Add to delicious
Add to technorati
Add to technorati
Digg it
furl
Yahoo
Latest Viral Video:

Follow us on twitter

Discussion Tag Cloud

The hencam forum is proud to be powered by Exa Networks.

hits

We hope you enjoy your visit and join our happy hencam community!

If you haven't already got an account, it's easy to join (and completely free), just click the sign-in button at the top-right of the screen and click Apply for Membership.

If you want to help hencam, then please use our Amazon affiliate links the next time you purchase anything from Amazon - for
UK amazon purchases use this link or for
US amazon purchases use this link! It won't cost you anything at all and amazon will send us few pence which will go to the girls, new cameras, treats and more!



If you can think of anything that should be in this space, then let me know!

Welcome Guest!
Want to take part in these discussions? If you have an account, sign in now.
If you don't have an account, apply for one now. We'd love you to join and pin your location on our map!

If you are interested in knitting jumpers for hens, click here!
Want to help...? It doesn't need to cost you anything!

    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 4th, 2015 4:02pm (Oct 4th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    So I was going to get a flight cage of finches for my birthday...but then I found two degu boys up for adoption...so do I get finches (lot of confusing info, might not be able to keep them happy, and will need spare back-up cages) - or help two degus in need of a home?

    Neither of us have had degus before (exciting in itself), so it's perhaps a little daft to start out with a pair of unknown temperament / socialisation...but when have I ever done things the easy way?! My first dog was a rescue Collie x Springer :rolling: And I do have a lot of rodent experience...in just a few months Archie has gotten to the point where he can walk across my hands, take treats from me, and enjoys training. I think I could manage fearful behaviour, and at least the degus come as a pair.

    The degu boys would come with a nice size cage (just under 100 x 60 x 50), but I'd like to extend it- how??

    We are terrible at DIY; like really, really bad. There are larger degu cages for around £60, but they have wire floors / levels, and again I wouldn't know how to improve them...plus buying a two storey cage when they come with an okay-ish single story cage seems a waste :/

    This is the cage they will come with...it's from Pets At Home, so is obviously stupidly expensive and not as big as it could be, because that's what they do best :sarcastic:
    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/chinchilla-and-degu-cage

    It's not a bad cage at all, it's really good to say it comes with them :bigsmile: I'm looking for a cage of about 100cm length, but perhaps double the height of the one they would come with...ideally the same cage, stacked, that we could somehow figure a connection with would be perfect :rolling:

    Degu cages must be all wire / metal, with no plastic base, as they will chew through it incredibly quickly. I am excited, and have lots planned for them already...the glass gerbilarium / Perfecto tank will go inside for extra levels and a deep digging area, if it fits. Lots of extra shelves, toys, branches etc...wish we knew someone with a fruit tree we could steal branches from!
    :)

    The boys are around 2.5 years old, I don't know anything else about them really. Most small rodents are very old at that age, but degus should live 5 - 8 years. We're excited, I'm already getting some cool enrichment things for Archie for my birthday so the new boys will definitely be getting something too.

    If we did get the degu boys it would mean the gerbils won't be moved into a lower cage...we would either have to raise the floor, add a second level or lots of hammocks so they can't fall and hurt themselves...hmmm.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 5th, 2015 4:19pm (Oct 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We're getting the degu boys :tooth:

    Here they are in their cage; hopefully picking them up tomorrow evening - SO EXCITED! A couple of weeks early for my birthday, but never mind, it gives me more time to get to know them and by my birthday they might be comfortable working with training
    :)
      degu.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 5th, 2015 4:27pm (Oct 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We have five extra shelves on the way, a huge branch that we can tie to the cage for them to climb, a few grass hammocks (Archie and the gerbs get some too) and some chews. Plus today we found some woven mats in a charity shop that will make awesome hammocks; four for £1.20 :bigsmile:

    I plan on creating a smaller second level so I can move the nest box onto it and create more running space on the ground floor.

    I hope the wheel comes with them! Wheels that size are expensive so it'd be cool if we got a freebie, though I'll save up for a metal wheel anyway

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/232963767/lenkas-chinchilla-silent-wheel-36-cm?ref=related-0

    Whilst searching for a degu wheel I came across an awesome looking cat wheel - somebody please get one!! :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 6th, 2015 9:44pm (Oct 6th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    DEGU DAAAAY!!!

