Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) are cute, soft animals that need attention. They belong to the guinea pig-like rodents and come from the Andes mountains in South America. They are active in the evening and at dusk and they prefer to sleep during the day.
Because of their soft thick fur with a hair follicle from which more than 50 hairs grow, they look like teddy bears, but nothing is less true. As Chinchillas look cuddly, most chins are not. They are great pets, but they are sensitive animals, so they must be treated carefully and housed properly. To keep them happy and healthy, they need a special diet that is tailored to the nutritional needs of the Chinchilla. The animals also need a lot of freedom of movement to run and jump.
- System: Chinchilla lanigera, Family Chinchillidae, Order Rodentia
- Head-rom length: up to 26 cm
- Body weight: 400 g to 600 g (females are slightly heavier than males)
- Life expectancy : up to 20 years
Details of the Chinchilla anatomy
Weak muscular stop stomach: By taking several small portions per day, the food slurry is pushed to the rear part of the intestines. Lifelong growth of incisors and molars: The tooth wear occurs during eating because the teeth rub against each other. The duration of feed intake becomes longer when eating raw fibers, which are intensively ground. Relatively large appendix: Conversion of fine, crude cellular substances by the positive intestinal flora into protein-rich and vitamin B-containing appendix. These are eaten directly from the anus and undergo a second passage through the intestines.
Unrestricted feeding is possible with ChinchillaDroom BASIC because it meets the energy needs of young animals during their growth process as well as the needs of adult animals.
- I. Raw fibers promote tooth wear.
- I. Fine particles (<0.3 mm) end up in the blind intestine and are metabolized by the positive intestinal flora.
- II. Particles> 0.3 mm stimulate bowel movement. Sudden changes to the feed must be avoided.
Distribution of the Chinchilla
- originally from Chile between Altamira and Talca, mainly near the coast of Cordillera
- at the moment there are only 2 small populations left in the north of Central Chile
- seriously threatened
ChinchillaDream BASIC contains plants from their native region, such as amaranth, maca and topinam farmer.
Natural environment of the Chinchilla
- especially on dry, sparsely overgrown northern slopes with a loose vegetation of cacti, bromeliad and a few smaller shrubs
- mainly on fields full of crushed stone
- caves in crevasses
ChinchillaDroom BASIC is precisely tailored to the diet of chinchillas that are kept as pets and contains all necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Behavior of the Chinchilla
- mostly active during the twilight and at night
- social, according to family ties
- possibly with territorial behavior
Chinchillas should be kept by adults because they do not like being held and petted and are active during twilight and at night.
Reproduction of the Chinchilla
- Sexual maturity : females after 4-6 months, males after 4-6 months
- Breeding maturity : females after 9-12 months, males after 9-10 months
- Roll size : 1-6 (Ø 2) small ones per throw
- Wearing time : 105-118 (Ø 110) days
- Birth weight: 50-70 g,
- Weaning time: nesters from week 8-10
To avoid uncontrolled reproduction, we recommend that you castrate the bear. An early castration makes it possible to keep a couple from the beginning. Young animals display social behavior more easily than adult animals.
The cycle length is 4-5 weeks. At the end of the cycle, the females are fertile for up to 48 hours.
Gender differences: with the male, the distance between the genital opening and the anus is greater than with the female.
Nutrition of the Chinchilla
foli-herbivore: Multiple green plants supplemented with carrots and vegetables. Give plenty of good quality hay every day as well as fresh drinking water. Give branches to gnaw.
Balanced long-life recipe: ChinchillaDream BASIC - supplemented with Juniors Extra Chinchilla & Degoe during the growing phase - covers the nutritional needs of chinchillas.
Hay from nature conservation meadows and FreshGras Hay are characterized by a multitude of green plants and herbs (biodiversity). The long, handsome period stems ensure optimum tooth wear.
Good composition of Chinchilla food
- Crude protein (Rp): 13-15%
- Crude fat (RVe): 2-4%
- Raw fibers (RVz): 18-21%
- Raw fiber-starch ratio: at least 3: 1
An optimal raw fiber-starch ratio meets the energy requirements of adult animals. This protects the animal against overweight.
- Calcium (Ca): Adult animals: 0.6-0.8% Young animals: 0.9 - 1.0% for bone formation during the growth phase
- Phosphorus (F): 0.4-0.7% (Ca-F ratio: 1.5-2: 1)
Monocomponent food (TriMello®) contains the necessary nutrients. Vegetables and blossoms make feed intake more varied. Apple wood stimulates gnawing. The sensitive appendix flora can gradually adjust thanks to a step-by-step change of the feed.
Excess calcium is mainly excreted via the intestines. Chinchillas are therefore less susceptible to bladder grit / stones.
Dealing with the Chinchilla
- During the first few days, chinchillas need a lot of rest during habituation.
- Chinchillas are mainly active in the early morning and in the evening and are not fond of being caressed. That is why it is best that children only look at them.
- Lift the animals with the hand around the shoulder and chest and support their hind legs with the other hand.
- Never lift chinchillas with their sensitive tails.
