The Degu Home

Vor der Anschaffung von Degus muss das passende Gehege bereits fertig eingerichtet sein. Ein artgerechtes Gehege ist wichtig, damit sich die Degus bei Ihnen wohlfühlen und gesund bleiben. Auf diese Dinge sollten Sie bei der Gestaltung des Deguheims achten.

In addition to nutrition, the correct design of the enclosure is essential for the species-appropriate keeping of degus. Above all, the size of the enclosure, the enclosure equipment and the location and type of enclosure are important.

The right size of the degu home

Degus are very active rodents that love to climb, run and dig. The Deguheim must be able to satisfy these needs.

When it comes to the size of the degu home, there is no such thing as too big. The enclosure represents the habitat of the animals and must therefore satisfy all of the animals’ needs. Since degus not only move by climbing, but also like to stay on the ground, the enclosure must not only be of sufficient height, but also have an appropriate floor space.

A degu enclosure for two animals of the same sex must therefore not be smaller than 100 cm x 50 cm x 100 cm (W x D x H). It is better if the walk is even larger and is 120 cm wide and high. It is very difficult to find a cage that meets these requirements in traditional shops. Most of the cages offered are way too small for degus! Do not be misled by designations such as “XL” in the name, as this is only the case in rare cases. For example, a cage that fits the dimensions is the Savic* Royal Suite XL, provided you use it as one cage and not two!

For each additional animal, the enclosure must also be larger! The veterinary association for animal protection e.V. (TVT) speaks of 50% for every two new degus.

The type of degu home
The first thing to do is to choose the type of enclosure. You should make sure that the enclosure is high enough for climbing but also has enough bedding for digging.

An aquarium for degus?

An aquarium as a degugheim has different advantages and disadvantages. Advantages are:

  • In contrast to enclosures with plastic floor pans, the rodents cannot destroy an aquarium with their teeth.
  • A sufficiently high layer of litter can be placed in the aquarium. In this way, the degus can extensively pursue their digging instinct, and the litter that is flying around is held back by the glass.

A big disadvantage of aquariums as degu enclosures is their usually very small height. Degus cannot climb sufficiently in them and are restricted in their freedom of movement.

If you choose an aquarium as a degu home, you must combine it with a (homemade) attachment made of wood and wire, which also offers the degus opportunities to move upwards. The self-construction of an attachment is easy to accomplish with a little manual skill. It is essential to ensure that the wood cannot be reached through the degu’s teeth, otherwise the industrious rodents will quickly destroy it.

Wire cages for degus?

Many lattice cages, for example aviaries for birds, have the disadvantage that they do not have a sufficiently deep base pan or that it is only made of plastic. The problem with this is that if the bottom pan is too shallow, it is not sufficient for digging and the degus can chew the plastic.

Nevertheless, there are also some enclosures in specialist shops that are suitable for degus, because in the meantime the trade has become aware of the demand from degu keepers. There are some aviaries that are also intended for keeping chinchillas. They have a high metal base and are therefore also suitable for degus. If your cage does not have this, you will have to create an external tub for your degus to dig in.

The advantage of lattice cages is that additional levels can easily be added, which provide additional space. Unfortunately, this is not used enough by many degu keepers. Again and again you see cages that contain only a few floors, so that the space is not used sufficiently.

When it comes to floors, you should pay attention to the following:

  • They should be easy to clean.
  • They should also be easy to replace if necessary.
  • Shelves made of natural wood, which are protected against the ingress of urine by a non-toxic varnish, are ideal.

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