For the first time, European naturalists discovered the Chilean squirrel in the 18th century. In the scientific world, there was a lot of controversy about it, because scientists did not know what kind of creature to refer to. It has been argued that the degu protein is a relative of rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and mice. However, after all the collected material was systematized, the spores subsided, and it was attributed to the genus of the eight-tooth sonorous.
Chilean squirrel description
The rodent has a rounded head, a short stocky neck, a flat nose, and a curved back. The front legs of the animal are shorter than the hind ones. The hair on the tail ends with a small stiff tassel. The coat of the squirrel is coarse, the color is gray-brown, it may have an orange tint, and on the belly it is yellow-cream. The length of the animal along with the tail reaches 40 centimeters, the weight of an adult individual is 300 grams. However, with a rodent in captivity, the parameters mentioned will be less. Many will certainly ask how long the animals in question live. In fact, squirrel age is short. As a rule, the average life expectancy of nimble beauties does not exceed 4 years. But "under the wing" of the owner, these terms are increasing. Not an exception and degu protein. How much does the animal live at home? With proper care, the squirrel will delight you for at least 6-8 years.
Everyone knows that if a predator grabs a lizard by the tail, it will simply fold it away, and later grow a new one. Also, crayfish easily part with their limbs. But the degu protein with a sharp jerk (or strong fixation) by the tail is deprived of the skin covering it. The skin is easily removed (just like stockings) from the musculoskeletal base. In this case, the leather case remains with the predator, and the animal itself eludes death. Subsequently, the protein bites off the tail. The wound heals fast enough. True, then the animal becomes uncomfortable to jump and climb, but such physiology contributes to the survival of this species in nature.
Degu protein is distinguished by poor eyesight. Due to the location of the eyes, rodents have a wide overview, which helps them to react to danger in time. However, this feature does not allow to clearly perceive objects that are at a distance. But the ear of this animal is very sharp. Between themselves, proteins communicate with high-frequency sounds. The human ear does not perceive this range. Rodents easily distinguish sounds made by animals in moments when they are subject to aggression from the enemy, which also contributes to survival. In addition, the Chilean squirrel has a highly sensitive sense of smell. When moving, she always keeps her nose up, thanks to which she is able to catch the most subtle smells that hover in the air. This feature allows the rodent to navigate in nature.
The next sense organ in squirrels are vibrissae. These are fine hairs, protruding organs of touch. Thanks to them, even at night, the rodent perfectly orientates itself in space. Vibrissae are extremely sensitive, coming into contact with some kind of obstacle, they give signals (nerve impulses) to the brain, due to which the animal gets an idea of the objects surrounding it. In response to the slightest fluctuations of air, these hairs allow the protein to estimate the distance to one or another object.
We now turn to the organs of taste. They have a highly developed rodent. Due to this, the animal avoids the fate of being poisoned, for it will never eat food with poisonous impurities. Chilean protein simply will not eat foods for which it has a negative experience.
Reproductive maturity of the female begins at 12 weeks, the male at 16. The squirrel degu at home is able to breed throughout the year, and in the wild, in the southern part of their habitat, from late February to November. In the northern regions this period is somewhat shorter. The duration of pregnancy in the Chilean squirrel is 87-93 days. Usually born from 3 to 10 kids. Squirrels are covered with hair, have developed teeth and partially open eyes. The average calf mass is 14 grams.
The female feeds the young with milk for 5-6 weeks, until the squirrel reaches a certain degree of independence. The peculiarity of the Chilean squirrel females is that they are ready for new mating immediately after birth. The family of these rodents is distinguished by a division of duties and a developed social behavior. Before the birth, the female produces food independently and protects the habitat. After the birth of offspring, she continues to obtain food, and the protection of the family lies with the male.
Homemade squirrel degu
Despite the not very attractive appearance (we mentioned that the creature looks very much like a rat), these rodents are often turned up as pets. Animals are very suspicious and shy. Before you buy a Chilean squirrel, you must create the necessary conditions for its content. Remember that the key to the peaceful coexistence of people and animals are positive emotions, both for the pet and for the owner.