- bunnyINTERACTIVE stimulates chinchillas both mentally and physically, intensifies the bond between owner and animal and improves confidence.
The Enjoy Nature range offers a multitude of natural products that are suitable for building up a relationship of trust during the habituation period and as a stimulus for play and reconnaissance behavior.
Check the health of the animal daily, regularly the incisors, the anogenital area, the fur and the nails. A check of the weight must be done once a week.
Indications of illness
Loss of weight, less intake of feed and water, altered key and urinary behavior as well as a rough coat are indications of an illness.
To determine the cause and treatment, a veterinarian must be consulted as soon as possible. If the chinchilla does not wear its teeth properly, treatments must be performed under general anesthesia by a veterinarian.
Housing of the Chinchilla
Chinchillas are social animals that live in the wild in family groups. They must therefore be kept together in captivity. It is very beautiful to see how the animals interact, cuddle and sleep together.
For two chinchillas you need a spacious cage of at least a square meter bottom surface. Bigger is always better.
- don't just keep it
- at least a few
- recommended: 1 castrated male and 1 female
- in same-sex groups, animals may bite each other after reaching sexual maturity
Chinchillas should not be kept together with guinea pigs or other rodents.
Position of the Chinchilla cage
- draft free
- no direct sunlight
- relative humidity 30-50%
- optimum ambient temperature 15 to 18 ° C, not permanently above 25 ° C
Chinchillas come from cool, dry, high mountains. The animal cannot handle heat and moisture well.
Size of the Chinchilla cage
- at least a volume of 3 m3, at least 50 cm wide and 150 cm high for two animals
- at least 0.5 m3 extra must be provided for each additional adult animal
- also offer daily the option of a spout under supervision
A large, structured aviary makes intensive movement possible during the active phase. Free range should be possible during the active hours in the early morning or under supervised evening, to stimulate natural behavior such as exploring, playing and jumping.
Ground cover for the Chinchilla
- good absorbent
- odor-binding, especially ammonia-binding
- replaced regularly
Interior of the Chinchilla cage
- 1 animal per animal (at least 30 x 30 x 20 cm) with two openings
- platforms at different heights
- climbing branch
- knaaghout bv. Back to the ROOTS
- always ensure the possibility to bathe in the sand
- feed in sturdy clay or ceramic dishes (clean the dishes daily)
- drinking water in bottles or dishes (change the water daily)
Chinchillas have a thick, hairy coat. The hairs are bundled together in hair bundles. There are approximately 50-75 woolen hairs around a stud hair. For proper fur cleaning it is important to use special chinchilla sand to prevent greasy hair and swelling. In addition to taking care of the coat, the sand bath also serves to reduce stress.
Keep Chinchilla out
- only possible during the summer months, but we do not recommend it
- Provide protection against predators, rain, direct sunlight
High temperatures and humidity are poorly tolerated.
Chinchillas are small, folivorous / herbivorous (herbivorous) mammals and belong to the order of the rodents. They are mostly active at dusk and at night, very social and live in nature in family context as one couple and their female descendants. Even if they are kept as pets, they should not be left alone. As a couple or in a group (a castrated male and one or more females) they feel good. A chinchilla can reach the age of 20 and reaches a body length of around 26 cm and a weight of 400 to 600 g.
Chinchillas originally come from South America and live there on rocky mountain slopes near the coast. Their survival is highly threatened and nowadays there are only 2 small remaining populations in the north of Central Chile.
The vegetation in their country of origin varies and often shows a desert-like character. They prefer dry and sparsely overgrown slopes with a loose vegetation consisting of cacti, bromeliad and small shrubs. They make their burrows in crevasses.
Chinchillas feed on vegetable food and are able to process it optimally.
Chinchillas have their own nutritional needs.
The digestive system is important for a healthy and vital life.
There are two incisors in the upper and lower jaws, which, like the molars, continue to grow for life. A rough fiber structure in the feed is necessary for the tooth wear.
The stomach is only moderately muscled and therefore cannot independently transport the knit to the next part of the intestine. The following food portions take over that task.
Fine dietary fibers end up in the voluminous appendix, which are converted into proteins, vitamin B complex and vitamin K by special bacteria. That is why the appendix is also called the fermentation chamber. The appendicitis keys formed are taken back by chinchillas.
Ratio Raw fiber and starch
Raw fiber: Raw fiber is very important for health. They support the digestion, the appendix and with their rough fiber structure the tooth wear.
Starch: Starch is primarily an energy supplier and must be present in the feed to a limited extent.
A shift in the crude fiber-starch ratio can lead to health damage in the long term:
- Too little crude fiber leads to intestinal inertia, changes in the intestinal flora and impaired functioning of the appendix.
- Too much starch leads to eating breaks, changes in the intestinal flora, swellings, diarrhea, fermentation, adiposity.
That is why veterinarians recommend at least a crude fiber-starch ratio of 3: 1.
How do I know how much starch my feed contains?
In addition, the composition is very useful: whole grains (with starch containing flour), field beans, potatoes or peas are an indication that a higher starch content must be taken into account.