Hello, my name is Tri (pronounced TREE) and I am a chinchilla who is a self appointed Chin specialist! I'm not saying I know everything there is to know about chins or anything, but what I can't answer, I have lots of friends I can ask.
So, if you have any questions about us Chins, email them to Tri and I'll post my answers here.
Before you email me though, please look through our Chin Care section, many questions are already answered there.
hello Tri.I have a few questions for you. You know how they say you can give chinchillas toliet paper rolls, cardboard peices, or cardboard boxes? well i gave my chinchilla a toliet paper roll and she started eating it is that bad for her? Also i read that you can give your chinchilla playing cards what happens if she starts eating that? I also read you can give your chinchilla toothpicks and i want to know if i should cut the tips off them? being that they are sharp and i dont want her to get hurt by them. Or should i not give toothpicks to her at all?
We do allow our chins to have toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls (with all paper removed). However, with other cardboard, we make certain there are no inks or dyes in them.
As for playing cards, we personally would not give these, you just don't know what the dyes will do to the chins.
Toothpicks and popsicle sticks are a BIG NO NO in our book, even with the tips cut off.. They can splinter and get stuck in a chin's mouth and cause a lot of issues that require a vet to fix, if they can. They can also get stuck in their throats.
Chins need to chew to keep their teeth filed down. Big wooden blocks that are safe for birds and pumice stones are your best bet for this.
I hope you found this helpful.
I have 3 questions, but first something about my chin:
It is a girl, she is about 7 months old, I got her about two weeks ago, she is healthy and happy.
Now, the questions:
1. First she peed on my bed. Then she did it again...and again. Then she peed on my feet an today even under my table! Is she insane? She just started doing that (she did not peed outside for the first week). When it happenes, I send her to the cage but she just goes to sleep and learnes nothing. What should I do, I am afraid to let her onto my bed again (I ran out of sheets).
2. She has strange ears. Perhaps this is common in young chins. It is like the coloured fur did not yet covered all of her ears. I can see her skin at the base of her ears. And as it goes up, it gets textured (like spots of colour) and at the tips, she is normal.
3. I try to train her to like her cage. But she LOVES to sleep outside (on my table, on my closet...). Is it wrong to let her sleep outside her cage? Because she must get used to her cage as a sleeping/eating place.
Well, this is pretty much everything.
Thanks for your answers!
Let me try to answer your questions by the numbers:
I hope you found this helpful.
Hello Tri. I have two chinchillas buster and bailey. I have a question. Bailey really likes his dust. When its in he rolls and rolls. He is a smokey black and when he finally comes out he is a gray tan (the color of Buster). After he comes out he shakes like a dog. The problem is that he shakes all the dust out of his fur and it gets everywhere. Is there something I can do to get him to not do this or how I can minimize the spread of dust throughout the rest of the house. They are in a wire cage in our spare room (with our computer). Please help me. Misha
I don't really know that I have that much advice for you, other than don't keep your chins in the same room with your computer. We can tell you that chinchilla dust ruined one of our computers.
We don't use wire cages for just that reason.
My name is Jackie,
We have 2 chins, 1 male & 1 female who we got from a rescue approx 2 years ago. We recently tried the "Smoosh" method to introduce another young female, everything went really well at first but once they all went into the cage when they all started facing up to each other and the female kepk spraying, (the poor male seemed to be on the receiving end of this from both females). We decided to take the new female out again and let things calm down, but now the pair we had originally will not speak to each other, and keep barking at each other, have you got any suggestions, please help..
Not to be preachy, but I do hope you are not breeding those rescues? Without a history on them, you would have no way of knowing if they have hereditary issues or even if they are related.
As for the introduction, you cannot introduce a female to a bonded pair. I do cover this on my site somewhere here. Females can be introduced and a male can be introduced to two bonded females, but once you have a bonded, opposite sex pair of chins, you do not even put another chin with them. Doing so risks one or more of the chins dying.