Chilean squirrel dwelling
The construction of the house for your pet is very important, because the animal is constantly in it. He should be cozy and comfortable. The cage should have good ventilation, be spacious (up to 1 square meter). The height of the walls is not less than 70 cm. Plastic cages for keeping these rodents are not suitable, because at one point, the squirrels will gnaw through the rods and scatter through your apartment. To have a house should be in such a way that it does not fall into direct sunlight. In addition, the degu do not like annoying reeks, music, working television and high temperature. Bringing the cage to the street is not recommended, as these animals are not adapted to our climate.
Chilean squirrel care
Pebbles, roots and branches of trees should be put inside the dwelling, because the degu love to bite the bark and wood. And they like different shelters. In the cage, you can put the wheel, because it is very active creatures, they need to constantly move. In addition, you will need to put the bowls for different types of food. The drinker is better to fix on the wall.
As a litter, it is better to use pressed corn cobs, white paper or rags. Sawdust is not recommended because rodents often have an allergic reaction to them. Cleaning should be carried out in the event of contamination, but at least once a month. Once a day it is necessary to put a bath with sand in which squirrels like to swim. After the procedure, it should be removed, otherwise the rodent uses the reservoir for other purposes (instead of the toilet).
Protein degu: what to feed?
In nature, these animals feed on dry grasses, tree bark, roots and seeds of plants. Here on this and build a diet for your pet. Pet stores sell special feeds adapted for Chilean squirrels. If you are not satisfied with this option, the mixture can be made independently. They must include a variety of grains, oatmeal, cereals, dried peas. In addition, hay is a very important part of the rodent menu, so it must always be present in the feeder. Also degu should eat at least 50 grams of fresh green grass per day. Chilean squirrel gladly eats apples and pears, carrots, radish, cauliflower. However, before giving vegetables and fruits to an animal, they must be thoroughly rinsed in running water and wiped dry. Sunflower nuts and sunflower seeds are considered a special delicacy, but do not abuse these foods, since your pet will have health problems due to obesity.
All the advantages of keeping animals at home
For those who wish to have degu protein, it is first necessary to know the pros and cons of caring for them. The advantages of such pets are the following factors:
- Because of their small feed size, they eat much less than the same guinea pigs or other larger rodents. In addition, for the same reason, they do not have to allocate a lot of space in the house.
- These animals are very clean, so they do not have a specific smell and do not require special hygienic care.
- Chilean degu squirrels are very active, curious and friendly. Quickly attached to the owner and easy to train.
- Daegu drink a little water, so they defecate very little. For this reason, cleaning the cell does not take much time.
- Unlike other nocturnal rodents, these pets are awake during the day along with the owner.
- Compared with rats, hamsters and chinchillas, degus have a longer life span - at least 8-12 years.
- Care for offspring is easy. This process will not require any additional equipment or extra work.
Lack of content
- You can not let the animals walk around the house on their own, as they love to gnaw literally everything - be it shoes, cables or furniture.
- Chilean squirrels degu do not like loneliness, because of this, a prerequisite for their content is breeding.
- Tendency to various diseases, such as the common cold, indigestion and even diabetes. Based on this, if you take care of a sick pet there is neither time nor desire, it is better not to start it at all.
- Little squirrels are big fans of sand baths. In this regard, it is necessary to accept the constant cleaning around the cage.
How to equip a home for the animal
The content of the Chilean degu squirrel, although it does not require any unusual conditions, however, there are a number of features that must be observed for the happy life of a pet in your home. Since the forest and steppe lanes are considered the birthplace of animals, they are accustomed to space. Therefore, they need not a regular cage, but a spacious aviary. Its optimal size is from 1 m wide and from 1.2 m long.
The cell of the Chilean squirrel degu does not fit also because it cannot live alone for long. She needs a couple, as well as a spacious house. In addition, protein may soon have offspring. The aviary itself must be equipped with such devices as a drinking bowl, a feeding trough, a house in the form of a mink, a running wheel, several shelves located at different levels, a stone for grinding teeth and claws. In addition, you will need a container with sand, in which the degu like to dig, as well as paper litter with sawdust.
Where to place the aviary
For this purpose, a bright and warm place is suitable, but it must be remembered that direct sunlight can only harm the Chilean degu squirrel. At home, this crumb needs to be protected from drafts, because caring for a sick animal is not such a joy. The optimum temperature for its content is from +24 to +28 ⁰C. Aviary with animals should be located at the level of human eyes. This is due to the fact that birds of prey in nature are hunted by birds of prey, therefore they instinctively dread the likely danger from above.
