Opinion on breeding


Why buy a Degu from the breeder ?

quite simple ...

Many shops now offer a comprehensive service for food, entertainment and dealing with degus, but most degus come from so-called mass breeding. There the animals are kept in too large groups into the tightest spaces. Socialization is, as with any animal, very important and is practiced only insufficiently or not at all by the breeders. The inbreeding in such establishments can not be entirely ruled out, which affects the health and life of the animal.


An unbalanced diet in adolescence, the unnatural light, the knocking on the window Child and the resulting fears or psychological damage can be a problem later in life of degus. Many owners give as a result their degus the shelter from because they are too wild or snappy.


The purchase of degus from a breeder includes not only a chance to visit the parents, but also to get the living conditions of the first weeks. One can his new companion search of small and watch him grow up in the first 7 weeks.


The pairings are carefully selected and the living conditions are always visited with reputable breeders. Socialization takes place from the first days and the health of the boy is checked regularly. Also, the desire for a particular color are more satisfied than in a pet shop here.


As a breeder it also represents a focal point for future issues to Posture / nursing / and nutrition.

Where are my pets from?


German ARD political magazine "Report Mainz" and the German news magazine "Der Spiegel" ( 14/04/2015 ) .

Known pet shops and retail stores on investigation.


Reportage: Report Mainz - Gequälte Kreaturen in Zoogeschäften (Massenzucht)



As with any species, it is important carefully choose the matings to obtain a healthy and strong line and prevent genetic defects. Therefore, no Degu is used for breeding of which the pedigree is not known. To maintain genetic diversity bring the hobby breeders not only from Germany new degus to but also from neighboring countries. The networking of farms is therefore particularly important to counteract to a possible mating with related degus.


By following these principles, we are able to establish some healthy breeding lines and so be able to control the color breeds better.


  • Careful selection of breeding animals
  • Exchange with other hobby breeders, even across borders
  • Breeding animals with pedigree
  • Triage to health and character
  • Veterinary examinations Genetic abnormalities, genetic diseases or other restrictions are considered disqualifying
  • Delivery of the offspring only in good health
  • Examining the future management conditions at delivery



A topic that is very close to my heart:


The difference between selected breeding and "I make babies",

how do I recognize a reputable breeder!


"But I would like to have babies once"

"It is for personal use"

"Our buck / female is sooo great we want to preserve the genes / character"


... the justification of many multipliers, which unfortunately is not based on any plausible basis. These degus have neither a pedigree, nor are parents or origins known, do diseases occur in the line or are the animals even at the right age for a litter ?? .. but that is not so important to you ... because they is still more wonderful degus ... and that's why you really want to have babies once, or twice ... what should happen.


Just "hop and go" with the buck or female to the existing degus? They just have to mate, it won't be that complicated, or ... Degus in particular who are receptive are often prone to aggression that can lead to the death of their conspecifics. Socialization must always take place. When the buck has had its day, will it be given back? Does he have to sit alone? Where is he going

Bis zu welchem Alter sollte ein Degu Weibchen den ersten Wurf bekommen haben? Ja, sowas muss ein richtiger Züchter wissen, danach steigt das Risiko erheblich. Vielleicht gibt es Komplikationen, ein Kaiserschnitt ist nötig. Vielleicht stirbt das Weibchen bei der Geburt, vielleicht bekommt sie eine Infektion? Vielleicht bekommt der ganze Wurf eine Darminfektion, Durchfall oder die Mutter hat zu wenig Milch? Vielleicht geht alles gut, aber was ist, wenn nicht? Selbst bei erfahrenen Züchtern gibt es schon mal komplizierte Würfe mit Kaiserschnitt und immens hohen Tierarzt-Kosten.

Als Deguzüchter verfolgt man ein Zuchtziel, die Rasse zu erhalten und zu verbessern, indessen Vermehrer rein auf den Profit auf Kosten der Tiere aus sind, meist ohne Sinn Degus und Farben verpaaren um möglichst bunten Nachwuchs verkaufen zu können. Es zählt rein die Optik.


Multipliers cannot tell their buyers that the ancestors of the babies were healthy degus, as they have no health certificates whatsoever. Or worse, that the degus are unrelated to each other.


A breeder can be recognized by the fact that he is careful to breed with unrelated, healthy animals that correspond to the "color standard" in terms of color, at best with animals whose health can be proven over several generations (no misaligned teeth, tumors, etc.). The basic color genetics codes are an absolute must as a breeder. Knowledge of how a "pure" color is obtained, which colors are used in which matings, how is an invisible coat color inherited, which coat colors / piebalds should not be mated with one another. A breeder is very familiar with socialization, knows when and how to separate the sexes and knows what to do in an emergency. There is also a great deal of knowledge about husbandry, nutrition,the language of the degus and also fights. As a breeder, you always have to keep yourself up to date and find out about changes in breeding / animals.


