Chinchilla Supply Sites
A very important factor to keep in mid is heat. Temperature is vital to a chinchillas survival. Chinchillas can tolerate very cold temperatures, even freezing temperatures, but they cannot tolerate heat.
If the temperature rises above 75 degrees than the chinchilla is at risk for overheating and even death. During the hot months a chinchilla must be kept in an air conditioned environment or a cool area like a basement
Your chinchilla is not used to “playtime” or out of cage time exercise. I strongly urge all of my pet owners to take extreme caution when engaging in this activity. Absolutely NO PLAYTIME for chins under six months of age as this can result in DEATH.
Once your chinchilla reaches six months of age you can start letting him/her out of the cage. I strongly recommend playtime ONLY in the bathroom. Keep cabinet doors shut, toilet lid down and make sure your chinchilla is supervised at all times. Limit playtime to no longer than 15 minutes a few days a week. Chinchillas do not need playtime, this is something that most pet owners enjoy doing with their animal. If you feel that you want to pursue playtime out of the cage, limit it to only three to four times a week.
*Please note* Excessive playtime and handling can cause overheating or hypoglycemia. This can lead to seizures, lethargy, prolapse, injury or death.
These items are the only things that we here advise to put into your chinchilla’s cage.
**Please note, just because something is sold at a pet store does not mean it is chinchilla safe**
Cages: Ferret Nation, Critter Nation, Feisty Ferret, Martin’s cages, KW cage.
Only fleece hammocks. Entire hammock must be made of fleece. Even with fleece, keep an eye on chewing and remove if item shows any chewing.
Pine wood or solid metal shelves. Under no circumstances use wire shelving or ramps. This can cause injury or death.
Flying saucer or chin spin wheel. We do not recommend wheels as our chins are not used to them, but if you do purchase one absolutely no plastic wheels.
Pine, aspen or fleece bedding ONLY. No wire bottom cages, no cedar, carefresh, corn cob, newspaper, carpet, towels, blankets, magazines, cat litter, grass clippings, dirt/soil, or straw. Use of any of the above mentioned can result in death.
Glass only water bottle. Plastic can result in your chinchilla chewing on it and getting an impaction.
Crock or metal food dish. No plastic food dishes at all.
Chin chiller granite
Safe wood toys (please refer to the safe woods list on our website). No toys made with rope or plastic.
Common Questions FAQ
How long do chinchillas live?
Chinchillas can live up to 20 years. They are a long-term commitment and can be with you for up to two decades. They are not like a hamster or guinea pig. If you are looking for a short-term pet, a chinchilla might not be for you.
Are they cuddly?
Chinchillas for the most part do not enjoy handling. They are a prey animal and can be scared easily by incorrect handling or sudden movements. Cuddling is not recommended as well due to the issue of overheating.
Why did they bite me?
Chinchillas are not like cats or dogs where they seek out attention. Most are happy with staying within their cage, relaxing or playing. If they bite hard, this means they do not want to be touched. If your chin bites often, they may prefer to be left in their cage and not pet or handled.
Why are they nibbling me?
If your chinchilla nibbles your finger, they may be tasting/testing to see if you are or have food. If they begin to nibble hard or draw blood, this may be a sign that they do not want to be touched.
Will my chinchilla get lonely?
Chins are very independent; they can easily live by themselves or with another chinchilla. They will not become lonely or depressed if you do not let them out for playtime, hold them, or have a playmate for them. They are not like dogs where they are pack animals; they are content with being solitary or if you are away at work.
Is my cage too small?
The cages we recommend above are a perfect size for chinchillas. Larger cages do not always mean better. Chinchillas can jump very high, but this also means that they can fall very high as well if they miss a shelf. Cages bigger than what we recommend may not be a good option.
How do I introduce my chinchilla to another chinchilla?
We personally use the side-by-side cage method, or cage within a cage. Here are the steps you can follow:
https://www.sunshinechinchillas.com/chinchilla-introductions and the smoosh method from RDZC Ranch
Can I let my male chinchilla play with my female chinchilla?
Chinchillas can become pregnant within seconds. Playtime or housing two chins of the opposite sex will result in babies. We do not condone this unless you are purposefully breeding show quality, pedigreed chins, attend chinchilla shows regularly, and have a reputable breeder as a mentor.
