The color of an ordinary individual is blue-gray with white blotches in the belly area. over, in the long-tailed representatives of this family, by nature, the saturation of the color and the length of the colored part may vary. There are only 9 main colors of chinchilla fur, and as a result of selection, this number grows to 150 different new shades. The usual gray color can vary from a darkish to a light shade. Naturally, crossing gray individuals with each other will not give you a new, unique shade, but this hybrid is no less important and valuable than the others. Ordinary grayish chinchillas allow you to bring the properties of fur and the size of the body of other individuals to a new level. Good breeders have about 10% of them.
In chinchillas, sexual dimorphism is observed, so you are unlikely to be able to confuse adults. On average, males weigh from 350 to 600 g, and females from 370 to 800 g. From the age of four months, males begin to show secondary sexual characteristics, and from seven months the genitals are clearly visible. It is also possible to distinguish between a female and a male in relation to the owner. Males are more affectionate and tame.
Chinchillas are bred in artificial habitats for their valuable fur. In the second month of pregnancy, the female’s belly increases noticeably in size, and the weight gain by this time is usually 300-400 g. Newborn cubs weigh 40-75 g. The sex is determined the next day after birth.
The number of chinchillas in a litter depends on the age of the female, young ones usually bring 1-2, while adults 5-6. Pregnancy lasts up to four months. In the absence of milk from the mother, chinchillates are watered for one week every 3 hours with a mixture for complementary feeding of kittens. The nursing period lasts up to 60 days, but usually the mother and cubs will be separated after the first month. The young generation is kept in separate cells, previously divided by sex. Young growth grows quite quickly and already at a weight of 200 g it can be removed from the mother.
A week before giving birth, the female is placed in a separate cage. You can determine the approach of childbirth by low activity and refusal to eat. A day after giving birth, the male will already be able to fertilize the female again, but this should not be allowed. In the postpartum period, she needs rest and an increased amount of vitamins.
In our publication, you will find out what are the early signs of pregnancy in a chinchilla, the rules for feeding females during this period, how to prepare the cage for the birth of babies and help the chinchilla herself during childbirth.
General description of chinchillas
In chinchillas, there are only two types: small long-tailed and large, they differ from each other in the size of body parts. Long-tailed chinchillas are the most common species, so the further external description will refer specifically to it. Historical area of their habitat. Andes.
- As a result of long-term living in a harsh climate, they acquired thick and warm fur. Its density is over 25,000 hairs per square centimeter.
- These herbivores have small, round heads. Individuals can be up to 37 cm in length, with a tail length of up to 18 cm, it has guard hair.
- Round ears up to 5 cm, vibrissae (whiskers) up to 10 cm.
- Vision in chinchillas is monocular and weak.
- The skeleton is able to shrink in a vertical plane, which allows rodents to crawl into small cracks.
- There are 4 toes on the hind legs, and five on the front ones. Black eyes with vertical pupils help them to be nocturnal. A well-developed cerebellum helps them perfectly coordinate their movements.
- There are 20 teeth, including 4 incisors and 16 molars. The gums are well developed; molars are firmly and deeply fixed in them. Newly born animals have 8 molars and 4 incisors, respectively. The incisors are strongly protruding and invariably growing, reddish-yellow enamel and narrow. Their back side is completely devoid of enamel, there is dentin.
Rodent incisors have the function of biting off food particles. Indigenous, like humans, are usually divided into molars and premolars. Their dimensions can be up to 12 mm. The first are large teeth, and they are located on the back of the jaw. They perform the function of mechanical processing of food, grinding. There is also a special gap between the incisors and premolars. the diastema. Chinchillas only have one set of teeth for a lifetime.
In our publication you will find out where to settle a chinchilla, how to choose and equip a cage for it, clean up after the animal, some interesting recommendations on how to feed a chinchilla (dry food, herbs, etc.).
Do I need to give nutritional formula?
For the proper development of a rodent, it needs the elements contained in nutrient mixtures. Chinchillas should be given various mixtures in order to saturate their body with as many vitamins, trace elements, proteins, fats, amino acids as possible.