You were very lucky that you were there to make sure nothing really bad happened.
We just purchased our first chin, Picachu, about a week ago. We already want to get another one so he'll have a friend. We bought him a 3 level "condo" and here's what I'm wondering... Would it work the same introducing them if we just blocked off the upper level and put the new chin there? We just think it would be a waste buying another cage with all the necessary equipment. And we were also wondering if they can or know how to drink water from a bowl?
Picachu is a 4 month male and the new one we're looking at is an 8 week male.
Thanks so much!!
First of all, chins really should not get wet, their fur is so dense that they don't dry properly and can catch a chill and die easily. So, giving water in a bowl is something we strongly suggest against. Chins are so active and bounce around so much, that eventually they would wind up in the bowl.
As for having two cages? Any time you bring a new chin into your home, you should quarantine that chin for at least 4 weeks just to be sure that there are no bacteria that could make your current chin ill. For that reason alone, you will need two cages. As for introductions, even after a 4 week quarantine period, these chins will be so young that introducing them should be very easy. However, you never know with chins, there could come a day when they no longer wish to live together, so having an extra cage is just smart. We had two girls who lived together for 8 months (since they were 9 weeks old) who suddenly decided they didn't like each other and wanted to kill each other. Had we not had an extra cage, things would have been much worse.
This is a hairless mommy and I saw on this site the pictures of how a chinchillas teeth should look.My question is what if my chins teeth donít look like that what should I feed him to give him the calcium he needs?
Heather & Stich
Hi Heather & Stitch,
This is really depends on the age of your chin. If your chin is very young, their teeth won't be real dark yet and could even appear white. The other thing is, some chins' teeth are more yellow then orange, especially if they have had babies. If you are really concerned, you should have a vet run a blood test to make certain that the calcium level is low prior to giving him anything. If its just a little low, chewables will probably do it, if its a lot low, you will need to resort to a syrup that your vet can provide.
Nice to know you. Iíve currently got a female chinchilla who refuses to take a bath (this has been going on for at least a couple of weeks). Iím quite worried about it and hope u can offer me some advice.
Thanks a million.
This is not an uncommon problem, do don't panic. Try sprinkling dust on your girl every day, eventually she should role in it. If she doesn't, try changing what you are giving her a dust bath in. I use those dust bath houses, but have gotten chins in here who would not use them, so I had to put a shallow dish in until they got the hang of it.
i was just curious if its possible to tell how old a chin is? i don't have one, but im looking around.
thanks for your time
Aside from telling generally whether a chin is very young or very old, no there really is no way to tell.
Can I keep My Chin As a Classroom Pet Because I am a Teacher.
We really don't think that chins make good classroom pets. For one thing, chins are nocturnal, children are at school during the day. So how does this seem fair or humane to the chinchilla?
You are the cutest chinchilla in the world, sure wish I could get on like you around here....I have a couple of questions for you.....first.I have been feeding my chin vita-vittles chinchilla food, should I continue to use that are switch to something else. second, is there any symptoms to a hair ring? and if they have one can they still breed. thanks for all your help and remain cut:)
And thank you, I kinda think I'm cute too.
Vita-vittles is actually loaded with treats and not much nutrition. I'd highly suggest switching foods. Please look at our page on recommended foods and how to switch slowly and safely.
Hair rings really have no true symptoms, that's why you have to do checks. By the time you see them, they can be so bad that they are actually life threatening. If you do hair ring checks regularly, you can avoid a lot of pain for us boy chinnies.
My name is Boo and I am a rescue chinchilla, my previous owners had 30 Chins in 3 Cages. I just moved in to my new place a week ago and I am doing good, but my furless mommy thinks I may need someone to play with. She is thinking about getting another male chin to keep me company, but she wants to make a bigger cage for us first. So we are wondering how long we should wait for me to get a roomate.
As I was one of the many, we don't know my exact age but mom thinks I'm under 10 months, and she is concered about interducing me to another chin cause she's herd that its best to have a roomate by a certain age.
