Previous Questions



Here are questions that Tri has answered in the past.

Dear Tri,

I have a boy chin and a girl chin.  How old do they have to be before they can breed?




Dear Crystal,

This is an interesting question.  A boy chin can pretty much breed at any age they feel like it.  Girls are a different story all together.  A girl chin should be at least 8 months of age AND weigh at least 600 grams.  If she does not weigh 600 grams, then she should wait to breed until she is over a year.

Good luck with your chins!



Dear Tri,

Okay I have a question for you! Tri is it safe to ship chins and how come your mom don't ship chins? I would love to have a chinny like you, you are so pretty.

Thank you



Dear Miss Cheryl,

Shipping us is safe.  As long as you make sure that weather conditions are right, like not too hot and all that, and you trust the airline you are shipping on.

Now, you pretty much asked two questions, the other is "what's up with my furless mommy?".

I'm going to be really honest with you here Miss Cheryl, my mommy is THE MOST paranoid furless mommy on the planet!  Several of our chins have been shipped TO us, including my furry daddy, so you'd think she'd be comfortable with it!

We've been talking to her about this situation though and we think she may be coming around just a little bit.  She says if we are older, like me, then she would consider shipping us if she is really comfortable with the home we are going to.  At the buyers expense, of course.  LOL

Thanks for the question, and help us talk to her!



Dear Tri

Ok, My name is Dakota.
The new white chin mike got in august HATES ME. I want to play with him but he just attacks me and chases me. What do I do?


Dear Dakota,

Love your name BTW!

Oh boy, can I ever relate to your story!  My furless mommy had the brilliant plan to have me live with Pixie, who decided to attack me as well.  Thank goodness mommy was there to keep her from hurting me.

Now lets see what we can come up with.  First, you guys need to live in separate cages real close to each other for a while.  When you come out to play together, make sure you take a bath JUST before you come out (in dust, of course).  Make sure your furless mommy or daddy is there to watch so that nobody gets hurt.

If that doesn't work you can try the "vanilla trick".  Your furless parent places a small drop of vanilla extract on your nose and the white guy's nose too right before play.

If that doesn't work.  Have your furless parent take one of you and place you inside the other ones cage while you are in a really small cage.  Tell them to make sure that nobody can get hurt through the wires, and to watch.

And the last option we have is to place both of you into a cage that is so small, there is no room for fighting.  This one I would only use as a last resort though.

Remember, always try to introduce us chins on "neutral" ground.  We can be very territorial!  Out side of cage introductions seem to work best from what we've seen.  Heading toward a cage very slowly.  The last introduction we had here was my daddy and Harry Potter.  They never fought at all, and it still took 2 weeks to get them in the same cage.

Patience is the key when introducing us.  We can be a finicky lot!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes please!




Hi Tri,

My name is Jelly Bean.  My furless mommy saw my cagemate Jordan chewing my fur last night and was quite upset.  The chewing has been going on a long time, she just never caught him.  Anyhow is this really bad.  I don't mind it too much.  Furless mommy kept telling Jordan to stop chewing my fur (and even called him Chewy instead of Jordan) and kept telling me I don't have to take it.  So Tri I ask you - what can I do to get him to stop.  Jordan and I are good friends and I don't want him to be mad at me or anything.  Mommy said Jordan was ruining my beautiful fur - his fur is even worse than mine though!

--Jelly Bean


Hi Jelly Bean,

Well, my opinion on this may very well be an unpopular one.  If he really doesn't want to stop, and you really don't mind, then I don't see a problem.  Especially since you are both boys and it isn't something he's going to pass to his kits.  BUT, if you get cold, you should have your furless mommy knit you a sweater.

On the other hand, if you do mind then I suggest the next time he is doing it, you turn around and yell in his face.  Just to startle him.  Then try explaining things to him about why it bothers you.  I think this is called aversion therapy or something.

You might just want to explain to your furless mommy that it doesn't bother you though.