Chilean degu squirrels are very sensitive to both tobacco smoke and other strong odors. They will not be particularly pleasant loud music. As for the presence in the home of other predatory animals, in particular a cat or dog, this is completely unacceptable. After the acquired squirrel is in the house, you should not immediately transplant it into a spacious aviary. She needs time to adapt a bit to the situation and get used to the new smells. To do this, it is recommended for some time to leave the carrier next to the aviary, and after the transplant, put the litter there from the former dwelling.
Since urine and feces do not have an unpleasant pungent odor, no measures should be taken regarding the hygiene of your pet. For a squirrel to live for at least 10 years, it’s enough to fulfill only two conditions. The first of these is proper nutrition, and the second is minimal hygiene, as its animal can provide for itself.
Now find out what they eat Chilean degu squirrels. I must say that these rodents have an excellent appetite, so the best for them is suitable fractional food. For this, the daily rate of food is divided into 4-5 parts. A similar approach to feeding them will provide the animals with good digestion. Then the food will be quickly absorbed, and the animal will remain full and will not gain excess weight.
Consider what you can feed the Chilean squirrel degu. Care, of course, plays a very important role in ensuring that pets feel comfortable, but do not forget about the quality nutrition of animals. The basis of their diet is zernosmes. Additionally, it is also necessary to feed with hay, fresh flowers and leaves of dandelions, alfalfa, branches and foliage of willow, apple and linden. In addition, they need to give fruits, vegetables and greens. For them, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chamomile flowers and leaves, rowan and wild rose berries, nuts will be useful in small quantities.
As you know, diabetes may occur in degu. To prevent this disease, you should not give them green or over-ripe fruits, dairy products and any human food. Do not forget that the longevity of a pet directly depends on its proper feeding.
Influence of indoor plants
The squirrel degu is extremely curious. She is constantly exploring the objects and plants around her, so she can taste the home greenery. If there are poisonous specimens in the room, they must be moved to another location. The most dangerous plants for degu are the needle dish, dieffenbachia, aralia, palm lily, indoor calla, monstera, sensieuria, and spicy root. If it became known that the pet still tried poisonous greens, you should immediately contact your veterinarian for help. The fact is that in case of poisoning Chilean squirrels do not last long, so the bill can go on for minutes.
What to look for when choosing a animal
It is best to buy degu from breeders, as they can show the real conditions where the squirrel parents are kept. Another place where you can buy an exotic pet is a pet shop. Experts do not advise taking the animal in the bird market or on an ad in the newspaper, because such a purchase may be "a cat in a bag" - taking a weak or sick Chilean squirrel, you have to spend a lot of time, effort and money on its treatment.
It is believed that buying degus is best at the age of two months. At this time, squirrel cease to use the mother's milk, and their immune system is already formed. It is necessary to learn from the breeders what feed the animal does to the parents, because they can develop diabetes from malnutrition. It is worth paying special attention to the grooming and behavior of both adults and their children. If good conditions are created for them, they will be inquisitive and will easily make contact, studying with interest a stranger.
Healthy individuals should have a flat and smooth coat, a tassel at the tip of the tail and shiny eyes, as in the photo of the Chilean squirrel degu presented in this article. It is known that puberty in females begins at the age of one and a half months. From this time on, it is possible to contain protein only with same-sex individuals, since inbreeding and pregnancy should not be allowed to be, in fact, a small animal.
The Chilean squirrel degu evokes mixed emotions with its owners, from complete adoration to irritation. However, the majority still note that this is a very cute, lively and sociable animal, which brings a lot of positive emotions. It is quite easy to tame if you talk to him and spend some time nearby.
The disadvantages include the fact that there are no qualified veterinarians who could get practical advice in a given situation. Also, many owners say that they should not let animals out of an open-air cage, as they can chew on anything, including furniture. These animals make loud noises - they are beeping, chirping, chattering or gnawing cages. This mainly occurs during the day, but sometimes they can make such noise at night.
