a very long alimentary tract and practice coprophagy.Because chinchillas are hindgut fermenters, they have complex digestive processes for fermenting fiber in the food.
The chinchilla is native to the rocky slopes of
the Andes of South America, where they were nearly hunted to extinction in the early part of this century because they were prized for their soft pelts which can be made into coats.
male and female
they are complex animals:
they are nocturnal and cannot deal with great amounts of stress
will bite occasionally
particularly when frightened, they have a will of their own and cannot be taught like a dog, cat, or ferret
need a large, multilevel
cage compared to other rodents
optimal temperature range
60-70 degrees F
are very clean animals
fastidious groomers, and should be provided with a dust bath for about 30 minutes on a daily basis
specific nutrient requirements
have not been well defined. They are considered to be strict herbivores and subsist in the wild on shrubs and grasses.General recommendations reflect a high overall dietary fiber requirement.
chinchilla pellets in combination with free-choice, high quality grass or timothy hay will provide chinchillas with good nutritional status.Pellets should consist of 14 to 16% CP, 15 to 35% crude fiber and 4% fat.
fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts can be offered occasionally, should compose <10% of total diet
in a clean sipper bottles always available
rabbit pellets should
NOT be fed to chinchillas under any circumstances (can cause liver damage)
small branches or
a gnawing stone should be supplied to help control growth of teeth
because chinchillas are nocturnal
it is best to feed them at night
newborn chinchillas are precocious-
generally begin eating pelleted food at one week of age and are completely weaned by 6 to 8 weeks
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