What is a Chinchilla?
A chinchilla is a medium sized rodent hailing from South America.Chinchilla means little Chincha. If you are not aware Chincha is the name of the people derived from the Andes Mountains.
Chinchillas have very soft fur. The reasoning behind this is that each hair follicle sprouts 60 hairs each. They are generally gray in color. Due to breeding they know are often found black, beige, white and with combinations of these colors. chinchillas have large ears that resemble a mouses ears and a rounded body. There legs are very short and there feat are very frail and can easily be injured. The chinchilla also has a very long tail. The lifespan in nature ranges from 10 to 15 years. In captivity they have been know to live 20 or more years with the proper diet and care.
The chinchilla is nocturnal. This means that they are most active at night and are generally asleep during daylight hours. During the day time you want there housing to be placed in a room that for the most part does not have much sound or foot traffic. Chinchillas love human interaction so it is good to handle them often. This also helps them get used to you and bond. It is important to remember that they do not like any changes in there routine. Making changes can cause them to become stressed out.
The diet for a chinchilla should mainly consist of quality pellets. You should also include organic hay or grass in there enclosure/ cage. You may give them treats but in moderation as too much can be bad for there health. Like dogs change in diet is hard on the digestive system and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It is important that you gradually change there diet to help there stomach become acclimated to there new food. Like other rodents they need minerals. include a salt lick and mineral wheel in there home.
They have 20 teeth. The teeth on a Chinchilla never stop growing. Which is why tooth elongation can be very common. What this is is the extensive growth of one teeth is longer than the other. To Prevent the over growth of teeth it is important to include a chew block. A chew block can be a lava rock and a granite stone block. Chinchillas love to chew. What these blocks do is provide something to chew on that also helps keep the teeth from becoming to long.
You will notice in these list i will say glass or metal. Why? This is because plastic is harmful to a Chinchilla. The consumption of plastic can cause blockage and impaction in there digestive system which can be deadly. It can also cause pain and discomfort, but the main thing to remember is, plastic can cause death when used in the cages. So use wood housing glass bottles and mettle wheels.( not grate wheels as they have fragile feet that can get caught in the grates and break)
- Glass water bottle
- Food dish
- Glass bath house
- Bathing sand
- Metal exercise wheel
- Wooden house/hide
- Sleep N-Ledge
- Hay rack
- Chin Chiller/ Granite stone
- Cage cleaner
- litter scoop
- Dust pan
- litter box (optional)
- Mineral blocks
- Distilled Water
- Play Pen
This is so important i gave it its own space. CLEAN the cage once a week!!!!!!!
I am always adding and changing so if you want me to add anything i can do so.
I have personal experience in animal rescues.
© 2017 Jessica M Reveal