Interacting with your new chinchilla
This is a basic guide to keeping things safe while you and your new pet get to know each other. Remember your new pet can live up to 20 years with the proper care.
The most common question I get asked from new owners is, “how long before I can play with my chinchilla?” Right now, your chinchilla is still a baby. As with most babies, erring on the side of caution is better.
Don’t try to grab or “chase” your chinchilla around the cage. Chinchillas are prey animals, and the general rule is they don’t enjoy being picked up. Quietly sit in front of your chinchilla’s cage, talk softly to them, let them come explore who you are. Having your chinchilla be the one who sets the pace helps keeps the stress levels down.
If you would like to interact with your chinchilla outside of their cage, place the duster inside. Make sure to add a small amount of dust (general rule is a tablespoon) and once they hop in, gently place your hand over the duster. With them sitting inside your duster (or dust house) they can feel secure while you remove them from their cage. Please remember, no playtime outside of the cage until they are over six months of age. Any playtime before that can cause health issues or possible death.
Your new chinchilla is used to having his or her cage cleaned once a week. We here at ABC Chinchillas use pine shavings for our chinchillas.
Pine Shavings: If you are going to use pine shavings these can be purchased at your local pet store. Chinchillas on pine shavings need their pan completely cleaned once a week. Remove the pan, shake it into a trash can, and wipe the pan down with paper towels and vinegar. If your pan is extremely soiled, taking the pan outside (or in a laundry sink) and washing with dish soap is fine. We rotate all of our pans once a week, with each pan being washed with soap and water weekly.
If you choose to use fleece liners for the bottom of your cage, a two day cleaning is ideal. For a single chinchilla fleece can be an excellent option. Most owners like to keep extra fleece liners on hand to swap out on cleaning day. Your chin will usually jump up onto a shelf to watch you pull out their fleece. Remove the fleece, shake into a garbage can and set aside to wash. With the fleece removed, either remove the pan to shake into garbage can, or with a small broom sweep out the pan. If needed you can wipe out the bottom of the pan with paper towels and vinegar. Please note, never put anything other than fleece (or pine shavings) into your chinchilla’s cage. Towels, puppy pads, blankets, clothes, carpet, dirt, grass, etc can cause harm and or death.
Your chinchilla takes a dust bath to keep clean. Place about a tablespoon into the metal duster or plastic dust house. No need to use more as it will just go to waste. Chinchillas should not ever get wet as they have very dense fur. You can over dust your chinchilla, once every two to three days is more than enough. Over dusting can result in dry scaling patches on the face, hands, feet, tail and ears. Most chins will soil their dust, it is best to dispose of it after use.
Your chinchilla should be given a fresh amount of pellets daily. Establish a routine, early mornings or later evenings work well. With a single chinchilla, about two table spoons of food is enough. Make sure to put fresh timothy hay into the cage as well. When choosing a pellet, always remember, less is more. Nothing should be in the bag aside from the pellet. We use Oxbow here and have sent home a starter sample for you. If you are unable to purchase Oxbow from your local pet store, please feel free to contact us as we do sell it. Please note, never feed your chinchilla fresh fruits or vegetables. This will cause gastric upset, soft poop and possibly diarrhea. I have run across some pet stores, veterinarians, Facebook groups and websites saying this diet is okay. IT IS NOT. Your chinchilla purchased from Sunshine Chinchillas has been fed a dry diet of only Oxbow pellets and timothy hay. Any other diet fed to one of our chinchillas could cause gastric upset and possible death.
Boiled or filtered water only. Tap water contains microorganisms which can cause giardia. Giardia causes diarrhea and death in chinchillas. Once a chinchilla has contracted giardia, they can pass it to another chin through their stool. We use bottled water for all our chins. Once a week remove the water bottle and rinse with hot tap water and let dry. If your water bottle has the appearance of looking dirty, it is time to clean it. Glass water bottles are the best as you can run these in the dishwasher for the best possible clean. Don’t worry, while you clean their water bottle, your chin will be fine for an hour or two without water.
Welcome to Summers!
