MICE
Chinchilla
Upstate Small Animal
Association
Counter
http://The Chinchilla Club.com/

This is an excellent chinchilla site with lots of information.
Spike says "Gidday mate"

He is a tan chinchilla
owned by Jessica Clark
and was bred by JoAnn Fry
of Luv-n-Chins
CHEW - O - METER
         
         
mild
severe
Chinchillas are another serious chewer. Anything
wood or plastic is fair game. Anything else will be
tested to see how it rates!
Chinchillas are a fascinating animal to watch and incredibly soft to touch.  They are
both intelligent and curious; friendly and independent.
Becoming more available on the market, the prospective chinchilla parent needs to
understand their specific needs and also realize they have very strong personalities.  
Incredibly cute, they are not the perfect pet for everyone. Like many animals, they
crave companionship, so a duo must be a consideration.  Also, as they are very
active, a large cage for housing and plenty of play time outside the confines of the
cage is a must.

They have a somewhat strict dietary requirement, you should not vary their food too
much or suddenly. Basic green chinchilla pellets are the best choice to feed them.
No additives except hay pieces, unless you put them in there. Give them treats
yourself so you can monitor their consumption.  A good calcium additive is beneficial,
especially with the babies. Calcium mineral chews or even a birds cuttlebone works
well. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be fed sparingly. Timothy hay is necessary for
proper digestion as well as keeping their back teeth worn down and they should be
given a handful on a daily basis. Alfalfa hay can be used as an occasional treat or
given to sickly or underweight chinchillas or to pregnant/nursing mothers
. Hay cubes
are both digestible and work on their gnawing instinct. Of course, like all rodent, they
are chewers…Severe chewers! You can give your chinchilla toys and it will play with
and chew on them! A lava block is another good idea. A dust bath a few times a
week is a must and also very enjoyable for you to watch.  Actual
dust and not sand is
better for their fur. The odorless kind is better for their respiratory system.

Chinchillas need a very large cage with a large wheel to run in or a "flying saucer"
works even better. A 3 level cage that is at least 30" x 18" base size without ramps is
a good starting size or a 42" x 18" one level. Chins jump a lot so ramps just get in the
way, but shelves are great. Try to stay away from wire bottom cages, but wire
shelving is tolerable. Wooden shelves are nice and sturdy and appreciated for
chewing purposes.

A hide (that will be chewed) is necessary. As well as a preferably glass water bottle
and ceramic, heavy bottomed food bowl. A food bowl that is attached to the side of
the cage works also, but unless it metal, it will be chewed. As chinchillas are litter
trainable, you can use a corner litter box to help keep the cage clean. Placing the
litter pan under the water bottle will help prevent excess leakage that makes the
cage excessively dirty. The chins jump around so much that it can make the water
bottle drip a lot if it is not the right type of lid.

If you do not get two chinchillas, you will need to spend a few hours each day in the
late evening or early morning with your pet to keep it happily socialized.
Finding a
chinchilla that actually likes to sit with you and be petted and loved on for more than
a few minutes at a time is the
exception, not the rule. That doesn't mean your chin
doesn't want and need companionship. Watch chinchillas interact with each other.
They rarely sit together and cuddle unless sleeping. They bounce and play tag. That
is what most chins want to do with you. They will let themselves be held for a
moment, then they want down to run around and play. They will come back to you in
a few minutes for a pet or a treat, then away again.

Males are easier to make friends with each other than females. Two that are already
established as "friends" or young animals are the best at bonding, but older animals
will normally pair up as well. Some just take longer to get acquainted.
Nicholas was born October 11, 2008. He is a
tan chinchilla like his father Spike. He was
born out of a small black velvet Chinchilla,
Alia. She had two babies, but one was quite
small & underdeveloped. It died within 3 days.
Large females can easily have 2 babies, but
smaller ones will have trouble.
This link is to a
chinchilla breeder
in the Spartanburg,
SC area.

Charlie Chins