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Chinchillas

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have one? I saw them in the pet shop while getting cat food and they are GORGEOUS!!!! I would love to have one or two as pets - but I know NOTHING about them. I would rather research before I ever decide to get one.

Does anyone know anything?

Im going to do more research now.
post #2 of 15
All I can tell you is that they are the cutest little munchkins! I'd love a couple too.
I looked after one last summer, and he was sooo sweet. He'd take raisins from my hand and stand there on his hind legs munching them, holding the raisin with his dexterous little paw. Really cute little bugger!
He had a nice big cage with multiple levels and it stayed pretty clean - his poop was nice neat little pellets that were easy to clean up. He seemed pretty smart too.
I know there a are a couple of people here with Chinchillas, so I'm sure you'll get some helpful advice.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
They are sooo adorable aren't they? I watched one go from asleep to wide awake and rolling around in the dust thing. It was so cute!! THey were only born last month.

I also saw a bird there that had been hand reared - it was laying on its back and rolling a ball with its feet - freaked me out at first and so I went and told the pet shop owner, and apparently it was playing, nothing wrong with it. I wasn't used to seeing that at all!
post #4 of 15
Oh, I do I do!

I have three now, and one at the rainbow bridge...

I know LOTS, but can't compare with what your research will show you.

Let me know if you want to know anything specific. I adore mine.

...actually, I have four now. I'm chin-sitting for a friend! He he.
post #5 of 15
I don't have one but I think they are adorable!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelongsToEvie View Post
Oh, I do I do!

I have three now, and one at the rainbow bridge...

I know LOTS, but can't compare with what your research will show you.

Let me know if you want to know anything specific. I adore mine.
Do Chinchillas need a lot of care/attention? Or are they pretty self-entertaining?
post #7 of 15
Chinchillas are like cats- and people. Some are so aloof that all you need to do is feed and bathe them, and give them stuff to play on (like my Fed, she's MUCH happier if you don't bother her!). Others, like my RB baby Sarah, crave attention. Sarah would DEMAND you open her cage and pay attention everytime she heard your voice! I could be in the other room, and if she heard me, she'd start shaking her cage to get love. I sure miss her...

My other two are pretty average. They like a few scratches, and lots of raisins, but are pretty happy with just a bit of love a day.

As for care, they are typical cage animals. They need their cages kept clean, and constant fresh food and water (we keep large bowls and water bottles, so it's only an every other day thing), and of course their dust baths! Cutest thing ever. And they're rodents, so they need stuff to chew on. None of these things are hard to supply, though. It also helps if you can let them have free time out of their cage- great time to interact with them, too. And worth a laugh if you let your cat in! My three (especially the old man Nigel) actually attack Evie now! So I don't them play together anymore...
post #8 of 15
Oh, and if anyone REALLY wants one, my fiance is dying to let ours breed! So don't tell him, ok?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, thats really helpful - thanks! What do they like to sleep on? Hay? I know for sure, NO cedar!

When it comes to picking out a chinchilla from the pet shop (I Don't know any breeders), what do I look for?
post #10 of 15
I saw one in a pet store not too long ago... they seem so adorable!!! I was thinking about adding a ferret to my "zoo" but a chin looks like fun too... looks so soft and fluffy!
post #11 of 15
My SIL used to breed them and since we would have to house sit when she'd go out of town, we learned a little bit about them from her.

Our first lesson: females will kill each other if given the chance. She had 1 large cage with a male/female pair that lived together permanently (Kanga and Roo). She then had a long run of cages with females in each cage. The females had collars that prevented them from getting out of their cages but allowed her breeding male to hop between the female's cages. One of the females got out of her collar one night and went to another female's cage and one of them died from the fight.

They cannot tolerate a lot of heat. She also had amazon parrots in the room (sun porch) with the chincillas and we let the birds out one time while house sitting. We always turned the ceiling fans off in that room when the birds were out. When we couldn't get the birds back into their cages, we left for a few hours to do shopping, then returned to find about half of the chincillas had heat stroke. A quick trip to the vet to get some IV fluids to revive them (we had no way to transport them to the vet) got most of the revived.

She got these when she jokingly told her DH that she wanted a chincilla coat. So he bought her a chincilla breeding group and told her she would need to kill them, skin them and make her own coat. Of course one look at them and she could never do it!!

