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Cheeky Chinchillas - Feeding Your Chinchilla
The   digestive   system   of   the   chinchilla   is   very   delicate,   therefore,   it   is   important   that   they   are   fed   the   correct food. Chinchillas require a high fibre diet which helps to keep their digestive tract healthy. I   feed   my   chinchillas   approximately   2   tablespoons   of   chinchilla   pellets,   as   much   fresh,   good   quality   hay   as they   want   and   water   every   day.   The   amount   of   pellets   given   can   vary   and   some   chinchillas   will   eat   more than this, but I find this amount is ample for my own chins. See separate page for HAND FEEDING It   is   best   to   keep   to   a   regular   feeding   time   if   possible.   Most   people   usually   feed   their   chins   in   the   evening when   they   are   more   active.   Try   to   use   the   same   brand   of   pellets.   If   for   any   reason   you   need   to   change,   it   is best   to   mix   a   little   of   the   new   brand   with   the   old.   This   allows   the   chinchilla's   digestive   system   to   gradually adjust to the new food. I   do   not   recommend   using   a   mixed   food,   as   some   brands   contain   large   amounts   of   treat   type   foods,   which your chinchilla will eat rather than the pellets which are good for him. Always   remember   to   introduce   any   new   food   or   hay   gradually   so   as   not   to   upset   you   chinchillas'   digestive system. You   can   find   a   list   of   some   types   of   chinchilla   pellets   at   the   bottom   of   this   page,   showing   their   ingredients and content analysis I   can't   stress   enough   how   important   it   is   to   look   after   chinchillas'   teeth.   Their   teeth   are   open-rooted   and grow   all   the   time.   The   incisors   can   grow   2   to   3   inches   in   a   year.   So,   as   well   as   providing   a   healthy   diet   of chinchilla pellets and quality hay, you must provide items he can chew on too. See separate page on Health   You   can   buy   all   sorts   of   different   items   from   a   pet   shop   or   on   line.   Some   items   include   Cholla   Rings,   Bark Bites,   Pumice.   Cuttlefish   is   a   good   chew   and   also   provides   calcium.   They   also   enjoy   stripping   the   bark   from small   apple   twigs.   If   preparing   apple   twigs   yourself,   make   sure   they   are   thoroughly   dried   out   by   baking   or dehydration, so they are free from any insecticide or bacteria, which could be harmful to your chins. Chinchillas   will   often   chew   their   wooden   shelving,   so   make   sure   it   is   safe.      Untreated,   kiln   dried   pine   is   ok   to use   for   shelving,   as   long   as   it   does   not   contain   any   phenol   oils   etc.      Phenol   oil   is   part   of   the   sap   that   is   left   in the wood after a quick drying process has been used. Ensure   there   is   plenty   of   fresh   hay   and   water   every   day,   as   well   as   good   quality   chinchilla   pellets.      If   your chinnie   pulls   out   large   amounts   of   hay,   remove   it   from   the   cage   floor   ...   If   it   is   left   it   may   become   soiled   and contaminated. You   may   need   to   shop   around   for   good   quality   hay.   Make   sure   that   it   is   free   from   chemicals   and   is   always fresh.   Do   not   use   musty,   dusty   or   mouldy   hay.   Eating   mouldy   hay   could   cause   health   problems.   Loose, coarser hay is best for chewing and grinding and so good for your chinchillas' teeth. See separate page on General Care Hay   plays   a   very   important   part   in   their   diet.   It   is   an   excellent   source   of   fibre   and   the   chewing   action   also helps in grinding down their teeth. There   are   a   number   of   different   types   of   hay   available;   Timothy   Hay   being   a   popular   one.      If   you   are   in   the UK,   you   might   want   to   try   some   dust   free   hay   from       It's   lovely   hay   and   organically grown. Particularly good for you too, if you suffer from hay allergies If   you   have   trouble   feeding   hay,   Readigrass   is   a   good   alternative,   particularly   if   you   have   a   chinnie   with dental problems.  See Hand Feeding Do not be tempted to buy cheap substitutes if it does not tell you what is in or on the product. Make   sure   there   is   always   fresh   water   available.   Scrub   the   water   bottles   well,   to   prevent   bacteria   from forming.  An ideal brush, is the long angled type that is used for cleaning baby's bottles. Chinchilla food bowls are usually the earthenware type, although you can buy stainless steel.  Plastic bowls should not  be used as this would be harmful to the chinchilla if he chewed it. Examples of two types of bowls Chinchillas   are   Coprophagic,   which   means   they   sometimes   eat   their   own   droppings.   You   may   have   noticed your   chinnie   doing   this.   It   is   quite   normal.   They   can   produce   two   types   of   droppings;   the   softer   type   they   will eat as they contain good bacteria which they can take back into their system. Chinchillas, like all animals, love a treat and it would be very easy to give them too many. But remember, a chinchilla's digestive system cannot tolerate too much sugary food, so avoid sweet treats.  An   example   of   a   treat   would   be;   a   few   rolled   oats   (just   a   tiny   pinch   and   not    the   quick   cooking   or   instant sort),   maybe   a   dried   rose   hip,   which   is   high   in   vitamin   C,   or   a   few   dried   leafy   treats   suitable   for   chinchillas.     Treats should only be given occasionally - perhaps 2-3 small treats a week. Dried, healthy treats can be found in the larger pet shops or on line. Do not  use 'our' dried vegetable that might contain additives. A   sunflower   seed   or   a   bit   of   a   peanut   now   and   then   will   probably   not   harm,   but   it   is   best   to   avoid   them   altogether as they are high in fat. Chinchillas   do   not   have   a   gall   bladder,   which   means   any   foods   containing   high   levels   of   fat   are   bad   for them.   The   gall   bladder   is   an   organ   which   contains   bile,   produced   by   the   body   to   break   down   fat   during   the digestive   process.   As   chinchillas   do   not   have   a   gall   bladder,   eating   treats   containing   high   levels   of   fat   might build up fatty deposits which could cause liver damage i.e. Hepatic Lipidosis. Treats should not become a substitute for pellets and hay, which provide a healthy, balanced diet. Some Chinchilla Pellets These are guide lines of the main ingredients - not all ingredients may be listed here  