Chins can be pretty easily introduced to other chins until they are about a year to 18 months of age. After that, it gets more difficult. Since you already have lived with other chins though, it shouldn't be as difficult for you. I think you can probably wait a bit until you are fully settled in and you have a big enough cage to find a friend.
Hi Tri, My chin has a growth on the top of its mouth.My vet said there was nothing that can be done. Do you know Dr. Goode in Marlton,NJ? Think they can help?
I am sorry, but I am not familiar with the vets in your area. I think if I were you I'd get a second opinion though.
You are so adorable! I'm having a little problem with my chin's. I recently purchased a mixed white/grey baby girl, she was just 4 weeks old when I brought her home. I have a male that's grey(Piggie)and about 2 years old. I tried putting her near him so they can smell each other but Piggie keeps wanting to bite her, he actually bite her hand today and it was bleeding. I don't know what I can do, can you please help us?
Also, Piggie's sheding alot of fur from his back and it's alwaysat the same spot, if you pull them they come out so easily, I checked for sores, but there wasn't any, I don't know why it's happening. And on Piggie's privates there is like a black area, it's not a hairring, because there's no hair, I don't know what it is. Can you please help us?
Thanks in Advance!
Piggie and family
First of all, NO kit should be away from its mother at 4 weeks of age. Are you possibly mistaken on the age? That's way too young. The youngest a kit can be weaned safely is 6 weeks.
Second, NO female should be put with a male until she is AT LEAST 8 months old and AT LEAST 600 grams. Any smaller then that and he will try to mate with her and he could kill her.
It also sounds to me as if Piggie might need a visit to the vet's office.
hi there -
just enquiring about weaning my chinchilla - i had a male chinchilla and as they should be kept in groups i decided to purchase a female - my own male has been neutered as i didnt wish to breed - just love them as pets - anyway i bought a female and about a week later she gave birth - which was a big shock as we didnt even know she was pregnant - we immediately seperated the mother and baby away from the male and that was about 8 weeks ago - now i have read about weaning - and wanted to know exactly what this entails - can i just seperate the baby and put it in with the male?? what age should i consider weaning (i feel guilty seperating the baby and mother) and does the baby need to keep going back to the mother for milk??? how often?? please could you help as i dont want to do anything wrong - many thank and all the best
As long as the kit is at least 200 grams, all of our kits get weaned at 8 weeks. If you don't want to breed, and the kit is a female though, it can be left with mom. You only need to really worry if its a male or if you are planning on rehoming it. We are all just removed from our mom's cage and put in a baby safe cage. Our owner checks our weight every day for the first week to make sure we are still gaining weight on our own. Putting a chin back with mom to let them nurse would actually be more confusing and heartbreaking for both mom and kit.
Our babies are fed just like our adults, plenty of fresh water, fresh timothy hay always available and mazuri pellets as well.
I am a single mom of a single boy chin. I am concerned about his diet. I feed him a tablespoon of pre-mixed store bought chin food consisting of veggies and pellets and rasins. I take all rasins out of his food. He eats around his pellets every day and won't eat teh pellets even if hand fed. He does eat lots and lots of timothy, alphalpha, and oat hay everyday. Are the pellets as important as i think they are to his health? Or is it ok for him to only eat the fresh timothy and alphalpha?
Thank You for your time
Usually the food you find in pet stores is not good for chins. If it has anything except pellets in the food, you need to switch food. There is a section on this site explaining how to switch food slowly. He may take a while to switch, but its important for his health.
