In the wild Chinchilla live in family groups. Yes, there are herds of chinchillas. If you have one chinchilla then it will be happiest with a friend. This mean giving your chinchilla roommates a large cage to move around in. Chinchillas are playful and need the room to roam, jump, and climb. Try to be sure when you get your chinchilla couple that they are both same sex. It is not that your pet chinchilla’s won’t appreciate the girlfriend and boyfriend arrangement, it is just that you might have to deal with offspring increasing the size of your herd of Chinchillas to a level your parents or partner will object to.
You can interact with your chinchillas. They can be handled but are many times skittish. They move around like the chipmunks you see in your yard. They should only be held by younger children with adult supervision. If your house is full of a skittish herd of toddlers your might want to put off get a pet chinchilla for a few years.
]Overall chinchilla’s are easily maintained pets that live 12 to 20 years if cared for properly. You should be in for the long haul for care of your chinchillas. They are social and entertaining. If you live in a warm climate they only survive in places that are below 80 degrees. Chinchilla are native to the Andes Mountains and need to live in an air-conditioned environment even in the Midwest when the temperature climbs above 80. If you only use fans to cool your house, consider getting a room air conditioner for the room you plan to keep your little herd of cool temperature loving chinchillas in.
When choosing your set of chinchillas considers size Females chinchillas grow larger then male chinchillas. They reach a whole pound and a half. Chinchillas that are over feed tend to get obese. So you will want to watch the treats. It is not that chinchillas are not active pets.
Your chinchilla pack will want to climb and jump. So you will want as large of a cage as you can comfortably accommodate. When choosing a cage considers the necessary accessories your chinchilla club will need. They need hammocks and perches to play keep away and hide and seek. They will need to keep their teeth in shape so you will want to give them untreated wood to new on, cardboard tubes from your toilet paper holder, and mineral stones.
To keep you chinchilla pack looking and smelling their best you will want to give them regular dust bathes. They should only indulge in the dust spa about 10minutes or their skin will dry out and become irritated. You can use special chinchilla dust bathes you can buy online or baking soda and cornstarch. You will need to keep a private pool of sorts in the cage of chinchilla sand. This way your chinchillas can clean up at will. Skin issues are serious in chinchillas. You need to make sure skins irritations are tended to as if they lose fur they lose body heat. This kind of situation could be fatal to your chinchilla.
Most people are going to want to take their chinchillas out of their cage. They do nicely in an old play pen with the plastic covering removed from the bottom. Do not let them play unsupervised or they will new their way out of the pen consuming things they should not and start chewing your furniture. Ideally, a large sold wood portable gate so you can close them off in a room with a tile floor would work well as long as all non chinchilla approved items were removed from the area.
Chinchillas can have food treats. They like pumpkin seeds and apple leaves. Still do not over feed that special treat. They need hard chinchilla food to keep their teeth in shape. Too chinchilla snacks can cause digestive issues as well. If you don’t want to go out of your way to find homemade chinchilla treats; there are many acceptable one’s available on line.
Good overall guide to owning chinchillas.
Guide to chinchilla cages.
Guide to chinchilla treats and diet.