Summertime here is hot and extremely humid. While most chin owners realize that their chinchillas need to stay cool, what about the humidity?
Humidity also affects our animals. Keeping your chin room cool and low in humidity is vital to your animal’s health. Chinchillas have very dense thick fur. With our humid weather this can cause an issue called “fungus” or “ringworm”.
Yikes! Fungus?!? That sounds really gross and nasty! I don’t want that on my cute cuddly fur buddy!
Well, unfortunately it is common here. All chinchillas regardless of where they come from have the potential to display fungus. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you are a bad housekeeper, it just means that the room you are keeping your chin in might be too warm. Warm air and water in the air are a combination that creates this issue.
Well, how do I get rid of it? What does it look like? Fungus looks like small patches of fur gone with rough scratchy skin underneath. It isn’t fatal and you don’t need to take your chin to the vet. A simple fix is to add antifungal powder to your chinchilla’s dust.Sulfur powder, Tinactin, Lotramine or your local store brand will work. Gently squeeze about two good puffs into the dust each time you dust your chinchilla. This will act as a preventive and help clear up any fungus that may have started. It can take about six weeks for a spot of fungus to clear up and fur to start to grow back. Again, fungus can be a huge pain, making your chin look like they received a bad haircut, but it isn’t fatal.
Chances are you won’t ever have to deal with this pesky issue, but it is better to be prepared. We dust our animals regularly with sulfer as a preventive.
Please also remember to always wash your hands after handling a chin with fungus. I also recommend on cleaning day washing with soap and water anything that may come in contact with another chinchilla.
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Do’s and Don’ts
Social Media Information Please be careful when reading chinchilla groups on social media, forums or even pet store advice. The only forum we belong to and recommend is Ask a Breeder – Chinchillas on Facebook.
Blue Seal ,Mazuri, Oxbow, Manna Pro Sho (rabbit pellet),Kline, Producers Pride (rabbit pellet), Hubbard life, Brytin
Kaytee Charlie Chinchilla Higgins Vitakraft
Any food that has dried fruits, veggies or other treats should be avoided.
Cage brands we recommend that can be found either online or in-store: Ferret Nation, Critter Nation, Feisty Ferret, KW Cages and Martin’s Cages make excellent homes.
Pine, Aspen, Fleece is the only accepted fabric to use with chinchillas.
Cotton (such as towels or blankets) have small fibers that when ingested can cause an impaction. Fleece should only be used if un-chewed. Please remove any fabric if any signs of chewing occur, as this also can cause gastrointestinal issues.
These items should never be in the cage:
Carefresh bedding Plastic of any kind Corn cob Cedar
Towels Clothing of any kind Blankets Curtains
Elastic Stuffed Animals Carpet Unsafe wood
Wire shelving or wire hay racks: Chinchillas need solid shelving to rest on and can get limbs caught in wire hangers or shelving.
Plastic “running” balls; these will quickly lead to overheating and death.
Wheels: We do not recommend these for our chins as they are not used to them.
Fresh fruits and vegetables; Chinchillas do not eat fresh produce, they consume dried grasses (Timothy, Oat, Alfalfa Hay). Fresh produce can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and possible intestinal prolapse which can be fatal.
Bringing Your New Chinchilla Home
FOR CHINS UNDER 6 MONTHS OLD: Your chinchilla kit is still a baby. Please keep this in mind when handling and interacting with your chinchilla.
Hubbard life Chinchilla Pellets, Hay, and filtered Water: This is your chinchilla’s current diet and the only pet store brands that we recommend are oxbow and Mazuri, anything with treats is not recommended. Please keep fresh food, hay and water in the cage at all times.
67 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit: This is the temperatures your chinchilla is used to. Anything higher than 77 degrees could cause overheating and death.
For the first few months after taking them home, please limit the amount of handling. Excessive playtime and handling can cause overheating or hypoglycemia. This can lead to seizures, lethargy, injury, prolapsing or death. Playtime and excessive handling is strongly advised against for chins under 6 months old. Remember you chinchilla is a baby.
Tall Cages: All large cages should have all upper shelves removed. Anything higher than 12” could result in a serious fall which can lead to injury or death.