Take care, and good luck,



Dear Tri,

 I have a two year old boy chin that has recently lost his mate and now he is acting really depressed and he no longer wants to be handled.  He is eating well and taking care of himself, but he just lays in the cage and seems to not be the same chinchilla as he was before he lost his mate.  I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on what I can do for him to ease his pain. 


Dear Denise,

I'm so sorry for your little boy.  I'm not sure how long his mate has been gone, but if it's been a little while, you might want to consider getting him a new friend.  Sometimes, it can be very hard on us chins to be alone, especially if we are used to living with other chins.

You can also make sure he has lots of toys to keep him entertained.  Does he come out to play?  Or have a wheel?  If he does and he's not using them, then I would definitely consider another chinnie friend for him.

Hope this helped, and good luck for your little guy.

Take care,



Dear Tri,

My chins love wooden shelves laid in their cages for comfort but, I find they always pee on the shelves and I have to change the wooden shelves every now and then.  You'll probably advise me to put a small tray with shavings on the particular spot where they pee, I've tried but they'll always dig out the shavings and to make matters worse, they they pee on other woods with no tray/shavings!!  You chins are so rebellious!!  Any advise would be great.




Dear Karen,

Boy, this is a hard one!  My furry aunt, Pixie used to always do this.  Especially on her hay.  Boy did our furry mommy have choice words for her when she did that!  And the tray thing didn't work for her either.

My only real advise to you is to get one of those electric palm sanders.  When your chins make a spot on their shelf, sand it down.  This way you will not have to replace shelves as often.

My aunt finally just stopped doing this on her own one day, and we aren't sure why. 

Wish I could have been more help.

Good luck to you and your rebellious chins!


BTW, what do you mean WE CHINS?????


Hello.  My name is Jackie.  I am an animal lover. I own many animals from gold-fish to reptiles.  My daughter is a true rodent lover.  We purchased our first chin a couple of days ago.  It is a really hyper female.  I don't fear her biting me, but I don't like the fact that I get sprayed all over with urine when I try to approach her.  I read some of your literature that said to give it a few days and she will start coming to us.  I will try that.  Are there any other suggestions and are young males easier to tame than young females and do males spray urine also?  I bought her at a
pet store .

Anxious to hear from you about "Pepper".


Hi Jackie,

Boy do we ever know how frustrated you are.  We have a bratty chin girl here who was spraying our mommy ALL the time.  She'd even "ambush" her just so she could spray her. 

I'm not sure that chins really ever "come to you".  They will come to the door of the cage for treats, and some will climb in your hand when you lay it in their cage, but we aren't like puppies who come when we are called.

My suggestion is this.  Be in her area as much as possible.  Leave her in her cage until she trusts you.  But, be around her a ton.  Talk to her all the time, and give her one or two treats a day (like one raisin and a cheerio).  Put the treat up to the wire of the cage so she can see it and will come get it.  Eventually, she will.  Here's the hardest part now, if she sprays you, DO NOT react!

The girl here who was doing this took about 3 months to calm down and stop doing this every time anybody went near her.  She still does it if she thinks she is being chased, but not like she was.

As for whether or not males or females are easier to tame.  Well, my mommy says there isn't much difference between us.  Basically, the younger the better.  And since Pepper came from a pet store, chances are you don't really know her age?  She's probably still traumatized from being in that store too.

Though, males are less likely to spray, they are not more likely to be more friendly.  We can all be very friendly and calm (or as calm as we chins ever are), but we sometimes need lots of time and understanding.

Hope this helps, please let us know how you and Pepper make out!




Dear Tri,

Do female chins sometimes kill their babies?  If so, does it occur often?
Do you separate your male from the female once they deliver?


FYI,  My chin loves his new house.  He chews and chews on it!

Take care


Dear Friend,

Yes, sometimes chin mommies do kill their babies.  This does not happen often though, and most of the time that we've heard of this happening, it has been an accident because t mommy was having a hard time pulling the baby out at birth.