In conclusion, it's easy to say:

It takes so much more to produce healthy offspring than to put a buck and a female together and that is why I appeal with this text - Please check where you get your animals from, do not support breeders without parents' data and specialist knowledge. 



Degus should never be handed in before the 7th week!


Where do the parent animals come from?

Careful selection of breeding animals. An immediate exclusion is the answer “pet shop, animal shelter, private, unknown”, the breeding animals must have a certificate of parentage.


What does the breeder feed?

Appropriate nutritionUnder no circumstances should the breeder feed fruit or a ready-mix containing grain, and pellets are also not suitable feed.


How does the breeder keep his degus?

Check the housing conditions / cagesThe minimum dimensions of 0.5 square meters of continuous running surface per degu should be adhered to. The cages should be clean and not dirty, running wheels made of grid surfaces are not suitable. Plastic has no place in the Degu cage.


Are there any known illnesses in the parents?

Selection based on health and character. Genetic abnormalities, hereditary diseases or other restrictions are regarded as exclusion from breeding. Dental problems due to bad genes are particularly common.


What colors and color carrier properties do the parents / babies have?

Genetic knowledge is a basic requirement of a good breeder. Not all colors can fall with all matings , every breeder must know this inheritance theory.

Test question: “Which colors fall with blue x sand, both without color carrier properties?” The answer “100% only agouti animals (Agouti BT / ST)”.

BT / ST = blue & sand color carrier genes



We hobby breeders are often asked by pet shops or internet portals whether we would like to offer our animals there - yes, the big reputable chains also ask - so now some facts:


Official procedure:


  • Contracts are concluded and controls of the breeding facilities and breeding animals take place


Unofficial procedure:


  • No contract or initial inspection is made
  • The animals are ordered on request or the pet shop is delivered as soon as there are offspring
  • The animals are purchased as "returned goods"
  • Fixed prices per animal / gender / color or for a voucher for the value of the goods
  • Prices per degu between 10-25 €
  • Special colors are ALWAYS taken by EVERYONE, as the demand is correspondingly high
  • Acceptance of animals when they are apparently healthy


The statement "All of our breeders from whom we take animals are certified, tested and contractually obliged to do so ..." can be circumvented in most cases if it is a special / rarer species or color.


Breeders for pet stores:


Most of the small animals from commercial breeders or mass breeders are kept in Makrolon boxes, other accommodation with an animal number of 300 or more is not possible.


Most small animals are susceptible to disease and these are expensive when they are sick, so sick animals are disposed of and not treated. However, this does not apply to the offspring; if the disease is not visible, they are still handed over to the pet shop, usually from an age that is too young. Breeding breaks or age restrictions are not enforced for breeders, an animal is only withdrawn from breeding if it is terminally ill or dead.


Anything not


  • sufficient breeding breaks
  • sufficient space
  • sufficient age of breeding females
  • adequate company for both females and males
  • sufficient knowledge of genetics


can show is simply uncontrolled reproduction.


If you take all these points into account, you will be poor in supplying pet shops with animals ... Because they only pay a fraction of the subsequent sales price. All of the above information relates to small animals.



German point of view

The activities in the field of private plant and small animal breeding are diverse and hardly manageable. The private breeding of small animals includes z. B. not only the breeding of pigeons, rabbits, dogs and cats of all kinds, but extends to the breeding of animals in terrariums and insects. According to current law, these activities are private hobbies and general leisure activities. If the request were followed to declare these leisure activities to be a charitable purpose under tax law, the demand would also have to be expected to declare other leisure activities carried out in clubs up to and including socializing as charitable under tax law. Such claims would be irrefutable because of the requirement of equal treatment under tax law.


It mainly depends on the number of animals or sales and the size of the farm. The more animals the breeder has and the more litters are made and sold and therefore a greater organizational effort arises, the more likely it is to be an "entrepreneur". Of course, one also has to differentiate between the types of animals bred. Golden hamsters can make considerably more litters in a shorter time than z. B. Horses. That must be taken into account when considering.


Regardless of the commercial separation of breeding and hobby breeding mentioned above, the term “breeder” is not protected. For this reason, basically every breeder can call himself. 


In general, however, a breeder is a person who breeds animals under the control and supervision of a breed warden. The breeders of the individual animals are looked after by the breeding associations, which are either united in an association or an association. As a breeder you are subject to the strictly defined breeding regulations and have a pedigree. Listed breeders in an association must meet certain minimum requirements and breeding criteria, these are monitored by the breeding association.


In short, one can say that breeders who belong to a breed association can also call themselves "breeders" of this species.


Hobby breeders who do not belong to any association are not subject to these controls and therefore do not have to undergo any breeding standards or controls.


Since there is no breeding association for degus in Europe - there are no "official" breeders for degus. It is much more important to question whether it is actually a question of breeding or reproduction. (see topic above)



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