Diet of Degus

The species-appropriate diet forms the basis for a healthy degu life. Here you can find out how to feed your degus in a species-appropriate and healthy way.

The diet of degus kept as pets should be based on the diet of their wild relatives in order to prevent diseases.

Hay as an important part of the degu diet

The main components of the diet of free-living degus are high-fiber plant components such as leaves and grasses. So they feed mainly on fiber-rich plant food. Therefore, the best staple food for degus is high-quality hay.

For a balanced diet, you should also feed degus fresh food.

Forage, fruit, and vegetables for degus

As an addition to the hay, you can and should also feed other fiber-rich, natural and roughage-rich feed. Suitable for this:

  • fresh grass
  • (Dried herbs
  • vegetables
  • blossoms
  • branches
  • (seeds in smaller quantities)

Green fodder for degus

Fresh green fodder is an important and healthy addition to the diet for degus. It ensures, for example, an adequate supply of vitamins.

Ideal forage plants for degus are grasses, meadow, wild, and garden herbs such as:

  • dandelion
  • shepherd’s purse
  • sorrel
  • marigold
  • Chickweed
  • lemon balm
  • basil
  • Parsely
  • oregano
  • chicory
  • mallow

Fruits and vegetables in the degu diet

Vegetables are also suitable for feeding degus. Examples are:

  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • salsify
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • zucchini

However, you should avoid fruit. Since this is sugary and degus quickly develop diabetes, it should be fed in small amounts and then only fresh, since dried fruit has even higher sugar content.

In general, always make sure that you do not feed any plants or food that are poisonous to degus. Find out all you need to know before giving your degus new greens, fruit, or vegetables.

Change of diet for degus

There are degu keepers who report that their charges would not eat fresh food. However, this is rather the exception and usually refers to vegetables. Almost all degus like to eat fresh herbs. If you want to get your degus to like green fodder, you should slowly and carefully get them used to it. Only when the animals are used to fresh food can you offer it regularly and in large quantities.

Purchased feed for feeding degus

In addition to the range of hay or other fiber-rich feed (which is also known as roughage), you can also fall back on commercially available feed mixtures that are suitable for degus. You can enrich this with dried herbs. Especially if you are a beginner in degu keeping, this is easier than putting together your own feed mix.

When buying ready-made food for degus, however, be sure to pay attention to the following points:

  • The feed mixture must contain hardly any by-products containing sugar (e.g. molasses).
  • The proportion of simple sugars and fat should be as low as possible. If the diet is too high in sugar and fat, there is a risk that the degus will develop diabetes mellitus.

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