Chinchilla Pets

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    At one time I entertained the idea of raising Chinchillas for a variety of personal reasons. I just like them.
    I had a pet chinchilla for about 5 years and he was quite the friendly and tame character, had his cage and spinning wheel wihout too much demands for keeping it as a rewarding rodent type pet. :D

    Recently I probed a few sites about chinchillas and amazing how many varieties and people involved with these. Mostly it seems motivated for love of the little creatures and interest in breeding different sorts, and also some are sold within a pet trade market. It seems the better breeders are informative and don't have the concept to process them as fur.

    Anyone here have interest or experience with chinchillas to share?
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I suppose some chinchilla ranches raise them for the pelts, though I think also there might be a thriving interest for chins as pets.

    Check out this site:
    (music with it :cool: )

    Chin Photos

    [​IMG]
     

  3. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

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    They look like the critters that are running around the woods up here. I wonder If I could interest anyone in pack rats?>
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    would that be the picas (sp.?). ?

    These are domestic chinchillas. I believe the original wild stock originates in the Andes mountains. The pet stock has been domesticated for years, but they have jumpy feet. You need to hold on to their tail but when they are used to you will come to a carrot treat. The'de have to be caged as a house pet. They are very clean animals and use volcanic sand for dust bath to keep groomed. I used to put a gallon jar laying on it's side with the dust sand in the bottom and he would love rolling in it and came out clean. They are basically odorless. About as easy to keep as a pet rabbit or guinea pig. I love the wonky ears.
     
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I love chinchillas. They're great. A bit jumpy at first and sometimes like to nibble but overall, they're wonderful. If you cannot find any information locally, there's plenty on the internet. They're cavies, very closely related to guinea pigs. Like guinea pigs, they cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. They must have really fresh food. A timothy hay based pellet with added vC is probably the best. I like the Kaytee pellets made with timothy hay.

    My last two boys passed this last summer at 12 years old. I was really suprised that they lived as long as they do. I'm soon to get another pair. I really miss having them around.

    If you keep them in their cage alot, they don't develop the muscle tone that they could have. Yes, you do need a cage for when you cannot supervise them, but when we were home and the ferrets weren't out, the Chins were. They developed really powerful muscles in their back legs. Sometimes, I'm sure they jumped 5 feet straight up. They had no problem getting onto the back of the couch and on top of the entertainment center in just two jumps. The guinea pigs they lived with were really jealous that they couldn't jump. They'd chortle everytime the chins jumped up onto the counter to chew the plants. Sort of a warning device for us.
     
  6. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    I had a chinchilla a long time ago. She was a moody thing with big orange teeth. :haha: Sometimes she would let you hold and pet her, sometimes she would show those ugly teeth and that would let you know it wasn't the time to pick her up. Perhaps she had PMS? Neat little critter.

    BTW, how is this homesteading related... :confused:
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Oh I don't know. I thought maybe someone raises chinchillas for pets,and they are excellent company. At least for this 'homesteader', good ole Spunky was a nice companion. I would consider have a pair to raise for babies and then for pets. Perhaps a small idea for the homestead 'enterprise'. ? :D

    Daybird, I though cavies wer the same as Guinea Pigs? :confused:
    Both guinea pigs and chins need extra vitamin C, yes. Good point to mention that. Most commercial pellets for guinea pigs have enough that would satisfy the chinchilla's nutrition. Though I see now that there are chinchilla pellet for their full nutirition requirements.
    I kept a running wheel in the cage that kept him occupied for excercise, which they do in the night. They are more active after sunset. They like attention, and yes....they can jump! :eek: and hide if they want to. Good idea to close doors in the room you want to let them play supervised.

    Southerngirl, mine too was particular about how to be picked up. and hang on to that tail..... :haha:
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I worked with a chinchilla back when I was working at a zoo, and often wondered why no one had tried breeding them for longer hair. It finger spins beautifully, but isn't long enough for a wheel. If they could be turned into a fiber/pet animal, it would increase the market for them.

    I'm not an animal breeder, so it's out of my jurisdiction, but maybe someone else could look at it.... (and there's the homesteading link...spinning fiber!)
     
  9. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Don't be confused, I'm here now... :haha: :haha: :haha:

    We call the plump little rodents originally from the Andes Mountains Guinea Pigs. The rest of the world calls them Cavies. Like with the little blue and green birds we call parakeets. The rest of the world calls them Budgies.

    "Parakeet" is a term that biologists (and most of the rest of the world) use to distinguish any bird of the "parrot tribe" with a long, stream-lined, slender body. This would include conures, cockatiels and even all macaws.

    "Cavy" is a term that biologists use to refer to a sub-family of rodents consisting of guinea pigs, chinchillas, cabybaras (you know, that giant guinea pig looking thing that is the world's largest rodent) and a really cool animal known to us as the Patagonian cavy, as well as several others. They're distinguished from the rest of the rodents by their lack of the ability to synthesis vitamin C within their own bodies.


    What other well-known mammal cannot synthesis vC within their own bodies?
    Well, us, of course, as well as all other primates. That's why we need citrus fruits and tomatoes in our diet or else we get scurvy. Guinea pigs and chinchillas (as well as all other "cavies") get scurvy also. It's simply a vitamin C deficiency. It's very painful for the animal and fairly quickly leads to death once it's progressed past a certain point. A diet for the animals loaded with citrus fruits are the best way to avoid this. We give them the peels from the oranges we eat, they love them. We also drop a 500 mg vC tablet in each 16 ounce water bottle.

    How is this homesteading related? Alternative livestock, sold to the pet market.
     
  10. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    Personally I don't have the room for proper cage needs for a chinchilla, they love to jump don't they? But what I came in here for was to note that you may want to check around and see if Any vets in your area treat chinchillas, in case you have a problem--we only have one vet here that will treat them and animals such as hybrid wolf/dogs, flying squirrels etc. Just handy to know in pinch.:)
     
  11. Stickywitch

    Stickywitch Well-Known Member

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    BTW, how is that upper reply homesteading related?
     
  12. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Yea, that's part of what I'm asking.

    :rolleyes:
     
  13. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting possibility. I haven't heard of long hair chinchilla. At some point you would think a mutation with long hair would be worth considering for a fiber/pet animan for homestead interests. :)