MISC Photos - Page 1

Kyle the Degu...named after the Kyle of South Park fame.
Thanks to Paul for coming up with the name!!

Stan, the Degu. Again of South Park fame. and Again, thanks Paul!

Tiger, who is the official guardian of Stan and Kyle.
She takes her job VERY seriously too!

Squeak and Kyle playing on the couch.

Stan and Kyle playing on the couch.

Squeak and Stan playing on the couch.

Tiger and Kyle playing. Arent they cute!?


**NOTE: - Most of this information I have gotten online.
I will add my own observations in parenthesis.

What is a degu?

In short a degu is a small rodent from the coastal areas of Chile. To go into more detail, a degu is a member of the octodont rodent family in the rodent sub-order cavyomorph. This means that they are closely related to guinea pigs, chinchillas , agoutis and capybara. Their Latin name is octodon degus , the octodon refers to their teeth on which the orange chemical forms a figure eight.

What is the best diet for a degu?

In the coastal and lower Andes mountains, degus eat mostly simple forms of plant life and tubers. They do not eat anything with sugar in it. Because of this they have evolved in such a way that they are not capable of assimilating glucose into their systems. It is as if they are diabetic. The best food for them will not contain any sugar. Guinea pig food is a good idea with the occasional carrot. Hay blocks, timothy hay and alfalfa is also very good for them. Sweet potatoes are good as are other yellow vegetables. I have read that potato skins and roots are very toxic to them so make sure that when you give them sweet potatoes that there are no signs of roots or skin, only the yellow stuff itself. Nuts such as sun flower seeds and peanuts should only be given as a treat, if their food has either of these in it, take the time to remove then and give a few of them as a treat once a day.

How long do they live?

This is something that is up to great debate. A degus life span can vary greatly depending on several factors. Diet seems to be the most prominent one. Degus who have sugar in their diets will suffer from the same types of health ailments that diabetic people who don't get insulin suffer from. This will greatly decrease their life span. If they are given the diet listed under "diet" then they should be healthy. Because of this, a life span of a degu in captivity can be anything from 5 - 9 years. 5 - 6 years is more realistic as of 1000 degus that were studied in captivity only 1 of them lived to be 9 years old. In the wild however that life span is greatly shortened. Of all wild degus only 50% will live to see their first birthday and only 1% will live to see their 2nd.

What is thier behaviour?

Degu behaviour is very fascinating. They are intensely hyper sometimes and very tranquil at others. To some it may appear that they never sleep because they always seem to be on the go or ready to leap. They do sleep at night but have short sleep cycles which means that when they do fall asleep they wake up again only about 20 minutes later. While they will get a full nights sleep each night they tend to do it in lots of little bits. Humans also do this but our sleep cycles are much longer. They love to run around and climb and love getting into dark, warm places. Degus are very social with both people and each other. When they see each other they will almost always react in some sort of way. In most cases two male degus will not get along together and will fight. However there are some cases where two males may get along. If two males that are brothers who have been together since birth are kept in the same cage and there are no females within smelling distance then they should get along. Two males from separate litters may also get along also if no females can be seen or smelled etc. However if you do put two males in the same cage and they do fight then separate them as they will fight to the death in almost all cases if they are not stopped. Female degus apparently will get along with each other. The females get along just fine and only seem to have small amounts of bickering over who is going to be the 'boss'. If a degu sees a person it recognizes it may react with a variety of sounds depending on it's mood. Don't be surprised if a degu jumps out of it's cage when it wants out and you have taken the lid off. On the topic of lids a good lid to get is a wire mesh type lid or anything they cannot chew through but will still allow air in. When you have degu's out it is important to keep a close watch on them at all times. They are very curious and are always exploring their environment. They can run very fast and because of their size it is easy for them to get away and get into things. Because of this you should never let a degu run free out of it's cage. When you pick them up it is best to let them step into your hand rather then simply grabbing them, grabbing can result in scaring them and you may end up getting bit. Never pick a degu up by the tail or grab the tail, degus have the ability to drop their tails like a lizard if it is grabbed and unlike a lizards tail it doesn't grow back.

My Own Thoughts on Degu's

March 5th - When I first saw these little guys, I thought,
Oh How Cute! They have tiny little hands, similar
to our hands, but with 4 'fingers' instead of 5.
Now I am not a person that really cares for rodents the way some people do about rats and other tiny furry little things, but I fell in love with these two guys.
They LOVE to be held.
I must say they will chew the heck out of anything you give them!
My hubby, Paul, built them a little house out of big lego's. Needless to say, half the house is gone now, but they still like to get in there and sleep. :-)
They dont seem to mind the cats staring at them 24/7. Actually, I think they kind of like it!
They squeak. Almost like mice.
They ARE community animals. Dont like to be left alone. So if you ever decide to get a Degu, you really should get a pair! Just make sure if you do, and dont want babies, then get two of the same sex. :-)
They are VERY fast. So if you get one and let it out of it's cage, watch them closely! They are kinda like ferrets in that reguard. They will get into everything! LOL

They are wonderful pets though! You CAN train them! They are Very intelligent!

March 27th, 2006 - After having these cute little guys in my life for a couple weeks, here are a couple more little thoughts on them!
Both Kyle and Stan have distinct personalities,
just like any other animal you may own. They also have thier mood swings. One day they will want to come to you, and then the next they are saying "Get Out Of My Face!"

Kyle is my "lover" as I refer to him. He likes to be held and cuddle on the couch. He IS a BIG TV fan! Scooby Doo and Kids Next Door are his favorites! Seriously! I am NOT making this up! LOL

Stan, however, is the atttention hog. He HAS to be right there when you are doing something. He isnt a big fan of handling, but he will climb up onto my shoulder if I have Alfalfa in my hand and he wants some. LOL He loves Tiger. They play together all the time! It is just too cute!

Both boys are just the sweetest guys. It's like having cats, except you dont have to worry about changing the litter box every other day! :-)


Degu Information    Degu Guide    Degu on Wikipedia

Exotic Pets    Some Good Clear pics of Degu's with babies!

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