Treats: Raisins and goji berries are not recommended. Oats and plain cheerios are the only treats your chin is used to. NO treats should be given to chins under six months of age.
Wheels are not necessay: We do not recommend wheels of any type at all.
No wire shelves, no ramps: Both wire shelves/ramps can result in injury and death.
Water Consumption: Please keep an eye on your chinchilla’s water consumption. They are used to glass stems but have been introduced to “pet store” water bottle metal ball and stem. You may need to go in for a few days and manually move the ball on your water bottle to keep it wet. This will encourage them to drink.
Chinchillas Are Nocturnal: Chinchillas are normally active at dusk and dawn. Your chinchilla is going to want to sleep during the day. This is essential for kits under six months as they are still growing and need rest. Keep all interactions limited to early morning or in the evening.
located in Crystal Lake IL
text us at 815-922-2474
Midwest Exotic hospital
7510 W North Ave
Elmwood Park IL
Animal House of Chicago
2752 West Lawrence Ave
Chicago IL 60625
Algonquin Animal Clinic
10412 IL rt 31
Algonquin IL 60102
3735 Dempster st
Skokie IL 60076
847-673-9110 US- WISCONSIN
322 Metro drive
Appleton WI 54913
The Healing Oasis Veterinary Hospital
2555 Wisconsin st
Sturtevant WI 53177
Elmbrook Veterinary Clinic
325 North Janacek rd
Brookfield WI 53045
HANDLING YOUR CHINCHILLA
Chinchillas are easily hand tamed. Although chinchillas do need to be handled with care you should not be afraid to handle your chinchillas.
If you need to pick up your chinchilla suddenly, do so by grasping the base of their tail. You should never squeeze a chinchilla around the ribs
Chinchillas dislike being petted like a cat or dog. However they do enjoy being rubbed or scratched around their ears, chin, chest and face. If they don't like what you are doing, they willpush you away or bark at you
Before attempting to hold your chinchilla give them a chance to get to know you. Don't forget to ask your breeder to demonstrate the best way to hold your pet.
We promise that chinchillas are happy and healthy when they leave our care but since we cannot control the care they receive once they leave our care All replacements are to our discretion, No exchanges or refunds. Vet report must be provided and since the longest gestation for illness is 10 days. We offer an 11 day health guaranty. Rescues and retired breeders are exempt from and guaranty. Feeding any fruits, vegetables or not proving care to our standards will void any guaranty. The use of carefresh or paper bedding voids this guaranty as does showing up to pick up your chinchilla without a proper pet carrier.
When you bring your chinchilla home you MUST put them in the cage and leave them alone to adjust for a minimum of 1 week. No playtime, no handling and no interaction with other chinchillas during this time period. If you have another chinchilla at home already the new chinchilla will need its own cage for the first 2 weeks to adjust. Chinchillas should NEVER have interaction with other species. Running loose Playtime is not necessary and can be dangerous for chinchillas. It is strongly discouraged and should not be done with babies at all, adults if you chose to do so should be limited. No plastic roll about balls.Type your paragraph here.
Call or text 815-922-2474
There are 3 types of chinchillas found in the wild. Lanigera is a larger sized with good conformation and a short blunt nose. This animal has a long coat that is dense with wooly fur. Most domestic chinchillas are a cross between the Costina type and the Lanigera type.
Costina is a slimmer, smaller animal they have narrow pointy noses, large ears and long tails. The fur of this type is short with god sheen and texture. It is darker in color but poor quality
Brevicauda is a large chunky animal with a long nose, short round ears and a short tail. It has dense wooly fur with poor resilience and poor texture.