The article gave the main recommendations for the care, maintenance and nutrition of Chilean squirrels at home. However, there are various unforeseen situations, so it is better to find out in advance whether there is a veterinary clinic nearby where a specialist is in charge of treating these animals. In order for a smart and inquisitive pet to please you with its presence for many years, you need to treat the animal well, feed it properly, and take care of its health, completely eliminating drafts and removing poisonous plants for it.
Rodent Description and Characteristics
Degu is also called the Chilean squirrel. This is a small decorative rodent with short fur and elongated ears. Родина дегу — лесистые и песчано-скальные районы гор Анды (Южная Америка). Травоядные чилийские белки очень подвижны и энергичны днём, но плохо переносят полуденный зной и прямые лучи солнца.
В природе существуют жёлто-коричневые и серо-коричневые разновидности дегу. Сегодня встречаются искусственно выведенные песочные, пятнистые и голубые вариации. Брюшко светлее спинки.
Характеристики чилийских белок:
- длина туловища — 9-22 см,
- мордочка вытянутая,
- уши длинные, округлые,
- tail - 65-105 cm, ends with a brush,
- weight - up to 500 g,
- the coat is short, soft.
Attention! If you grab the degu by the tail and sharply pull it, the skin will tear off like a stocking. This is a natural defense mechanism against predators. The animal then bites off the bare tail.
The structure and location of the eyes do not allow the degu to see well. But the Chilean squirrel has excellent hearing and smell. In the natural habitat of the animal is perfectly oriented, not only during the day, but at night. The life span of a degu in the wild - 6-10 years, in room conditions - 8-12 years.
The advantages of keeping a rodent at home
Advantages of the Chilean squirrel as a home inhabitant:
- Small dimensions. A lot of space for degu is not needed.
- Modesty in the diet. Food and water for decorative animals require less than for guinea pigs.
- High activity. Inquisitive and energetic degu will not let you be bored and will become the favorites of children, who are cautious in their use with rodents. The biological rhythms of the pet and its owners will be the same.
Negative nuances of keeping a rodent at home
With all the advantages, the degu is an exotic beast for the European climate. No matter how many generations ago he was brought to Russia, he still remains a native inhabitant of a warm, humid, swampy hill. From the situation in his new home, degu awaits some of the usual features:
- Sand baths. Crumbs love poking around in the sand, vigorously sweeping it apart. Get ready for cleaning around the cage.
- Sharpening teeth. Degu has 8 pairs of incisors that grow all their life and constantly need a warm-up. Without supervision, the pet will chew on any suitable material: wooden furniture, shoes, wires.
- Company. In solitude, the rodent grows poorly, loses activity and may even die. In the cage should live at least two pets.
Attention! A side effect of degu adaptation in northern latitudes is soreness. Errors in maintenance and care lead to disorders of the digestive system, colds and even diabetes.
Recommendations for buying an exotic pet
Only a degu-age of about 2 months will adapt well to the conditions of your house. At this time, the protein ceases to suck the mother's milk and develops to the maximum its immune system. Experienced breeders are advised to buy the animal from other owners or in the pet store. In the first case, you will get acquainted with the living conditions of the parents of the baby, in order to provide the degu roughly the same conditions. Find out what fed adult animals. With an incorrect diet, they may develop diabetes. This will negatively affect offspring.
If parents are well-groomed, active and contactless, it means that they are healthy. In a specialized store, they can only tell about the content of the animal in words, but will give guarantees regarding the health of the squirrel. A full-fledged degu baby has an even and smooth coat, shiny black eyes. Tassels at the end of the tail may not be.
Features of the rodent
Key principles of the content of the Chilean squirrel are presented in the video. Degu are usually grown in pairs of about the same age. Ideal for a spacious multi-tiered cage. It is permissible to replace it with an aquarium with a grill instead of a roof. Inside it is necessary to locate:
- litter of shavings or clean paper
- a small closed house for the nest,
- sand tray for swimming (away from home),
- obstacles and accessories for warming up your teeth from natural materials,
- squirrel wheel
- suspended shelves,
- 3-4 pans for different foods and water.
Attention! The cage should be placed away from drafts and the rays of the sun.
Degu eats almost any plant food:
- fresh greens of clover, alfalfa, lettuce,
- quality hay
- bark and branches of apple, pear, linden,
- dry fruits without high sugar capacity.
