You have decided on a degu or chinchilla as your new pet, but first you have to create a suitable home for it. You found a bird cage in the garage and are hoping that you might be able to modify it to create a comfortable habitat that your degu or chinchilla will quickly settle in to. While the cage must meet certain requirements in order to be appropriate for your little rodent friend. If it does, you can safely modify it to become either temporary quarters until you obtain a better cage or even a permanent living space for your pet.
Degus and chinchillas might be small animals, but they are very active. Your new pet will need room to jump, run, climb and leap! Because of this, large bird cages are much more suitable for a little rodent friend than small bird cages might be. Another factor to consider is the shape of the cage. In order for your degu or chinchilla to stay happy and healthy, the cage needs to be both tall and wide. Cages that are very tall but not especially long or wide, such as parrot cages, will not provide the space your pet needs.
The downside of many large bird cages is that they often have too much spacing between the bars. Make sure the bars of your cage are close enough together that your degu or chinchilla cannot squeeze between them. In addition, if the cage has metal mesh or wire flooring, you will need to cover it with a piece of wood. Otherwise, the metal may catch, twist or cut your pet’s feet and legs.
Finally, you will need to add everything else a degu or chinchilla cage must have. Add pine shelves for your pet to leap to and from, making sure that the elevation between shelves is never more than 18 inches. Your pet will need a water bottle, a sleeping box and a food bowl as well. In addition, your new little friend will be even happier if you supply a hayrack, a sand bath and a few toys to chew on or play with.