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Messages - GrayRodent

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Web site Reviews / Re: Pet Blog: Feedback Wanted
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:54:30 AM »
That's great. Thanks for the citation.

Q & A / Re: That time of year again
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:27:28 AM »
The chinchilla club recommends not allowing chinchilla to range free outside of small designated 'chin proof' areas. Having access to artificial or real pine trees can easily result in ingestion of dangerous materials. Wiring and lighting is extremely dangerous for chinchillas to chew on. The best way to keep chinchillas away is to wall them off with play pen barriers or enclose them in a chin proof room.

Web site Reviews / Re: Pet Blog: Feedback Wanted
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:24:54 AM »
About chinchilla kits: Seems to be mostly accurate to me.

The chinchilla club discourages attempts to breed pet chinchillas for a couple of reasons. First is that there is a standard of quality that the chinchilla industry would like to maintain. Low quality animals are much smaller, have muddy or dull colors, and tend to have congenital defects and are prone to heart problems, seizures, and malocclusion, which is where the teeth and jaws are not aligned properly. Malocclusion is a big killer of chinchillas that are a few months old. It's incurable and terminal. So the experience of people who receive these kits is oftentimes very bad, and heartbreaking.

The parents of the kits must be compatible with each other as well. There are genetic and size differences that can result in miscarriages, and can result with a kit too large to pass. Sometimes the mother (dam) will die as a direct result of improper breeding and dietary practices, and sometimes they can die through the normal course of breeding. There are also additional cage and dietary requirements, and other things that must be considered with breeding.

Perhaps you should add that chinchillas should never be intentionally bred without extensive knowledge of proper breeding practices. To increase chance of survival it may be best to recommend getting advice from experienced breeders. There are many unusual circumstances that can emerge that must be dealt with quickly. I can recommend some groups if you would like.

Larger isn't always better for chinchillas, although I didn't always think this. They can climb and jump onto high ledges and fall and seriously injure themselves. The FN182 (The one I use) is a good sized cage. If both levels are connected there should be some barrier that prevents them from easily falling the height of both levels. I think you've mentioned this. Good job on presenting different opinions.

There are also aftermarket metal pans for the FN182 available that make it usable. Do not use the wire ramps it comes with, even with the fleece covers. The covers come off/ get dislodged to easily.

Wire mesh floors are good if the correct bar spacing (no larger than 1/2" x 1/2") is used. If they have wood shelving (always recommended) they will spend more time on the shelf than the floor. Wire mesh ramps or shelves are very dangerous and should never be used. Please present this fact. Wire ramps are extremely destructive and I see cases every year from preventable accidents with them. They are not needed. Chins can jump several feet straight up.

Other than that from a quick glance it looks good.

South West USA / Re: re-homing a breeding herd. We have 30 more.
« on: November 03, 2017, 07:41:14 AM »
Congratulations. That's great.

Q & A / Re: Have you ever re-homed a chinchilla? Why?
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:42:48 PM »
I'm not sure if there is much hope for improvement. Perhaps they'll settle down a bit once they're assigned sections. And you can try to put splash guards in the worst places. There probably won't be more than one or two places since chinchillas develop a habit of urinating in one spot under normal conditions.
Something you might try is to get a metal pan and put some bedding in it, make sure it's cushy. Let the bedding in the pan get soiled. When you change it out put some of the soiled bedding back in. This might help establish a corner to urinate in as chinchillas normally assign themselves one place.

Cages / Re: Making my Own Ledges. Where to get wood? (UK)
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:31:02 PM »
White wood boards are my weapon of choice for shelving. I am not from the UK so I can't help much there. White pine or white wood is the same thing. Aspen works. Don't use red pine.

Q & A / Re: Chinchilla waking up later than usual
« on: October 28, 2017, 07:48:31 PM »
I recommend putting lights on a timer 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This should establish a pattern. Maybe. You'll just have to try it. Then you can adjust the cycle. My chins' lights are on a timer.

A chinchilla is going to be active mostly right before sun up and right after darkness. During the day chinchillas usually sleep. For them this will be lights on.

Q & A / Re: Chinchilla waking up later than usual
« on: October 26, 2017, 08:25:48 PM »
Chinchillas (and all mammals) are sensitive to day-light cycles and activity patterns. If the lamps are on at certain times a day they will consider that the same as morning and night. So consider that. They should have no more than 12 hours of light per day. You could experiment with that. Do not subject them to large sudden swings in day-night patterns. It could be dangerous for them.

I've never noticed any real consistency in my own pets. They are usually most active after I turn out the lights for bed, and in the morning when I wake up, which is not too consistent either, but they get excited when I get up because they get petted and visit each other through the bars. During the day they'll wander around several times getting food and even playing. If I put one in the dust bath the other one always gets excited no matter what time of day because he knows he's next.

Q & A / Re: Is cement harmful for chins?
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:09:35 PM »
You can get pumice rocks in larger chunks as well. Like I said regarding cement I just don't know.

Q & A / Re: Is cement harmful for chins?
« on: October 21, 2017, 11:14:02 AM »
Honestly I don't know. If I'm going to guess I would say cement has lime in it which is toxic. After it's cured I'm not sure how safe it is though.
I recommend finding a source of raw pumice. It should be a lot cheaper than a lava ledge and you might be able to insert the lava ledge fasteners into them. Raw pumice is known to be safe for chinchillas.

Health / Re: Bad eye and running in circles.
« on: October 20, 2017, 07:31:55 AM »
If it starts advancing to the genital area you should consult a vet and get some stronger medication to prevent complications. Fungus usually gets worse before it gets better but will usually resolve with a medicated dust bath and sometimes on its own in 2-3 weeks. And it can be contagious. I recommend dusting this one in a separate room from the others as well.

Health / Re: Missing foot rescue.
« on: October 20, 2017, 07:26:48 AM »
So glad to hear that.

Health / Re: Bad eye and running in circles.
« on: October 16, 2017, 09:22:38 AM »
If he is running in circles I'm not sure if that is a sign of a problem. My healthy chins do that too. If his head is tilted to one side or another or he appears to have issues with balance that could be a sign of damage to the inner ear or brain. Give this one a really good quarantine.

Q & A / Re: Have you ever re-homed a chinchilla? Why?
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:06:37 PM »
Another question. How long have you had the chins. Also peeing outside of the cage is unusual (though not unheard of) for a male. Are you are certain of their sexes? Also what behavior are you observing that makes you think they are not compatible?

Q & A / Re: Chew deterring sprays, etc.
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:04:31 PM »
My chins will chew on the bars as well. It is normal behavior, although annoying. Having some wood toys will help but it won't stop it 100%. You can try the spray but I don't it will make a difference. I don't recommend using black pepper. That can cause eye irritation and possible issues you don't want to have to deal with.

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