Chinchilla's

Food and drink

What should I include in my chinchilla's menu?

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Chinchillas need a diet that is rich in fibre.

chinchilla eatingChinchillas come from an area where little nutritious food grows. There, they eat food with a high fibre content and low nutritional value. That's why the basic diet for chinchillas is a food specifically tailored to these needs, plus unlimited hay.  They can also be given very small amounts of vegetables, preferably dried. Be careful with fruit and sugary products. They cannot cope well with these due to their adaptation to scarce food. Always provide fresh drinking water too.

Important information

Five useful tips!

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What should I definitely bear in mind when thinking about buying a chinchilla?

chinchilla sand

  1. Chinchillas like to take a sand bath, to keep their coats in good condition.
  2. Chinchillas are group animals that can best be kept in pairs.
  3. Chinchillas are mostly active at twilight and night. They rest during the day.
  4. Chinchillas aren't really cuddly animals. They often don't like to be picked up.
  5. Chinchillas are sensitive to damp and stress. 

Chinchillas need a diet that is rich in fibre.

chinchilla eatingChinchillas come from an area where little nutritious food grows. There, they eat food with a high fibre content and low nutritional value. That's why the basic diet for chinchillas is a food specifically tailored to these needs, plus unlimited hay.  They can also be given very small amounts of vegetables, preferably dried. Be careful with fruit and sugary products. They cannot cope well with these due to their adaptation to scarce food. Always provide fresh drinking water too.

What should I definitely bear in mind when thinking about buying a chinchilla?

chinchilla sand

  1. Chinchillas like to take a sand bath, to keep their coats in good condition.
  2. Chinchillas are group animals that can best be kept in pairs.
  3. Chinchillas are mostly active at twilight and night. They rest during the day.
  4. Chinchillas aren't really cuddly animals. They often don't like to be picked up.
  5. Chinchillas are sensitive to damp and stress. 

Fun facts!

Five facts about chinchillas

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Did you know... Five fun and important facts about chinchillas!

  1. chinchillaChinchillas are related to guinea pigs.
  2. Chinchillas' whiskers help them to find their way in the dark.
  3. Chinchillas have a scent gland on their stomach, which is important for them to recognise each other by smell.
  4. When a chinchilla is frightened, it is more likely to try to run away than to bite.
  5. Chinchillas cannot cope well with sugary products.

Housing

Tips for a comfortable home!

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chinchilla huis

How do I make my chinchillas as comfortable as possible?

Chinchillas benefit from a large cage, e.g. 80 x 50 cm in width and length and 1 m in height. Chinchillas can climb, so platforms and climbing tunnels are appreciated. Make sure that the cage does not have any cracks as they are good at gnawing and can therefore escape. A cage with latticework is perfect for them, as long as the floor is not made of mesh (or place a board over this), as this is very uncomfortable for their feet. Many chinchillas appreciate a house to sleep in.

As bedding, hemp fibre or beech chips can be used. Running wheels are not suitable for chinchillas. A sand bath with chinchilla sand in their cage is essential.

chinchilla hay

Did you know... Five fun and important facts about chinchillas!

  1. chinchillaChinchillas are related to guinea pigs.
  2. Chinchillas' whiskers help them to find their way in the dark.
  3. Chinchillas have a scent gland on their stomach, which is important for them to recognise each other by smell.
  4. When a chinchilla is frightened, it is more likely to try to run away than to bite.
  5. Chinchillas cannot cope well with sugary products.

chinchilla huis

How do I make my chinchillas as comfortable as possible?

Chinchillas benefit from a large cage, e.g. 80 x 50 cm in width and length and 1 m in height. Chinchillas can climb, so platforms and climbing tunnels are appreciated. Make sure that the cage does not have any cracks as they are good at gnawing and can therefore escape. A cage with latticework is perfect for them, as long as the floor is not made of mesh (or place a board over this), as this is very uncomfortable for their feet. Many chinchillas appreciate a house to sleep in.

As bedding, hemp fibre or beech chips can be used. Running wheels are not suitable for chinchillas. A sand bath with chinchilla sand in their cage is essential.

chinchilla hay

For the professionals!

Ambition to breed?

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Are you already familiar with breeding chinchillas? 

chinchilla babyThe best age for a female chinchilla to be bred is around eight months or a little older. She will be fertile for a few days once a month and the male can then breed with her.

After a gestation period of almost four months, the female will give birth to one to four young. They are born with a full coat of fur, looking like miniature versions of their parents, and can walk straight away. As long as they are provided with enough food, the father and mother will raise their young together with no problems.

After around seven weeks, they can be separated from their parents. If there are more than two it is recommended to feed the young a little extra, as the mother usually doesn't have enough milk for all of them. 

Rewards & treats

I like a snack sometimes too!

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A snack won't do any harm, but always use moderation.

Everyone likes to treat their pet sometimes, but for pets that live in a restricted space, it's important not to just constantly provide snacks. Witte Molen's snacks for rodents are formulated with care so it's no problem to treat your chinchilla to something tasty now and then.

Products for chinchillas

Food, bedding and sticks!

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Are you already familiar with breeding chinchillas? 

chinchilla babyThe best age for a female chinchilla to be bred is around eight months or a little older. She will be fertile for a few days once a month and the male can then breed with her.

After a gestation period of almost four months, the female will give birth to one to four young. They are born with a full coat of fur, looking like miniature versions of their parents, and can walk straight away. As long as they are provided with enough food, the father and mother will raise their young together with no problems.

After around seven weeks, they can be separated from their parents. If there are more than two it is recommended to feed the young a little extra, as the mother usually doesn't have enough milk for all of them. 

A snack won't do any harm, but always use moderation.

Everyone likes to treat their pet sometimes, but for pets that live in a restricted space, it's important not to just constantly provide snacks. Witte Molen's snacks for rodents are formulated with care so it's no problem to treat your chinchilla to something tasty now and then.

Frequently asked questions

What snacks can my chinchilla eat?

Chinchillas can’t process sugar very easily so they should eat as little of it as possible. They also drink very little of their own accord, so be careful with moisture-rich products. Treat your chinchillas with a small piece of vegetable which is not too moist, or a tasty dried snack or herb mix. The PUUR wood sticks are also a good, safe activity for them.

Can my chinchilla eat hay?

Just like rabbits and guinea pigs, chinchillas need unlimited access to good quality hay to help them keep their teeth healthy and their digestion regular.

Can my chinchilla eat guinea pig feed?

In most cases this shouldn’t be a problem, but ideally it is best to give them specific chinchilla feed. Good chinchilla feed usually has a higher fibre content and contains hardly any fast-acting carbohydrates or sugar. Both are very important for your chinchilla’s health.