You can almost completely replace the diet of finished feed. When offspring appears, spread the females and males at about 1.5 months. Related mating is not allowed. Weigh the pros and cons before buying a degu. The animal is sociable and interesting, but requires attention and scrupulousness in the care.
Protein degu: features of the content
The Chilean squirrel is a very interesting animal, belonging to the family of eight teeth. The animal is small, round body does not exceed 22 cm in length. The tail is a decoration: a long, thin, topped with a flirty brush. The degu's muzzle is slightly elongated, the eyes are small, but very lively. The animal can not boast of sharp eyesight, but it has a great hearing and smell.
Degu's coat is dense, reddish-gray or sandy, belly slightly lighter. The weight of an adult animal is 200-300 g. With good care, Chilean squirrels live in captivity for 8-12 years. Pets feel better in the company of tribesmen, so experienced breeders recommend purchasing several animals at once. Degu are non-aggressive, friendly, it is interesting to watch their games not only for children, but also for adults.
Pets are active during the day and prefer to rest at night. It is important to provide them with a cozy shelter, where shy little animals can hide. Daeghu little drink and do not defecate as often as other domestic rodents. This greatly facilitates care.
Degu needs a spacious open-air cage; in a small cage, a mobile animal will be uncomfortable. The room is equipped with a feeding trough, a trough, a running wheel, a mink house, shelves and a ladder. In the aviary necessarily placed a stone for the point of the teeth. Absorbent bedding with sawdust and sand bath required for wool cleaning will be required. The open-air cage is placed in a bright and warm place, protected from drafts and direct sunlight.
Releasing the animal from the aviary is possible only for a short time. An unattended pet gnaws at everything that it sees: furniture, wires, shoes. The danger for the Chilean squirrel is represented by many indoor plants and domestic animals.
What to feed the Chilean squirrel
In the wild, degu feed on bark, tree roots, various seeds and herbs. At home, the basis of the pet's diet can be prepared dry mixes that are sold in pet stores. A delicious mix for Chilean squirrels can be made by yourself. It will include oatmeal, various grains, dried peas. Grain mixture will complement the hay, it should always be in the trough.
Obligatory part of the diet - fresh grass and leaves of apple, cherry, linden. Adult Chilean squirrel should eat about 50 g of greens per day. Treats will be fresh vegetables and fruits: cauliflower, carrots, radish, apples, pears. Degu are very fond of sunflower seeds and pumpkins, but you should not give them in large quantities, otherwise the pet faces obesity. Rosehips and rowan berries, chamomile and dandelion flowers, and various nuts are useful. You can not spoil the animal with dairy products, sweets, bread and other dishes from the owner's table - the wrong diet can provoke diabetes.
It is necessary to feed a degu often - 4-5 times a day, in small portions. Eaten fruits and vegetables are cleaned on time, replacing fresh. In the drinker should always be fresh water, preferably filtered or bottled.
Daegu - cute, hand-trained rodents
Daegu - small South American rodent. Among the other common names for this animal are two - a bush rat and a Chilean squirrel. The animal is characterized by high activity with relatively small sizes. An adult individual reaches up to 30 cm in length, with a weight of only 200-300 g. In nature, there are only two colors of degus: brown-yellow or chestnut-gray.
The hair of the Chilean squirrel is hard and dense. Like most rodents, these animals have 8 pairs of teeth that grow throughout life. Degu can adapt to living in the home, if they are provided with appropriate conditions. With proper maintenance and nutrition, such a pet lives up to 6-8 years.
To start or not to start - that is the question
Intelligent and inquisitive degu will be excellent pets
To keep an exotic pet at home is a responsible decision. Before you dare and buy a degu, you need to clearly define whether this animal is suitable for you or not. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of keeping a Chilean squirrel in a house.
- Compared to large pets, rodents consume far less food.
- Degu takes up little space in the apartment, just enough to determine the location of the cell.
- These animals are very inquisitive, active and sociable. With proper upbringing, they become attached to their master.
- Degu do not have a specific smell and do not require special hygienic care.
- Rodents are diurnal, and the owner will be able to sleep at night without any extraneous noise.
- Since the Chilean squirrel is a steppe animal, it consumes little liquid and produces little discharge. Clean the cage will not as often as with the content of other rodents.
- Daegu - long-lived. Unlike rats, hamsters and chinchillas, they live up to 8 years.