    These boys have been really well looked after. Their owner has tried to do absolutely everything 'right', but unfortunately Pets At Home gave her some useless advice - now *there's* a surprise...

    They told her to have the metal base of the cage underneath the wire floor, so that the degus were walking on the wire. This resulted in them getting bumblefoot - OUCH!

    The boys came with the cage, chew toys, a wheel, wood shavings, hay, food, sand and a nest box. Three bags of full! And their wonderful owner even gave us a lift back so the taxi wasn't charging us as we tried to catch the degus :bigsmile:

    The degus were named Mario and Luigi, which we considered keeping, but I *think* we're going to call them Toshi and Takka :heart:

     photo degu2_zpsyn1fhlnc.jpg

    They're incredibly hard to tell apart, but I did notice one has a light band running around his ears, so if they're stood beside each other close to the front we should be able to tell them apart!

     photo degu3_zpsv88ngo9q.jpg
    Most the stuff in this cage they came with! :) We added the place-mat levels, the rocks, a wooden block toy and the cardboard box full of hay. We hung up every toy they came with too :rolling:

     photo degu7_zps9dnlwa9t.jpg

    Extras are on the way!

    The boys are quite skittish, but I'm not too worried as they have each other for company so taming can take as long as it takes. They've never had treats before (their owner was told by Pets At Home never to feed them anything but degu nuggets) so I'm gonna start adding tiny bits of new food to their diets in the next few days.

    At the moment they're very much in the 'aaagh new place!!' phase. They've made a few vocalisations and one has run in the wheel...I never knew how odd degus sounded! :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 6th, 2015 11:30pm (Oct 6th 2015)
     
    Ah, I've got these confused with the others (Ed and co) whatever they are! Sounds like the previous owner tried to do their best but got bad advice. I really don't understand how pet shops can get it so wrong - I assume knowledge is passed on by word of mouth, hence keeping myths and bad advice going rather than staff investigating by themselves. Haven't all the Pets at Home got Vets at Home in them now, so there should be good advice in house!

    They look very sweet - degus are fascinating to watch.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 7th, 2015 5:41pm (Oct 7th 2015)
     
    I quite liked the Mafia names... Handsome, aren't they? Their cage has more toys in it than a kid's nursery!:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 8th, 2015 7:14pm (Oct 8th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Ahhh that makes sense Kate, I was confuzzled :bigsmile: I haven't been in a Pets At Home regularly for quite a while, but they still seem pretty useless. They frequently give out poor advice for lots of the animals they sell. They tell baby Beardie owners to use sand as substrate, which can actually cause an impaction and kill them!!
    :gasp:

    They're cute, but still not at all settled. Very scaredy boys, bless them, although when I spoke to one of them (no clue how to tell them apart yet, so no names as of now!) he did come over for a suspicious sniff!

    I dug out our quarantine finch cage today (the stupidly expensive one that is horrifically tiny for finches :tooth: ) and I think it will make a fantastic beginner addition to their cage! It's not massive (50cm x 30cm x 30cm at a guess?) but if we fill it with levels and toys it's a good start!

     photo plans_zpsa0bpbg5n.jpg

    I already tied a CD rack leading up to the top of the cage yesterday as an extra toy, so that will be a good way to climb to their loft!

     photo plans2_zpsyhf9mtyu.jpg

    We have some wire cutters that should arrive tomorrow, so our plan is to just nick a small hole in the roof of their current cage, then sand down the sharp edges. Get some cardboard (just for now) to use as a floor for the top of their cage, as they will be walking in it. Then add lots of levels in their attic :bigsmile:

     photo plans1_zpsb91l4xhl.jpg

    We also have 200 cable ties on the way ( :rolling: ) to make sure we can secure the loft properly and they can't bust out of the corners etc. The finch cage might not last long as there are some plastic bits that could be chewed on, but it works for now, and we can just replace with a larger and cheaper topper next time!
    :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 8th, 2015 10:00pm (Oct 8th 2015)
     
    Not many degus that get a loft space! I think it'll be fantastic. Are they more prolific chewers than rats?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 8th, 2015 11:26pm (Oct 8th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks Kate :bigsmile: Seems slightly pointless seeing as they're so timid atm they're using the shelf with the wheel on and THAT'S IT...but hopefully once they've come out their shell a little they'll enjoy it...? :smile:

