« on: April 04, 2017, 09:31:16 PM »
LOL. What you describe is so typical of chinchillas. Especially chins that are not very well socialized. And obviously not handled properly.
I don't think holding them by the base of the tail without foot support causes them pain of any kind. However I think by not supporting their feet or having a place for them to grip I think it can cause them stress in most contexts. Which isn't the same as pain but that is going to seriously work against you as you try to straighten them out. It's made them averse to being picked up and handled. Which is one reason why they were screaming bloody murder when you grabbed them. That kind of response is not typical. Expect this to be a process over weeks and months but I don't think it's irresolvable. And I do agree you don't want to keep having the same bad experience each time they're out if you can avoid that. You want to establish a pattern of experience. The occasional mishap won't matter too much if you can be consistent. And unfortunately you can expect your chins will get away from you numerous times as you as you start working with them. And beleive me they are nefarious little creatures that can innovate on the fly!
However, with that being said, it's typical for chins to hide in dark places and chew baseboards, power cables (which sadly I hear of fatalities quite often from this), and stuff they shouldn't have access to. It's just not a good idea to let them roam around except in a place that's prepared for them. You can certianly transport them using a travel cage if you think that can help you.
I wouldn't start doing that anytime soon though. I think your chins need to stay in thier cage for a few weeks and just get used to you and get used to interaction through the door and through the bars of the cage. That's going to give them time to adjust to their new surroundings and owner and it will give you time to observe them and figure them out. And that's 2/3 of the battle right there, observing and learning from them. And the other 1/3 is them learning from you.
There are people all over the spectrum when it comes to saying what's safe and what's not. But for me I just go by what the old school agricultural breeders have used for years without problems yet not go off the deep end with restrictions. I would stay away from particle board or press board, board that has varnish or coatings on it, or anything that is not some kind of white pine, aspen, or similar material. If it smells stronger than white pine boards I'd say stay away from it. If it's denser it's probably not safe. If you have a specific wood in question I can tell you whether or not others have used it safely but white pine is very common. You can very easily make shelving and ledges for your cage. If you have any questions just ask.
Bedding is ususually labelled. If it says kiln dried white pine or aspen you're good. It doesn't have to be organic or anything crazy like that. Avoid paper or artificial absorbent beddings. These are bad news and are proven to be unsafe.
I wouldn't be to concerned about your chinchilla's health unless you see loose or runny droppings, lethargy (I know that's hard to describe when you don't know what normal behaviour looks like), uncoordinated walking, discharge from the eyes or nose, things like that. You can certainly take them to the vet for an exam if you'd like. They are going to be stressed no matter what but it's your call.
I can also assure you both of them can jump higher than 50cm if they really wanted to.
The droppings you describe (and photographed) look typical to me as well. Dry and brown is good. Wet and green is not. But as far as diet might I ask what you are feeding? There are some really good diets out that that are popular and there are a larger number of very poor diets should be avoided.
Hope this helps.