Chinchilla | Facts & Information

# Chinchilla | Facts & Information

Chinchilla | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Chinchilla

American engineer Mathias Chapman is the world's first Chinchilla breeder.

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Chinchilla

Chinchilla

Chinchilla is an adorable and fascinating animal known for its soft and fluffy fur. Of South American origin, it is considered a rodent, belonging to the family Chinchillidae and the genus Chinchilla. These animals are usually medium-sized, reaching a length of about 25-30 centimeters and weighing 400-600 grams.

The natural habitat of chinchillas is in the Andes Mountains of South America, especially in Chile and Peru. In these areas, they live in caves and rocky hideouts, where they can easily adapt to extreme temperature and climate conditions. These animals are known for their ability to jump and move quickly on rocks and mountain ridges.

What truly makes chinchillas special is their fur. It is one of the softest and thickest furs in the world, which has put them in danger of extinction. In the past, hunters began hunting chinchillas to obtain their precious fur, which led to a significant reduction in their wild population.

Today, most pet chinchillas are raised in captivity, as it is illegal to hunt them in their natural environment. They are popular domestic animals, especially among lovers of exotic animals. Chinchilla is considered a good choice as a pet for several reasons.

Firstly, chinchillas are gentle and docile animals, finding it easy to bond with their owners. With a friendly and playful behavior, they can be very enjoyable and entertaining pets. However, chinchillas are nocturnal animals, meaning they are more active at night and sleep during the day.

Another interesting aspect of chinchillas is their ability to clean themselves and maintain personal hygiene. They have a unique habit known as "dust baths". They immerse themselves in a special dust bath, composed of natural minerals. This helps them remove any dirt and excess oils from their fur. It is important to provide them with such a bath in their cage to allow them to clean properly.

In terms of diet, chinchilla is a strict herbivore. Their diet is mainly based on high-quality hay and special rodent food, which contains essential ingredients for their health, such as fibers and vitamins. Additionally, they should always have access to fresh water and occasional treats and leafy vegetables.

Chinchillas are social animals and it would be ideal to keep them in pairs or groups. These animals feel happy and comfortable in a large and well-equipped space, such as a specialized chinchilla cage. It should include an exercise wheel, platforms and levels, a sand bath, and a comfortable resting place.

In conclusion, chinchilla is an amazing and delightful animal that, although currently threatened in the wild, is highly appreciated as a pet. With their soft fur and playful behavior, these rodents make an excellent choice for lovers of exotic animals. However, it is important to provide them with a suitable environment and a balanced diet to ensure their long-term health and happiness.

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Chinchilla originated in South America, in the region of the Andes Mountains. At the beginning of the twentieth century, chinchilla became an extinct species due to excessive hunting.

Due to its hard work to save the species from extinction, chinchilla comes to be known worldwide, both as a farmed animal and as a pet.

Chinchilla Food

In general, the diet of Chinchillas is represented by special concentrates for them, which are found in petshops, they are made up, in a rather high proportion, of cereals. Concentrates that are able to provide Chinchillas with the necessary vitamins and minerals.

They are taken in the amount of about 25-30 g/day. Mixtures for other rodents are generally untolerated.

Fan or alfalfa should be provided at your discretion, and when this is not possible, it is good to be administered at least 2 times/week, as they contain an increased percentage of fiber and ensure tooth blunting.

In this direction, in the trade there are some special "stones" to ensure a regular chipping of the teeth. As you probably know, as with many rodents, Chinchillas also have permanent teeth growth. Caution that the fan or alfalfa should not be treated with insecticides, as they can produce serious poisoning, most often deadly.

Fresh vegetables and fruits can be dangerous because they ferment excessively in the digestive tract, causing diarrhea. From time to time, to diversify the diet, the Chinchilla can be given raisins, pieces of young carrot, half a walnut.

If you want to introduce something new into the diet, it is preferable that the transition occurs gradually so as not to give rise to the installation of any indigestion.

Tap water is not indicated, preferring to administer flat water rather. If this is not possible for various reasons, tap water should be boiled or left for about 12-24 hours to remove chlorine.

The water container must be sanitized every day and the water must be changed with the same frequency. If water is left in the container for more than 48 hours, bacteria that can develop on the walls of the vessel can cause damage to the animal's health.

It is preferable that the objects for feeding, water and play are not made of plastic, because they tend to gnaw them. Stainless steel ones are ideal.Chinchilla Behavior

Chinchilla is extremely sociable, affectionate, quickly becoming a member of the family.

Chinchillas quickly get to create landmarks of recognition of their owners, showing their joy in their presence. Due to their relatively independent character and generally nocturnal lifestyle, chinchillas are not recommended for families with young children.

They are extremely curious animals, so whenever they have the opportunity, they will not leave any uninspected places. Chinchillas tend not to accept other rodents, but if you socialize early, you have every chance of making them extremely friendly.

Housing of Chinchillas is done in cages. In breeding systems it is recommended that they be kept in wire cages (similar to those for birds), individual, with minimum dimensions of 40x40x50 cm. The cage should be spacious and possibly multi-level (base 80-50 cm, Height about 1 m).

The floor of the cage is necessarily covered with shavings or sawdust, made of softwood, which will have to be changed at least once a week.

On the floor of the cage, do not put newspapers in place of sawdust, as inks can be toxic and even deadly. Solid manure and food residues from the cage must be removed daily.

Also, inside the cage can be inserted a "box" in which the chinchilla can take refuge when scared, to feel safe.

Chinchilla Appearance

Chinchillas are adorable animals with two long ears, rounded at the tips, large glassy eyes and a bushy tail, similar to squirrels, being 1/3 of the body length. The skull is ovoid, with an elongated snout, surrounded by numerous whiskers.

The neck is very short, and the transition from head to body is made gradually, it has trapezoidal shape. The back and shoulders should be long and as wide as possible. The thorax should be long, wide and as deep as possible.

The abdomen is slightly protruding, being covered with a white fur, as narrow as possible. The hind legs are more developed, longer and muscular, serving chinchillas to run, climb and jump. The tail is long and bushy.

Chinchillas are found in various color variations, from dark gray, silver-gray, black, beige, white and associations of these colors. The body length is 22.5-38 cm, and the tail is 7.5-15 cm, depending on the breed. Body weight in an adult chinchilla can reach about 500-1000 grams.

The two species of Chinchilla are: Chinchilla lanigera and Chinchilla chinchilla.

Chinchilla Breeding

Reaching puberty is achieved at 4-5 weeks in the case of females and at about 9 months in the case of males, the breeds obtained by genetic mutations (Black Velvet, White, Beige) being more late and difficult to reproduce.

The gestation period is on average 110 days (108-115 days), the female giving birth to about 1-4 Cubs.

Puppies are born with their eyes open, compared to those of a cat or dog, and their bodies covered with hair.

Puppies can eat food from the 10th day of life, being weaned after 6-7 weeks. The female can face 2-3 times a year.

In general, chinchillas are robust, Hardy and healthy animals. They often get sick if they are not properly fed and cared for.

The most common conditions that can endanger the life of the Chinchilla are: diarrhea, constipation, spasms, dermatomycosis, eye diseases, colds, infections and abnormal growth of teeth.

The average lifespan is between 10-15 years, but some Chinchillas can reach up to 20 years of age.

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