    If I had to put my personal experience with rodents in order of chewiness (you know what I mean...!) from low to high it would be:

    Mice - owned 20+ & never had any issues with chewing; they rarely even chewed toys / cardboard

    Dwarf hamsters - owned four, same as mice above

    Rats - owned eleven and never had them chew anything they shouldn't. Okto and Banjo once destroyed a rubber Kong-type toy, and Archie will shred or chew cardboard / wooden sticks but never the cage

    Syrian hamsters - owned seven Syrians, I think, and their chewiness seems to go one way or the other! Most the Syrians I've had that were extreme chewers have been girls, so I wonder if it's a gender thing? At the extreme end they can chew out of cages, at the medium-lower end they don't chew toys (although Prim, who's not much of a chewer, recently destroyed a wooden bridge toy he's had for months :smile: ), but will chew cage bars and bumps in the plastic base.

    Gerbils - owned seven gerbils as an adult and they are crazy chewers! Chewing is one of their top two activities (the other being digging!), and we give our gerbils new chewables daily. They have been known to get through ten toilet roll tubes in ONE DAY (there are three of them), so we have to mix what they get...cardboard boxes, book covers, paper, toilet roll etc etc. Just a few days ago our boys knocked over a plastic saucer wheel, and when I went to feed them in the evening the base had been almost completely chewed to nothing :rolling: Our last gerbils chewed their way through three supposedly escape proof cages!!!

    Degus - from what I've read degus are supposed to be similar, if not more, chewy than gerbils. It's too early for us to tell though; they're too nervous to chew atm! Most people agree you should never keep degus in cages with plastic bases though as they will chew their way out!! :sarcastic:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 9th, 2015 11:58pm (Oct 9th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Speed-ordered some wirecutters from amazon yesterday, and they arrived today...that meant it was extension time!! :bigsmile:

    It felt very wrong, and was very scary, cutting a hole in a rodent cage!!
    :gasp:

     photo degucage_zpssbhpwmel.jpg

    This was my first attempt at filling the loft :confused1:

     photo degucage1_zps6b3zm82a.jpg

    I don't know what I was thinking...I kinda thought I could put the extra toys in when they arrive, but why would the degus want to spend time in there when it was so boring?! So then I did THIS! :smile:

     photo degucage2_zps1pe7ph8v.jpg

    The 'shelf' in there is an ash pan, for fires, that I found in our local hardware shop today :bigsmile: It's 40cm x 20cm, so perfect for two degus. I tied it with sisal string to the bars, then put two wooden bird perches underneath to support it! I used the woven place mats to keep their feet safe from the wire roof / floor

     photo degucage5_zpsrrjne2vp.jpg

     photo degucage3_zpsyjzi35cq.jpg

    To secure the finch cage to the lower cage, and prevent escape, we cut open some chicken wire and unwound the mesh so it was a straight piece of wire. Then we wound it around and tied it like string :smile:

    So the loft is full of exciting chewables, new food / treats and I've dangled a millet spray down to try entice them up!!

     photo degucage4_zpscztcs21w.jpg

    So here is the final set-up (and Kasper!) - I modified it to try encourage them to use any path to the new area. I reeeaaally wanted to see them go up before bed, but they spend 99% of their time on the wheel shelf as they're not comfortable yet...I bet they go up in the night and I miss all the excitement! :sad:

    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 10th, 2015 12:04am (Oct 10th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    And I began taming work today - IT WENT REALLY WELL!!

    In one day Takka has gone from fleeing when I move towards the cage to coming towards my voice, and taking treats from my fingers :woohoo:

     photo takka_zpso17ztwjo.jpg

    Takka

     photo takka1_zpsi4dl3na1.jpg

    Toshi is our nervous boy - which is cool as his name means "alert"! - so for him I am talking gently and then leaving treats where I was speaking from...only problem is Takka nicks 'em! :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 10th, 2015 1:28pm (Oct 10th 2015)
     
    I really think you're not a good owner - do you realise those poor creatures have NO MUGS ON THEIR MUG TREE???? I have a good mind to report you... :rolling: They have everything in there but the kitchen sink!! And mugs, obviously...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 10th, 2015 10:31pm (Oct 10th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They're showing their intense anger at not having any mugs by refusing to go up!! :rolling:

    I was sure I'd got Takka up this morning. I scattered hay and nuggets RIGHT UNDER the millet that leads to the loft...but he didn't even notice that there was a new room above him!

