Things to consider before breeding degus
Before you start reading, I think you should know that this isnt a guide on how to breed degus or on how to care for the pups.
Rather, I want to stress a few things you should consider and think about before taking on a project of breeding your degus.
Consider the following and give it serious thought.
Are you experienced enough to breed degus ? Have you been keeping degus for a few years ? Are you aware of their health issues and dietary requirements ?
Do you have a second cage to house members of the opposite sex ?
Do you have room to house more degus ?
Are you able to sex degus ?
Do your degus have strong genes and are they healthy ? Are they missing some fur at the end of their tail ?
Do they have diabetes or cataracts ? Are they suffering from other health issues ?
Do you have a list of people willing to take in some of the pups if you end up with a big litter ?
Are your degus related to each other ?
Another important question to consider...why do you want to breed degus ?
I find it rather disturbing that so many new degu owners have grandiose projects and plans to breed degus.
Many of them dont ask themselves the important questions and go for it without thinking of the consequences.
What happens to those degus ? They are brought to animal shelters.
The degu owner who wishes to breed his degus should be fully aware of what he/she is getting into.
This person should have the room, experience and money to care for all the degus that will be born.
These are serious issues.
Many of those who start breeding their degus; do not have the necessary room to house all the pups.
They also fail to consider how much money is involved when a degu requires professional veterinary care.
Experience is also a big problem. Can you properly sex your degus ? Are you well informed about how to care for the mother and pups ?
Male degus can impregnate females after only 8 weeks of age !
Unless you want another pregnant female, you will need to separate the males and the females before the end of the 8th week.
What happens if you have a large litter...say 8 or 10 pups. What then ?
Do you own two large cages capable of housing two large groups ?
What are you planning on doing with the pups ? Are you going to keep them all or are you going to try and sell them.
If you are going for the last option...please reconsider.
Spend a few minutes on the web and you will come to realize the amount of degu breeders that are trying to sell their degus.
You will also find countless adds about degu(s) looking to be rehomed and adopted. Animal shelters in Europe are full of degus !
In the USA, degus are less popular but I am told they can easily be found at animal shelters...especially in the northern states near the Canadian border.
Degus are far from lacking. In fact, there seems to be an endless amount of people looking to give their degus away...especially in the United Kingdom.
Take a look at these websites. These are just two among many ! Yet you will find countless posts of degus up for adoption.
There are many things to consider before thinking of breeding your furry friends.
If you are looking for more degus, think of adopting instead of breeding. If you are thinking of breeding to give or sell some pups to other potential owners, think again...the internet and animal shelters are filled with degus !
Are you simply curious about breeding them ?
There is nothing wrong with this...after all, curiousity is one of our predominant traits.
But is it really worth it to sacrifice the health and endanger the life of your pets to satisfy your curiousity ?
Remember that breeding can be risky for the female degus. Complications during or before birth are often fatal.
You must also keep in mind that each time a degu gives birth, it can shorten her life considerably.
Giving birth to a litter of pups puts a lot of strain on the female. Over the next few weeks she will be spending all her time and energy milking and caring for the pups.
Like other animals, inbreeding is another serious problem.
Some degu owners dont realize this and start breeding two related degus. This often ends up with a litter of "handicaped" pups. These degus will be born with inherited health problems. If one of these degus grows up and breeds, the strain of defectuous genes will continue to spread and spread resulting in a weak, and fragile degu population.
Before breeding your degus, you need to be 100% sure that they are not related and that they are free of diabetes, cataracts and other health problems. If one of the degus has been attained by cataracts, its probable that all of the offspring will be born with this condition as well...resulting in weak and sickly degus.
To sum up this short article...we dont need more degus ! We need more people willing to adopt !
You need to be 100% sure of what you are doing and you need to have the means to follow up with your plans.
If you truly love degus, you will adopt instead of breeding and you will spread the word to other degu owners.
If you do, do so tactfully. Some will listen and rethink about what they are doing, others will not.
As long as you help spread the word, you are helping a good cause.
If you have any comments or questions on the matter, feel free to contact me.
You can reach me on my e-mail : NightwishRaven999@hotmail.com
You can also contact me on my Youtube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/NightwishRaven999
Feedback is always welcome.
Have a good day and I hope you have enjoyed reading this.