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Messages - GrayRodent

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Cages / Re: new ledges!
« on: March 24, 2017, 08:10:52 PM »
Get stud bolts and wingnuts to go over them. To install the bolts you can put two wingnuts going opposite directions and lock them together then twist.

North East USA / Re: rehoming 2 chinchillas-cincinnati, IN, KY area
« on: March 24, 2017, 01:54:44 PM »
Very sorry to hear that. I'm giving you permission to post this on our chinchilla facebook page if you'd like as well. Just mention permission granted by Chris.

Conformation and Quality / Re: standard or sapphires?
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:38:15 PM »
Yeah I've had some chin owners panic thinking it was some kind of disease. Sapphires are pretty rare and you probably wouldn't get them except through a breeder.

Cages / Re: new ledges!
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:36:05 PM »
Those are really nice ones. Mine are just some plain sawed off planks that I cut on a table saw. Congrats. That looks beautiful.

Guestbook / Re: New Chinchilla Mommy
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:38:28 PM »
Looks like you're doing really well there with your setup. Good choice of diet. No chinchilla diet should contain raisins or anything like that. My only recommendation is remove the ramps. Your pets won't need them and it will be one less thing to cause trouble.
Your pets should limit their urine to the tray with the pine chips in it. Other than that there is no real litter training chinchillas apart from that but as you know droppings their are dry and relatively inoffensive.

My biggest tip for someone with multiple chins is to make sure they never start pulling hair or show signs of physically attacking each other. If that happens divide the cage and separate. Have two food dishes available and monitor water consumption daily. If the water isn't going down you know there's a problem with your water dispenser.

That's all off the top of my head but feel free to ask questions.

General Chat / Re: Free Flying Saucer Wheel in exchange for testing
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:22:13 PM »
This was from a long time ago. I think they were able to get the data they were looking for. Thank you for the interest though.

Conformation and Quality / Re: standard or sapphires?
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:18:31 PM »
Congratulations on your new pets. They are beautiful. I'm guessing they are beige. As they age you'll probably notice freckles developing on their ears.

Q & A / Re: New chin owner I have a few questions
« on: March 14, 2017, 11:37:11 PM »
Congrats on your new pet. My recommendation is to take is slow and easy for about two weeks and interact mostly inside of the cage. The reasoning behind this is to minimize stress until your chin is accommodated to you. Make sure your pet will come to you if you put your hand or arms into the cage. Also practice holding your chinchilla after a few more days in short sessions. If you have a tame chinchilla it shouldn't be a problem but most chins are going to take a little work. You are probably going to notice some behavioral changes over the week although every chinchilla is different.

I recommend forgoing all treats during this period. Let the digestive system return to normal and establish a routine. Apple slices are fine, just small raisin sized pieces, no more than two a day. I really don't use treats with my pets and give them attention instead and it is fine. My philosophy of chinchilla diet is less is more. A constant supply of clean water, loose hay and high quality pellets is all they really need. Avoid deluxe pelleted diets with mixtures of junk in them as they are devastating to chinchillas.

Dogs are not good for your pet. One wrong move and it's over. I have numerous sob stories I can tell including from my neighbor. I recommend you keep them separate but it is your judgment call with that.

Q & A / Re: New Owner. Just checking
« on: March 10, 2017, 08:51:12 PM »
Chinchillas will usually waste a good deal of hay and that's just normal for them. They'll usually leave the dry stalky bits. About every day or two I pull that out and start over with fresh hay. Best practice is to give them enough that they won't run out. Same with pellets. For normal healthy chinchilla food they are self-regulating. The pelleted diet will ensure they are getting enough nutrition.

Q & A / Re: New Owner. Just checking
« on: March 07, 2017, 11:47:16 PM »
I'm glad to hear that. If your chinchilla is eating mostly hay I doubt there's a dental problem since pellets are much easier to chew.
If you know horses you're already a step ahead. Chinchillas share a lot of the same personality traits but are not quite as touchy. Definitely use your horse's tim. hay. Be super careful about moisture. It wouldn't be a bad idea to store their portion inside the house from fresh bails.

As far as hay choice use your best judgment. I know there's crazy things that go unchecked so I'm not going to say it can't be that way. I used to feed Kaytee hay and have never had any problems.

Q & A / Re: New Owner. Just checking
« on: March 06, 2017, 09:31:55 PM »
Also I'm going to add I don't really advocate for giving chinchillas treats. It can be done safely if you know what you're doing but it's not really doing them any good. And if you suspect there is any problem with your chinchilla do not give treats. Especially do not give treats to get a chinchilla that is not eating to eat. Use an appropriate recovery diet from your vet and and a proper assessment.

Q & A / Re: New Owner. Just checking
« on: March 06, 2017, 09:28:24 PM »
Congrats on your new pets. You have certainly come to the right place for information.
There's all kinds of utterly terrible bits of information on the Internet regarding chinchillas and diet.

