Above all, feed containing sugar does not belong in the feeding bowl of degus.
What many keepers don’t know: sugar is extremely harmful to degus. Therefore, you should generally avoid feeding fruit, as it contains an extremely high proportion of fructose. Fruit is therefore only intended as a treat. In the case of stone fruit, such as cherries, the pit must be removed because it contains hydrocyanic acid. However, the pulp can be fed, albeit only in moderation for the reasons mentioned above. The “eyes” of potatoes (like the greens of tomatoes) contain solanine, which can be harmful to degus. Therefore, do not give tomato greens and boil potatoes before feeding. If you put together your own feed and collect part of the feed yourself, you must be careful not to pick poisonous herbs. Here the principle applies: If you are unfamiliar with a herb, it is better not to use it! Care should also be taken when giving branches, as some woods, such as yew, are highly toxic. Laburnum, which is very popular as an ornamental plant, can also lead to severe poisoning and even death. On the other hand, unsprayed fruit trees are well suited, and birch and hazelnut are also harmless. Softwoods such as spruce or fir do not belong in the degu enclosure due to the high resin content and the essential oils they contain.
Sweets intended for humans such as chocolate, biscuits, or candies do not belong in a degu’s feeding bowl! High sugar content is harmful to the animals, they develop diabetes through incorrect feeding, which can even lead to a cloudy lens! Therefore, only feed them food that you know to be harmless. When buying ready-to-feed mixtures, you should definitely pay attention to the production or expiry date. Outdated feedstuffs contain hardly any vitamins; there is also a risk that harmful germs have multiplied in the feed. For this reason, you should also refrain from buying food from open food bars.