- The pregnancy of the female lasts 3 months, and it can bring up to 3 litters a year. Given the small number of cubs, problems with the implementation of the offspring does not arise.
- Degu is bathed in sand, which will pour out of the cage, so you will need to clean it regularly around it.
- To tame a rodent is not as easy as a cat or a dog. But with proper attention and patience this is possible.
- Degu like to try different things on the tooth: cables, furniture upholstery, shoes. Releasing the animal for a walk, you will need to control the movement and actions of your pet, so that it does not cause damage.
How to choose
So, you have carefully studied all the “for” and “against” the content of degu in the apartment and are ready to purchase. What features should be considered at the time of purchase of a pet? Consider the main ones:
- The most important aspect is the age of the animal. The best to take a degu 1,5-2 months. Until this time, the cubs eat mother's milk, which cannot be replaced by any food. At the same time, babies develop strong immunity, habits and survival skills, which are transmitted by an adult individual.
- Pay attention to the conditions of the parents: whether the cage is clean, the animals are well-groomed, healthy.
- Take an interest in the diet of adult degu from whom you want to pick up a baby. If the owners feed their pets incorrectly, then the risk of developing diabetes in small rodents increases dramatically.
- Look at the behavior of parents. Animals kept in good conditions are not shy, they will not run away. On the contrary, they will explore with interest the new guests.
- In a healthy baby, the degu have a smooth and even coat, with no bald spots. Eyes shine, dry and without any discharge. The absence of a brush on the tail is not a sign of a sick degu, but only a feature of appearance.
- The male parent must live in a separate cage, as it can cover females that have reached the age of 1.5 months. And this means that you risk to take home already pregnant little degus. If rodents are given after 2 months, then degu girls must be in the same dwelling with their mother, and boys with their father. Young males that have reached this age can also cause early fertilization. The result is pregnancy and inbreeding at the same time.
Selection and equipment of the cell
Cage equipment option for several degus
Cage rig for comfortable degus life
Degu like a spacious cage. Do not forget that this animal is a steppe. Therefore, choose an open-air cage, the size of which is not less than 120x50x100 cm. There should be enough space for research, and therefore a small cage with a primitive snap can not do.
Important! Consider that the degu live alone a little. They need to be kept in pairs, so for a comfortable dwelling of several animals you will need a more spacious dwelling.
Make sure that each degu has the following elements inside the enclosure:
- Your house, as well as several “shelters” in the form of minks (you can adapt for this purpose old clay pots).
- Also in the cage should be shelves installed at different levels. They must be carefully fixed to the walls so that the animal does not hurt during active movements.
- Bowls for food (several required).
- Drinkers for rodents.
- Laying (for degu need to use white paper, and on top of it pour a layer of sawdust or pressed corn cobs).
- Running wheel.
- Stone or strong bar (for grinding teeth).
- Bath with sand for swimming.
The cage must be located away from direct sunlight and drafts. If you are too sensitive to sounds, then place the cage away from the bed so that the rodents do not interfere with your sleep.
Important! Having brought home a small degu, in no case be in a hurry to get it and replace it in a new dwelling. Leave the animal in a temporary carry next to the cage for a day. Otherwise, the animal will be under stress and may never get used to the hands.
After the small degu is transplanted into a new dwelling, take part of the old litter and put it in the cage. So the pet will be calmer.
Degu life in an apartment is full of dangers that need to be protected
Due to their physiological characteristics and origin, all rodents are susceptible and fearful. Therefore, the safety of a small degu should be given special attention. To ensure the comfort of a pet, the following points should be considered:
- Degou are sensitive to heat, high humidity, cold and noise, so keep the cage away from the window. The ideal temperature is + 24 ° С ... + 26 ° С.
- Under natural conditions, birds of prey are the main threat to the animals, so rodents are afraid of “attacks from the sky” on an instinctive level. They will not feel comfortable if the cell is too low and the person is leaning towards it daily. It is best to arrange the enclosure so that its central part is at the level of the owner's eyes.
- In the room where degu are kept, you can not smoke. For the same reason, it is not recommended to keep the animals in the kitchen, as there are many sources of sharp odors for the rodent.
- Do not turn on loud music or TV near the cage with your pet.
