Degus require a large cage/enclosure and many marketed as suitable simply are not big enough.
The absolute minimum cage size we will accept is the Liberta Explorer (or cages of the same size – 93cm w x 63cm l x 123cm h without stand). As degus are big chewers, fully metal cages are best, such as:
Little Zoo Venturer
Pet Planet Rat & Ferret Cage
Cosy Pet RC03.
The Savic Royal Suite 95, Savic Royal Suite XL and Critter Nation Double are also acceptable size-wise, but the plastic shelves will need to be covered with tiles (or replaced with metal/wooden shelves) and regularly checked for any signs of chewing.
Hay should make up the majority of degus’ diets and must always be available. We feed a mixture of meadow hay and timothy hay, with the occasional addition of oat grass hay and readigrass or graze-on (dried grass). If your degus don’t eat much hay, try different types, and mix in some forage or pellets to entice them.
Alongside hay, we feed a daily handful of dried or fresh forage (leaves, herbs, flowers, roots, bark, branches).
Our dried forage mix typically consists of:
Leaves – Plantain, Apple, Echinacea, Raspberry, Nettle, Dandelion, Hazelnut
Roots – Chicory or Dandelion
Bark – Willow or Birch
Flowers – Marigold, Rose, Cornflower, Chamomile, Mallow
In the spring & summer months, we collect fresh leaves and branches such as plantain, dandelion, yarrow, clover, willow, hazel, hawthorn and birch for the goos to enjoy.
Pellets should only form a small part of the diet and should be viewed as a supplement, rather than a main food. Too many pellets can lead to obesity and serious dental issues as the degus fill up on these, neglecting the all-important hay. We feed only around 1 tablespoon of pellets per day, alongside a mixture of forage (with hay available 24/7). Pellets containing grains and cereals should be avoided – grass/hay based pellets are best (not alfalfa!) – our favourite brands are Rosewood Naturals Meadow Menu, BunnyNature (available in the UK via Haybox) and Versele Laga.
Recommended Sites for Degu Food
Healthy Herby (mention us when purchasing and we’ll receive free hay!) – hay and forage
Timothyhay.co.uk – hay
Hay and Straw – hay
Just4Rabbits – hay and forage
Haybox – hay, forage and pellets
Nature’s Grub – forage in bulk!
We house our degus on hemp or cardboard substrate. Other options include kiln dried woodshavings such as Bedmax or Littlemax (other standard pet shop pine woodshavings are not considered safe as they can cause respiratory issues), aspen shavings, or chopped rapestraw (Raviera).