english translation

general Degu Information

online translated

available in German

Topics of this page:

  • Degus (Octodon degus)
  • Everyday life with degus - why Degus make great pets and
  • Group size


Degus are as pets a very good alternative to mice, rats , guinea pigs, rabbits or other small animals , because they have a great advantage : degus do not smell after a week unpleasant!


Generally speaking , the degus -maintenance pets , a cleaning of the cage takes place depending on the contamination and number of degus. Water should be replaced every 2 days and food are replenished depending on the hunger of degus latest . The holiday care in degus is not a big challenge even for non- Degu owners . Cage - fill - - food and water out again purely in the cage - done .


On the following pages you will find detailed information about the appropriate cage , cage location , device , bedding , exercise and diet .

Odin, Gaia, Puckl
Odin, Gaia, Puckl

Degus (Octodon degus)

The degu (Octodon degus) is a small caviomorph rodent that is endemic to the Chilean matorral ecoregion of central Chile.


It is sometimes referred to as the brush-tailed rat, and is also called the common degu, to distinguish it from the other members of the genus Octodon. Other members are also called degus, but they are distinguished by additional names. The name "degu" on its own, however, indicates either the genus Octodon or, more usually, O. degus. Degus are in the parvorder Caviomorpha of the infraorder Hystricognathi, along with the chinchilla and guinea pig. The word degu comes from the Mapudungun dewü (mouse, rat).


Some jurisdictions consider degus as a potential invasive species and forbid owning them as a pet. In the United States, they are illegal to own in California, Georgia, and Alaska. In Canada they are illegal to own in Newfoundland and Labrador. They are completely illegal in New Zealand (Wikipedia).


The approximately 180-300g heavy degus have a body length of 11-19cm and 10-15cm a long tail . The tail is slightly hairy and carries at the end of a hair tassel . In train tail ( typical lift in mice or rats ) of Degu tail has a breaking point and departs - therefore degus Never lift or hold the tail ! Degus have a darker top , depending on the color impact and lighter around the eyes and the stomach around. The nails must not be cut with enough stones in the cage.


Everyday life with degus

In some pet shops still rumored that degus only holds twilight / are active at night. This is in my opinion simply wrong. My degus are still asleep when I get up in the morning to check on you and me feel rather as if I disorder after 22 clock still watching a movie in the evening. Generally sleep degus much, the usual daily routine is a combination of sleep, feed, play and run in the wheel.


I take my degus frequently out of the cage and let them then pass through our living room, it must be ensured that they can gnaw no cables or poisonous decorative objects. For me, of course, are also cable in the living room, so I have established from the beginning a kind of human alarm call which violate the degus tremble and they therefore do not run the risk themselves. For this I simply draw air between clenched teeth through which a hissing sound caused (similar to the shrill warning cry of degus).


Degus are not comparable with rabbit or other popular small animals, degus will never remain seated for long periods at the owner and be petted extensively. Therefore, I recommend a Degu entertainment for children ages 10 and dominate a necessary restraint in the handling of the animals.


Degus are very social animals, so they can become very tame with you and even learn small tricks with daily use. Many of my degus like to sit on me around, but never more than a few minutes. Exploring the apartment is then but a lot of interesting!


How many degus should I keep ?

Wild degus live in groups / colonies together, these groups are extended family groups and are composed of one to two males and two to five usually related to each other females together. keep degus alone, regardless of age, is as inappropriate for the species. The most natural form of group would be 2 - 3 Degu female with a castrated goat, but I advise of castration from, as this is very expensive and often associated with severe complications or consequences. Therefore, this group constellation is not usually the case.


So there Degus are very social animals, they must be maintained at least in pairs. The social structures can be seen better from a larger group of 3-5 animals but only. A single attitude is generally regarded as inappropriate for the species because of the pronounced social structure of degus and should therefore be rejected.


Same-sex groups

To prevent young should therefore keep a same-sex group, at best, the animals grow up together or be put together at a young age. Siblings from the same litter or together with the previous litters are very suitable. A good group size is 3 to 5 animals, depending on cage size.


Groups of two males are relatively unproblematic, larger groups for purely male degus should consist of brothers or degus grow up together, otherwise the risk is increased that sometime it comes to serious fighting rank. Mixed-sex groups with multiple side not known blocks are not possible with castrated animals. Of course there are always exceptions.


Larger groups with female degus are usually no problem. Again, it is struggling to enter the ranking, but not as far-reaching in most cases, as in the males. There are exceptions but of course always.


Mixed groups

Several blocks and only one or two females will not work. Therefore, it comes at degus usually only the other way. The buck should be spayed in advance (min. 6 weeks before the female comes) to prevent unwanted offspring. It is advisable to socialize two to three females with a buck. This group compilation usually runs from very harmonious and simple, but I would advise against a castration as this is very expensive and often associated with serious complications or consequences.


Whether male or female so no matter it should only ever be same-sex animals in a group or a castrated goat with several females to avoid unwanted offspring.