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 on: April 22, 2017, 07:32:50 AM 
Started by Kerga93 - Last post by GrayRodent
Just put the cages next to each other for 8 weeks and wait. Then try to introduce them. It's a method that is known to work and recommended by expert breeders. No method is guaranteed and care must be taken to assess success when you put them into the same cage after that waiting period.
Bonding in pairs is not necessarily permanent either. The new dynamic introduced by the other animals in the group can change things. It may be necessary to permanently separate them.

 on: April 22, 2017, 04:21:55 AM 
Started by Kerga93 - Last post by Kerga93
I have had them over a month (the girls) and the male for 6 ish years now, so I have done the quarantine period and took them to a specialist exotic vet to get checked out.
So do you think it would be best to bring the male downstairs or take the girls upstairs where all the chins are? They haven't been with other chinchillas before (the girls) so could it be all the new smells and they need to get used too them first before being put side by side with the male?
What do you mean by 8 week waiting period?
Thank you, I really appreciate it, just haven't had the original bonded pair fight before

 on: April 21, 2017, 08:17:56 PM 
Started by Kerga93 - Last post by GrayRodent
My advice is wait 2-3 weeks. Have chins in same room but not in same enclosure and then try again. Put cages side by side 3 inches apart. Typically you want to have a minimum 8 week waiting period. Also it is advised to quarantine 3-4 weeks before putting them into the same room if possible.

The neutral area bonding method will not work for all chins. Also, and unfortunately, not all chins are compatible with each other but you won't know anything until the waiting period is over and they can get used to each other from a short distance.

 on: April 20, 2017, 11:22:43 PM 
Started by Kerga93 - Last post by Kerga93

I am a mum of eight chinchillas! Crazy I know! I have converted the attic into three play areas for each group of chinchillas, one area has three already bonded chins (1 male, 2 females), the other one has two bonded (1 male, 1 female) and the last area has one lonely male. Before anyone mentions all males have been castrated My solo male had a female companion who were together nearly eight years, unfortunately last august she had to be put down after fighting a long battle with the dental disease maloclusion, it was a very difficult time and the male was her rock during that time, grooming her and keeping her warm after dentals, she was a strong fighter. Ever since losing his companion his personality has changed (he is ten years old) doesn't like coming out of the cage much and just looks like he is sulking and sad... he used to be so hyper, enjoyed playtime and hated going back in the cage! He has also gained a bit of weight
So I decided maybe try and get him another companion or two... (I have done the bonding process previously). I found these two beautiful female chinchillas (17months old) needing homes, they looked perfect! I got them around a month ago, got them vet checked by a specialist and all is well. Monday just gone we cleaned all of the attic cages and disinfected the floor area as well. This is the first time the girls were up in the attic as well! All seeemed well that night and all three chinchillas were calm, a little pacing and curiosity but nothing bad or serious (btw there in separate cages and during letting them out I have put up a barrier so they can't reach each other but still see one another). However last night, I let the male out to have a little run around and then the girls, all was well again but for some reason after twenty mins of the girls being out (male is away in his cage) the black velvet female chased the beige one, I left it but after three times and fur flying, I stepped in. She wouldn't allow the other too enter the cage and kept going for her. I didn't want them to break their bond so I quickly brought the cage back downstairs and let them out in the bathroom for twenty mins... they were fine, no chasing or anything and they slept cuddled up together all night...

I want opinions or advice on what to do? Should I?
- bring the male downstairs and do the bonding process in a completely neutral area but then put them upstairs when bonded
Try again but give the females time to adjust too all the smells and sounds of upstairs first before trying them in together
Give up and sort another solution out
Or any others will be much appreciated. I want my male to have a friend but I don't want too ruin or jeopardise another bond for it. Thank you

 on: April 20, 2017, 09:11:41 PM 
Started by Chins4Life089 - Last post by GrayRodent
I'm sorry you're going through that. If there is still discharge you might have an infection. I wish I could offer more advice but the best thing you can do is get it examined by a vet and probably get a culture done on it. If it's an infection it probably needs antibiotics. Infections there can be quite dangerous. If the infection is in the uterus itself it is life threatening and you should consider treatment carefully.
If it's just a one time thing I wouldn't be extremely concerned but the amount you're talking about does seem excessive.
Removing her from the others is a judgment call. I'm not aware of it being contagious but if her health deteriorates you want to separate quickly though because the risk of contracting something infectious is greatly increased and can threaten the others. Weigh your chins regularly.

