If you keep a pair of octodons, sooner or later they will have babies. There are most often 2-8 of them, with the female being 83-90 pregnant. Baby degus are already covered with hair and can see after birth. It is recommended to wean baby degus after about six weeks, and if you don’t plan to keep them, you should have arranged for a new owner by then so that they can more easily tame them when they are young.
The course of birth
You can tell ahead of time when something is about to happen, because out of the chaos that reigns in the terrarium, a really carefully built nest will suddenly emerge, if there is anything to build it from, of course.
Some octuplets are so tidy that they keep it all the time, but most of the time, as they get bored and hide their food, they will dig it up. The female is in quite a lot of pain and whines, it can take a long time especially when first giving birth. Pups are born at the rate of one every hour or so. Cubs also run out of the nest the first day after birth, my very first cub ran all over the terrarium right away, it was a boy.
The male can stay with the female during the birth, as soon as the cub calls, the male takes this interesting stance, kind of like a cat’s back and completely freezes, he’s very careful not to hurt them. It’s just a bit of a problem that he’s “bothering” the female, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much, she can handle him – but it’s possible that the male will manage to get the female pregnant within 24 hours of giving birth, so it’s better to put him away for a day or two. The male sleeps in the nest with the female and the chicks, warms them up, and would hopefully nurse if he could.
After giving birth, the female cleans (licks) the young, and eats the placentas. However, there is sawdust or just blood in the nest, and it doesn’t look very nice, so I remove it (just the bloody stuff, otherwise I leave the nest), and add material so she can build a warm home for the babies.
The material is napkins torn into smaller pieces, or toilet paper. paper, tissues, shavings. The little 8’s will soon start tasting their parents’ food, but the female is still nursing them, min until 5 weeks. From about 2- 3 weeks, the young should reach the waterer.