Protein 20.00%, Oil 4.00%, Fibre 12.20%, Ash 7.80%, Lysine 1.00%, Methionine 0.39%, M + C 0.71%, Threonine 0.77%, Calcium 0.85%, Phosphorous 0.72%, Av. Phosphorous 0.34%, Salt 0.45%, Linoleic Acid 1.57%

VITAMINS, MINERALS & TRACE ELEMENTS Vitamin A 10,000 ius/kg Vitamin D3 2,000 ius/kg Vitamin E 15 ius/kg Vitamin K 2 mg/kg Folic Acid 1.0 mg/kg Nicotinic Acid 60 mg/kg Vitamin B1 2.0 mg/kg Vitamin B2 6 mg/kg Vitamin B6 2.0 mg/kg Vitamin B12 12 mcg/kg Biotin 50 mcg/kg Pantothenic Acid 20 mg/kg Iodine 2 mg/kg Cobalt 1.0 mg/kg Selenium 200 mcg/kg Copper 20 mg/kg Iron 100 mg/kg Choline Chloride 300mg /kg Manganese 50 mg/kg Zinc 100 mg/kg Magnesium 250 mg/kg
Wheat Middlings, Hipro Soya Meal, Grass/AlfAlfa Meal, Soya Hulls, Cooked Cereals, Oats, Maize Gluten Feed Meal, Full Fat Soya Meal, Oatfeed, Molasses, Peanut Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin/Mineral & Trace Element Supplement, Salt, DL-Methionine, EEC Permitted Antioxidant


Science Selective Chinchilla

Protein 16.0%, Crude fibre 19.0%, Fat content 3.0%, Inorganic matter 7.0%, Calcium 0.8%, Phosphorus 0.4%
Vitamin A 15000 iu/kg, Vitamin D3 1500 iu/kg,

Also see Hand Feeding page
Lucerne meal (alfalfa), soya hulls, wheat, soybean meal, wheat feed, extruded locust beans, dried parsley, dried plantain, linseed, monocalcium phosphate, salt, calciumcarbonate.

Beaphar Care+

Protein 20%, Fat 3.3%, Fibre 20.1%, Ash 5.7%, Moisture 9.5%, Calcium 0.79%, Phosphorous 0.57%, Magnesium 0.2%, Sodium 0.2%, Potassium 1.04%, Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin E

Also see Hand Feeding page
Cereals, Derivatives of vegetable origin (cont. Yucca schidigera min 0.2%), Echinacea min. 0.05%, Vegetable protein extracts, Vegetable (Fructo Oligo Saccharide min. 0.0076%), Seeds, Milk and milk derivatives, Minerals, Mannan Oligo Saccharide (from cells of yeast), Algae (Spirulina min 0.00075%)

Henry Bell

Protein 17.00%, Oil 4.50%, Fibre 14.00%, Ash 7.00%, Vitamin A 15000 iu/kg, Vitamin D3 2000 iu/kg, Vitamin E 50 iu/kg, Alpha tocopherol, Copper Cupric Sulphate 25mg/kg
Wheatfeed, Oatfeed, Exracted sunflower, Grass feed, Peas, Barley, Soya, Vegetable extract, Fat, Limestone, Binder, Salt, Vitamins and Mineral supplemnet, Dicalcium Phosphate


Protein 18%, Fibre 11.5%, Ash 9%, Oils 3.5%, Vitamin A D3 & E
Wheatfeed, Oatfeed, Grass Pellets, Rape, Barley, Molasses, Vitamins and Minerals, Maize, Limestone, Binder E565
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