Degus Love Digging!
They love digging in their bedding and hiding their treats anywhere. I’ve even caught mine doing it in their dust bath a time or two. One even tried to do it in the cracks between the boards of the hardwood floor (unsuccessfully, might I add).
Create a Natural Digging Area For Your Degus
Since it seemed to be a natural, and for the most part, non-destructive habit I thought I’d find a way to encourage the behavior safely and naturally. So I spent a bunch of time searching for the soil I’d seen used in reptile tanks. I looked for lizard dirt, lizard soil, reptile substrate…you name it: I Googled it! Then I finally had the chance to stop by a pet store and found out that what I thought was dirt was actually coconut fiber bedding. I had considered using a bedding type substrate for a dig box but the larger particles would make it easier for Rascal to fling pieces all over the place more so than with dirt where he’s just move it to one spot the bury whatever he had.
So I grabbed a brick of compressed coconut fiber bedding and headed home. I had saved a pot from an edible arrangement my boyfriend had gotten me for Valentines day and I wanted to fill it about half way with the dirt up to see if my degus liked digging in it too. They love it!
I often find them sitting in or on their dirt. My boyfriend said he’s even seen one laying in the pail. They don’t get dirty because we took care to make sure the dirt was moist enough that it wasn’t dusty but not so moist as to be muddy. They don’t get dirtier paws! They dig and bury things – nuts, seeds, treats. The treats we give them that they bury don’t spoil quickly but once a week I’ve taken the dirt pail out and either emptied it or sifted through to remove any treats before they start to rot, mold or otherwise decompose.
Buy Coconut Husk Substrate on Amazon
Compressed Coconut Husk (Reptile dirt) Substrate for Degu Bedding?
I’m considering trying the coconut fiber substrate (reptile soil) as a bedding replacement but I’ll give that a try this summer – the soil is much cooler and may be more comfortable for them! I’ll be sure to post about that when it happens!