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homer

chinchillas ???'s

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Who has or has had a chinchilla. My wife and I are thinking of getting a couple after our ferrets pass and wanted your input on them. Good and Bad. I have done some reading on them and they are a lot like ferrets in many ways only all ferrets are fixed by law and chinchillas are not. Oh, I haven't read anywhere on there life expectancy.

I'm having one of the ferrets put down tomorrow as she is in the end stages of adrenal disease. Her companion of 5 years will likely go soon after from loneliness.


CSA #699 Muff #3804

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They make warm coats.










































jk


Chinchillas are cool as hell. They poop a lot though. I remember being in grade school, god I think I was like 7, and my teacher had a Chinchilla and each student got to take it home for 1 week. I used to let it run around and jump all over things. It was a lot of fun.

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I took care of a pet chinchilla for a while (a few years, actually, while I managed my college's animal lab). Do you want to breed them (your fixing comment made me ask that). If so... DON'T. Most people aren't qualified to care for a chinchilla, they are work and too many get dumped... so do your research before getting one. You may want to look into a rescue as they do often get abandoned.

Not nearly as social as ferrets, very soft, but petting them isn't great for their fur, your hand oils and their fur aren't great combos, you need to have a lava dust bath for them to maintain fur hygeine properly. They are actually far more like rabbits than ferrets in behavior and personality.

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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we've had both. i really like ferrets because they're smart, inquisitive, social and they have actual personalities. chinchillas mostly sit around and poop. never really saw the point of them but my daughter liked hers.
"Hang on a sec, the young'uns are throwin' beer cans at a golf cart."
MB4252 TDS699
killing threads since 2001

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I have two, a standard grey and a homo-ebony.

Chins can live 15-20 years. They make great pets and have wonderful personalities. They are fragile and are not for small children, and should only drink bottled water (very important!). They do not have any mechanism to self-cool, so should NEVER be in temperatures above 80 degrees F. They should only be fed pellet food, not the food with all the fruit and corn in it, because they will eat the fruit only and leave the pellets and not get a good diet. They need regular dust baths, and must never get wet with water, as this can make them sick.

Please do not buy them from a pet store, as they often have respiratory diseases. A breeder is the best place to get them. I got mine from Mike Atard in Anza, CA.

Chins are very good at hiding when they are ill, so if they are ever acting even a little bit strange, they must go to the vet immediately.

Keep chins away from any plastic that can be chewed. If it can be gnawed, they will chew it. Make sure their cage is far enough away from anything that can be grabbed and chewed. Their hands are a lot like ours. They must have a constant supply of wood to chew, but there are some woods that are toxic to them, so look it up online first. Most of the stuff in the rodent section is fine. Their cage should have absolutely no plastic at all, and a lot of cages sold in pet stores as "chinchilla cages" are completely unsuitable, because they have plastic bases and are too small. Mine are in a large parrot cage. I added wooden shelves covered with tile. Chins will chew through standard rabbit cage type wire, especially if their cage is too small. They are rock hoppers in their native environment, so they prefer cages that are tall to cages that are wide, and need lots of shelves to hop on. Wire shelves are bad for their feet. Shelves should be solid, or at least there must be solid areas for them to stand. Make sure shelves are positioned so a chin cannot fall from the top to the bottom, because they are fragile and do slip on occasion.

Chins should be paired, as one chin gets very lonely and can develop habits such as fur pulling. Do NOT get a male and a female. You will have baby chins constantly, and often female chins need c-sections. Just stick with two females or two males. Males must be picked up regularly and checked for hair rings around the penis, and any hair rings must be carefully removed with tweezers. This is a pain in the ass, and the main reason why I have two females.

They need access to alfalfa and timothy hay or blocks. If their food is alfalfa based, get them timothy blocks, and vice versa.

Raisins are the absolute most important thing in life to a Chin. They can be trained to do tricks for raisins. They are extremely raisin motivated. Do not give them more than two raisins per day, because it will upset their intestines, which is not fun.

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Thanks for the advice. The cages we have now for the ferrets are a thin wired and not suitable for chins. I’ve had gerbils in the past and know ALL TOO WELL how quick rodents can breed. I was thinking along the same line as you and if we decided to get any we’d get two of the same sex. Knowing they live 15 -20 years that is quite a commitment knowing they have to be cared for daily. We’re not looking to get any soon as my wife is morning from having to put down one of our ferrets yesterday (7yrs old). She’s now resting peacefully in her hammock under the rose bush she liked to try and dig up.

I’m hoping to get a snake as soon as the leopard gecko goes. She’s 13 years old and has another 12 left in her. I’m going to be waiting for a while.


CSA #699 Muff #3804

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If the cages are big, you might be fine. When they chew their cages, it's usually because the cages are too small. Give them plenty of chew toys, and they'll probably stay away from the wire.

As for daily care, they're no more of a commitment than a ferret. =)

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A friend of mine had one when he was in college. Know ahead of time that they're *very* high-maintenance pets. They're adorable though, and you might find it worth it.

As stated upthread, make sure they have plenty to chew on. You'll also need to give them periodic powder baths for their fur, which can cause quite a mess. It's probably a good idea to have a separate room just for the chinchilla, if you have that kind of space.

You'll also need to let it out of its cage periodically. This is another reason to have it in its own room, because even if you know it well, it may run away from you when it's out of its cage...and they can be very elusive and difficult to catch and put back in its cage. Make sure you close the door to the room before you let it out!

Be humble, ask questions, listen, learn, follow the golden rule, talk when necessary, and know when to shut the fuck up.

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The ferrets have free run when we are home and in the mood to deal with them getting into things. There not hard to catch at all and usually will find some cloths on the floor to go to sleep in. When out we just have to watch our step when laundry in on the floor.


CSA #699 Muff #3804

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If you want lower maintanance than a chinchilla (and more personality) have you thought about rabbits? They come in every conceivable shape and size. I have one now that is a chinchilla rabbit...seriously, that's his breed... he looks and feels just like a chinchilla, but much easier to care for. Rabbits are quick to litter train, and are sooo much fun. Plus very easy to find in rescues.

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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Chins are not hard to catch either. Hold a raisin, and they'll run right to you.

The dust baths are not messy if you buy the "dust free"dust and keep the bath in the bottom of the cage. Any extra dust just falls down into the litter.

I have giant critter balls that I will put my two in if I want to let them run but not watch them every second, but their cage is big enough that they get plenty of exercise in there.

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