Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) are cute, gentle 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 twilight and prefer to sleep during the day.
Due to their soft thick coat with hair follicle from which more than 50 hairs grow, they look like teddy bears, but nothing could be further from the truth. If Chinchillas look cuddly, most chins are not. They make great pets, but they are sensitive animals so they should be handled with care and housed properly. To keep them happy and healthy, they need a special diet tailored to the nutritional needs of the Chinchilla. The animals also need a lot of freedom of movement to run and jump.
- Systematics: Chinchilla lanigera, Family Chinchillidae, Order Rodentia
- Head-body length: up to 26 cm
- Body Weight: 400g to 600g (females are slightly heavier than males)
- Life expectancy : up to 20 years
Weakly muscled stop stomach: Due to the intake of several small portions per day, the food mash is pushed to the rear part of the intestines. Lifelong growth of the incisors and molars: The tooth wear occurs during eating because the teeth rub against each other. The duration of the feed intake becomes longer when eating raw fiber, which is ground intensively. Relative large cecum: Conversion of fine, crude fibers by the positive intestinal flora into protein-rich and vitamin B-containing gut faeces. These are eaten directly from the anus and pass a second passage through the intestines.
Unlimited feeding is possible with Chinchilla Dream BASIC because it meets the energy needs of young animals during their growth process as well as the needs of adult animals.
- I. Crude fiber promotes tooth wear.
- I I. Fine particles (<0.3 mm) enter the caecum and are metabolized by the positive intestinal flora.
- I II. Particles> 0.3 mm stimulate bowel movement. Sudden changes in food should be avoided.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE CHINCHILLA
- originally from Chile between Altamira and Talca, mainly in the vicinity of the coastal Cordillera
- at the moment only 2 small populations remain in the north of central Chile
- critically endangered
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE CHINCHILLA
Chinchilla Dream BASIC contains plants from their native region, such as amaranth, maca and topinam farmer.
- especially on dry, sparsely vegetated north slopes with a loose vegetation of cacti, bromeliad and a few smaller shrubs
- mainly on fields full of gravel
- burrows in crevices
BEHAVIOR OF THE CHINCHILLA
- predominantly active at dusk and at night
- social, according to family ties
- possibly with territorial behavior
REPRODUCTION OF THE CHINCHILLA
Chinchillas should be kept by adults as they do not like to be handled and petted and are active at dusk as well as at night.
- Sexual maturity : females at 4-6 months, males at 4-6 months
- Breeding ready : females after 9-12 months, males after 9-10 months
- Litter size : 1-6 (Ø 2) little ones per throw
- Gestation period : 105-118 (Ø 110) days
- Birth weight: 50-70 g,
- Weaning time: nest flyers from week 8-10
To avoid uncontrolled reproduction, we recommend neutering the bear. Early neutering makes it possible to keep a couple from the start. Young animals exhibit 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.
Sex differences: in the male the distance between the sex opening and the anus is greater than in the female.
NUTRITION OF THE CHINCHILLA
foli-herbivore: Variety of green plants supplemented with carrots and vegetables. Give plenty of good quality hay as well as fresh drinking water every day. Provide branches to gnaw on.
Balanced long-life recipe: Chinchilla Dream BASIC - supplemented during the growth phase with Juniors Extra Chinchilla & Degoe - covers the nutritional needs of chinchillas.
Hay from nature-protected meadows and FreshGras Hay is characterized by a multitude of green plants and herbs (biodiversity). The long, handsome stems ensure optimal tooth wear.
Good composition of Chinchilla food
- Crude Protein (Rp): 13-15%
- Crude fat (RVe): 2-4%
- Crude fiber (RVz): 18-21%
- Crude fiber-starch ratio: at least 3: 1
An optimal crude fiber-starch ratio meets the energy needs of adult animals. This protects the animal from obesity.
- 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 cecum flora can adapt gradually thanks to a step-by-step change in the feed.
Excess calcium is mainly excreted through the intestines. Chinchillas are therefore less susceptible to bladder stones / stones.
DEALING WITH THE CHINCHILLA
- During the first days, chinchillas need a lot of rest to get used to.
- Chinchillas are mainly active in the early morning and evening and do not like to be 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 pick up chinchillas with their sensitive tail.
- 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 a relationship of trust during the adjustment period and as an incentive for playing and exploring behavior.
Check the animal's health daily, regularly checking the incisors, anogenital area and coat. A weight check should be done once a week.