- Also, do not keep degu in the same room with a cat or dog. The hunting instincts of larger pets can take over, and then the Chilean squirrel will be sacrificed.
The important point is also that the cage with the animal can not be placed in a room with poisonous plants. The following representatives of flora are dangerous for these animals:
- spicy root,
- flamingo flower
- palm lily,
- christmas star
- room aralia,
- room calla.
If, however, the animal tasted any of the above plants, the animal should be shown to the vet as soon as possible. The time count in such a situation goes on for minutes.
Walk with degu
During the walk you need to follow degu
The main advantage of degu is their sociability. There are cases when rodents like rats, guinea pigs or hamsters were tied to humans, but they are far from the Chilean squirrel. This inquisitive and cute little animal easily gets used to the host society, and if you regularly engage with your pet, it becomes absolutely tame.
Walking is one of the ways of spending time together, bringing you closer to your pet. However, this process has its own subtleties:
- Unarranged degu should not walk. For an animal, it will become an additional stress, it will run away and hide. Therefore, first make contact with your pet.
- The regularity of walks depends on the size of the cell. If your degu lives in a spacious aviary, then it is enough to release it 2-3 times a week. Otherwise, you need to walk the animal daily. These rodents are very active and must move a lot, otherwise they will fall ill and die suddenly.
- While walking around the house, the animal must not be let out of sight. There are a lot of dangers in the room that await the degu at every step. The worst thing is wiring. A rodent will not be able to pass by such a seductive object as a cable. If you do not watch your pet, it can be seriously affected.
- Even the most tame degu will not disregard such items as telephones, cameras and other equipment. The equipment is of particular interest to them. Therefore, you need to hide such devices in advance from your pet.
- Daegu is very inquisitive. These small rodents will definitely explore all possible angles and “minks”. Animals often get into awkward situations (for example, stuck between the sofa and the wall), so watch out for their movements.
- Consider that Chilean squirrels love paper, especially shabby paper. К тому же они отлично лазают по стенам и полкам. Если не хотите распрощаться с домашней библиотекой, побеспокойтесь о её сохранности заранее.
- Дегу не оставят без внимания тканые изделия. Они любят проделывать дырки в одежде и постельном белье, особенно если на вещах есть запах хозяина.
- Также учтите, что зверьки очень юркие и гибкие. They quickly move around the apartment, falling under their feet. Therefore, be careful not to pinch the pet with the door or accidentally step on it.
- When walking a degu, always keep your balcony and windows closed.
- Do not allow the animal to run on the armrests of chairs and sofas, cabinets and tables. Despite the developed instincts, the animal can break and break.
Food: what to eat and how often to feed
Degu diet should be approached with great responsibility.
Having brought degu home, you first need to feed him on the usual menu. It is necessary to learn from breeders what exactly was included in the diet of a small pet. Even if the food was not quite right, still the rodent should be transferred to a new diet gradually. For this you need to gradually put in the bowl of the animal the food that you plan to use in the future. So the pet will survive the change of conditions more easily.
Important! All new feeds for degu need to be introduced little by little, increasing the dose to normal. This also applies to fresh vegetables.
The optimal way of feeding involves fractional feeding. The daily portion intended for a pet is best divided into 3-5 small parts, and then given degus throughout the day. With this approach, the animal will not feel hunger, and the assimilation of food will take place better than when eating the entire portion at a time.
In the diet degu must include:
- hay (used year-round, but in summer it can be partially replaced with fresh grass),
- grain mixture (wheat, barley, millet, oats, cereals),
- fresh leaves and flowers of clover, dandelion,
- leaves, twigs and bark of apple, willow, pear, linden,
- lettuce, plantain,
- dried fruits (apples, pears).
As a treat, you can give:
- rose hips or hawthorn
- dry corn kernels
- fruits of chokeberry,
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Important! All delicacies are given in meager amounts, so as not to harm the digestion of degus.
In addition, you can use ready-made food for chinchillas or guinea pigs (without sugar additives). Degus are prone to diabetes, so sweets like raisins, dried apricots, dates should be excluded from the diet. You should also limit the intake of fatty foods (such as nuts).
The list of prohibited products for degus should include the following:
- overripe fruit,
- dairy products,
- all food cooked for humans.