 on: April 18, 2017, 05:40:25 PM 
Started by Chins4Life089 - Last post by Chins4Life089
Update she has moved and the white thing has disappeared for now but i'm still worried about the discharge

 on: April 18, 2017, 05:35:45 PM 
Started by Chins4Life089 - Last post by Chins4Life089
I come home today to my 3 chinchillas and all seemed well until later on the mother of the other 2 was eating her feces which I know isn't abnormal until I saw a couple pellets stuck to her nose and that freaked me out as it was so I tried to pick her up and she wasn't having it and she ran to the bottom corner of the cage and for the first time in the nearly 2 years I have owned her she sprayed me which caused me to back off and leave her alone. That was until I looked where she standing before I tried to grab her and there was a wet kinda white spot on the shelf which then set me off into protect mode and I needed to see what was going on so I picked her up to much of her discord and cleaned off her nose and then started to inspect her and I found that she had something white sticking out from her vaginal area from which point I placed her back down and from then she is very inactive still hasn't gotten off the cage floor or for that matter really moved. I am super freaked out and don't know what to do. Should I separate her from the other 2. I need your help if you need pictures of it I can get some. I'm really worried about her and there isn't a vet that I know of around me that can handle her this late, the closest one it nearly an hour and a half away. Also the goop that was on her nose was kinda sticky almost like halfway dried Elmer's glue. Please give me any help you can.

 on: April 06, 2017, 06:38:47 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by GrayRodent
Glad to oblige. That's why we're here.

Chinchillas can have widely different personalities just like cats or dogs. Considering they have not been socialized properly they may never get super friendly but you if you keep working with them they should tame down quite a bit.

I think the diets on your list are not good. You are better off feeding loose hay only than feeding those diets. I'm guessing you're in Europe where your options are more limited. Do you have access to Oxbow or Mazuri feed products there? There may be better options for you.
I recommend feeding in the meantime half in half alfalfa and timothy hay. Once you add pellets back into the diet just feed timothy hay as your loose hay.

Pelleted diets that come in mixtures are not good for chinchillas. Chinchillas will pick out the junk and leave the good parts behind, if there are any good parts left. I strongly suspect this reduces their life expectancy by less than half.

It is very unusual for chinchillas to have mites or fleas and if you are actually seeing something crawling out of their fur consider that to be highly abnormal. However the urine in the cage bedding can attract gnats and flying insects but considering the diet they were on they may not be particularly healthy. The vet should be able to tell you more.

 on: April 05, 2017, 05:44:49 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by Tarash
Hey many thanks for the response :) I'm guessing some of it is things that get repeated quite often, so you taking your time is much appreciated!

Even since initially writing this post I've made pretty decent headway with them, especially Triss seem keen to learn and is much more contact seeking, Ciri is still a work in progress, which seems mostly to be connected to her personality or that she may have had more bad experiences, the latter is difficult to discern as i don't know enough about their previous house.

The current feed I'm giving them is this , from what I've seen it's mostly pellets in it, it's leftovers from what the previous owner gave them, I have purchased another product as well that I'm going to change to once they've finished the other one.

As for treats I let them eat oats out of my hand or they get a raisin every once in a while, the oats seem to be a way better way of building a bit of trust so they don't run off the second my hand comes in contact with either of them!

I'll take your advice though and keep them caged for a while longer :) Should also give me ample time to make the area safer for them to run around.

I have however decided to take them to a vet just to make sure nothings ailing either of them, I thought I saw a tiny thing crawl out of their fur the other day, and I have no idea when they last had a vet visit, so figured it would be timely to get them checked out.

Again thanks so much for the response!

 on: April 04, 2017, 09:31:16 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by GrayRodent
LOL. What you describe is so typical of chinchillas. Especially chins that are not very well socialized. And obviously not handled properly.

Regarding behavior:
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.

Regarding wood:
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.

Regarding Health:
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.

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