Hey, I just got myself 2 Chinchilla females about 2 weeks ago, before that I did a bunch of research on them to try and make sure I could provide a stable and healthy environment for them, obviously as many of you could probably tell me as well, no amount of research can fully prepare you for all the the things that could happen and probably will happen when you own chins, so to that end I have a few questions I'm hoping you guys could help me shed some light on.
A little info about them first, from what I was told by the previous owner, they're around a year old both of them, it was a young boy that used to take care of them and as they told me they simply didn't have enough time to care enough for the fluffy little bastards any longer.
Was also told and showed how he'd handle them by basically grabbing the root of their tails and carrying them that way too, through all the research I've read though most people seem to agree that you need to also support their body and paws, I can't imagine it being very pleasent being dragged around by your tail.
Aynways, after I got them back to my place and got their cage set up, I let them stay in their cage to try and get used to things, and this is when things started going wrong.
Firstly, I let them out of their cage on the second day at my place, as they did not seem afraid of me, they were happy to crawl and sniff on my hands, clearly a huge mistake however, within a few minutes they found their way under my couch into small crevices and basically stayed there for an hour, needless to say it ended with me having to "chase" them a little to get them back in their cage, not very enjoyable for me or them, upon having to get them both back in their cage, Triss struggled while i held her to get her into the cage and Ciri the other one, started squealing when I held her, the heartbreaking kind of squeal.
So at this point im still pretty reluctant to let them out of their cage, this happened the 20th of march, for this one I'm just a little curious, how should I go about gaining some trust so things can get better? I do want them out and about, and I've started taking more precautions now, I'm just worried this kind of thing will happen again to sour their entire experience with being able to run around and have fun, and how long should I keep them in their cage to let them know and understand that it's their home?
Second question, I am very confused by all the things they can't be around, like their bedding, specific types of wood, and what I mean by that is, on the packages at my local animalproducts store, it usually never states what type of wood it is, all it says is organic and non-treated, this goes for both beddings and extra wooden accesories such as small wooden boards you can attack to the cage so they have something to climb on, so what am I supposed to do with it? How can I sniff out the bad stuff from the good stuff for my chins so that they don't end up with respiratory problems? Is there any markers I should look for such as specific colors or odors?
Third question, I mentioned that my one chin, Ciri, squealed when I picked her up, the 2 weeks I've had them so far she's also the least active, she can't jump as high as Triss either, is this something I should be concerned about or look into? I really wanted to delay a Vet visit for a few weeks so I don't scare them to death, but if a vet visit is recommended I will of course take them, and will just have to repair the trust later if there's a health concern for her. I'd wager the jump difference between Triss and Ciri is that Triss can probably jump up to 50cm whilst Ciri can barely do 30cm.
And final question for now, mostly pertaining to their droppings, I read it's a good way to keep track of their health, I'm just not sure if it's currently in order, their droppings are small, relatively hard and black / dark brown in color, is this a normal type or do I need to look into their diet?
Thanks for any and all responses, from the otherwise happy new owner of 2 lovely chins.
Oh uh and a few pictures here, made me think of a last thing, why is Triss sleeping ontop of her nest as opposed to inside it? that seems a bit odd to me.