Hi there Tri! I just am looking for advice on mixing my chinchilla and my girlfriends chinchilla together in the same home. Mmy chin is a beige male that was born in early Febuary and she has a grey female that was born in late Febuary; so they're both around 5 1/2 months old. We are more than prepared to take on the responsibilities of chin parenthood as we both are experienced animal enthusiastes. Anywho, we've had the chins play and meet on many oocasions and there has been no signs of aggression. The male would just try and mount the female but the female would quickly pounce on top of the male letting him know she's in charge, and sometimes softly nip behind his ears. Thats about it. No wars, no brawls, just a mount or two and then they pretty much go back to sniffing each other or not really paying attention to one another. The female is a bit bigger and i expect the female to be more dominant anyways, so i expect her to act as the boss. We're doing the cages right up next to each other trick and all has been going well for the two days we've been doing this. We wish to house them both in the females cage since it is the largest and most elaborate (about 4' high, 3' wide, 2' deep w/ numerous shelves and crannies) Now, i've been told its best to introduce the female to the males home...but his house isn't big enough to "comfortably" house them both knowing how much space my female is used to. We don't want to go buy another large carge since after all our custom modifications and accesories in the female's large cage has cost us a pretty penny and a lot of energy...so i am looking for specific tips to make the male's introduction into the female's cage to go as smooth as possible. Like i said before, they don't bark at each other or anything like that. there's been no spraying, yelps or shrieks of fear and/or pain, no chasing or biting; so i think they'll be fine. The only thing i'm worried about is the female being not so sharing when we try and introduce the male into her cage. We have seperate food and water dishes we will place on opposite ends of the cage and two sleeping areas as well. Is there anything specific we should do to her cage to descent it? If we switch their cages...we fear she'll get mad at the male being in her home. If we leave her in a smaller cage in a different room will she forget about her old home? I'm just being a overly worrysome and protective parent and i want this to go smoothly for the chins. Any tips you'd have for me and my girlfriend's chins will be extremely appreciated. Thanks a lot for your advice and time!
First of all, your chins should not even be playing together yet. You might see her bouncing away when he mounts her, but it takes SECONDS for a chin to get pregnant and she is WAY too young to mate right now. You need to wait until she is a MINIMUM of 8 months old and weighs 600 grams.
Once she is old enough, you can clean her cage out with clorox wipes to remove the smell. Also, switch cages for a while, put her in his and him in hers.
Then read our page on Introductions
My name is trinity and I had a big problem I was chewing my fur like crazy . My furless daddy would keep on saying "no" when he saw me chew my fur but I still did not stop. So eventully I was almost bald. Then I got really mischievous and chewed My furry Daughters and I was going nuts. Then finally My fulles daddy started putting extra alfalfa in my cage and you know what I stopped! My fulless daddy saw that alot of people had trouble with this so I thought I would tell you Tri! My furless daddy was sure that I was chewing from My daddys genes but he fixed it I thought I would just tell you the good news and mabye give your bother and sisters some help if they needed any.
P.S. The alfalfa tastes really good!
Alfalfa, huh? Not something we've heard of as a cure for chewing, but maybe it will help others.
I stumbled across your website and saw that you answer Chinchilla questions. I have posted on many forums with my question but no one has really been able to help me, so I am hoping that you can.
One of my chins passed away at the
beginning of January so I had to
another one for my black velvet. I went out and got a 4-5
month old white mosaic. All has been fine but the
other night I picked her up and I noticed her
belly was hard and huge. It was like this happened
over night. When I bought her she was housed with two
She only has to be out playing for like 5 minutes and then she is down for a long time. I never thought that she would have been pregnant, but now with the tummy thing I'm unsure. I am worried about her age because she should not be pregnant this young. Could it be that she is not and its something else?
She is in no pain I have checked
her multiple times. She is also
drinking fine, she went through a spat of eating a lot
now she isnít interested in food and all. It was been about 2-3
day since I have seen her eat and there is no
decrease in her food bowl. But she is sleeping more than
now, I hardly see her awake anymore. I'm also afraid to take
out and play as often as I usually do, because I'm afraid if she
pregnant that I will injure her or the babies. She has been
with her treats all of a sudden to. Before she would eat any
of treat but now she will only eat raisins. And there has been
major change in her behavior She is grumpy all the time and
comes to me, which is very odd for her. She usually always
right too me as soon as I open the cage but now she wants
to do with me. When I do manage to get her out of her cage she yells at me
like no tomorrow and she has never done anything like this before. Usually
she is very friendly and loving. Iím starting to get very worried,
any advice would
It does sound like you may very well have a pregnant chin on your hands. Though, sleeping on her side and that isn't always an indication of this. I'm a boy, and I sleep on my side all the time.
