Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) are cute, soft animals that need attention. They belong to the guinea-pig rodents and come from the Andes mountains in South America. They are active in the evening and dusk and during the day they prefer to sleep.
Because of their soft thick coat with hair follicle from which more than 50 hairs grow, they look like teddy bears, but nothing is less true. If Chinchillas look cuddly, most chins are not. They are great pets, but they are sensitive animals, so they must be handled 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.
- Systematics: Chinchilla lanigera, Family Chinchillidae, Order Rodentia
- Head-body length: up to 26 cm
- Body weight: 400 g to 600 g (females are slightly heavier than males)
- Life expectancy : up to 20 years
Special features of the Chinchilla anatomy
Weak muscular stop stomach: The intake of several small portions per day pushes the food slurry to the back part of the intestines. Lifelong growth of the incisors and choosing: The tooth wear occurs during eating because the teeth rub against each other. The duration of the feed intake becomes longer when eating raw fibers, which are finely ground. Relatively large cecum: Conversion of fi ne, crude fiber through the positive intestinal flora in protein-rich and vitamin B-containing gut-spoons. These are eaten directly from the anus and undergo a second passage through the intestines.
Unlimited feeding with ChinchillaDroom BASIC is possible because it meets the energy needs of young animals during their growth process as well as the needs of adult animals.
- I. Crude fibers promote tooth wear.
- I I. Fine particles (<0.3 mm) end up in the gut and are metabolised by the positive gut flora.
- I II. Particles> 0.3 mm stimulate bowel movement. Sudden changes in the feed must be avoided.
Distribution of the Chinchilla
- originally from Chile between Altamira and Talca, mainly in the area of coast-Cordillera
- at the moment only 2 small populations remain in the north of Central Chile
- seriously threatened
ChinchillaDroom BASIC contains plants from their native region, such as amaranth, maca and topinam farmer.
Natural habitat of the Chinchilla
- especially on dry, sparse north-facing slopes with a loose vegetation of cacti, bromelia and a few smaller shrubs
- mainly on fields full of stone chips
- burrows in rock crevices
ChinchillaDream BASIC is precisely tailored to the nutritional pattern of chinchillas that are kept as pets and contains all necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Behavior of the Chinchilla
- mainly active during dusk 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 both at dusk and at night.
Propagation of the Chinchilla
- Sexually mature: females after 4-6 months, males after 4-6 months
- Breeding : females after 9-12 months, males after 9-10 months
- Worm size : 1-6 (Ø 2) small ones per litter
- Wearing time : 105-118 (Ø 110) days
- Birth weight: 50-70 g,
- Weaning time: nest fowl from week 8 -10
To avoid uncontrolled reproduction, we recommend to castrate the bear. An early castration makes it possible to keep a few from the beginning. 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.
Gender differences: the distance between the sexual opening and the anus is greater for the male than for the female.
Nutrition of the Chinchilla
foli-herbivore: Multiple of green plants supplemented with carrots and vegetables. Give plenty of good quality hay as well as fresh drinking water every day. Give branches to gnaw.
Balanced long-life recipe: ChinchillaDream 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 are characterized by a multitude of green plants and herbs (biodiversity). The long, good-looking stems ensure optimum tooth wear.
Good composition of Chinchilla feed
- 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 requirements of adult animals. This protects the animal against 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 feed (TriMello®) contains the necessary nutrients. Vegetables and blossoms make the feed intake more varied. Apple wood stimulates gnawing. The sensitive cecum fl ora can gradually adjust due to a step-by-step change in the feed.
Excess calcium is mainly secreted via the intestines. Chinchillas are therefore less prone to bladder grit / stones.
Dealing with the Chinchilla
- During the first days, chinchillas need a lot of rest during habituation.
- Chinchillas are mainly active in the early morning and in the evening and do not like to be caressed. That's why it's best that children only look at them.
- Lift the animals by hand around the shoulder and chest and support their hind legs with the other hand.
- Never lift 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 bond of trust during the habituation period and as an incentive for play and reconnaissance behavior.
Check the animal's health 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
Weight loss, less intake of food and water, altered key and urinating behavior as well as a rough coat include indications of a disease.
To determine the cause and the treatment, a veterinarian must be consulted as soon as possible. If the dental abrasion at the chinchilla is not correct, treatments under anesthesia must be performed by a veterinarian.
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 particularly 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 soil surface. Bigger is always better.
- not only keep it
- at least a few
- recommended: 1 castrated male and 1 female
- in groups of the same sex, animals can bite each other after reaching sexual maturity
Chinchillas should not be kept together with guinea pigs or other rodents.
Position of the Chinchilla cage
- 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 can not tolerate heat and humidity.
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 offers the possibility of supervised run-out every day
A large, structured aviary allows for intensive movement during the active phase. Free range should be possible during the active hours in the early morning or evening under supervision, to stimulate natural behavior such as exploring, playing and jumping.
Ground cover for the Chinchilla
- well absorbent
- scented, especially ammonia binding
- replace regularly
Decoration of the Chinchilla cage
- per animal 1 house (at least 30 x 30 x 20 cm) with two openings
- plateaus at different heights
- climbing branch
- gnawing eg Back to the ROOTS
- always take care of the opportunity to bathe in the sand
- feed in firm dishes of clay or ceramics (clean the dishes daily)
- drinking water in bottles or bowls (change the water daily)
Chinchillas have a dense, fi ne coat. The hairs are together in hair bundles. Around 50-75 wool hairs are found around a coat. 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 fur, the sand bath also needs to reduce stress.
Keep Chinchilla out
- only possible during the summer months, but we do not recommend it
- 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 mainly active in the twilight and at night, very social and live in nature as a family and as a single couple and their female offspring. Even if they are kept as pets, they should not be alone. They feel good as a couple or in a group (a castrated male and one or more females). A chinchilla can be up to 20 years old, reaching a body length of about 26 cm and a weight of 400 to 600 g.
Chinchillas are originally from South America and live there in rocky mountain slopes near the coast. Their survival is strongly threatened and nowadays only 2 small residual populations live in the north of Central Chile.
The vegetation in their country of origin varies and often has a desert-like character. They especially prefer dry and sparsely vegetated slopes with a loose vegetation consisting of cacti, bromelia and small shrubs. They make their holes in rock crevices.
Chinchillas feed on plant food and are able to process them optimally.
Chinchillas have very 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 food is necessary for the tooth wear.
The stomach is only moderately muscled and therefore can not independently transport the food knit to the next part of the intestine. The following food portions take over this task.
Fine dietary fibers end up in the voluminous cecum, which are converted into proteins, vitamin B complex and vitamin K by special bacteria. That is why the cecum is also called the yeast chamber. The formed bowel cocks are taken back by chinchillas.
Ratio Crude fiber and starch
Raw fibers: Raw fibers are very important for health. They support the digestion, the cecum and with their rough fiber structure the tooth wear.
Starch: Starch is mainly an energy supplier and must be present in the feed.
A shift in the ratio of crude fiber starch can lead to health damage in the long term:
- Too little raw fiber leads to intestinal inertia, change of the intestinal flora and impaired functioning of the cecum.
- Too much starch leads to food breaks, changes in intestinal flora, swelling, diarrhea, fermentation, adiposity.
Therefore, veterinarians recommend at least a crude fiber-starch ratio of 3: 1.
How do I know how much starch my food contains?
The composition is very useful here: whole grains (with starchy flour), field beans, potatoes or peas are an indication that a higher starch content must be taken into account.