Exotic Pets - Degu - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
I am Beth Randall and I am the Director at Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary and this is a degu and they are native to South America. Their a small rodent that is actually related to guinea pigs and chinchillas. They were popular as pets here in the United States about a decade ago or so, in the '90s and they are wiggly and not real handle able. Some of them can be somewhat friendly. But they live up to seven years, which is very long for a small rodent. Their tails are very fragile. You cannot pull their tail or mess with their tail. It will actually break off.
Their teeth are orange and that shows that they are healthy. He is not going to let me show you. But, they are also very prone to diabetes and so, they cannot have anything that has sugar in them. They cannot even have something like an apple. That has way too much sugar. They need to have a special degu food. Degu pellets or a bird seed with no raisins or fruit in it. They also chew more than most small animals and that is why they do have to have a wire wheel and they do need a large wheel because they will run in that all the time. They need a lot of exercise.
They can be in groups. They do live in colonies in the wild but, they can also live by themselves, especially males. They sometimes need to be by themselves if they start fighting. They can be an interesting, fun, little pet. Again, not something probably for the beginner but, something unique for someone who is a little more experienced with small rodents and want something a little different.