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If you are thinking ofraise a chinchilla, on this page you will find all the information you need to know. From the cost to the colors of the fur, from nutrition to character, from size to longevity (how old does a chinchilla live), advice on mating and reproduction, how to manage the litter box to avoid bad smells and how to choose the cage.
The chinchilla it is a very soft pet. The chinchilla, is a rodent of South American origin, more precisely, it finds its natural habitat in the inaccessible high mountain areas of the Andes.
In nature, the chinchilla, survives the freezing cold of the Andes thanks to its thick and very soft fur. The same fur that makes it appreciated in the homes of Italians and unfortunately that made it attractive in the eyes of the textile industry: for years furs and haute couture clothes have been made using the skins of chinchilla lanigera.
THE chinchilla pets are intelligent and very lively pets that can live with us for quite a few years and delight us with their desire to do a little restless but funny, never bad.
The Chinchilla is classified as a small rodent and thus continues to be considered even if it is domestic, in fact it does not weigh even a kilo, specifically the females are heavier than the males and reach 800 grams, the males do not exceed 600 grams. Domestic chinchillas may be slightly larger or more plump but they certainly cannot grow to nutria in size.
A peculiarity of this animal is certainly the hair and how it uses it, because it uses it not only to protect itself from the cold but also to defend itself. And it is not a joke. We begin to see its characteristics. It is in fact a dense and soft coat, his own, and not as hard as that of his wild relative. There is no need to touch the chinchilla a lot because its hair is capillary, the problem can arise especially if there are children in the house who can't wait to caress and handle their new friend.
To understand what capillary hair means, let's compare it with us who have a hair follicle for each hair, in the case ofchinchilla, instead, there are groups of over 50 hairs all of which are headed by a single hair follicle, this means that if they caress too much they can losing too much hair and for them it means weakening because they lose a precious defense weapon.
Could the fur be a defense weapon? Yes, in the case of these little animals that don't have much else to use to try to survive, at home as well as in nature. Let's see how they defend themselves. When chinchillas feel in danger due to the presence of a predatorthey shake their body losing a lot of hair and this move can naturally annoy the predator who, confused and invaded by the many hairs, can get discouraged.
At home the chinchilla does not need to defend itself from large predators but it always has this automatic defense mechanism and it is therefore good to respect its hair and not let it lose too much fordon't make him feel helpless. Indeed, if we have a chinchilla in the house we can make sure that it always has a nice shiny coat and as strong as possible by putting afine sand with which you will make sand baths. It is found in well-stocked pet shops, we just have to place it in its habitat and check that there are no grains of sand in its eyes or in other sensitive parts.
Chinchilla: how to breed it
The chinchilla is not difficult to breed because it is a very nice and sociable animal, just overcome its initial distrust, then it's all downhill. They are gods very sweet rodents, they love caresses if they are those of the master, delicate, and also cuddles in general. They are intelligent and love to play, show themselves happy, active, sad or sleepy and make it clear with small squeaks or loving bites. Do not be frightened if you feel them active at night because they are nocturnal animals and do not need light becausethey see very well in the dark.
For a perfect careof thechinchilla I provide below 6 points of attention:
- The chinchilla suffers from heat stroke, accustomed to the cold of the Andes it is best to keep it in a controlled temperature environment: the temperature should never exceed 22 degrees.
- The chinchilla does not like humid environments.
- Never grab the chinchilla by the tail because it peels easily or even breaks.
- To keep the chinchilla's fur fragrant and clean, at the bottom of the cage prepare a bowl with fine sand mixed with talc (pre-packaged mixture that can be found in specialized shops).
- The chinchilla is very sensitive to fungal infections (mycosis), depending on the extent and type of infection, the chinchilla must be treated accordingly. As soon as you notice peeled patches, crusts or scales it is necessary to consult a veterinarian.
- There are no vaccinations to submit to the chinchilla.
Chinchilla: size of the cage
The chinchilla cage has very specific characteristics and we are not just talking about size but also of the litter.
To host a chinchilla in the house you will need one cage spacious. The size minimum of a cage for a single specimen should be around the base 80 x 50 cm and 100 cm high with internal shelves arranged in such a way as to allow maximum freedom of movement.
At the bottom of the cage, a litter in pellet or chipboard of vegetable origin must be organized, those who prefer can prepare a litter of recycled paper.
Litter for Chinchillas
Attention: the litter must not be of absorbent sand! Neither of that used for cats: the dust it produces can damage the respiratory system of chinchilla and it can also become encrusted on the legs and fur. In addition, there must be no metal grids on the bottom of the cage.
In the cage there must be a drop-shaped drinking bottle, a tray for the feed and a rack for the fodder.
Where does the chinchilla live? If not in nature, it lives in cages in our homes and preferscool and dry places, it is therefore better to place the cage in dry environments, protected from drafts and humidity.
If we want to make this pet feel comfortable, we avoid keeping it in places where strangers can access and maybe reach out to it to pet it, which is not welcome. In addition to the hair, the tail is also very delicate, easy to break, but it is a move to be able to escape more quickly in the event of an attack. We make sure that the cage is equipped in the best way, with a special area to make needs with thesawdust, all the mangers and a place to play,as large as the standard rodent one that's fine and it's best if it's multi-storey so our chinchilla never gets bored.
What chinchilla eats
Domestic specimens are herbivores and eatany kind of vegetables. Insects are not unwelcome but they are not a food that is ingested daily, only once in a while. They go crazy foralfalfa or alfalfa, they go crazy if there is not enough water in their cage since they drink a lot, unlike other rodents they do not eat their own excrement. Domestic chinchillas may suffer from vitamin deficiency but we cansupplement their diet with vitamins buy it ad hoc or with food for rodents found in pet shops, already perfectly balanced. We can provide you with 25g instead of the same amount of fibrous vegetables, preferably not too watery.