I do suggest that you pull the male out of the cage right before the babies are born.  This way the mommy chin won't get pregnant right away.  She'll be tired, and need a rest, you know.  He can be put back in 10 days after the kits are born, as daddy chins are a great help in raising kits.  Make sure to watch when you put him back in though, in case the mommy chin "cops an attitude" with him.

I'm so glad your chin likes his new house!  I know we love ours!  Chewing is very important, so we can make it all nice and comfy!


Take care,



Beautiful Tri,

I have a question.  I have three lovely male chillas, and Iíve been told to check them for hair rings at least once a month.  They arenít used for breeding, and arenít around any females, so does this still need to be done?  Also, how can I check them for hair rings if they really do not like to be held?  Help!  Thanks!



Dear Samoria,

Even though your boys are not used for breeding, or around any girls, they can still get hair rings.  Boy chins do need to be checked for them on a regular basis, to keep us healthy.  A bad hair ring can be life threatening.

Them not liking to be held will be an issue.  But, none of us really cooperate when it comes time to be checked.  We chins don't like to be held in that position you know.  This really is a two person job.  In our house, our furless mommy does the holding, while our furless daddy checks for the ring.  What mommy does is she sits down, cradles us with two hands, one up by our shoulders, with a thumb under one are and a finger around the other, her other hand goes under our backside and she then places a finger around each leg to try to hold us still.  If you watch the hair ring video on this site, you can see that I wasn't exactly very cooperative during the check.  But, they got it done.  The real key is to remain very calm and use two people.  Your chins are not going to like it, but they would like getting a hair ring even less.

If you have any other questions about this, please let me know!  Good luck!  Hope your boys behave for you!


Take care,



Dear Tri,

We have been thinking about getting Chloe a friend.  We are not interested in breeding at this time so it pretty much has to be another female.  Are there any thoughts you can offer about what would make a good partner?  (for instance should we look for an older or younger sister?  Should we try to get a close relative?




Dear Fabien,

I'm glad to hear that your Chloe will be getting a friend!  We chins all need friends in my opinion.

I'm not sure how old your Chloe is.  If she is very old (like several years), you may need to be prepared that she won't want to have a roommate.   This isn't the case with most chins, but it can happen.

Now, as for the "type" of chin.  Whether the new chin is related to Chloe or not really won't matter.  Unless she is really young, and the chin is one of her litter mates.  Since you don't intend to breed, a girl chin friend is best.  Same sex pairs bond just as strongly as mixed sex pairs do, without the complications of having to remove one to prevent breedback at times.

What we have found in the introductions we have done here is that a chin will bond to and accept a younger chin much easier then a same age or older chin.  By younger, I mean like 9 weeks.  Older chins tend to take them in and comfort them and bond to them very well.

Of course, follow the same rules of introduction as usual, to ensure the safety of both chins, but we have yet to have a problem introducing a really young chin to an older one.  I take in little brothers frequently when its time for them to wean.  They make those baby noises, and I just can't help myself!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


Take care,



Dear Tri
       Hi I was wondering my chin when she is exercising out of her cage sometimes will lay down and rest for a while . Is this common for them to do? I generally let her run around for about an hour and she will do this about after a half an hour. She only does if for like about 2 min. I hope you can tell me why she does this.
 Thanks for helping.




Dear Ardell,

This is actually quite common among us chins!  We run our little selves ragged, flop down, take a breather, then POP off we go again!  I personally don't do this.  I'm more of the "run while I can, flop on my side when I get back in my cage" type of chin, but either way works well for us.

So, not to worry, your little chinny friend is normal.