Bathing and cleaning
Bathing in the sand is all about hygiene care
Chilean squirrels are very clean. Bathing in water is categorically contraindicated for them, as the animal can catch a cold and become seriously ill. Instead, the degu swim in the sand. You will need to purchase a special bath, which is sold in pet stores and is designed for chinchillas, and then pour into it fine clean sand and 1 teaspoon of talcum powder. Such bathing allows degreasing of the coat, which is extremely important for maintaining the health of degus.
Regarding cell cleaning, there are also rules. It must be cleaned at least 1 time per week from faeces. Every day you need to remove the remnants of wet food, so that it does not rot. Those places of the litter, where degus spilled water from the drinker, should be immediately replaced with dry ones, since the animal is prone to cold. Once a month, it is necessary to do a general cleaning, but do not change the entire litter, because it is important for the pet to feel the familiar smell in its home.
How to train degu at home
Degu are easy to train
Many people mistakenly believe that rodents can not be trained. However, those who have had experience with degu know that these animals are capable of return, and are also very quick-witted when executing commands. Due to natural curiosity and friendliness, these rodents easily perform simple maneuvers. For example, you can teach your degu to execute the following commands:
- “Circling”. Take a piece of treat in your hands and attract the attention of your pet. Then twist over his head with a treat. If the animal rotates correctly, encourage it with a treat.
- "Here". This command is used if we need the animal to come to the specified location. You can teach the degus to it by the following actions: hold the treat in your hand and wag the rodent in the right direction, while repeating: “This way”. In time, the degu will follow the hand, even without encouragement.
- "Jump". At this command, the pet will be able to move from one knee to another, following the treat. Gradually, you can complicate the task and put two podiums with a ring in the middle. As a result of the workout, the degu will jump through the hoop like a circus artist.
- "It is impossible." Often inquisitive rodents do something that is not to their liking. In this case, you need to practice this command. For example, as soon as you notice that your degu gnaws on furniture or makes digging in an unnecessary place, clap your hands loudly at once. Over time, this sound will be associated with the signal - it is impossible to continue the action.
- Special attention deserves training, aimed at ensuring that the degu independently climbed into your hand. It can not be learned by the team, but it is still possible to cultivate such a habit in a pet. For this you need to do the following manipulations:
- for starters, let your little animal get out of the cage, look around and sniff your hand,
- if degu approaches the palm of your own hand, encourage it with a treat,
- repeat the procedure until the animal is no longer afraid to walk on your arm,
- as soon as he puts his paws on his palm, treat him
- then stop rewarding in this vein and give him treats only when the degus will climb on the arm completely,
- a few weeks later, the animal will willingly climb to your palm and without rewards.
Important! Do not squeeze the hand when it is a rodent. This will serve as an alarm because the animal is afraid of predator attacks.
Possible diseases and their treatment methods
Degu health should be monitored closely.
Degu are prone to digestive disorders, diabetes, catarrhal diseases and problems with wool. Home treatment is not carried out, as it is too dangerous for the pet. Every minute counts. Therefore, just in case, please have a telephone of a veterinarian who has experience in degu treatment.
In your power to prevent disease. To do this, you must carefully monitor the health of your pet. Key points to pay attention to:
- Control of food and weight of the animal. To do this, it is recommended to weigh the degu every month, comparing the results. Drastic weight loss or weight gain may indicate serious problems. The norm for an adult individual is 230-260 g.
- Control of drinking liquids. Inadequate water intake causes constipation, and excessive water is a sign of diabetes. The rate for a couple of adults is 1 liter of water per month.
- Check mucous membranes. Watch degu eyes. In healthy rodents they are dark, the eyelids are fully open. If red or pale spots appear, immediately consult a doctor. This may be a sign of inflammation of the retina.
- Observation of sounds. The hoarse hissing of degu indicates that the animal is irritated or feels bad, a shrill squeak means anxiety before the approaching danger, and melodious beautiful sounds mean sympathy for the opposite sex.
- Control physical activity. Healthy degu run around exploring the world around them. For their normal life it is necessary to release the animals at will not less than 2-4 hours daily. This allows you to maintain emotional and physical condition in normal.
Degu become popular pets due to its docile disposition, interesting appearance and kindness. These amazing animals do not require special care, and with proper education and due attention from the owner can become a pet hand.