Thank you so much. Me and my girlfriend are going to be living separately for 6 months so I think I'll just go ahead and try to introduce a pair of pups to him (I have a spare cage that's big enough for 2 pups anyway) and if that doesn't work I'll give the pups and cage away to a good home.
I'm sure once the girlfriend sees how much happier he is she'll stop giving me grief.
Also can anyone tell me why I have negative karma? Is it because my degu is on his own? I got him on his own, it wasn't by choice that he was said to have to be, and there has never been a more loved single degu. I spoil him rotten and have created a run for him to play in.
Hi, when you introduce them (actually if I were you, I think I would try just introducing one pup (not a pair) to your degu). People on the www.degus-international.org or the www.degutopia.co.uk website forums may have other opinions. I would just think that there might be a risk of two degus bonding more and then excluding the third.
Anyways, When I introduced my degus, a couple of suggestions I was given that seemed to work were:
1. At first have two separate cages for the new and "old" degus.
2. Put the substrate of one cage into the substrate of the other cage so they get used to the smell of each other.
3. Put both cages into a degu-proofed room or playpen and open one cage at a time. This means that one set will be running freely in the room or playpen and will be able to climb on and around the closed cage of the other. Then reverse.
4. Only after this had been done for a few days would I then try to open both cages at the same time in this degu-proofed room or playpen.
5. Once these steps have all been done (after a few days) and only if it seems they are all getting along at each step would I put them into the same cage.
Awesome tips, thanks. I was only concerned if I got a single pup then when Knuckles dies (he's around 4 years old already) then I'll be in the exact same situation again.
I already have a medium sized spare cage that I'd use for the pup/s and I'm planning to get a huge cage if it's successful (so they'll be on even ground in a new cage rather than risking Knuckles feeling that a stranger has moved into HIS cage). Does that make sense?
Yes, that's makes sense. You'll probably need a bigger cage for more than one degu anyways. (Again, I would refer you to www.degus-international.org which has a guide to how big a cage should be (based on running room for the degus)):
The cage size chart that website gives two recommendations of how many degus can be kept in a cage of a given size.
The first is for minimum cages and these values need to be met. (The minimum size for two degus is based on measures advised by the RSPCA). The second is recommended by the Degu and Chinchilla World Forum and should be considered as a sensible compromise between the absolute minimum and ideal conditions... like a full room which remains unrealistic for most degu owners. )
I look forward to hearing your progress and perhaps seeing pictures if you join the degus-international.org forum which makes it easy to post pictures and/or videos!
Knuckles has now been neutered and is happy living with the 2 girl pups I brought home (Peaches and Cream). I introduced them slowly and they groom, snuggle and play together (and, despite the neutering, there is still life in the little guy)