Take care,



Dear Tri,

On 3/31/2003, I bought a standard grey chin(they didn't know if it was a boy or a girl) from a Petland Discounts store. This chin has been at the store for about 7 - 9 months as I would frequently head there for supplies for my rabbit and I've seen him when he was smaller (now it's huge). They had another Chin in the cage with him which wasn't with him the last few times I went back God only knows what happened to it =( ). I felt sorry for the guy, so I decided to buy him as no one else would have surely.
____This isn't the first time buying a chin though. I bought another Chin from a different Petland Discounts which died the following day (It was screaming a lot and wouldn't move). I guessing it had been at that store for a while because the sales lady said when I asked her for him "You're actually going to buy him?!" and that made me wonder._____
Anyway, I've noticed some weird things about my new chin I didn't notice in the store.
1. He has a tiny hole in his left ear. Could this have been caused in fight?
2. I'm using a temporary cage for my chin (It measures about 30 inches tall, 18 in depth and 2 feet in width) which is a rabbit's cage with the back cut off, propped up with wire shelves I put inside (covered by pine) and a few toys. I'm going to get him a better one; either if I decide to build a cage (the one on your site is nice and I have plenty Home Depots around, but without a car, I don't know how I'll get the melamine home as those are some pretty big sheets! =P) or buy a Martin's Cage.
Anyway, what I've noticed about my chin is that from the first day I got him, I put a triangle liter pan in the corner of his cage filled with pine shavings and he knew to pee inside the pan. I recently rearranged his cage and he still pees only in the liter pan. This lead me to some thinking. Is it possible Ninja might of had a previous owner who  trained him to pee in a liter pan? In the store they kept him in a cage on liter shavings and his cage didn't have a liter box.
I was also wonder if you had any tips on making a chin more friendly (tame). Ninja has been coming along nicely. The third day I had him, he's been eating raisins out of my hand. He'd jump in my lap when sit in front of his cage. Jump on my shoulder and crawl from shoulder to shoulder. And if he's on top something high and I put my arm out, sometimes he'll jump onto it and crawl onto my shoulder.
He won't let me touch or pet him though. Usually he'll just sniff my hand and then scurry away. If I do manage to get a pet of his fur in, he'll move away and groom the spot I touched him at. I've seen this behavior before in one of my rabbits, one of my hamsters and a mouse I had. Is it something to do with scent?
He doesn't run from me as much as he used to when I stand up and walk around. He'll even come by my feet and try to pull my socks off sometimes. He's only done that night call thing with the squeaks about two nights in a row around when I first bought him and hasn't made them since.
Also, I plan on getting another chin at some point. There's a pet shop called the Brooklyn Zoo I'll go to this time. It would seem they only order a new chin after the one they have has been sold, but man oh man! When they get a chin, it has some of the nicest coloring. They had a $265 chin with a sort of black head and white body with a really long bushy tail that was there for a while but got sold. The most recent one I've see was this all sorta golden tan that was fairly young for $169. I'd get that one, but by the time I buy a new cage and tend to my other hobbies, he'll surely be gone!
Anyway, I was wondering if getting Ninja a friend might help improve his behavior with humans?

Thanks for your time,

Dear Jay,

Oh boy, where do I start?

1.  The holes in his ears are probably from fighting as a kit.  My ears have a few holes in them because my siblings were hogs and wanted all our furry mom's milk!  I'm fine though, and everybody says cute as a bug!

2.  It could very well be that somebody taught Ninja to use a liter pan (we all refuse to use them).  Or, he could just be a neat freak!  Either way, bonus for you!

3. Our daddy used to clean himself wherever our furless mommy touched him.  He used to hurt her feelings a lot!  She fed him oats from her hand, and started sneaking in belly scritches while he wasn't watching.  It took like a year, but now he's fine about being touched!  This takes longer with older chins.  Babies are much easier.

4.  Its hard to say whether getting another chin will help or not.  It would really depend on if Ninja wants to live with another chin.  Older chins, who've lived alone forever sometimes don't want furry friends.  Others do.  You would definitely need two cages for at least a while.  Please check out the part on our site about introducing chins and quarantine anybody new that comes into your home.