- oats. contains a large amount of protein, fat, but does not cause obesity. Most often, it is oats that make up 75% of the mixture;
- corn. you need to give in small portions, as it can cause bloating;
- barley. it is worth offering it in ground form, it is better for adults. This grain product is very hard;
- wheat. it contains a lot of carbohydrates, proteins, low fat.
In feeding chinchillas, it is worth giving up rye. it is difficult for animals to digest.
Chinchillas need a variety of nutritional mixes
What can you feed a rodent at home
The animal living in your home eats coarse dry and juicy feed, nutritious mixtures, needs vitamin supplements and treats.
How to feed chinchillas at home tasty, healthy and varied?
Choosing the right diet for chinchillas is a responsible task. The health of the animal, the shine of the fur and the life expectancy completely depend on food.
There is a wide variety of food for a rodent, but there are characteristic features in how to feed a pet, especially at home.
What chinchilla loves to eat?
Chinchilla is a herbivore. The diet of animals is considered to be of plant origin.
In the wild, the main food for them is cereals and legumes, cacti, shrubs, tree bark, small fruits, shoots, mosses and other vegetation.
In a home environment, a person is responsible for the diet of an animal. Food should be varied and balanced to provide all the body’s needs with the necessary components, vitamins, nutrients.
The quality of food is important for chinchillas. They eat in small quantities, so the owners of the animals should carefully consider the choice of food.
You may be interested in the following articles on the topic of chinchillas: How to keep a chinchilla at home?
over, luxurious fur and irrepressible energy require a large expenditure of nutrients. Chinchillas are picky about food. From the food offered, they will choose the tidbits.
But for the full development of the animal, it is necessary to receive various trace elements and vitamins, so you need to try to ensure that the animal fully consumes its portion.
In the event that the pet begins to scatter food from the trough, it is necessary to reduce the food dispensed. You can give your pet food in small portions, reduce treats in the diet.
The realities of being a chinchilla breeder
When choosing food for a rodent, it should be borne in mind that, like all herbivores, they have sensitive digestion.
First, they have long intestines. Secondly, animal herbivores process hard-to-digest plant fiber. From it they get the necessary nutrients.
Food for chinchillas must be of high quality and fresh
It is better not to feed the chinchilla a little than to overfeed it with goodies. The food offered must be:
- high quality;
- without traces and smell of rot, mold, mustiness.
Green fodder should be collected away from busy places, roadsides, factories. Greens, vegetables and fruits should be washed and dried well before feeding the rodent. The food offered must be absolutely dry.
Young animals and those individuals that did not receive green food in the winter season should gradually get used to them. Initially, you need to offer your pet such food in small portions, gradually increasing the dose.
In this case, it is necessary to carefully monitor the well-being of the chinchilla.
So the animals get used to the set feeding time, which has a positive effect on the digestibility of food. If all the food is eaten in the morning, then additional feeding is possible.
Before adding a new portion of food to your pet, be sure to throw away uneaten leftovers and rinse the bowls with running water without adding any detergents or cleaning agents.
Chinchilla Pets : How to Breed Chinchillas
The daily portion of the pet’s main food is 1 teaspoon, hay. 20-30 g, a delicacy of your choice. 1 piece. The animal’s drinker should always have boiled or filtered clean water.
What kind of feed can chinchillas eat?
Because of the sensitive digestion of chinchillas, they should not be given the following foods:
- food from the common table (salty, spicy, fatty, spicy, smoked);
- meat and meat products;
- baked goods and pastries (loaf, pastries);
- flour (pasta, noodles);
- potatoes, fresh white cabbage, lettuce;
- sweets (cookies, chocolate, sugar, candies, other confectionery products);
- fried nuts, seeds, grains;
- fermented milk products;
- fast food, chips, popcorn;
- stale and spoiled food.
The list does not contain absolutely any nutrients for the proper growth and development of the rodent. The listed foods are high-calorie and fatty, as a result of which the pet may develop obesity.