Whites; are white with markings the pattern of markings will vary from animal to animal. The color of the pattern will depend on the type of white
MOSAIC; this is a white with grey markings. these chinchillas will have black eyes
WHITE EBONY: this chinchilla is similar to the mosaic but with the ebony gene
PINK WHITE: is white with beige markings this chinchilla will have red eyes. This chinchilla is sometimes mistaken for a albino
TAN WHITE is a pink white with the ebony gene. the markings may be from a light beige to dark tan in color
SAPPHIRES; are a gunmetal blue/grey with a white belly. They are a recessive color so both parents must carry the gene
SAPPHIRE WRAP; is a sapphire with the ebony gene. instead of a white belly the color will wrap all the way around the body
TOV SAPPHIRE: also known as a SAPPHIRE ROYALLE this is a sapphire with the black velvet gene. It has a darker sapphire veiling that spreads down the head, neck, shoulders and back. The sides are lighter sapphire and the belly is white
VIOLETS: are grey with a violet hue. They have white bellies and like sapphires are a recessive color
VIOLET WRAP: has the ebony gene. The violet color wraps all the way around chinchilla. This chinchilla will not have a white belly
TOV VIOLET: isROYALLE. This is a violet with the black velvet gene. there is a darker veiling on the back of the chinchilla with lighter violet sides and a white belly.
BEIGE: is often described as champaign in color and often you will find back yard breeders using this term to sell a chinchilla. Slight variations of the shade exist. All should have a clear white belly . This mutation has red eyes.
BROWN VELVET: is a cross between beige and black velvet. it has dark veiling across the head, neck, shoulders and back. The sides of this chinchilla are beige and the belly is white. This chinchilla will have red eyes TAN ; is a beige with the with the ebony gene. they can range from a very light beige to a dark tan wrapping around the whole body. This chinchilla will not have a white belly and will have red eyes
STANDARD GREY : is a bluish grey on their head, neck, shoulders and back, lighter along the sides hip and tail, they will have a white belly. They may or may not have an agouti pattern
BLACK VELVET: has a black head, neck, shoulders and back that spreads down the side and gets lighter before it meets a white belly
EBONY: is an overall black or grey. Thecolor ranges from a charcoal shade to a true black, it rarely has the intensity of a black velvet black
TOV EBONY : this is a mix of the Black velvet and the ebony. It has the appearance of black velvet but with a grey or black belly, instead of a white belly.
Newer Mutations Include,
Refusing to be handled. Chinchillas are a prey animal and being caught and handled goes against that instinct. Time and patience is what is going to help your new chinchilla to accept you.
Not being able to figure out the dust house. Our kits are used to dusting in metal pans (think of a loaf baking pan shape). It may take them a few tries before they get the hang of using a dust house that they have to hop in and out of.
Help! They are not drinking from my water bottle! Our kits are used to a glass “stem” which does not have a ball at the end. By taking your finger and running it across the end of the new bottle you create a drip of water. This will encourage them to learn how to use it.
Squishy poop. Switching to a new environment, water and cage can cause them to have softer bowel movements. This is no cause for alarm unless it continues for more than six weeks.
Why won’t they use the hammock? We do not use hammocks in our cages and your kit(s) have not been exposed to one. With a little time and patience, they will figure it out.
Barking, chirping or kakking. These are just some of the noises that chinchillas make. Most are related to not wanting to be disturbed or handled. If your chinchilla “barks” at you this is a warning to “back off” and let them alone.
My chinchilla’s pee is red! Is that blood? No, it is not blood. Chinchillas can have a very high concentrate of urine and it at times can vary from light yellow, orange to dark coppery red.
My chin is so hyper at night. Why won’t they calm down? Chins are normally active at dusk to dawn and tend to sleep during the day. If you have your chinchilla’s cage in the bedroom you may notice them bouncing around at night.
I think my chin isn’t acting normal. They are now at the bottom of the cage and not the top. This is completely normal, chins just like us use all parts of their cage. Them spending more time in one spot is nothing to worry about.
I see spots on my chin’s ears! Light colored chinchillas especially beige as they age get “freckles” on their ears. This is not a health condition and some pet owners feel it makes their chin more unique.
Overly pink or red ears. This is a sign of overheating which can be caused by excessive playtime. Immediately place chinchilla in a cool calm environment.
Extremely loose or runny poop. This can be a sign of an intestinal issue. Tap water can contain Giardia which can cause severe dehydration and even death. Filtered, or boiled tap water is recommended.
Any bleeding. Any bleeding from nose, ears, eyes or genitals is not normal. This will require a vet visit immediately.
Heavy breathing or panting. This can be a sign of overheating. Chinchillas do not pant.