I can see there's a few things you've got going on that I think you'll want to address.
I'm not too concerned about George but the new chinchilla may need to see veterinarian to have a dental workup and check for liver enlargement/ lipidosis. If both are detected you'll be better off keeping the chins separate because of potential disease.

Chinchillas should be on a diet of plain alfalfa-based pellets plus loose timothy hay. The hay is actually the main diet and the pellets are considered to be supplemental. There are only about 4 or 5 brands that are really proper for them. The best ones are easy to obtain in the US. I'm going to recommend Oxbow Chinchilla Deluxe or Mazuri chinchilla diet. These are time tested feeds that have known to produce very long lived animals. There are others but they come with caveats. TSC will provide Mazuri but you have to special order it. It's a pain but the cost savings are significant for a 25lb bag. And you know you're getting a top quality diet.

Feeds that are a mixture are usually horrible, as in toxic. A chinchilla should live at least 10 years, and with these novelty diets you can't expect much more than 2 or 3. Usually death is from dental malocclusion when it's diagnosed but I think organ failure is a contributor. Chinchillas are prone to lipidosis from oily or fatty diets which have seeds and nuts in them. Sugar is known to cause cavities and you can imagine they'll pick out the sweet garbage, don't get normal wear on teeth, and end up malnourished as well.

Dental problems seem to be the worst for chinchillas. Once they start recovery is very rare, very expensive, requires multiple treatments, and just usually evolves into a sob story and a dead pet. Considering the history behind your new pet I advise getting a dental x-ray and full exam there to make sure you're not dealing with something like that. Lethargy is usually the sign of something very serious but there could be other factors such as its normal routine, as most chinchillas sleep during the day and are most active at night. They can adapt to their owner's schedules though.

As far as relocation stress that is usually a problem that's easily solved. Just avoid a lot of handling for the first two weeks. With any chinchilla that is not well socialized start slow and build up. Read your pet and try to make sure its happy experiences with you outweigh any stress associated with handling.

As far as Timothy hay I really don't think it matters but I know others have arguments to be picky. I'd be surprised if there are additives. If there are it will be listed and I've yet to see that in packaged loose hay. Of course I stay with brands I know such as Oxbow and Standlee.

One thing I have noticed is that moisture can be a problem with hay packaged in plastic and I've learned to open the bag and smell it before I buy it. But lately I've gone to buying large bales and storing the hay in mesh bags because it's so much less expensive. As long as it's green and smells good it's fine.

I'd say find something quickly, doesn't have to be same day or anything, but I think you should change diets soon. I think it might be wise to get a vet exam and keep your pets in separate rooms in case it's something contagious like a respiratory problem. Animals should be kept separate anyway for 3-4 weeks for observation. Because relocation causes stress, an already compromised animal could be in really bad shape. Please be aware of that and make sure you know what's going on.

I'd be glad to ask any questions you have.

Q & A / Re: Reptile accessories safe for chins?
« on: March 06, 2017, 12:35:16 PM »
I wouldn't recommend resin, which is essentially plastic. It can be scraped off and chewed.

Q & A / Re: Is this product safe for my chinchilla?
« on: February 28, 2017, 11:42:11 AM »
I'm not really concerned about hair rings. Just keep an eye out for damage by chewing. If you see damage it's probably not safe because material can be ingested and cause bowel obstructions, or death by hanging from tattered cloth.
I know I feel like I'm the messenger of doom here. On the light side it looks intriguing and I know chinchillas have done well with woven fleece hammocks and huts. This kind of material is usually not normally used in the construction of chin products.

Q & A / Re: Bonding two chinchilla girls with a new chinchilla girl
« on: February 27, 2017, 12:03:18 AM »
It is never a process that is guaranteed to work. Whenever you have more than one chinchilla you must be able to separate them and house them separately. Even after they are bonded they can turn on each other at any time and sometimes with fatal consequences.
For combining I recommend 3 weeks minimum quarantine, make sure the new one is in a separate room and observe for any potentially life-threatening or contagious disease. Most of the time if a chin has anything dangerous, such as a respiratory illness, it will show up after 3-4 weeks.
Then put them in the same room and put the cage about 2 inches apart and wait for two weeks. Then introduce them in a neutral place like a bathtub where you're dusting. (I'd start with two at a time, and observe closely.) If one tries to attack, pulls out hair, draws blood, etc. you know there is no compatibility. Be warned some chins can be so aggressive they will kill with one bite. Make sure this isn't going to happen.
Once together make sure there are at least two food bowls in the cage and keep track of the weight of all three. This is good practice anyway but you might want to weigh every other day to ensure no chinchilla is being denied access to food or getting too stressed. Personally I recommend against this but I know others have had success with 3 and more. It is your call.

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