This will negatively affect the mobility of the animal, its ability to reproduce, and life expectancy.
Perhaps, the animal will not die from one eating, but the systematic consumption of such delicacies will lead to serious health problems of the chinchilla.
Food is rough and juicy
Juicy food includes fruits, vegetables, herbs and twigs of shrubs and trees. They are saturated with useful trace elements, vitamins, organic substances.
Branches, driftwood, twigs of various shrubs and tree species are available throughout the year. Eating hard pieces of wood, the animals will grind down constantly growing incisors.
Of vegetables, chinchillas can be offered tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin, lettuce, zucchini.
From fruits they prefer pears, apples, melon, berries, bananas, grapes, from dried fruits. apples, plums, raisins, hawthorn, dried apricots, cherries, barberries and rose hips. It is advisable to cut large fruits into small pieces.
From greens it is worth giving clover, tops of carrots, peas, dandelions.
Chinchila loves apples, carrots, cherries
Treats should be offered systematically. For example, 1-2 times a week, one berry, 2-3 times a week, other snacks. fruits, dried fruits.
Vegetables should be fed in moderation. a small piece 1-2 times a week along with the main food. Due to sensitive digestion, chinchillas should not eat large quantities of vegetables and fruits.
After the introduction of a new type of food, you should carefully monitor the reaction of the animal’s body. Digestive upset is possible, then the juicy feed should be discarded. If your pet is doing well, then the food is right for him.
Food is dry and rough
This food includes hay. It is the most important component of the animal’s diet and saturates the body with the necessary fiber.
The dried grass helps to move food in the intestines, preventing it from stagnating, causing fermentation. Also, hay is a rich source of trace elements, vitamins, fiber, protein.
It is better when the chinchilla is offered hay from forbs. different types of herbs. Preparations from leguminous plants (alfalfa, clover) contain essential vitamins and minerals. They are mowed during the flowering period of legumes.
In terms of nutritional composition, cereal feed is slightly inferior to the first, because it contains less minerals and protein.
Cereals that chinchillas love include meadow fescue, Sudan, timothy, wheatgrass, meadow bluegrass, hedgehog. Highly nutritious grasses cut before first flowering.
It is necessary to give the chinchilla from 20-30 to 70-80 g of fresh hay per day.
Chinchilla needs to be fed with fresh hay
These herbs are poisonous and should not get into the herbal food for animals in any case:
- black nightshade;
- hellebore white;
- raven eye.
Vitamin supplements in addition to nutrition
With an unbalanced diet of chinchillas, young individuals, pregnant and lactating rodents, sick and weakened need to be given vitamin complexes. They can be in liquid form, in the form of tablets and powders.
Liquid fortified food can be given along with water, so it will not be difficult to enrich the pet’s diet. It’s hard to offer powders and tablets to pets.
It is advisable to hang a mineral and salt stone in the animal’s cage, which the animal will eat as needed.
You can buy fortified feed immediately. The composition most often includes carrots, pumpkin, nettle hay, mountain ash, rose hips. To replenish the reserves of protein and B vitamins, add a little dry yeast (2-5 g) to the feed.
It is not difficult to accustom a chinchilla to proper nutrition, but it is imperative. Only by receiving all the useful trace elements, vitamins and other useful compounds will the animal be healthy, full of energy and live a long life.
What can and can not feed a chinchilla
Chinchillas, although they belong to rodents, are not omnivores. When buying an animal, you need to understand that its health will completely depend not only on the correct conditions of detention, but also on competent feeding. Therefore, every breeder should know what can be given to chinchillas, and which foods are prohibited and even dangerous.
Persimmons are prohibited for feeding. This fruit, useful for humans, is rich in iodine, which is contraindicated in animals. In addition to iodine, persimmons are high in sugar and astringents, which can lead to constipation.
It is not recommended to give chinchillas and beets.
When harvesting tree branches for the winter, it is worth remembering which species are dangerous and unsuitable for feeding. Which tree branches cannot be harvested:
- White acacia,
- Ash-leaved maple,
- Branches of any citrus species,
- Sweet cherries,
- Branches of any conifers,
- Common maple,
Oak bark and twigs can only be given to animals suffering from diarrhea. They cause severe constipation in healthy animals.
