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Author Topic: Brand New to the Chinchilla World! :)  (Read 879 times)

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Brand New to the Chinchilla World! :)
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:49:41 PM »

Just some questions because I am a first timer with my new fuzzy little man. :) But 1st I will tell you a little about him. I just got him on Friday (8/31/2012). At a pet store. He had been at he pet store for about a month, they told me he was from a local breeder that comes in from time to time. He had a brother or sister with him that had got bought within the first week. They said he was born on Thanksgiving. He seems perfectly healthy and happy. I just want to make sure I am doing everything right... I have a big cage not sure of the size, but I know its big enough for him to grow and even have more room. He also has is dust bath, water, food, ramp, hay ball, and some chew toys for his teeth, the bedding is recycled paper I believe called "Critter Care". I still want to get him a ball to roll around the house and a wheel for inside his cage. So here are my questions for now:

1.) Is it normal for them to sleep a lot?

2.) He seems to drop pellets NON STOP.... I cant even hold the him without them being all over the place! Any advice?

3.) If he's not sleeping, he is sooooo full of energy its impossible to even barley hold him. he runs around and goes in circles, or jumps all over his cage until he makes himself exhausted.

4.) Is there any helpful hints for the bonding process?

Thats all for now, thank you for reading this. <3 Responses will be MUCH appreciated!  :::grins::


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Re: Brand New to the Chinchilla World! :)
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 08:47:31 PM »

Congratulations on your new chinchilla. Feel free to post pictures of him in the gallery. I'll be glad to answer some of your questions and offer suggestions based on what I have learned about them. I hope other users will offer more suggestions.

1. It is normal for chinchillas to sleep during the day and be most active early morning and late evening.

2. It is normal for them to poo like you describe. They will poo more initially when they are active and out of the cage. Their digestive system is in constant motion. If the droppings are soft or slimy then there is a problem. Chinchilla droppings are usually very dry and easy to clean up without sticking to anything. My advice is get used to it but in this case it might be worse than usual because I think he's stressed. (see point 3)

3. It is normal for chinchillas to be energetic and active outside of the cage. However this one seems to be especially bouncy. It is not good to chase him around especially the first week you have him because it causes him stress and inability to trust you. You should not let him out for a few days until he allows you to touch him through the door without running away from you. This does work for some chins. The first couple of weeks after relocation are usually pretty stressful for a chinchilla and they don't act like themselves. It can take weeks for him to get completely comfortable to the point where he can bond.

4. There is a lot to be said about the bonding process.

I recommend you give a treat through the door in the morning and evening. This helps a great deal. No more than 2 raisins/day or equivalent or he can get sick and die. Do not feed berries, citrus or vegetables ever. Raisins are acceptable but only as treats. You can cut the raisins into smaller pieces.

When he is comfortable taking the raisin from you without running away (it can take days) try to scratch his chin and see if he'll let you. You can do this in the evening and morning when he is awake and you should note if there is any progress.

If you have to hold him make sure he is well secured or he can hurt himself trying to get away but doing this before he is bonded can undo the effort you are putting into bonding. Unlike cats and dogs who are predators chinchillas are prey animals and have a somewhat different psychological makeup. Until your chinchilla is well socialized and comfortable it will generally be frightened of most things. They have good memories too especially when adrenaline is involved. Try to move calmly and deliberately, avoid startling noises, etc. Allow it to sleep during the day.

Dust bath twice a week for 15 minutes at a time and only if there are no signs of eye irriation. This is also a good bonding opportunity.

Please get rid of the hay ball ASAP. They kill chinchillas when they get their heads stuck in them. There was a close call with that just last week on this board.

The ramp is unnecessary. If it is wire mesh remove that too. These are known to cause foot fractures in chinchillas. They prefer to jump onto ledges.

The chinchilla ball can cause fatal overheating in chinchillas but they can be used with close supervision in a cool room out of sunlight and for short time periods. Remember chinchilla brains can fry when it gets over 75 degrees F and your chinchilla is active. This can cause seizures and death if the body temperature gets high enough.

If you get a wheel make sure it it's 15" or larger and that it is not the wire mesh type. A good chinchilla wheel is expensive but it's better to have no wheel than a chinchilla injured from a poorly designed one. Plastic accessories in the cage is somewhat dangerous. If your chinchilla decides to chew plastic he can get a fatal bowel obstruction from it. Hard plastic can actually lacerate the bowel. It doesn't mean he will but it's best to have only metal and wood accessories inside the cage.

Carefresh bedding is known for causing bowel obstructions as well according to necropsy findings. If your chin takes a liking to chewing or eating its bedding switch to kiln dried pine. Most people don't have a problem with carefresh but be careful.

Getting a wooden hutch for inside the cage is a very good idea. It allows your chinchilla a place to hide and sleep out of the light.

What diet are you feeding your chinchilla? Not all pet store diets are good ones. Are you feeding him other things besides pellets and hay?
I'm a programmer not a chinchilla breeder. I learn by asking questions just like you.


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Re: Brand New to the Chinchilla World! :)
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 01:20:04 PM »

Baby chins are very hyperactive. Is he young?
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