    I'm sure they'll figure it out eventually...maybe.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeOct 12th, 2015 3:39am (Oct 12th 2015)
     
    Degus are sooo cute, Red..you sure made a nice cage for them.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 12th, 2015 3:52pm (Oct 12th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks Lynn! They're maybe slightly more settled. Still timid but they have been straying further from the wheel, which is good! I've seen Takka right under the hole to the loft a few times, but he really doesn't understand it's right above him!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 12th, 2015 7:09pm (Oct 12th 2015)
     
    He probably does understand...but with no mugs there's no point going upstairs, is there? :tooth:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2015 4:57pm (Oct 13th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    GO UP ALREEEAAADY!!! :face-crying:

    They'll be even more unimpressed now then CC, a rodent toy arrived today that looks exactly like a mug tree but minus the base - it hangs from the cage roof! :bigsmile:

    The boys are steadily getting better everyday; it's getting harder to tell them apart as Toshi gains a little confidence too! Today Takka came to the cage door whilst it was open and took a seed from me...they both tried to come get treats from the door over and over, but chickened out almost every time :tooth:

    Today they tried a mini rolled hay ball (looks like the bales of hay you see in fields!) and I made an interactive treat toy from a toilet roll tube. Takka constantly sits right under the loft, but really doesn't get there's a gap above him :sarcastic:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2015 7:13pm (Oct 13th 2015)
     
    Are there steps literally directly up to it, or are they supposed to climb something else? Maybe an obvious route would help (if it hasn't got one!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2015 10:26pm (Oct 13th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They have a few ways up...to begin with they just had the wire rack (the hole is literally just above it), then today I added the tree mug as an actual ladder *into* the cage!!

    This is where Takka sits, but never things to look above him *sigh* :rofl:

     photo goup_zpsqmdrrq1v.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2015 10:28pm (Oct 13th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Maybe I should move their food, water and wheel up there *evil cackle* ...but lets be honest, realistically I'll just wait and get sadder every day hahahaha!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2015 4:13pm (Oct 14th 2015)
     
    Can you pick them up? Could you not just lift them into the loft -or would they stay up there forever??
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2015 5:08pm (Oct 14th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I don't wanna pick them up as it'll just reiterate that I am something to be terrified of...it's just a waiting game *glum face*

    Makes me very worried about when they eventually get their big / final extension though :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2015 9:24pm (Oct 14th 2015)
     
    Perhaps they need something really easy - a ladder or a slope? My rats wouldn't go down a level when I first got them and it had to be something really gentle and easy and then I was able to change it later. They're going to be nervous of it all at first but once they've been up (and found some treats maybe!) they'll go again.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2015 1:05pm (Oct 15th 2015)
     
    What about a Stannah? :tooth:
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2015 2:44pm (Oct 15th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Well, when I worked at Acorn Stairlifts (spit!) someone had one put in for their elderly dog.

    I kid you not...

    And I can see the problem, it's just how CC says - how are the degus supposed to get themselves a brew if the mug tree is empty?! Needs a mini travel kettle in there too.

    Actually... do you remember when we used to put Holly's horrible little hamsters in the oven and pretend to cook them in pans? :D Can't believe I'm admitting to this, but we had fun hahahaah! It was a TOY oven...

    Hang on... is that a toast rack in the cage?! (bloody long one - fit a whole loaf of bread on it!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2015 12:40pm (Oct 16th 2015)
     
    Worse and worse; no mugs, no tea - and now no TOAST!! I'm ringing the RSPCA... :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2015 11:08pm (Oct 16th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    God those hamsters were obnoxious...

    It's not a toast rack, it's about 70cm long, that would be a lot of toast bwahahaha! It's a CD rack...and before you say it, no, they don't have any CD's either!! :001_tt2:

    Guess what everyone? I GOT THE LITTLE BUG BEGGARS UP!