I'd suggest you be prepare for babies just in case though. Exercise should not hurt her, even if she is pregnant. Try weighing her once a week to see if she is steadily gaining weight. Also, read our section on this site on breeding, caring for moms and caring for kits. Its under Chin Care
If you need to leave town, you need to have somebody come in and check on your chins daily. This person will need to make sure that they have fresh food, water and hay. If you are unable to get somebody to come to your house, look for an exotic vet who does boarding. We prefer to be left at our own home and have pet sitters come to us, but a vet will do if you have no choice.
I have a question, today i was playing with my chin and i axeidently put my elbo down and hurt his leg,he seems normal and is jumping right. he made a little squeaking sound and ran away.do you think my chin is ok, please respond,thank you for your time.
I would just keep an eye on him for a while and see if he seems ok.
My wife and I are new chin owners, as of about 7 hours ago. While talking to my chin, she started making a strange noise I can only describe as guinea-pig like. Very soft in volume, does it about 6 to 8 times, then is silient for a few moments. We are kinda concerned. Any thoughts?
Daniel, Jackie, and Tamagotchie the new baby chin. :o)
Dear Daniel, Jackie and Tamagatchie,
From what you are describing, I'm going to guess that your new chin is doing what is referred to as "barking". Things are very new and very strange and very scary. We suggest to all new chin owners that they start really slow, give your chin a week or two to get comfortable in their new surroundings before you try to do much handling or interacting with them on a "physical" basis. They need to feel that their cage is their "safe haven", then start slowly by laying your hand in their cage and letting them investigate it. Some chins warm up much quicker then others, some can take quite some time.
Hello again Tri!
I am writing again because my Chin, Max, has been getting his excercise...itís just i think heís become addicted to it. Heís been acting very violently recently. The normal sound he makes, which is a wheezing/barking sound, he usually makes when heís afraid or desires attention. But recently heís making this buzzing/growling sound. Yesturday when I tried to brush him after his dust bath and he made that noise and starting attacking the brush. It was really scary. He makes that noise now everytime we get to put him back in his cage (even though we give him treats after) and when we get near him in his cage. Is he sexually frustrated?? Has he gotten addicted to being out of the cage and being in it is really making him upset? I do not mistreat him at all and I donít understand why he is acting like this and itís really making me upset. I donít want to be aftraid that Max is going to attack me.
I am going to call your vets tomorrow (because I do not know of anyone in my area that knows Chins really well) and I a hoping I can get some advice from them.
If you have any advice/explanations/solutions, I would really, really appreciate it.
Thankyou so much and take care,
I honestly doubt he's sexually frustrated, we chins are not the type of species that must breed or we turn mean. It honestly sounds to me like Max is just "feeling his oats". Its a good idea to have a vet check him. But, if the vet finds nothing, I'd say Max just wants out more then he's getting out. And, probably, like the rest of us, hates to be combed.
I just had a quick question. With all your chinchillas running around your house, how do you clean up all the poop? Can you train them? or do you just go around with a small hand held vacuum afterwards, which i find myself doing a lot, i was just wondering if there is a better way. Thanks a lot.
It has been our experience that chins are not litter box trainable. We have heard of a few who have been able to get them to urinate in a corner litter pan, but for the most part, we poop where we are, no matter where we are. Our mom suggests a nice wet/dry vac, they work wonders.