Sorry if I wasn't much help.  We are all just so very different, its really hard to say.

Good luck, and tell Ninja I said "HI".


Take care,



Dear Tri

I adopted 2 male standard grey chins approximately 2 months ago. I have a couple of questions that I donít seem to find answers for in the books. Both chins seem to chirp a lot and get very bouncy when they come out to play.  Especially when they are jumping on and off of me. Is this a good thing?( I figured if it was a bad thing they wouldnít want to come out and play.) There is one that is smaller than the other, however the person I got them from said they were both approximately 2 years of age. Is that right?  Wouldnít the smaller one be younger? I have also noticed that the smaller one keeps mounting the larger one. Is that normal? Could that be some kind of assertion of dominance? Thanks for your help.

Teresa White

Dear Teresa,

It sounds to me as if you may be questioning the person you got your chins from?  If so, I would get them sexed by a vet if you can.  Just to make certain one is not a female and you don't wind up with babies.

However, it is quite normal for males to mount each other (females do it too) to establish dominance.  The smaller one is simply telling the older one "I'm the boss around here ya know".  As long as fur isn't flying and no blood is shed, they are fine.  Usually chins only do this when they are first introduced, and once they've lived together for a while and are bonded, they stop.

Sounds to me like you have some very vocal chins.  Some of us are like that.  My dad is VERY vocal and sits and "sings" just about every night.  Usually though, again, this behavior is more of a young chin behavior.  I wouldn't worry about it though, sounds like they are just letting each other know where they are.

As for size?  Chins can vary in size greatly.  One being much bigger then the other does not necessarily indicate they are older.  An adult chin can range anywhere from about 500 grams to 1200 grams.  So, size really would not indicate age.

Hope this helped.  I think it would help a lot if we chins all did things the same way, but we are all very individual creatures.


Take care,



Dear Tri,
   I have a new female chin and my other female does not seem to like her. When we put her in with my other chins  the female started biting her. The mean female and male just had a baby so I don't know if she is just being protective or if she doesn't like her. We have them separated right now . Do you know what we can do. The chin keeps crying all night. The male and the baby don't seem to mind her but the female acted the same way when she met the male too.
                                                                thanks Pamela


Dear Pamela,


Putting a new female with an already established pair is very risky.  Putting her with a pair who has kits is even more risky!  Introducing chins, even without these two situations is always a challenge.  It must be done slowly and with great caution.  We have a whole section on this site dedicated to introductions.  You might want to review that here INTRODUCTIONS.

Good luck with your chins


Take care,



Dear Tri 

       My baby chin is almost 2 months old. She is a female and the father is in the cage as well as the female. And i dont know when i should separate them. And thanks for answering my last email.     
                                                  Thanks Pam


Dear Pam,


It is thought that females cannot get pregnant until they are 4 months old.  However, we've recently heard of one little girl getting pregnant at 8 weeks of age by her brother.  So, I would advise you to separate baby from daddy as soon as possible. 


Take care,


Dear Tri:

 I want to build my chinchilla a cage is there any type of wood that i should not use?  Or is there one that you recomend?  Also i have a female chinchilla right now and i wanted to get another one that can keep her company while i am not at home.  I dont really want a male because i dont want to have babies.  So i thought that i could get another female but some one told me that you can not put two females together is that true?




Dear Trish,


Personally, I would not suggest any uncoated wood.  We chins tend to pee a lot at times, and any of that would seep into the wood over time and ruin it.  Not to mention the fact that we love to chew wood!!!!  We suggest melamine coated press board.  works great.  We have cage building plans on this site, if you want to try those.

As for same sex pairs?  If they don't get along, please don't tell my mom and aunt!!!  They have lived together off and on for years (they got separated when we kits were born).  Same sex pairs bond just as strongly as opposite sex pairs do.  Just be sure you follow the introduction rules and go slowly, and don't forget to quarantine.


Take care,




Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Spoiled Chins