She eventually found a breeder to take all of them off her hands (her DH was killed in a car accident and it was too much work). She kept Kanga and Roo until they died and if I remember right, they weren't that old and one died shortly after their mate died.

Bottom line: if you are a fan of small rodent type animals, they make excellent pets. Personally, I wasn't a big fan.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
Okay, thats really helpful - thanks! What do they like to sleep on? Hay? I know for sure, NO cedar!

When it comes to picking out a chinchilla from the pet shop (I Don't know any breeders), what do I look for?
That's right!! No cedar!!! Good job. I'm always drilling that in to friends who adopt chins. We use pine bedding, and I used to use recycled newspaper bedding. To each their own preference. I only changed thinking Sarah might have been allergic to the recycled (she wasn't, but I just never switched back- I like the smell of pine!). They also like to have solid wood ledges they can sit on, and chew on! Wood ledges, and houses, and ramps, you name it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My SIL used to breed them and since we would have to house sit when she'd go out of town, we learned a little bit about them from her.

Our first lesson: females will kill each other if given the chance. She had 1 large cage with a male/female pair that lived together permanently (Kanga and Roo). She then had a long run of cages with females in each cage. The females had collars that prevented them from getting out of their cages but allowed her breeding male to hop between the female's cages. One of the females got out of her collar one night and went to another female's cage and one of them died from the fight.

They cannot tolerate a lot of heat. She also had amazon parrots in the room (sun porch) with the chincillas and we let the birds out one time while house sitting. We always turned the ceiling fans off in that room when the birds were out. When we couldn't get the birds back into their cages, we left for a few hours to do shopping, then returned to find about half of the chincillas had heat stroke. A quick trip to the vet to get some IV fluids to revive them (we had no way to transport them to the vet) got most of the revived.

She got these when she jokingly told her DH that she wanted a chincilla coat. So he bought her a chincilla breeding group and told her she would need to kill them, skin them and make her own coat. Of course one look at them and she could never do it!!

She eventually found a breeder to take all of them off her hands (her DH was killed in a car accident and it was too much work). She kept Kanga and Roo until they died and if I remember right, they weren't that old and one died shortly after their mate died.

Bottom line: if you are a fan of small rodent type animals, they make excellent pets. Personally, I wasn't a big fan.
Aw... I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience with chinchillas! Like all pets, they're not for everyone. Even though, I have to say, not all females will kill each other. My friend has three, and she keeps the females together and only the male separate- doesn't want any more babies! We keep all three separate, but only because our one chin that was raised as a breeder doesn't like people, and we don't want our baby picking up that bad attitude!

Yes, they are very sensitive to heat. We panicked last year when we had a heat wave. They also don't like drafts, or being wet. Makes it annoying to cool them off!

I usually tell people chinchillas have a life span similar to cats (this being a cat site, I'm sure many of you will be able to correct my opinions of a cat's life span! ). The average age is about 10-14 years, but they can live, rarely, up to 20 or so. My siggy says "Nigel, the chinchilla that just keeps ticking". Well, it's true! Though we don't know for sure, he's about 17 or 18 years old now, and still kicking!! My sweetie, Sarah, though, was sickly her whole life. I consider her a rescue, and she was a small little epileptic runt- she only lived to about 9. Not bad considering her health!

MomOfMany is absolutely correct. If you like rodent types, you'll probably love chinchillas! Otherwise, well, they're not mini-kitties.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is really helpful. I think I would get the cage and stuff before buying the actual chinchilla itself.
post #14 of 15
We had two of them but they were aweful about chewing on things. One some how snuck a pencil in the chage and we think killed himself by eating the lead of the pencil. The other one wasn't so friendly, we got it when it was full grown and it must not have been handled much. If we let her out, it was extremely hard to catch her! Denfinitely get one when it's young and keep it away from pencils!!!!
post #15 of 15
I have wanted chinchillas myself too. They are adorable. But they are farther down on my list of animals I'm getting . I think next will be ferrets and another dog. I'dd like to hear how it goes onece you get them, so keep us updated.
EnzoLeya-Hi!, I just say on your little bit of info to the right of your post, that you are from Cedar Rapids. I go there frequently and only live about 1 1/2 hrs away, nice to meet a fellow Iowan!
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