, which is what they really want - he suggested a hamster instead. But info at the pet shop said neither hamsters nor gerbils are good for young children (mine are just 6 & 4) and also I didn't realise both breeds are nocturnal too. Just wondered if any degus owners can share their experiences? Thanks

primarynoodle Sat 23-Apr-16 21:48:11

Had degus and they were really easy to tame and handle...

They need a LOT of space though so cage needs to be huge, also this tends to mean they kick woodchippings everywhere so if they are in the lounge/somewhere in sight then this will drive you crazy!

Overall though the degus were much better pets than our rabbits

primarynoodle Sat 23-Apr-16 21:48:42

Than our gerbils****!!

(The rabbits are infinitely better than the degus wink)

Wenchelda Sun 24-Apr-16 17:15:12

Thanks for the reply ... We went to look at them again today and they are definitely very cute and lots of fun, but having researched a bit more about the sort of cage we'd need, I don't know if we've got the space really. The cage they're selling for them in the pet shop isn't big enough at all, and anything bigger would really take over the little spare space we have.

primarynoodle Sun 24-Apr-16 21:03:57

Thats what we found with our cage it was genuinely mahoosive and ended up just driving me insane.

Apparently rats make much better pets than other smaller rodents though

Emochild Sun 24-Apr-16 21:07:37

We had 4 in a large multi level cage

Came downstairs one morning to find out they'd all partaken in a fight to the death!

Rats make much better pets

CoodleMoodle Sun 24-Apr-16 21:15:05

We have two degus. They're lovely and mostly easy to care for, but can be hard work sometimes. The cage has to be big enough (ours is JUST big enough and is huge) and they have a lot of foods they can't eat.

But our boys get on well and spend most of their time snuggling! They'll be six this year.

RattieOfCatan Mon 25-Apr-16 19:14:29

I'd love degus. I have rats currently and if I had the space I would happily have degus too. They really do need a lot of space though. I would also recommend not buying any animal from a pet shop, they are usually fucking clueless in pet shops, especially when it comes to housing! And the animals usually come from rodent farms which are horrible horrible places.

If you are after suggestions for other pets I can totally recommend rats wink my 8 would agree grin they also need big cats but the joy of rats is that floor space is less important than height, so the footprint of the cages is generally smaller.

NeedACleverNN Mon 25-Apr-16 19:21:35

I've been badly bitten by a degu so be aware that if you don't tame it properly it will bite....and hard

I still have the scar grin

glamourcats Tue 26-Apr-16 01:07:10

Totally disagree with rattieofcattan. Not all petshops are 'fucking clueless' or get their animals from rodent farms. Such as ridiculous sweeping statement. Do you really think that you are the only one who knows anything about animal welfare? There are hundreds of petshop out there who are totally clued up on how to care for animals, and who source their animals from ethical breeders. Do you really think that all private breeders are 'better' ? Ridiculous.

RattieOfCatan Tue 26-Apr-16 07:48:16

Glamour: you're correct, not all pet shops (which I never said though I can see how you may have taken that) but most brand name pet shops are clueless about rodents generally and source from farms. A lot of independent ones too. Private, registered breeders usually are a better option than pet shops and had somebody said "how do I find a breeder" I would have happily directed them to the NFRS or equivalent for other animals. If course there are going to be exceptions but it's a generally accepted fact that most pet shops, especially pets corner, pets at home and so on, source their rodents from rodent farms. It doesn't take much to find that out.

tropical1 Wed 25-May-16 16:16:15

We got two females from pets at home for my DSs 10th birthday, he has the (huge) cage in his bedroom.
All was well for the first 3-,4 weeks then they started fighting. It was gruesome, they were both bleeding. The advice on internet was that it's normal behaviour and they will settle. Unfortunately, one died sad it was awful, my DS was distraught. They are not supposed to be alone but we are reluctant to put another degu in with her in case it happens again.
Also, none of our local vets have any knowledge of degus, they class them as exotic pets.
The remaining degu is very cute and sociable but I do feel sorry for her being alone.
I would not have anymore degus to be honest.

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