Set up a cage for the rodents

If you want to keep degus in a species-appropriate manner, you should definitely always get several degus, as the social animals get lonely on their own. The species-appropriate degu enclosure is also particularly important. Here you can find out what is important for the rodent cage and the equipment.

Degus are extremely social animals and, in addition to a versatile enclosure, also need the company of their own kind – Shutterstock / Ziolkowski Dariusz

Degus are extremely social animals and, in addition to a versatile enclosure, also need the company of their own kind – Shutterstock / Ziolkowski Dariusz

In order for your degus to do well, both the size of the enclosure and the interior design must be right. The furry friends from Chile need the necessary basic equipment as well as plenty of opportunities to play and retreat.

How big does a degu enclosure have to be?

In order to be able to keep degus in a species-appropriate manner, you must provide an appropriate enclosure before purchasing them. This should definitely be large enough – as a rule of thumb: plan at least two square meters of floor space for a smaller group (2-4 animals), although this is really only the minimum size. There is no such thing as “too big”. At best, the enclosure has several floors that are connected with ladders and bridges. As for the cage type, you can think of a large cage with metal struts or a glass aquarium.

Keep in mind that degus are extremely gnawed and can gnaw through both wood and plastic, so a sturdy frame is just as important as a sturdy floor pan. Normal plastic tubs usually do not prevent the clever Chileans from breaking out. If your degu cage has metal braces, make sure they are tight enough. If a degu gets its head between two bars, the distance between the bars is too big. Tip: Get good advice from a specialist retailer.

Keeping degus species-appropriate – basic equipment of the degu cage

The basic equipment of the degu home has the most important items in terms of nutrition, retreat, hygiene and occupation. This includes:

• Stable feeding bowl
• Potions
• Sand bath (for grooming)
• Litter for small animals
• Hay Rack
• Dormitory or dormitories made of strong material such as stone
• Creative furnishings and play elements

As for the last point, you can let your imagination run wild as a degu keeper as long as you keep certain safety considerations in mind. Furnishings and play elements such as pipes, ceramic caves, passageways, running wheels (big enough please!) and climbing facilities should definitely be included if you want to keep and keep your degus occupied in a species-appropriate manner.

Degus are extremely social and cuddly animals that should only ever be kept in groups - Shutterstock/Kelly Postma

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At best, do without plastic altogether, as the gnawing animals can nibble on it quickly and swallow sharp or pointed small parts. You will probably have to replace wooden equipment after a while, as this is also exposed to regular nibble attacks. Pointed objects such as nails or sharp edges have no place in the enclosure. In the video you will find more tips and ideas on the subject of degu enclosures and keeping:

The right location for the degu enclosure

In addition to size and equipment, the location is also crucial for the well-being of your rodents. Please do not place the enclosure near electrical devices such as a music system or television – the noise would massively disturb the sensitive ears of the degus. A special feature of the animals is that, in contrast to most other rodents, they are diurnal. Therefore, they need sufficient daylight – it is ideal if the enclosure is in a location that has both light and shady corners. Important: In summer you must ensure that the enclosure does not heat up too much. If the location is exposed to too much direct sunlight, the animals are at risk of heat stroke. Oh, and please do not smoke in the room where your degus are.

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