Bald patches or chewed fur. This is called “fur chewing” and can be a sign of stress. Try to see what may be causing the animal to express stress by chewing on its fur. Limit playtime and interactions to a minim to see if it improves.
Drooling or wet fur under the chin. This can be a sign of teeth problems. Chinchilla’s teeth grow continually throughout their lifetime. If the teeth are not worn down properly overgrowth can develop (called malocclusion). Left unchecked the chin will be unable to feed itself and death will result as the tooth grows into the skull.
Seizures. Often caused by excessive playtime which leads to overheating. Any out of cage time over 20 minutes is not recommended as it can cause overheating.
YIKES! My chin has a missing toe or there is a scab on my chins toe. Chins are very resilient animals and do get injuries to their toes/fingers. Most injuries will end up healing fine. If you see any swelling or they are unable to use their hand, then it is time to see the vet.
Shows are fun and educational and anyone is welcome to attend. The complete list of
shows can be seen ont the MCBA site ( http://www.mutationchinchillas.com ) and the
Empress site ( http://www.empresschinchilla.com )
Traveling with your chinchilla
Use common sense, cars get hot fast, do not leave chinchillas alone in the car as they can easily overheat. When staying in Hotels make sure it is OK with the hotel to have animals. Bring supplies to clean up. Do not leave a mess or the hotel may change the policy. When traveling to a show animals should be in a travel cage. If the show is overnight or if you will be staying somewhere overnight provide feed and water. Do not give water in a moving car. If you feel they need water offer it when you stop and rest. Remember to bring Grooming supplies. Have numbers, names and birthdates handy. Some shows require permanant ID tags in the lower right ear.
PREPARING FOR THE SHOW
*Good animals are bred, fed and roomed to perfection
* The best age for show animals is 6 months to 14 months. Depending on color.
*Often there are animals for sale at the show
* If you are showing an animal you purchased you must acknowledge the original breeder
6 WEEKS BEFORE THE SHOW
* Select the animals you would like to show
* Wash the cages thoroughly to remove stains or dirt, make sure nothing in the cage can pull or damage fur.
* Give dust baths daily.
* Groom the animals regularly.
* Provide feed and hay and keep the cage clean
THE LAST WEEK BEFORE THE SHOW
MONDAY: Give the chinchilla a bath with fresh dust
TUESDAY: Groom all give lighter colored animals dust baths, no more dusting for the darker animals
WEDNESDAY: Give the lighter animals dust baths
THURSDAY : No dust baths
FRIDAY : Groom the chinchilla and trim the tail
DAY IF SHOW: room each animal and enjoy the show
Sometimes you may not agree with the judge, Bite your tongue they may see something you don't . Even the best breeders can be "barn blind"
Chinchillas are judges based on fur quality. Each animal is places in a small show cage and looked at by a judge while the show cage is sitting on white paper· Over the paper is a rading light, which is a natural daylight bulb. The MCBA uses 6ESP65 at shows.
The entry form, classification and show itself go in the following order, the colors are broken down further to color phases light to dark.
* Naturalle (standard)
* Black velvet
* Ebony Entry forms are filled out by color in the above order, in some shows a separate form is used for the standard/Naturalle
Tables have numbered spaces from one to however many chinchillas are there. Each breeders animals are grouped together in consecutive numbers no matter what color they are
* you cannot show more than 20 animals in each color
* To be an official show there must be at least 50 animals
Chinchillas are devided by color, then color phase ( light, medium, dark etc)
* Class 1 males males under 7 months
* Class 2 females under 7 months
* Class 3 Males 7 months or older
* Class 4 females 7 months or older
Trophies that are awarded are
* grand champion of show
* reserve champion of show
* champion male of show
* Champion female of show
* Reserve Champion male of show
* Reserve champion female of show
There are also Trophies for color breeder at some shows 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
To win a color breeder trophy you must have 5 animals entered in that color group and there must be 10 animals in that color group. You must earn a minimum of 15 pts (average 3rd place)
RIBBONS- are awarded to each chinchilla. More than one animals can place in each place, for example if 6 standardsare first place quality the will all place first and if none of them first place quality first place will not be awarded. The very best will be awarded 1A, 2nd best will place 1B.