Hello, I just found your site tonight. I am located in Maryland and have a chin named LiLu, it is a boy, his balls dropped a few months back and he was doing well. It seems now that his penis is being prevented from retracting. He is free of hair rings and I have only seen him mess with his penis twice in the last two weeks. I took him to the vet tonight and they charged me and told me to keep an eye on it. I have him in a 3 foot high cage with wire mesh on three floors and a solid metal bottom covered in recycled newspapaer bedding. He doesn't seem to have problems peeing, his bladder feels light. I am afraid because LiLu's penis is always extended that when he sits on his hind legs on the second or third or fourth level of his cage his penis falls between the wire flooring and might get caught. I am afraid it will be tramatized if he gets to moving too quickly. I want to keep him safe and happy. To be safe i wanted to confine him to a large plastic dog carrier for a few days to observe urination and protect against injuring his penis on the wire mesh of his real cage. I then wanted to just put a diaper on him to keep his penis from being hurt but he wouldn't stand for that. The vet said it is not inflamation and it seems to be a gland that is swolen and preventing retraction of the penis but the blood flow is good right now. He is about 2 and a half and I am really worried that he might lose it. Do you have any suggestions?
Even though your boy does not now have a hair ring, it is likely that this was caused by one he did have. When we've had this issue, we have put KY jelly on the penis twice a day to help to lubricate it so it will go back in as the swelling goes down.
Our worst one took a week to go back to normal.
I was just born a few days ago and everything is so new to me! I just love it when my furless daddy lets me and mommy out an hour a day so I can investigate my surroundings, and best of all get to know furless daddy well. I love climbing on him and cuddling inside his palm for warmth! My real mommy Teenie has had 2 babies before me, and she is a very good mother.
She keeps me warm and safe, but she does this weird thing! She keeps nibbling all the fur off my back!
Hi Tri my name is Fie! I am the older sister who is almost 4 months. I miss my mommy now that we are separated for the moment so her and my new sister get some quiet time, but thats OK because I am spending some quality time with daddy.
I know we have to separete soon, furless daddy tells me this is just something that has to be done so I will have to accept that, he always has our best interest in mind!
I got the same chewing treatment from mommy, and although my fur is growing back nicely in parts, Iím is still bald in places like behind the head. I even started chewing my own fur as well sometimes! So what can I do to tell mommy that it makes my back chilly and I would like her to stop, before my little sister picks up the bad habit as well?
Hi Tri my name is Cheenie! I am the proud father of two beautiful daughters! I used to live alone a few years back, and things were getting rather boring until suddenly I was introduced to this beautiful woman named Teenie. She does drive me nuts sometimes though, and ever since we met my fur has never been the same. Itís a little blurry now, but I think maybe she nipped at her own fur and perhaps some of mine. At one point I must have picked up the habit. My furless daddy tells me my ears are dry and that perhaps my skin is itchy, but he doesnít know what to do about this. I love playtime with furless daddy, he let me climb all over him to reach high places! Heís been thinking of starting the process of separating the new baby from Teenie, to prevent her from transferring the biting habit, but he has no clue how.
Fur chewing is often hereditary and it definitely sounds like it is in your case. Fur chewing chins should never be bred, as they pass this trait on to their kits.
I am very happy that you are all happy, but would advise that you all find same sex roommates and refrain from producing any more babies.
Iíve been thinking about adopting a chinchilla, however, I have a question that hasnít been addressed on any of the web sites Iíve been to. We have 2 dogs and a cat (sometimes a foster cat, too). How do chinchillas react to having cats and dogs around? Would it be easier with a young chinchilla instead of an adult?
We live with lots of unusual and predatory species (which both dogs and cats are) in our house and it doesn't seem to bother us. We are pretty curious about them. The biggest concern is how those animals react to us. Its really up to the humans to keep us chins safe when predators are in the house. Our family does this by giving us our own room with our own door and not allowing the other species in and keeping out door closed.
I have a very important question I was hoping you could help me with. If I buy two chinchillas to keep each other company, would I buy two males or two females? I have heard two males will fight. I heard that females can spray. What do you suggest? And I also wanted to ask you if a giant roll-a-way nest is ok for chinchillas? It is made out of natural hand woven plant fibers. Thank you for answering my questions!
