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 on: Yesterday at 06:10:39 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by Tarash
Thanks for the advice, yeah I am aware they're not cuddly, it is solely to make them adjust and accept interaction for inspection purposes or just to relocate them if they're doing something they shouldn't.

I did actually try what you wrote, but this is a while ago, they seemed pretty unhappy about that approach, so much so that the little one, Ciri, started hissing and clacking teeth at me whenever my hand got near her, they've never bitten me though, usually it's unhappy noises and in worst cases they started shedding fur. I think Ciri might be an issue though, if she gets the impression I want to pick her up she hides in their house, seeing as that's a safe space where I don't want to intrude

 on: February 22, 2018, 10:48:29 PM 
Started by Sandra - Last post by GrayRodent
I'm very sorry to hear that. That is very sad. The critical care probably wouldn't have fixed the problem if it was dental.

 on: February 22, 2018, 10:45:08 PM 
Started by DoubleChin_Newbie - Last post by GrayRodent
Congrats on having a new cage setup. I really don't want to discourage you at all about your setup. It looks like you've put a lot of effort and time into this, but, there's a few problems and I think you're going to discover them over time.

The first thing that seems off to me is the shelving. Solid shelves are usually not that thin. Your chinchilla is going to chew through these rapidly. If they are laminate board/plywood that is not safe for chinchillas.

The plastic bottom is not usually compatible with chinchillas, however, looking that the bar spacing I think you'll be okay as long the chin doesn't find an edge on the plastic to chew on. If he starts shredding the plastic I encourage you to find a cage that is of all metal construction.

The plastic tunnel probably won't work for you. Chinchillas are notorious for destroying plastic, and it has been known that plastic causes fatalies in chinchilla by obstructing their stomach and intestines. I recommend using a fleece tunnel instead, however, with fleece items some chins will destroy them. If you see that happening cease using fleece in your cage. It is rare but can be hazardous if the items get damaged or fleece is ingested in quantity. I recommend removing this immediately.

The water bottle may be okay. This cage does have unusually narrow bar spacing and that may prevent them from damaging it through the bars. Glass bottles are recommended. My chins chewed through a plastic one before so make sure to check the level each day (with is good practice anyway) in case they get to it.

Make sure they have access to food and water. I did have chins where one did not leave the other one alone, it started losing weight, and I separated them. They were very aggressive. I tried to introduce them again and they started pulling fur and it was coming out in clumps, which is a danger sign. When fur flies it's time to separate them. Years later they are much more ameable towards each other if I put them together in the same space but I'm still going to keep them separate.

Have fun. Looks good otherwise.

 on: February 19, 2018, 05:24:08 AM 
Started by DoubleChin_Newbie - Last post by DoubleChin_Newbie
Here is a pic of them in their cage: I'd also appreciate any advice for improving their environment

The cage is new and was very expensive, so I'm saving up again to get them some chew toys. A wheel will come later

You can see here one is resting while the other is up - however when I entered they were both in the corner together

 on: February 19, 2018, 02:46:54 AM 
Started by DoubleChin_Newbie - Last post by DoubleChin_Newbie
wow Chinchilla's are complicated. Having seen them rough housing and mounting I looked up dominance and connecting a few dots I am now trying to work out if one is being bullied or is just acting in the normal submissive way.

The facts
  • 2 male chinchilla's, brothers taken from the same litter after approx 3-4 months
  • They are new pets, we have only had them 9 days (new territory?)
  • We recently replaced their cage because they could escape their first one through the bars. They have been in the new cage 2 nights (more new territory?)

They get long playtime sessions (around 30 mins - 1 hour max) once per day, where they always start timid/cautious, gradually explore and play more, but at around 30-40 minutes suddenly peak in excitement and go crazy
  • Vocal noises: Normally silent, they both start squeaking rhythmically. It's mostly like chirping, which I have read is a "good" noise? There isn't any hard barking or shrieking
  • "Kissing": They touch noses and rub faces
  • Jumping: They jump around each other, directly upwards, and occasionally into/off the walls
  • Chasing: They run around the room far apart - at max speed, then chase each other in small circles
  • Mounting: One repeatedly tries to get on top of the other. The other wriggles free except once when he let it happen
  • Biting: They don't REALLY bite each other near as I can see, but they definitely try to get their mouths around the back of the others neck

Most of this seems playful and happy to me, and initially saw it as them getting comfortable; but...

