Degu puppies!! Aren't they so adorable! I could gawk and coo over them all day. Wouldn't you? I would love to have babies and tend to them and play with them. But the problem is you either commit yourself to babies for long term, or you don't commit at all. I know, it's a suckie decision. But do read on.
   Degus have on the average four puppies per litter. On the average Degus have four litters per year. So, on the average if you were to breed a pair of Degus, you would end up with sixteen puppies a year. You think you could handle all those puppies - and most likely even more - each year? Yeh, sure, you could always separate the parents so that they couldn't make their wild love. But imagine if your world consisted of only a couple or so other humans, and one of them is this wonderful partner of yours, whom you make love to and have lovely babies and live happillie with. Then suddenly you are taken from your love, your kids, put in separate compounds, all by yourself or with others of the same sex. Same sexed friends just don't cut it when you have had a life long mate. Can you bear to do that to you Degus? Ok, fine, you be a cold hearted Grinch. I'm never gonna let you Degu-sit for me. But those of you who understand, wouldn't it just kill you to see your Degus weep and mope about in sadness? It'd kill me. So, that's what I mean when I said "commit" to breeding or not. 'Sides, it's getting harder and harder to sell Degus these days because of their increasing popularity. And the fact that many RETARDED people think they are rats. Ugh, that is such a pet peeve. Once while I was in a petshop I was looking at some Degus in a cage when this ignorant excuse for a woman commented to her spouse "Eeewwww look at that, a rat, yuck. Eeww they are those big New York rats, they even have fur on their tails! Eww!" Ok.. what the fuck. I was about to throw a bitch fit at that loser but I was held back. Degus don't fucking live in New York, nor would they want to. There was even a sign in front of the cage that said Degus.
I think babie degus are so adorable. Just look at the little tyke on the left! I've noticed, when I got my second degu Jeremiah that he was a tiny thing when compared to my first degu Darius, who was already full grown. But six months or so has passed and Jeremiah had grown to almost as large as Darius. Almost. So, Degus to me seem to grow slowly, which is rather nice. I can actually watch them grow with quite a lot of time, unlike mice. Now that I think of it, the time period for Degus to be full grown is about the same as a dog.
   Female degus have four teats, and lies on top of her young when she is suckling them. This characteristic may be an adaptation to living in underground burrows. However, other caviomorphs living in the pampas sit down when they are feeding their young. (ok for those who don't know, pampas basically means "grasslands" in North America. It means "steppes" in Europe, and "veldt" in South Africa. Isn't great that I took an Ecology course?) The degu newborns are not as developed as most other caviomorphs. The babies don't open their eyes until two or three days, and their fur is very sparse but grows in quickly afterwards. When the babies are old enough to eat solids foods as well as continue suckling, the adults drag in bushels of grass for the young to feed on. Several mothers may place all their children in one burrow and care for them jointly.
    In the southern regions of the range of the degus, (Chile and the Andes) most of the young are born at a fixed time, which is September. But farther north, the time for birthing is varied.
These baby degus on the right are about two weeks old. They still need to nurse off their mother. The nursing period is about 20 days after they are born, and are weaned at around 4 - 5 weeks. Degus reach sexual maturity from 12 weeks and on. The gestation period for female is about 12 - 14 weeks, which is fairly long for small mammals.
Wow, that puppie on the left is absolutely adorable. Look at it! The little cutie. I wish I could breed degus, but I am bound by the unstable ability to find good homes for the young on my conscience. But, oh my, would I ever love to breed degus, if I had my own place.. money.. time.. yes being in school doesn't help. But perhaps, in the future.. after I'm done travelling and exploring the world, will then may I start a degu family. And other families too! Hedgehogs, birds, mice, turtles, fish, lizards, snakes, tarantulas, ferrets, chinchillas, hissing cockroaches, dogs, rabbits, bats.... oh paradise. I'm a freek. I should breed endangered animals and have them released to the wild to replenish their dwindling numbers. I think I need to win the lottery.
The only animals I have breeded before are lovebirds and tropical fish. The fish were easy enough, they just needed crushed fish food and protection from their parents and other adult fish who would devour them. The love birds, however, were more difficult to care for. My older sister did most of it, and as of now she doesn't want to raise anymore baby love birds. Figures. Babies are big jobs!
Degu babies are quite difficult to keep, they need constant attention and the parents may not be as reliable as they seem. It is best that, if you decide to breed your Degus, that some prior research and advice is collected to ensure a better chance of survival for your puppies. Degus are still, as of now, quite uncommon, but their popularity is rapidly rising. The prices for Degus in the pet shops are dropping from what I have seen, and I predict that Degus will become common and therefore the distribution of young Degus to good homes will become difficult; such as with rabbits, cats, and mice. I would prefer to witness what happens in the future rather then start a Degu family now. Perhaps, Degus will stay uncommon, which is what the pet industry should be striving to do with all pets.
A Second Day Old Puppie.
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