Before Bringing your new chinchilla home
You will need a cage which must be large enough for a few shelves and have room for the chinchilla to run and jump. The bigger the better, but it should not be any smaller than 2'X2'X2' per chinchilla. The cage can be built or bought but it is best to avoid plastic as a chinchilla will chew through plastic quickly.
Do not use fish tanks as they do not have enough air circulation and are too small. Safe materials to use are wood, metal, stainless steel and wire. Wire should be no larger that 1"X1" for the sides and 1/2" X 1/2" for the bottom. It is best to use pine or aspen shavings in the bottom. DO NOT USE CEDAR. Cedar has fumes that are toxic to small animals. Chinchilla cages should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week.
You can buy a hidey house for your chinchilla. It can be made of wood, cardboard or fleece. Keep in mind anything that is placed in the cage may be chewed on and will need to be replaced periodically.
Salt blocks are not necessary and too much salt in a chinchilla's diet will cause seizures.
Dust baths are used to get the oils out of the fur. Too many can cause dry itchy skin. They should be given 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes during dry weather. During the Humid times of the year you may want to increase the number of baths your chinchilla receives.
To give a dust bath you will need a container. There are containers made for this at most pet stores, but anything that is large enough for a chinchilla to roll around in and easy to clean will work. Other items frequently used are large fish bowls, ceramic bowls, and large pickle jars.
Feed dishes and water bottles should be dishwasher safe. Glass water bottles are great because the chinchillas cannot chew through them. Feed dishes should be sturdy, large enough to hold the days food and easy to clean, avoid plastic. It is best for food dishes to have a broad base and low center of gravity so they cannot be dumped out by the chinchilla. Ceramic bowls work great.
Toys are necessary to wear down their constantly growing teeth. Suitable toys include apple branches (pesticide free), pumice stones, cardboard, hanging bird toys and wood replacement blocks. Avoid toys with plastic, rope or nuts.
A good wheel is a great investment, but do not waste your money on a plastic one.
You will also need a small pet carrier to bring your new pet home in and for vet visits. Smaller is better, put shavings in the bottom and a handful of hay or some hay cubes. A water bottle is not needed for short trips. Watch the animal so it does not over heat. A chinchilla cools itself using the veins in his ears as he cannot sweat. If your chinchillas ears are bloodshot he may be too warm. This is easier to see in the lighter colored animals.
It is best to set the cage up in a quiet area out of direct sunlight and out of drafts. Give the chinchillas a day or two to adjust but continue your normal daily schedule. Make sure he has fresh food and water daily.
Feeding your chinchilla
Feed the best quality food you can buy you will find often the better foods are cheaper online than the poor quality foods from the pet store. Always have fresh wholesome food, fresh water and hay available. Do not buy food with treats in it, plain pellets are best and too many treats can easily kill your chinchilla. Chinchilla cannot have fresh fruits and vegetables. Nutrition is the key to growth, if given a well balanced diet a chinchilla is a hardy animal.
Hay is the most important part of a chinchilla diet it's function is to form the roughage in the chinchillas diet. Baled alfalfa or timothy is best, hay cubes will also work but loose hay is better.
Supplements are useless unless they contain vitamins and nutrients. They are a great way to check the health of a chinchilla. If your chinchilla does not "come running " when given the supplement something may be wrong. A great supplement is Lifeline from http://www.chocolatechinchillas.com/ another great supplement can be bought from Ryerson Chinchillas.
Pellets should be free fed, chinchillas will not overeat. On average chinchillas eat two tablespoons of food daily. With pellets avoid millet (the dust found in the bottom of bags). Food loses nutrients over time, be sure the feed was milled within 90 days of purchase. Avoid feed from open bins or in clear plastic bags as sunlight can also cause the loss of nutritional value.
Good feeds include Mazuri, Tradition, Oxbow, Manna show pro (rabbit) and Nuetrena Rabbit feed. Most of these can be purchased online or picked up at a local farm supply or feed store. If you are switching brands from what the breeder feeds, do so slowly adding a little more of the new feed in with the old feed over a week.
Fresh clean water is critical. Water makes up 50-70% of a chinchillas body weight. A chinchilla can lose all of its body fat and 1/2 of its protein and still carry on but the loss of 1/10th of it's water can be fatal. Chinchillas drink 1-2 ounces of water daily.
Put your new chinchilla in his cage, be sure he has plenty of feed and fresh water then leave him be for the rest of the day to explore his new home. You will want to show off the new pet but it is best to wait a few days and let him adjust to the family. Don't rush the chinchilla, speak softly and treat him gently
Things to Keep in Mind
- your dog will decide your chinchilla is a toy, keep them apart.
-chinchillas chew on everything, baseboards, furniture, wires. They are rodents. Best place for playtime is a chinchilla proofed bathroom, with your supervision at all times.
- chinchillas can and will jump far distances usually landing softly, but keep in mind they have small leg bones that can break easily.
- Chinchillas are smart and can distinguish owners from strangers. It can take 2-3 weeks for a chinchilla to adjust to its new home.
- All animals have the ability to bite. If they do, do not hurt the chinchilla. The best way to stop the behavior is to blow short and quick in their face.
- Biting should not be confused with grooming or the "testing" of young animals. They like young children put things in their mouth to test, and grooming will be a soft nibble. If they bite you'll know it.
-chinchillas CANNOT be housebroken.
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
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
located in Crystal Lake IL
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.
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.
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,
Call or text 815-922-2474