Chinchillas

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. I don't know anything about it but I saw and ad in the paper to start up a chinchilla farm. Apparently it is to supply pet stores. They supply everything including the contracts for buyers. Don't know how many billions of dollers they are asking for start up but thought that I would ask you all if you know anything about raising them?
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tread softly. This is very likely a big money making deal for the people placing the ad. If there was big money to be made by the grower one should wonder why they are the only ones who knew about it.
     

  3. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    around here they sell at the pet stores for about 100$ ea as babies. I have two. no I duid not buy them. They only have 1 to 3 babies at a time. It does not sound like you would make millions.
    steff
     
  4. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

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    I seem to recall that mink farms are a kind of cliche as being risky investments. I see ads for Al Paka's on Cnn every now and then and think to myself that it might be a similar thing.

    If a product is marketable based upon it's product, whether chinchillas, mink pelts or al paka wool, then it could be a good investment, but if it's a ponzi scheme where your making money depends on you selling minks, chinchillas or al-pakas to other people, who are then supposed to get rich off of selling the product, then the only people likely to make much at it are the people who dreamed it up. I'd look for something that has a long term appeal, that you know there'll always be a market for - I'd recommend checking around to see what chinchillas are worth, and who wants to buy them. I bought a hedgehog about 8 years ago for 20 dollars. Just a year or two before that they were talking about how hedgehogs were worth hundreds of dollars. Obviously the lady selling these hedgehogs wasn't making much and if she'd dumped a whole lot of money into buying a "farm", she probably got skint. Dog breeders may not be getting 10X the amount for a registered beagle that they were 10 years ago, but there's a steady market for them. One of my neighbors has a registered mini-horse farm, and seems to be doing well with it. Chinchillas? I don't know.

    I'd say hit a few pet stores in your area and ask them how much they pay for chinchillas, and if you want to take a risk in a conservative manner start small enough that you're not going to lose the rent. How much do a couple pairs of breeding chinchillas and proper habitats for them cost? Probably scads of info on the internet, maybe even whole forums of chinchilla afficianados that would have a lot of advice.
     
  5. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Y'all,

    Yeahbutt, all these "get-rich-quick-schemes" are the same. Good way for someone to get your money.

    Alpaccas, sell for up to $15,000 each. Not much market for the wool/fiber.
    The Big money is in selling young alpaccas, to other innocent buyers.

    Chincilla thing went around, oh, 20, maybe 30 years ago. Raising them for fur. No "Real-Money" in it, though.
    Biggest market is in selling young chincillas. Might make a bit that way.

    Funny thing, there's a State park up North of Ogden, Utah where DW & I have camped a couple times. They have a colony of chincillas that someone
    released. The little suckers will rob your campsite of any food item you leave out. They're as bad as the squirrels. We watched 3 chincillas each carry off a hotdog bun. & a squirrel dragging a whole bag of potato chips away. Funny to watch.

    But ya-know, Hey, it's your money. If you can afford the gamble, & want the experience.............go for it!
     
  6. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I manage a chain pet store that used to sell chinchillas. They have a short life span. They are nippy. Most don't calm down well. Yes, petstores may sell them for $100 or more, but most stores are only willing to pay $20 each for the babies. They have an extremelly long gestation period and only have 1 or 2 babies at a time. They require diets high in vitamin C so are much more expensive to raise. Also, most pet stores won't buy from individual breeders. There's usually no guarantee offered to the stores from an individual and it's much, much easier for the store to buy from a supplier, a middleman, who can also supply the store with hamsters, gerbils, bunnies, and guineapigs. I'd contact one of these suppliers. With just a few pairs of chinchillas, breed for the breeder market, like with the alpacas. Invest in some of the rarer colors and join the clubs and go to the shows. You can sell your culls as pets and get a higher return selling to the breeders/show people. If you had a large herd, you could contact the people who supply to the stores. PetCo and PetSmart each operate their own supplies so they'd want you to ship to them several dozen young chinchillas on a regular basis. You may be able to sell directly to smaller independent stores. Call around and check out your market before you invest any money.
     
  7. Tempest

    Tempest Well-Known Member

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    I had heard they're hard to keep alive: sensative to noise, sensative to diet, not good around kids, etc, etc. My mother tried hedgehogs. She bought 6 of them, three breeding pairs. One had a litter which it ate and then they slowly died off one by one. She never made a dime off them. Some animals just don't make it as pets.
     
  8. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Something else to remember is that they cannot stand temperatures over 80 degrees. They will heatstroke and die. My friend with pet chins keeps an air conditioner in the bedroom just for them.

    Tracy
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Check on www.half.com and similar places for books on growing chinchillas. I believe they require an unusual cage requirement in that the male is not kept with the females. He has a run in back with entries to each females cage. I believe the female wears some type of collar to keep her in the cage. As noted, I have also heard they are very difficult to raise and the market is very limited for them.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  10. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    The only thing I can add is, when I had them, they had a knack for escaping and they are ungodly hard to catch- they hop, dart, hide, and, if all else fails, bite.
     
  11. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Well, my son had one for a while. It liked it's snazzy super fine dirt/sand and was REEEEEEAAAALLY soft! I could never kill or be a part of killing one.. Too CUTE! Of course we really DID raise rabbits, and sold a LOT of rabbits.. show bunnies, pet stores, etc. That was fun... It paid for itself and took us to our rabbit show habbit! (Oh... habit... thinking 'rabbit' I guess! LOL)
     
  12. unregistered6474

    unregistered6474 Guest

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    I have had two chinchillas. They do make interesting pets - they have no odor, they've very very soft, and they're cute. They do require a lot of socializiation and handling at a young age to make good pets. They also have only 1-2 babies at a time and they don't breed all that often. I was told that they could live 12-15 years, but mine never made it past 3 years :(

    They are very susceptible to heat stroke and they will die if temps get above 80. They are also sensitive to strong smells, so you cannot use cedar bedding with them. Pine bedding is fine. They require regular baths in lava dust to keep their coats nice. They also need a large exercise wheel to run in. They are pretty smart (about like squirrels) and they require a specialized diet of chinchilla pellets and either alfalfa or timothy hay.

    I think it might be better to try to sell to individuals rather than pets stores. If I were to get another chinchilla, I would want to buy one from someone that had handled it from the time it was a baby.