Chinchilla Housing & Care Instruction
Chinchilla Care Sheet It has been brought to my attention it's hard to find proper information regarding chinchilla care. I have put together a little information sheet to help anyone who is interested in chinchillas. Basics: Food- Your chinchilla should have access to fresh water and Timothy hay daily as well as a Timothy hay based chinchilla pellet with nothing added just a plain Timothy based pellet. Hay- Timothy hay should be available at all times cubes and lose are both good options either together and separate they help care for different areas of there teeth. We offer our chinchillas a 60/40 split of Timothy Alfalfa hay until they are 6 months old. Pregnant and nursing chinchillas should have access to alfalfa hay always during this process no matter what age. Water- Fresh water daily supplied to from a bottle not a bowl chinchillas have vary dense fur making it vary hard for them to dry off completely getting wet can cause there skin to get irritated and in some extreme cases rot. Exercise: Ball- Large exercise balls are NOT safe at all for chinchillas! They can easily over heat not to mention the many other dangers accessible to them during there free time in your home. We recommend chin proofing a room or area for you chinchillas playtime bathrooms work well also just be sure to ALWAYS remember to shut the toilet lid and keep soaps and cleaners where your chinchillas can't access them. Wheels- Common pet stores do not stock safe chinchilla wheels no matter what they claim. Chinchillas should only have access to wheels that are NOT plastic must be over 15" wide with no centre bar. Wheels smaller then 15" cause the chinchillas back to arch in an unnatural position causing issues for the chinchilla as it ages the centre bars can catch their tail trapping them or possibly ripping it off. Plastic flying saucers are not recommended either due to being plastic. Plastic can cause impaction in chinchillas intestines a piece as small as a grain of rice can be deadly to a chinchilla.
Housing: Cage- Chinchillas do require a large chew proof living environment. There teeth continue to grow there entire life and require a lot of chewing. Wooden cages are not recommend due to holding urine making for a smelly and dirty environment for your chinchilla. Ramps and wire racking are also a dangerous addition to your chinchillas home there feet and toes can get caught and if they can't manage to struggle free they can and will self mutilate or break there bones to gain freedom. Plastic Igloo/Dome Houses: Are NOT safe kiln-dried pine is a safe material to build a dutiable little home for your chinchilla. HayBall/HayRack: Hay balls and hay racks seem like a great way to keep your critter from wasting there hay but they can be vary dangerous chinchillas can get stuck and or worse. Ceramic bowls or ceramic flower pots are both options for great hay holders. Litter/Cage Base: Kiln dried pine, kiln dried spruce, or aspen Are the best options for litter when it comes to chinchillas cedar is NOT a safe option. Fleece is another option as long as it has no seems or the seems are hidden be sure to keep an eye to make sure your chinchilla is not a chewer.
Treats: 9 out 10 treats purchased from the pet store again are not safe. Even if they claim to be they are not chinchillas do not process sugar feeding them sugary treats is comparable to forcing a diabetic to live on chocolate cake. Natural treats are the best option dried flowers, oats, wheats, I have a list I can forward to anyone interested. Most safe treats are available at health food stores.
Chinchillas as a Pet: Chinchillas are not for everyone they are nocturnal so can be noisy while you are trying to sleep at night. They do require safe wooden objects to chew to keep their teeth at a healthily length. That being considered they are amazing little creatures loving, hilarious and most of all a vary bondable pet. Chinchillas and Allergies: Unlike most small pets chinchillas fur is so dense it doesn't support or hold any types of dander, fleas or mites. When there is the rare case someone has an allergy to chinchillas it is typically towards there hay or dust sand. Both of these issues can be some what worked around if your allergy is mild enough by having a self contained bathing container that is sealable as well as using cubed or compressed hay to limit they amount of hay dust introduced in to your environment. Breeding and Kits: Breeding chinchillas can be vary costly and devastating if not done properly with healthy fully pedigreed animals. When picking good breeding stock you want to first make sure your chinchilla is fully pedigreed back 4 generations as well as weight no chinchilla under 900g should even be considered for a breeding program. Females require extra water as well as alfalfa hay during pregnant and kit rearing. Kits need to be housed in a cage with no high ledges as well as bar spacing less then 1/2 inch so they can not escape. Becoming a chinchilla breeder is not for everyone it requires time and education regarding nutrition, chinchilla genetics and kit rearing. Chinchilla c-sections can easily range anywhere from $600-over $1000 and that is if you can find an exotics vet willing to do the procedure. To sum it all up becoming a breeder is something you should take vary seriously it's not all cuteness and babies it can also be vary disappointing and frustrating. Please don't get into breeding to make quick money it does not turn any profit breeding should be done for the love of the breed and bettering the quality of pets. Myths: Chinchillas will die if housed alone. Some chinchillas prefer to live alone and others love the company of other chinchillas. Chinchillas enjoyed being cuddled. Chinchillas all have there own personalities but it's a chinchilla nature to run bounce and jump they enjoy human company but not so much to be cuddled. Chinchillas can walk on a leash. Harnesses and leashes are a major no no they constrict your chinchilla not allowing there bodies to bend and move naturally. Can squish and brake there tiny tooth pick thin bones. Chinchillas should have fresh vegetables and or fruit. Chinchillas should NEVER ingest fresh fruit or vegetables it can cause a fast on set of gas in there stomach causing bloat a vary painful and deadly illness.