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DEGU ROCK

Dedicated to the care and wellbeing of degus worldwide.

What should i feed?

Many people are put of Degu’s as they think that their diet is way to complex to deal with correctly but that is far from the truth. Degu’s are relatively easy to care and their diet is simple, you just need to avoid giving them too much sugar. Degu’s are a herbivore that means they need no form of animal protein in their diet. In the wild they would live of various plants, bulbs, farm crops (because of this they are considered to be a pest), leaves and bark from trees and bushes. Its important a Degu’s diet is pretty frugal as Degus cannot metabolise simple sugars and too many sugars and carbohydrates can cause them to become diabetic or develop cataracts, which are deadly in such a small creature. You should therefore never feed them sugary fruits, dried fruits, biscuits or cereals and any foods you do feed should be low in sugar and molasses free. Molasses is a treacle like substance often added to make the food much more palatable but unfortunately is a sugar so is no good for Degu’s. They also need a diet low in protein as this can cause obesity. I have compiled a list of suitable foods below. The ideal diet for a degu is as follows:

A basic mixture of guinea pig biscuits (pellets) such as guinea pig excel or degu nuggets mixed with a little guinea pig mix is the ideal diet as it contains all the vitamins and minerals they need in order to keep healthy, it should also be low in sugar and not contain any molasses. When buying guinea pig food look for one with added Vitamin C as there has not been enough research done as to whether or not degu’s actually produce there own or whether like their close cousins the guinea pig they need it supplementing. Its is quite easy to overdose with Vitamin C so it is best to buy a food with it added. Some people do feed chinchilla pellets instead of the guinea pig biscuits but a lot of them contain hidden molasses so you need to check this out before using them. Brands we recommend are: Beaphar Xtra Vital Degu, Beaphar Degu Care + , Burgess Supa Guinea Excel, Burgess Chinchilla Excel, Pets at Home Degu Nuggets, Supreme Gerty Guinea Pig, Supreme Science Selective Degu and Vitakraft Degu Menu.

Degu’s also need a fresh supply of good quality hay daily as it helps keep their gut function healthy and to grind their teeth down. It is also full of fibre. Meadow and Timothy Hay are the normal ones available, alfalfa hay should only be fed in small amounts as it is high in protein and calcium so should only be given rarely. Please note alfalfa pellets and biscuits don’t pose the same problem. I also give my degu’s hay cubes as well to supplement their diet. 

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