INDICATIONS OF DISEASE
Weight loss, less food and water intake, altered droppings and urination behavior as well as a shaggy coat are among others indications of a disease.
To determine the cause and treatment, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. If the chinchilla's tooth abrasion does not proceed correctly, treatments should be performed by a veterinarian under anesthesia.
HOUSING OF THE CHINCHILLA
Chinchillas are social animals that live in family groups in the wild. In captivity they must therefore be kept together. It is very nice to see how the animals interact, cuddle and sleep together.
For two chinchillas you need a spacious cage of at least one square meter of bottom area. Bigger is always better.
- don't just keep
- at least a few
- recommended: 1 neutered male and 1 female
- in groups of the same sex, animals can bite each other after reaching sexual maturity
Chinchillas should not be kept with guinea pigs or other rodents.
PLACEMENT OF THE CHINCHILLA CAGE
- no direct sunlight
- relative humidity 30-50%
- optimal ambient temperature 15 to 18 ° C, not permanently above 25 ° C
Chinchillas come from cool, dry high mountains. The animal cannot tolerate heat and humidity 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
- for each additional adult animal, at least 0.5 m3 extra must be provided
- also offer the option of supervised walkout on a daily basis
A large, structured aviary allows intensive movement during the active phase. Free range should be supervised during the active hours in the early morning or evening to encourage natural behaviors such as exploring, playing and jumping.
Ground cover for the Chinchilla
- well absorbent
- odor binding, especially ammonia binding
- low dust
- regularly replaced
FURNISHINGS OF THE CHINCHILLA CAGE
- 1 house per animal (minimum 30 x 30 x 20 cm) with two openings
- shelves at different heights
- climbing branch
- gnawwood eg Back to the ROOTS
- always provide the opportunity 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 dense, fine fur. The hairs are bundled together in hair bundles. There are about 50-75 wool hairs around a topcoat. For proper coat cleaning, it is important to use special chinchilla sand to avoid greasy hair and swelling. In addition to the care of the coat, the sand bath also serves to reduce stress.
KEEP CHINCHILLAS OUTSIDE?
- only possible during the summer months, but we do not recommend it
- Provide protection from predators, rain, direct sunlight
High temperatures and humidity are poorly tolerated.
Chinchillas are small, folivorous / herbivorous (herbivorous) mammals and belong to the rodent order. They are predominantly active at dusk and at night, very social and live in nature as a family as a pair and their female offspring. Even if they are kept as pets, they should not be alone. As a couple or in a group (a neutered male and one or more females) they feel good. A chinchilla can live up to 20 years old, reaching a body length of about 26cm and a weight of 400 to 600 g.
Chinchillas are native to South America and live there in rocky mountain slopes near the coast. Their survival is strongly threatened and today only 2 small residual populations live 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 vegetated slopes with loose vegetation consisting of cacti, bromeliads and small shrubs. They make their burrows in rock crevices.
Chinchillas feed on plant foods and are able to process them optimally.
Chinchillas have nutritional needs all their own.
The digestive system is important for a healthy and vital life.
There are two incisors in the upper and lower jaw, which, like the molars, continue to grow for life. A rough fiber structure in the food is necessary for tooth wear.
The stomach is only moderately muscled and therefore cannot independently transport the nutritional knits to the next part of the intestine. The following food portions take over that task.
Fine dietary fibers end up in the voluminous cecum, which are converted by special bacteria into proteins, vitamin B complex and vitamin K. That is why the appendix is also called the fermentation chamber. The formed cecum droppings are reabsorbed by chinchillas.
RATIO CRUDE FIBER AND STARCH
Crude Fiber: Crude fiber is very important for health. They support digestion, the cecum and with their rough fiber structure, tooth wear.
Starch: Starch is mainly an energy supplier and must be limited in the feed.
A shift in the crude fiber-starch ratio can lead to health damage in the long term:
- Too little crude fiber leads to intestinal slowness, changes in the intestinal flora and disturbed cecum function.
- Too much starch leads to eating breaks, changes in the intestinal flora, swelling, diarrhea, fermentation, adiposity.
That's why vets recommend a crude fiber-starch ratio of at least 3: 1.
How do I actually know how much starch my food contains?
The composition is very useful here: whole grain kernels (with starchy flour body), field beans, potatoes or peas are an indication that a higher starch content must be taken into account.