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Topic: spoiling my little house guest  (Read 1588 times)
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goldfishhead
« on: November 19, 2007 09:58:25 AM »

Hello! I recently wound up with a chinchilla for a house guest. He's a devious little poo-machein, but I'd like him to enjoy his couple of months with me. Anyone hve any ideas for something I could make him that he might enjoy? i know their sensetive little buggers, so I'm afraid to just experiment.
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naturalcreation
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008 11:53:26 PM »

Get the chinchilla a dust bath. Make sure you use chinchilla dust only.
Keep the chin's room under 75F.
Make sure to feed a good quality hay and a great quality pellet. Use a feeder that separates out the "fines" so they don't get eye or nose irritations from eating.
Dunno about toys - they are rodents so they probably enjoy chewing on stuff to wear their teeth down a little.
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goldfishhead
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008 06:42:36 AM »

oh god does he love those baths. i have seen him bathe for wel over an hour solid. Ad its not like he dosnt get to do it many times each week.

I was thinking more of something I might be able to make for him to enjoy, that would be safe for him...
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naturalcreation
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008 09:11:54 AM »

Do they like to chew up TP rolls? It's a chinchilla. They aren't parrots. (meaning - they aren't the brightest bulbs in the box) Give the chin something it enjoys. If the dust bath is it - then that's it. If what it really wants is TP rolls, give a few a week. If it wants a rabbit-size wheel to run around in, give it that. There isn't much latitude for "giving it something it will enjoy" here. They don't have the same spectrum of enjoyment like a dog, cat, or bird would.
What you really could do if you want to help critters in a plight, is sew up some little blankies from scrap fabric and donate them to your local animal shelter. In the chinchilla's name, if you prefer. That would be great to give comfort to many. Smiley
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underorion
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008 06:22:08 PM »

Chinchilla-proof a small room by covering outlets and wires, removing houseplants and generally poking around for anything he could get hurt on. Then give him a couple of hours out of the cage to play everyday. It will be much appreciated!

They love to jump and climb, so you could build a cushion fortress, or an obstacle course out of books, or throw down a pair of stiff jeans and open the legs to function as tunnels. They're also clever and curious, so you could hide snacks in easy-to-find locations that the chin will have to fiddle with to retrieve--a raisin in a TP tube with the ends tucked in, a piece of dried apple tucked into a little mesh ball, that sort of thing.

And they're very social, so don't be afraid to get down there and play with him. Smiley
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plumpossum
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2008 09:28:22 AM »

I had chinchillas growing up (ten at one point, they kept having babies!).  Their favorite thing is if you turn them loose and let them run in a chin-proof room for a few hours (carefully supervised, though).

They also like stuff they can climb on (large bird cages work well for this reason, they can climb up ramps and like to be high up).  Along those same lines, make sure your chin's cage is eye-level.  Being that their major predators are birds, they feel intimidated by creatures (like humans) hovering above them. 

You can also give them grinding blocks for their teeth.  I believe these are made for rabbits as well.  Running wheels are ok, some of ours loved them and some were indifferent.  A little house for them to is important.  They like to hide, or at least think they are hiding.  So rig up some kind of shelter with wood or cloth.

If you're really careful, you can string some popcorn for them.  Some will eat the string, though, and that is dangerous.  Maybe you can find dissolvable string somewhere?

Last but not least- remember when you let your little guy out, and you go to catch him, get down on his level and pick him up by the base of their tail (near the butt).  Once you're holding onto his tail firmly, put your other hand under his feet, or hold him so that his feet are touching your shoulder or chest.  Catching a chinchilla around the belly/ribs is extremely dangerous because their ribcage is so frail, and they can easily die from squeezing too tight.
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goldfishhead
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008 06:33:53 AM »

hehe. thanks for the advice. I wish i could get the little guy a new cage, but i dont think his other mommy would like that much when he went back to her.

I can never cath the little guy, so I just put down his dust bath house, which he always goes for, and carry that back to his cage.
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plumpossum
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2008 09:38:23 AM »

I'm familiar with that technique as well! 

You can also make a little trail of raisins to their cage (just not too many, unless you enjoy cleaning up lots and lots of poo)
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goldfishhead
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2008 06:31:11 AM »

oh god raisens. yeah. he loves those.

There is some very very vauge talk of my sig.oth and i keeping the little guy. In which case I'd want to get him a much bigger cage. Only I'm broke....i wonder what materials I could use to MAKE a bigger cage...?
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Suriah
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008 11:29:40 AM »

Hi there!

It's so nice of you to take care this little guy Cheesy  I do not know a lot about Chin cages, but for our bunnies we built them a neat cage out of those cube-its.  I know there are some posted ones around here somewhere, or I will try and get a picture of mine loaded.  Add some shelves, toys, a pouch or nesting area, tubes, etc and you should have a happy little dude  Grin  Most small animals enjoy little hiding places like nests, and they really do enjoy TP rolls (try filling them with hay or even bells, cover the end with paper and watch them tear it apart to find the treat-adorable) And, don't worry, all critters, rodents, whatever- they all have high levels of intelligence, more than we always notice.  I don't think you have to be intelligent to have fun or stimulate your senses or anything like that anyways.  They still need toys and things to excite them and keep them happy.  So keep making toys and playing with your house guest- he will be glad he is staying with you and not someone who thinks rodents are happy just sitting around all day- as you get to know him you will find fun games to play and come to respect him for the cutie he is, animals don't have to be as 'smart' as humans OR dogs OR cats for them to lead full, happy, stimulating lives.  They need just as much attention and love- ignore anyone who says otherwise.
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~Suri~

"When vegetarians grow up, they become vegans"

"Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." "The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..."
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