    I dropped food into the food bowl up there very noisily, and only gave them a very small amount in their normal bit of cage. I also made a small trail of nuggets going up into the loft. They immediately set about sniffing the air and trying to get up there

     photo cmongoos4_zps1wg0gxhm.jpg

    They literally had four different ways to climb up :sarcastic:

     photo cmongoos5_zpsbqwbugtf.jpg

    Takka's realisation there's another space above him!

     photo movinup_zpsuldl9any.jpg

    Takka scoffing the treats that have been up there for, like, a week :sarcastic:

     photo movinup1_zps64xhtwcy.jpg

    Takka taking some of the loot to Toshi, who has since been up himself :smile:

     photo movinup3_zpsu0k8lghq.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2015 11:14pm (Oct 16th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    And some decent photos of the cuties, now they are slowly getting tamer :)

     photo cmongoos_zpsfyx40e7h.jpg

    Much braver about coming to the door!

     photo cmongoos1_zpsq51dgs1x.jpg

    And they're already totally used to the camera ;)

     photo cmongoos3_zpszqdhmjv8.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeOct 17th, 2015 12:04am (Oct 17th 2015)
     
    The last picture is the cutest one..they have darling little hands.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 17th, 2015 12:57pm (Oct 17th 2015)
     
    No mugs, no toast, no music...:face-sad:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 17th, 2015 3:52pm (Oct 17th 2015)
     
    They're so cute! Love that they shared treats. :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 19th, 2015 9:25pm (Oct 19th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They do have a cracking view of the TV thought CC ;)

    Thanks Kate :bigsmile:

    It's hard to know if they both go up or if it's Takka, as they don't go up together! Takka has been busily stripping the bark from the perch / wooden toy up there, he's really enjoyed doing this...they haven't been as chewy as I was expecting at all, but there are a few things they've chewed and chewed and chewed!!

     photo degu9_zpsjfjktyfg.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 20th, 2015 7:46pm (Oct 20th 2015)
     
    Can you mark one of them? I used to dip the rats tails in food colouring to be able to tell them apart. It wears off but might help to learn their habits at first.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 20th, 2015 9:09pm (Oct 20th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Ooh that's a great idea if I can get near them! :bigsmile: I keep thinking I've found ways to tell them apart, and then the next time I go look at them they look identical again!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd, 2015 12:56am (Oct 22nd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Quick update on the boys, who are actually coming on reeeaaally well! :woohoo:

    Takka now bounds over to the door when I open it, and he is very comfortable taking food from my hand. Next step is moving towards him then immediately giving him the treat, and then we can move on to me touching him before treating!

     photo degutame1_zps3lilngoh.jpg

    Toshi is my nervous boy so at the moment I am feeding him through the bars, which he is comfortable with. It takes him a few seconds, and a few suspicious sniffs, but he does take food happily.

     photo degutame3_zpsyidfjszg.jpg

    And Takka is SO confident! I can't believe this is the same little degu, such an improvement in, what, just over two weeks? :smile:

     photo degutame2_zpsipfj0ioi.jpg

    Dinner is served!! :tooth:

     photo degutame_zpsusyuyc4n.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 25th, 2015 6:35pm (Oct 25th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    The degus had their first taste of the dried flowers and herbs the other night - they loved them SO MUCH I thought there was going to be a fight! :rolling:

     photo herbs2_zpsk4eisruk.jpg

    Usually with new food they will pick their standard nuggets out first, but they went wild for the herbs :)

     photo herbs3_zps9uhvo85n.jpg

    "It's mine!" - "No it's mine!"

     photo herbs4_zps9d1a4bpy.jpg

    Even Toshi was taking them eagerly from my fingers

     photo herbs5_zpsljrv7uxh.jpg

    Toshi on the left, and Takka stretched out looooong on the right!

     photo herbs6_zpsuss8qcfj.jpg

    Before coming to us they had never eaten anything other than the degu pellets. Herbs and flowers are supposed to be really tasty and healthy for degus, and best of all the boys really enjoyed them...they got some again tonight and when they heard the tub open they were so excited!!

    I do have to feed them in two separate piles otherwise they squabble and there are lots of squeaky-angry-bird-chirps!! :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 27th, 2015 10:48pm (Oct 27th 2015)
     
    Glad the degus like the flowers, especially after the meeces weren't keen!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 28th, 2015 9:52pm (Oct 28th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Archie isn't a fan of them either :sarcastic: whereas I think the degus would eat the whole tub in one go if I let them :rolling: