Finding the Right Food

Like gerbils, foods suitable for degus are rare in Quebec. Worse still, as they are predisposed to diabetes, we must be even more careful.

Pellets are ideal in the sense that we avoid sorting, and therefore the deficiencies related to it. Seeds mixes are good, but adjustments often have to be made.

There are two aspects you should pay most attention to when choosing your pet's food: the nutrient levels and the ingredients used. Your degu's diet should contain a MAXIMUM of 15% protein. For fat, it is up to 6%, with an ideal of 4%. For fibers, the ideal is 15% and more, but not less than 10%.

The degus are herbivores predisposed to diabetes, so it is extremely important to avoid foods that contains sugar. It is also important to give them hay at all times, since it is the major part of their diet.

As food for degus is scarce, it is quite common for people to give guinea pigs and/or chinchillas feed. Be careful never to give chinchilla seeds mixes to degus, as they contain dried fruit which can be harmful if offered daily.

You should NOT feed your degus with rabbit food or mixes, as these often contain a coccidiostatic compound which is harmful to degus. Coccidiostats are widely used in the animal feed industry as additives to treat and control coccidiosis infection. Some anti-coccidial drugs used, such as nitroimidazoles, have toxic properties and so this (coupled with the fact that most rabbit foods do not contain adequate levels of vitamins and minerals for degus) means that you should only not feed your rabbit food to your tastes. (Extract taken from Degutopia)

Pellets

Seeds Mixes

Treats

The treats will greatly help you tame your tastes, but be careful not to give too much. The degus are predisposed to obesity and they are very voracious, so pay attention to this level!

Here is a list of foods you can offer and how often!

Everyday

  • Oats

  • Linseed

  • Dandelion roots

  • Nettle roots

  • Wild carrot roots

  • Wild parsnip roots

  • Rose petals

  • Puffed rice

  • Puffed wheat

1-3 times/week

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Celery

  • Pepper

  • Rose hips

  • Grains in flakes

  • Corn flakes

  • Peas in flakes

  • Peanuts

  • Whole nuts

Once/week (in rotation)

  • Sun-flower seeds

  • Peanuts

  • Glans

  • Beech fruits

  • Asparagus

  • Dandelion greens

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Fresh herbs

  • Bhou from Brussels

  • Cabbage

  • Courgette

  • Green beans

  • Beet

  • Dried herbs

  • Pumpkin

  • Butternut squash

  • Radish

Once a Month

  • Hazelnut

  • Brazil nut

  • Pecan nuts

  • Almond nuts

  • Walnut

  • Apple

  • Pear

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Peas

  • Yam

  • Carrots

  • Cucumber

  • Sweet corn / corn on the cob

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