We have several groups of males here and several groups of females with no problems. As long as there are no girls around, and you introduce males properly, there should not be an issue.
Some females do spray, they all can, most do not. A couple of the girls here do once in a blue moon, most never have.
For pets though, our mommy prefers us guys. Though, with us, you HAVE to do hair ring checks. But, we are a tiny bit sweeter at times.
Those nest balls should be safe.
I am a chinchilla lover! I think you are a very very cute chinchilla! I have two questions I hope you can answer. Is it ok to put cardboard toilet paper rolls or cardboard paper towel rolls in their cages for them to rip up or gnaw on? My next question refers to hamster balls. If you put slits in them for air, would it be ok for chinchillas to use them? Thanks for your time and careful consideration of my questions!
Hi, its always nice to meet a fellow chin lover! I think I'm cute too!!!
I sure hope its ok to put toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls in with us, cuz we get them to chew up ALL the time and we love them! Just make sure there isn't any more paper on them and that they are clean.
As to your next question. You mean the run around balls that you put an animal in and they run around the house? NO, those are not safe for us at all. For a couple or reasons actually. One is that we tend to pee as we go, so they end up getting really humid on the inside, which is not good for us. And two, we tend to overheat fairly quickly in them. Our owner actually got one of those with her first chin and in 10 minutes, her chin over heated!!!
Please use a safe room and not one of those balls.
I heard you recently won an award in a chinchilla show. How was your experience there and would you recommend it to another chin?
Yes, my wife and I both won our color sections. I don't really know what the big deal is. Mom got all teary eyed and stuff, but I thought it was all pretty boring. You just sit in this little cage all day while a bunch of humans look at you real close. Oh, and right before they put you into that little cage, you get hung upside down and combed! Now, I have to admit, I never looked better, and it got my new wife to really give me the eye, but it was kind of weird!
The best part is that I got to get a dust bath EVERY night for a couple of months!!!
If your mom is thinking of showing you, I'd do it though. You get to meet all different chins from all over and learn new ways to beg for treats and stuff. And when you come home, you mom will be all proud of you and give you extra dust baths!!! And hey, I'm a chin, I'll do anything for a dust bath!
I think I might be driving my furless mommies crazy! I just got a brand new wheel and I LOVE it! I can't stop running on it! I don't think I've slept in a couple of days, and I'm pretty sure my mommies are worried about me. They've tried covering me during the day, but I don't sleep. They've tried leaving me uncovered, taking my wheel out, and leaving me alone where I don't hear a lot of noise. I can't sleep though! What's wrong with me? What can my mommies do to help me sleep better? I also use my wheel at very inconvenient times for my mommies- this morning I woke them up at 6:30 am because I wanted to run- but they were too tired! Is there a way we can have me only run at certain times so I don't wake them up?
Also, my furless mommies are moving (but I'm very happy they're taking me with them because my last owner left me!), and I've already visited my new house, but there's a problem. The home I'm moving into has a doggie- and he's very nice, but I'm still very scared of him. My furless mommy doesn't let him near me, but every night I start wheezing! What could be wrong with me? What can my mommy do (because it scares her when I do this)?
Thank you Tri! Have a very good afternoon!
Oh boy! Is your cage in your mommies' room? If so, I'm not really sure what the answer to the wheel issue is. Since we chins are nocturnal, most of us like running on our wheels at about 2 in the morning, they are lucky you were nice and waited until 6:30.
Can you explain the wheezing sound some? We chins make all kinds of vocalizations. One is a kind of honking noise that we make if we are warning something to get away. Is that what you are doing?
Can you let Tri know that the sound I'm making sounds almost like a screaming. I do make other noises that sounds kinda almost like a bark- my mommies know that's when I mean I don't like something! But this noise was different- I was kind of heaving and it was a squealing sound! I looked like I was in pain or upset. And this happened a few weeks ago when I never let my mommies touch me- but while I was making this noise I let them come pet me and didn't respond to them.