The branches of stone fruit trees (cherry, sweet cherry, plum, and so on) are dangerous because they contain a dangerous cyanide compound, as a result of the splitting of which hydrocyanic acid is formed in the chinchilla’s body. If you feed the animal with such twigs, you can get not only the strongest poisoning, but also the quick death of the pet.
Prohibited products also include any type of honey, as well as purchased cottage cheese and dairy products.
Not all breeders know not to give chinchillas the leaves, stems and flowers of houseplants. Most of them are poisonous to the animal and very often cause death.
It is also not recommended to give any food from the person’s table. Everything that is normal and familiar, even useful for people. for chinchillas becomes the cause of digestive problems, allergies, obesity and other serious diseases. The animal will never refuse tasty and aromatic food and can eat both a piece of cake and cheese, meat or fish. However, such food is not normal and familiar to the stomach of a furry pet. And the possible consequences are very sad.
Foods that can be given in limited quantities
Many breeders argue about the need or possibility of feeding these types of products to the animal. However, in small amounts, they are more beneficial.
The first such product is nuts. Chinchillas just love them. Nuts contain many beneficial trace elements, vitamins, acids and amino acids. The danger lies in the fact that nuts can cause allergies, diarrhea and provoke the development of obesity. However, once a week, you can offer your pet a delicious treat. walnuts, almonds, peanuts, or hazelnuts. The main thing is that there should be only one nut.
There is a lot of controversy about seeds. They contain a large amount of fatty acids and those who are engaged in breeding and exhibitions know what a positive effect the seeds have on the condition of the fur and the appearance of the animal. However, an overabundance of seeds in the diet can lead to obesity and stomach problems. Chinchillas can be given some pumpkin or watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds or flax seeds. It is very important to remember that the seeds must be fresh. Roasted seeds. pumpkin or sunflower seeds. will cause constipation and poisoning.
Dried fruits are most often used as a treat. If you really want to treat the animal with a piece of raisins or dried apricots. we give it no more than once a week and only in small quantities.
Any of the types of dried fruits has a number of very useful substances for humans, but they are not entirely suitable for chinchillas. Raisins are too sweet and can cause sugar problems. Most often, raisins are given to sick animals that refuse to eat or to a female who has just given birth. Prunes have a strong laxative effect and you can only give a small piece if you are constipated.
It is better not to give candied fruits and berries. the animals eat them with great joy, but such products contain too much sugar and too few useful components. You can treat your pet with canned pineapples or papaya. However, it is better to avoid such experiments. The chinchilla’s intestines are very delicate and no one can predict in advance about the reaction to a new type of delicacy.
Also, breeders argue about the acceptability of feeding with crackers. It is not recommended to give a fresh loaf to animals. it often leads to the formation of gases, but fresh crackers, especially from a yeast-free loaf, can become a good delicacy.
The list of foods that can be given to chinchillas is quite long. Animals can be fed fruits:
- Dairy corn,
- Bell pepper,
- Ripe red tomatoes.
- Rose hip,
- Lettuce leaves,
- Spinach leaves,
- Sorrel leaves,
- Dandelion leaves and stems,
- Common nettle,
- Raspberry leaves and stalks,
- Strawberry leaves and stalks,
- Tops of plants,
- Twigs with leaves of apple, pear,
- Birch and linden twigs,
- Sprigs of hazelnut.
- Corn (corn kernels are part of the feed mixture and are given in ground form),
- Barley (give ground),
- Wheat (grains and bran),
- Oats (grains, bran, flakes),
- Red and white beans,
Apples, pears, as well as carrots, pumpkins, zucchini, berries. can be given to the animals both fresh and dried.
Some chinchillas are more willing to eat dried foods, moreover, they are safer for the digestive tract.
It is recommended to collect fresh grass for fluffy pets in places far from roads and landfills, walking pets and industrial enterprises. It is not recommended to feed grass damp from dew or rain. And also make sure that no poisonous plants are caught among other herbs.
