I can answer questions about degu care and breeding.
I have bred degus with an emphasis on healthy, social pets.
Before obtaining our first pair of octodon degus, I did considerable research. These animals have more misinformation floating about than most pets, and care is easy once you sort fact from fiction.
Degus are different than most other 'pocket pets' in so many ways, but they are still very easy to care for.
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His diet sounds good, but if the cage was in a cold or drafty area he may be sick. In the wild animals can chose where and how to live to support thermoregulation. In captivity, we have to be mindful
I can't say this it is normal or abnormal, only that I have had many different animals (mice, gerbils, degus, rats) do the same thing. I know for sure that with rats and degus communal raising is common
You have a huge problem on your hands...the friendliness of your pets the least of them. If the babies are not removed and properly separated by sex by 5 weeks old you run the risk of every female getting
Degus themselves don't smell bad, but their urine is very concentrated and can make the cage smell bad quickly if not cleaned frequently. Some might nap on you, but they are not cuddlers like larger
I would recommend you take him back and show them, explaining everything. Also make sure you let them know what kind of bedding & cage he has. While it might be mites, there are a few other things it