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Chinchilla

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Chinchilla The Hague View

The Chinchilla

The Chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) is a rodent that originates from the Andes mountains. They look a bit like guinea pigs, but have a thicker coat and a long bushy tail. the thick fur makes them look very cuddly, but they are definitely not stuffed animals. They much prefer to play with their peers.

Name Dutch: Chinchilla
Scientific name: chinchilla lanigera
Origin: The Andes Mountains of South America
Age: 10 years on average
Height: 25 – 35 cm (without tail)
Wearing time: About 111 days
Birth: viviparous
Nest Size: 51-3 boy
Activity: Twilight Active
Legislation: not
Stay: Terrarium, Aquarium or Rodent Cage
Minimum size: 100x50x100

Food: The diet of the Chinchilla consists of only dry, vegetable material with a lot of fiber.

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The appearance of the Chinchilla

Chinchillas are known for their beautiful, thick fur. This is also the reason that they have been hunted for years.

The coat of the Chinchilla is so thick because more than 50 hairs grow from each hair follicle, so the coat can never lie back smooth and the hair is always standing on end. This gives them their fluffy appearance.

The wild Chinchilla is silver-/blue-grey in color with a light-grey/white belly.
They have long whiskers, large ears and a thickly furry tail averaging 15 inches (XNUMX centimeters) long.

In addition to the wild color, the tame Chinchilla also comes in black, brown, beige-blue and white with possibly. drawings as colorful or mosaic.

In the wild there is also a short-haired Chinchilla species: Chinchilla brevicaudata.

Chinchilla Food The Hague

The behavior of the Chinchilla

Chinchillas are absolute group animals and should therefore always be kept at least in pairs.

This can be a male and a female, as well as animals of the same sex. Groups of only males or females or a castrated male with several females are also possible. By nature, the ladies are dominant over the males. It is therefore also difficult to mate two adult females at a later age. It is best to let animals of the same sex grow up together from an early age.

Chinchillas communicate through various beeping and grunting sounds, just like guinea pigs do. If danger threatens, they will warn each other with a high-pitched whistling sound.

It is often said that Chinchillas are nocturnal, but that is absolutely not true. Chinchillas are crepuscular, or twilight active. As soon as it is really completely dark, Chin's also go to sleep.
They are active at dawn and dusk.

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The natural habitat of the Chinchilla consists of rocky slopes. They are very good climbers, but not real climbers.

The minimum size for two Chinchillas is 100x50x100cm. Higher is certainly allowed, but then it is advisable to place a large plateau/floor in between, so that the fall height is not too great. It is best to opt for a metal cage. Chinchillas are avid rodents and wooden or plastic cages will not last long.

In terms of furnishing, it is best to use as many natural materials as possible. Cork, willow, teak and fruitwood branches and plateaus are safe to use in the cage and to gnaw on.

In the wild they often hide in rock crevices and a shelter should therefore not be missing in the enclosure.
Chinchillas keep their fur free of grease and parasites by taking regular sand baths. therefore regularly place a large container with bath sand in the cage.

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Male or female?

Although animals of the same sex can also be kept together, it is preferable to keep a male and a female together. Of course, the male must be castrated, so it is important to know the sex of your Chinchilla.

What are the differences between the male, also called a Bokje, and the female? Bucks are usually slender and smaller than the females, but have a broader head than the females. The easiest way to see the gender difference is to look at the space between the genital opening and the anus. It is much larger in males than in females. When in doubt, you can also press lightly above the genitals, the penis will come out with bucks.

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What does the Chinchilla eat?

The Chinchilla is a herbivore (plant eater) and lives naturally on rocky mountain slopes where the vegetation is sparse. Bromeliads, cacti and some other dry shrubs grow there.

Chinchillas naturally only feed on dry, low-fat and fiber-rich vegetable material. Their entire digestive system is built on this. As with all rodents, the Chinchilla's teeth are always growing. By grinding the dry hard fibers in the food, these constantly wear off a bit so that they remain at the correct length. The stomach is a bit lazy and cannot properly send food to the intestines on its own, so several portions are eaten per day. Each new serving pushes the nutrient broth further into the gut.

In order to mimic the natural diet of the Chinchilla as closely as possible, it is preferable to feed as scarce and as high in fiber as possible. This means that hay is the most important part of the diet, it must be available indefinitely. Preferably timothy hay, because it is also low in calcium. In addition, you can add various (dried) herbs and flowers to the diet. To meet the right amount of vitamins and minerals, you can add a high-quality pellet food, especially for Chin's.

What should you avoid in a healthy Chinchilla diet?

You absolutely do not want to feed the following ingredients to your Chinchilla: - Fillers such as corn or soy – Vegetables (dried or fresh) – Fruit (dried or fresh) – Grains – Seeds – Nuts

The reason your vegetables, Avoid fruits, nuts, seeds and grains because they are not part of the Chinchilla's natural diet and are therefore very unhealthy for your Chin. Fruit contains a lot of moisture and natural sugars. Chinchillas cannot digest this well and this excess of sugars can cause your Chinchilla to become very sick. These are also very unhealthy when dried. Many people don't realize that a small piece of dried fruit is just a shrunken large piece. When you dry fruit, it shrinks, but the sugar is still there. It's just concentrated in a smaller piece.

Vegetables especially contain a lot of moisture. Chinchillas originally come from a very dry climate where the diet does not contain much moisture. The excess fluid that they ingest through the vegetables will lead to gas in the abdomen. This is dangerous because they cannot excrete this gas themselves through, for example, winds or farmers. The gas will cause bloating, after which the Chinchilla will stop eating and may even die.

Nuts, seeds and grains are high in carbohydrates and fat. When a Chinchilla is fed a high fat diet, they become prone to conditions such as fatty liver. Fatty liver is known as a "silent killer" with Chinchillas, because they died before you realized it was the cause of any problems.

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What do you need to keep 2 (or more) Chinchillas?

How nice that you have decided to keep Chinchillas! What do you need? To help you on your way, we have already prepared this handy shopping list for you:

• Lodging (minimum 100x50x100 for 2 animals)
• Good absorbent ground cover
• Various plateaus, branches and other climbing and clambering equipment
• At least 1 house per animal
• Feeder
• Water bowl/bottle
• Sandpit + bathing sand
• Nutrition
• Hay
• Dried herbs/flowers
• gnawing material

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