Warning Signs?
  • 1 of the chinchilla's is notably more timid and less active than the other
  • Although most usually chirp the same way, after the mounting 1 ran to a distance and changed the squeak pattern to a whimper 
  • 1 of the chinchilla's is always first to the food bowl and the other waits, at a distance. I cannot really tell if one is thinner or eating less than the other yet
  • At night, they do jump and bang around the cage, but when we look they either freeze, or appear to be jumping between the floors without bothering each other
  • I don't see any fur around the cage, but one (And it could be because I am looking) seems to have a frayed tail

One really good sign (as far as I know?) is they sleep together; both in the hanging tunnel, or both in the corner with one slightly on top of the other.
What I don't want is to wake up to one having been mauled to death suddenly, or one to be unable to eat out of fear of the other. Let me know if any of you are Chinchilla psychologists. I am not TOO concerned right now, but would love some reassurance from an experienced person.

 on: February 18, 2018, 02:13:49 PM 
Started by Sandra - Last post by Sandra
Our male chin past away after teeth surgery :'( He had a digestive problems after all. In our country there is no Oxbow critical care, so we and our vet did the best we can do to feed him well. But even our efforts for one week, he couldn't survive..
I'm too sorry, his beloved female chinchilla is also so sad...
Rest in peace dear Vichy, and we want u to know, that we love you so much, and you are always in our hearts.

 on: February 16, 2018, 10:41:24 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by GrayRodent
I'm glad things are going better for you. I'm glad you've found a comparable food source.
Chinchillas are typically not cuddly animals but that can change with time and handling though each animal will be different.

Now that your pets can be handled without thinking they are being threatened I recommend actually taking them out of the cage, holding them against your chest for 10-15 seconds, then putting them back. Do this 2-3 times a day.

They'll fight you but they should not bite you. Remember when handling chinchillas try to allow them to stand on one of your hands and allow them to face your shoulder. Their natural tendency is to run up your arm. With the other hand hold firmly at the base of the tail. You can suspend the whole chinchilla from there if need to get a better grip. Make sure to stay at the very base and don't go up on the tail. Do not allow a chinchilla to flail around as it can cause itself grave injury. It's either a good hold or do not remove from the cage. Handle the chinchilla low towards the floor. Expect to have accidents because it's a learning experience for the both of you. Minimize the danger of falling and escaping ahead of time.

One thing that helped me with a really wild chinchilla was to sit in a shower stall for about 10 minutes and let the chinchilla run around and crawl on me. I would be mostly still. I did this every day and saw significant improvement, although the animal was too wild to ever make a tame pet. My other two chins didn't need that that extreme.

The theory is to establish a routine of safe handling. If they struggle and fight to get away just ignore it and hold on. Worst case is you get bit. If you have the base of the tail you can reposition your other hand to control the head from below. If you get bit do not let go. This can cause a fall and reinforce the behavior, although it is unusual behavior for most pets.

Take them out for a few seconds, then put them back in. That will not stress them too badly. Eventually the chinchilla will stop struggling and expect to be handled this way but you'll see gradual change over days and weeks. It is a proven effective method. My chins started out about 10-20 seconds at a time. Basically I held them, and put them back into the cage when they took a break from struggling. (Usually it's only after a few seconds) so they know that struggling is not going to free them. Of course mix this interaction with non-stressful interactions throughout the week.

Now my pets will actually jump onto my hand at times, especially after dust baths because that is part of their routine. They can be out over 5-10 minutes now and they don't care. It is only because they are actually handled on a regular basis.

 on: February 15, 2018, 01:02:44 PM 
Started by Tarash - Last post by Tarash
Hey, so 9 months have passed now with my girls, things are looking better for the most parts really, I rarely experience bad times with them anymore they've become more social and interested in spending time with me, also upgraded their cage this christmas to a slightly larger, cleaner and better cage for them.

Late reply though, but I did go for pure pellet food instead and ditched the old stuff I got, the american brands are not available here but looking at nutrition info on the stuff I did purchase it's practically the same as the brands you guys usually suggest.

However, they won't let me handle them, I've made massive progress in most areas, they don't freak out all the time whenever I move when they're out, and them not wanting to go back to their cage after playtime is usually the result of "scary" noises from the outside that is not within my control, so overall I'd say they trust me enough to "deal" with me, what I want to ask though is, how do you go about training them to deal with or accept that they will sometimes be held or handled for a short time, not for cuddling purposes but rather for inspections or moving? They've become quite adept at acting offended or sad when I've had to handle them, which I naturally want to change so they don't feel like they've had their private space ruined.

Also new years eve kinda sucked, I'm fairly certain I got the blame for the majority of the noise going on there ;)

Hope this new year treats all of you chin owners well, just like I'm hoping my chins will warm up to me some more this year!

 on: February 11, 2018, 05:10:08 PM 
Started by Robin - Last post by Robin
Thank you for the ideas.   I will call in tomorrow... I think the vision in his good eye might be gone now... I reached in his cage and didn't even touch him and he went sort of crazy.. running and falling and stuff.  This is not normal either.. he is very very tame.   He is still eating and drinking and acting neurological. 

Thanks!  I will see what my vet says in the AM.


 on: February 11, 2018, 11:40:36 AM 
Started by Robin - Last post by BLS Chins
Tilting to the side is often due to inner ear infections. Him dragging the leg may be due to an injury from the head tilt/balance issues. I would seek a vet.

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