Thanks for answering my other question though!
Oh, and I haven't made the noise since I've come back to my home!
I think your mommies are right. That sounds like the noise our mom calls honking. It means you are warning them of something. I think that you think the dog is danger. We live with dogs and a bunch of other nutty animals here. What we do is throw our stuff at them and try to hit them in the head. Try it, you'll have tons of fun!
Hi I have just purchased a new chin and i was wondering if you could maybe help me in determining what sex he/or she is...either way chi chi is a well loved wonderful pet.
Thank you Paula
This is a question that gets asked quite often. AND, I'll have you know, I was mis-sexed at birth and called a girl (I am in fact, a boy) for several months!
The easy way to tell is by looking at the space between the cone and the anus. If there's a lot of space, its a boy, if there is little to no space, its probably a girl (not always, I have no space).
You can see pictures of this on this page SEXING CHINS
Basically, stand your chin on all fours, and pull his tail up and look from behind. Don' t pull too hard, of course.
Another way to tell is to do a "hair ring check" if you can do it, its a boy, if you can't, because there is nothing in the cone, its a girl. You can see how to do a hair ring check on this page HAIR RINGS
I have a 8mo ish grey male and I am worried he is not stimulated/exercising enough. I have bought him toys and he has a roomy cage to run around. I have shopped around for a wheel but I do not know if there's room for it (he has a ledge and a house that get in the way) and they are all so expensive! I have a ball for him to run around but he gets upset because his poo gets all tangled into his fur. What can I do to help him burn all this energy he has?
We actually suggest you do not use those run around balls for chins. Not only will they "relieve themselves" in them, but it gets too hot in there and a chin can overheat very quickly and even die. And, if the chin has peed in the ball, that can add humidity to the environment and that is not good for him at all.
If you feel that your chin needs more time to run around, let him run around in a room without a ball. We have out own room to run around in (mom says we still have to be supervised), but if you don't have a room like that, use the bathroom. Just make sure that the toilet lid is closed, there is no water in sink or tub and that there is nothing on the counter he can get hurt with. Many people use bathrooms for this purpose.
I have a boy chin and a girl chin. How old do they have to be before they can breed?
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!
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.
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!
Ok, My name is 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!
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!
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,
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.
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.
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.
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?????
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
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!
chins sometimes kill their babies? If so, does it occur often?
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
I'm about to breed my chins and I'm trying to get as much information as I possibly can .I need to know ,one of the other web sites I went to said to keep the babies with the mother at all times but what about when the babies just born and its the mothers exercise time do I put the babies out with them? and I have 2 more questions. Can u potty train a chin if so how? and last what do I have 2 do to get my chin to come to me when I need to get her back into her cage she won't come to me one web site said wait till she comes to u so u won't scare her ? thank- you !
Dear Not Signed,
It has been our experience that taking mom out for play time while she has young kits, or even taking mom out with kits to play, makes mom a nervous wreck. I know you will probably think this is mean, but while kits are with mom, all should be left in their cage to bond and grow. This will make for healthier, happier, mom and kits.
We have never successfully potty trained a chin here. Some people say they have, but I don't know how. Basically, if you live with chins, expect to live with chin poop.
We have trained all of ours to climb up a ladder or step stool to get back into their cages. They don't seem to want to just jump into the cage, but if you put a step stool there they do. don't know why.
I'm not really sure what to tell you here Bud. We don't use or recommend plastic shelves here, as chins will chew them. That's what we chins do. And plastic is not good for us.
As for peeing in one spot, well, sometimes that's what we chins just do. A couple of my friends here do that, and our furless mommy just sands down the shelves.
We have heard of people who have had success with "pee baskets", but we haven't ever been big on using them!
Sorry I couldn't be of more help. We chins just tend to do our business as we please!
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