To get an idea of the feed formulated for chinchillas, I refer you to "this Amazon page "where you can find blends of dried fruit, hay and seeds as well as the classic pelleted hay. However, chinchilla feed is available in any pet shopwell stocked but be careful not to buy food for other rodents (hamsters, squirrels, ...) as it is absolutely not suitable for chinchillas.
Chinchilla: how long it lives
On average, the chinchilla lives about ten years, if we treat it very well it can live up to 15 years, but it is difficult for it to reach 20 years, also because it is an animal that isvery prone to stress, he suffers it and often feels bad for it. If we take one, let's remember to try to make him feel serene and at ease as well as treat him in a precise and timely manner. Among the diseases that can be caught by a domestic chinchilla are the heat stroke, the sand in the eyes, themycosis of the skin and hair and various problems with the teeth as well as attacks by parasites against which we must always keep the maximum hygiene.
Reproduction and mating of the chinchilla
If you are wondering how to breed chinchillas in captivity, know that the pregnancy is long and the results are uncertain. For each birth the number of new born is reduced, we speak of one or two specimens per birth, only in exceptional homes the number of new born rises to three. The pregnancy is quite long. The only good news for those who tend to do reproduce i its chinchilla is that these animals reach sexual maturity as early as the fourth month of age.
The pregnancy of a chinchilla it lasts 111 days, almost four months. With childbirth, the female of chinchilla it will give light to already well developed young. THE chinchilla newborns are born relatively large and already covered in fur. At birth i chinchilla their eyes are already open and immediately start walking. They suckle from their mother up to 50-60 days of age but begin to taste the food of adults already a few days. The male (the father) should not be separated from the offspring as he is very loving with the newcomer.
A precaution to be taken is to not allow the female (the mother) to immediately start a new pregnancy: the female is already fertile just after giving birth, so the presence of the male can easily give life to the start of a new one. pregnancy; for this reason, the male must be separated from the female for a week after giving birth.
Character of the Chinchilla
Fortunately, in Italy, the chinchilla is bred exclusively as a companion animal. It is appreciated for its docile character, its famous fur and its sociable spirit: ichinchilla they stand in their arms and climb onto their shoulders, leap considerably and are extremely agile. Thecharacter, however, it changes from specimen to specimen. Some chinchillas can be shy and more shy. In the early stages of breeding it is important to proceed gradually.
Games for chinchillas: the sand bath
The entertainment of the chinchilla can be ensured with the days spent outside the cage, with the contact with people but above all with its natural activities: chinchilla they love to bark and nibble on fruit tree branches.
It is very useful to provide the chinchillas with a large bowl of fine sand (on the market there are special pre-packaged mixtures, often mixed with a kind of talc) where the tender little animal can roll over several times a day. This practice will keep the chinchilla's fur fragrant and clean.
How much does a chinchilla cost? Talking about price is not easy, because it all depends on the coat, the specimen, the training ... Wanting to generalize, achinchilla common can cost around 50 euros and is easily available at specialized shops. The price goes up a lot for rarer color varieties.
Thechinchilla is an animal of compact build and with size of about 20 cm (which is excluded!), 12-15 cm in height (measured at shoulder level) and from the taken that in the adult male specimens varies between 460 and 600 grams while the female, generally larger, has a weight that varies between 600 and 800 grams.
Chinchilla, fur colors
The thick fur covers the whole body, even the tail, can be gray or other shades including the piebald coats obtained by selection in captivity, so the chinchilla it can be of different colors.
- Black Chinchilla (technically defined black velvet)
- Beige chinchilla
- White chinchilla (technically called wilson white)
- Gray chinchilla
- Blue chinchilla (violet)
There are other even less common colors and therefore with the specimen that is purchased at a higher cost.
The price ofchinchilla pet is dictated by color (the more valuable the color, the higher the cost) but more generally, the cost ofchinchilla it is justified by reproduction: the number of births per childbirth is reduced, generally 1 or 2, only in exceptional cases three.
Thechinchillaif well kept, it does not smell and does not cause bad smells in the house. You will need to be careful to change the litter box 1-2 times a week, depending on the temperament and character of your dog.
For cleaning, you do not have to bathe or brush their fur. For cleaning thechinchillayou have to equip the animal with a very large tray containing fine sand.
Is it possible to bathe the chinchilla?
No, you don't have to wash the chinchilla. The chinchilla it is a clean animal (generally it does not smell) and the bathroom could damage it: it is sensitive to temperature changes and, if wet, it could easily develop mold. The chinchillait can be washed only in extraordinary cases but this practice is generally not recommended.
Every day, thechinchillashould do theso-called sand bath, that is, you should give it a tray with special sand (very fine) where thechinchilla can delight in rolling. Playing in the sand, for the chinchilla, is not just a fun: this fine sand keeps the hair clean and shiny, eliminating excess sebum.
Sand to get rid of the stench
Attention, you must not use the common river sand that you find on the market, even if of very fine grain. Buy a special silica sand, you can find it at the most well-stocked pet shops or by taking advantage of the online purchase.
On Amazon, for example, a 1.2 kg pack of sand forchinchilla, you can buy it at a price of 13.87 euros with shipping costs included in the cost. For all information on the product, I refer you to "this Amazon page".
Please note: we have reported onesandbased on silica added with a kind of talc for cleaning the animal. On the market you will find sand for classic chinchilla or with "talc", This last type is equally harmless to the animal and helps prevent the appearance of bad odors and stinks.