In the organization of food, it is not enough to know what you can feed a chinchilla and what not. Proper feeding also means adhering to the diet, keeping feeders and drinking bowls clean, as well as understanding the peculiarities of the animal’s digestion. The first and most important rule is that there should always be hay in the cage, as well as drinking water. Feeders and drinkers must be clean. To do this, they must be disinfected regularly (at least twice a week) with boiling water. It is better not to use wooden feeders. they absorb odors and become sources of mold and mildew. Preference should be given to ceramic ones, which are perfectly attached to the cage and are easy to clean.
Chlorhexidine can be a disinfectant for the entire cell. it kills microbes well and is odorless, but it is better not to use it for drinkers and feeders. Some breeders use regular laundry soap as a disinfectant. You can also wipe the drinkers and feeders, as well as the cage, with alcohol. It is also necessary to monitor the cleanliness of the cage because sometimes the animal prefers to eat on the recreation area or even in the house. Many owners have noticed how the chinchilla takes a piece of food and runs for cover.
Vegetables and fruits intended for the chinchilla must be washed and cut into convenient small pieces.
It is necessary to feed the pet at the same time, and all food leftovers are removed from the feeder the next day. It is most preferable to give roughage in the evening, and succulent. in the morning. If the chinchilla is reluctant to eat, you should change the feed. The first reason for poor appetite is monotonous food. New types of feed should be introduced gradually and little by little. If you are not sure whether chinchillas can use this or that type of product, it is better to abandon it altogether and add something that the animal has already tried and eats with pleasure.
What chinchillas eat?
In the wild, chinchillas feed on bark, flowers, twigs, and scanty low plants in the highlands, which are the natural habitat of South American rodents. The nutritional value of mountain grasses is much higher than the usual hay produced for chinchillas. Therefore, the diet of a domestic chinchilla should be more varied and balanced than that of wild animals, and include not only carefully selected herbs and hay, but concentrated feed, fruits, berries and vitamin supplements.
Birch branches contain vitamins, carbohydrates and phytoncides, dried young leaves are source of vitamin C.
The fruits of the oak branch have an astringent effect and are highly nutritious food.
It is advisable to feed chinchillas with nutritious willow branches cut in winter.
Vitamins of group B
Thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid are involved:
- in metabolism;
- the formation of a fat layer;
- regulate the work of the nervous system, liver;
- in the development of a growing organism;
- as a coat.
- to impotence and pregnancy pathologies;
- nervous disorders;
- liver diseases.
It is recommended to add to the main feeds that the chinchilla eats:
- germ of oats and wheat;
- oat flakes;
- fresh vegetables and fruits;
- beans, peas, chickpeas;
- wholemeal flour.
Thick and even fur is an indicator of proper nutrition
Vitamins for chinchillas
Chinchillas need vitamin supplements regardless of the presence of vitamin feed in their diet. Finished pelleted feed contains vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the daily rate of a rodent when using ready-made feed can be halved.
- Multi tabs;
- Canina Petvital N 200;
- Vitamin Cal.
Vitamin supplements come in the form of solutions, tablets, or powders. Liquid preparations can be dripped onto the animal’s favorite treats, the tablet forms are hidden in a zest, pieces of dried fruit are rolled in powders.
The chinchilla’s body needs sulfur, copper, iron, cobalt, magnesium, zinc, the lack of which is manifested:
- loss and deterioration of wool quality;
- nervous disorders;
- decreased reproductive function.
To replenish the need for trace elements, the rodent can eat:
- sprouts of wheat and oats;
- oat flakes;
- various greens;
Nuts are source of trace elements
A good option is the use of vitamin supplements and mineral supplements, developed for chinchillas, taking into account the daily needs of the animal.
Some owners believe that everything that smart rodents eat cannot be harmful to the chinchilla’s body, and fluffy animals are able to independently identify harmful and useful foods. This insidious delusion sometimes turns into the death of pets as a result of eating prohibited foods.