Chinchilla information is a guide to learn what is a chinchilla and its very basic needs and habits, in captivity and not only. Chinchillas make great pets, but they also need to be handled with proper care. Having an exotic pet like chinchillas requires you to learn and find out the best ways for supporting them practical and emotional so they can continue to thrive in captivity and their new environment.
Chinchilla Guide BEFORE You Buy
The most basic things you should be aware of before bringing a chinchilla at home are these:
Chinchilla Environment - Chinchilla’s environment is a very vital factor for their health.
Chinchilla Feeding - Chinchilla diet is very essential for his health and longevity. Fresh, high quality pellets, variety of hays, fresh water, limited treats, and a supplement of vitamins will provide the optimum health for chinchillas.
Chinchilla Needs and Behavior - Learn and respect their needs and behavior. They are quite prone to stress and this can lead to health problems and diseases. They have difficulties to adopt and need time. Chinchillas are nervous and they can easily be stressed if they don not be handled as they should. Handle them with care and do not over-handle them. Please understand the nature of chinchillas and respect that.
Chinchilla Health - Many health issues can arise from negligence and bad management, of their daily, and not only, needs. Chinchilla health issues, most of them, can be treated and avoided if you learn and follow three basic rules.
Chinchilla Origin - Just to know :)
The first and most important fact that you cannot miss about chinchillas is their personality! Every chinchilla has its own unique personality and that makes them very different in every way. Why this happens? Because they are SMART !
- Chinchilla is mammal and belongs to rodent family. It is the smartest rodent in the rodent family.
- Chinchillas have beautiful thick, soft coats with a bushy tail and their hair follicles contain more than 50 hairs while human’s only 1-3!
- Chinchillas can live 12 to 20 years, which is an exceptionally long life span for a rodent.
- They also have a very long pregnancy, 110-120 days.
- All the chinchilla’s teeth are continuously growing and they continually worn down by gnawing.
- They do not have claws like most rodents.
- They are instinctively clean and odorless.
- They are extremely active at night because chinchillas are crepuscular.
- They are agile jumpers and can jump up to 1,5m.
- They do not pant or sweat and are quite prone to heat exhaustion.
- Chinchillas do not take heat or humidity well. Maximum heat considered around 23 – 24 Celsius and humidity 70%.
- Chinchillas origin is from Andes Mountains of South America where the clime is cool and dry.
- Chinchillas have very sensitive digestive systems. They eat a sparse diet of vegetation including grasses, roots and seeds.
- Chinchillas drop approximately 200 feces a day!
- Their common color is gray. Other colors are white, violet, beige, sapphire, black velvet, black.
|Average life span||10 years|
|Maximum reported life span||20 years|
|Body length (adult)||10-14 inches / 25-35 cm – without tail|
|Tail length||5-6 inches / 13-15 cm|
|Height (adult)||5-6 inches / 13-15 cm|
|Average adult male weight||400-500 grams|
|Average adult female weight||400-600 grams|
|Hair length||1,8 – 3,5 cm / 0,7-1,38 inches|
|Ear length||4 – 6,5 cm / 1,57-2.56 inches|
|Hair follicle density||50 hair / follicle|
|Fur Density||20,000 hairs per square cm.|
|Fur Quality||The softest in the world!|
|Body temperature||36-38 °C / 96.8-100.4 °F|
|Heart pulse rate/minute||100-150|
|Dental formula||2 (I 1/1 C 0/0 PM 1/1 M 3/3)|
|Teeth grow||All teeth are open-rooted and grow continuously through life.|
|Jump||Up to 5 feet / 1,5 m|
|Gestation period||108-120 days|
|Estrous cycle||30-50 days|
|Kits per litter||2 avg. (up to 6)|
|Litters per year||2|
|Birth Weight||35-50 grams|
|Newborns||Fully furred with open eyes and teeth are present.|
|Species||Chinchilla lanigera Chinchilla brevicaudata|