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Old 11-12-2009, 04:47 AM
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Mood
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Default Chinchilla behaviour??

Ok when I got the chins the person who left them with me said that she didn't have any time for them, they had really bad feet, were being fed rabbit foor, and didn't have any sort of enrichment in their cage, and the female was doing some behaviour that I thought strange, she would move her sleeping box and then would back up to it and throw herself over the back of it for ages, I thought that this was a behaviour that she was bored or stressed.

Since I've had the female she has been moved onto chinchilla food, her feet have cleared up, and unfornatly she had a litter of still borns (she was pregnant when I got her, but this was the first that I heard of it) they are brought toys, and have food and treats hidden around their cage, they also get let out for at least an hour a day, but she will still do this behaviour.

I'm just wondering whether anyone else has dealt with any behaviour like this, as I'm wondering whether now its just a habit that she's got into, but I'm not so sure? And does anyone have any ideas on how to stop it, as she will just throw herself, and she's hurt her back before now too doing it, so I'm a bit worried about her.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:08 AM
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Mood
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Hmmmm, that does sound strange. I wouldn't have any clue as to what is typical for a chinchilla. My wild guess is she may be unhappy or feel insecure about her sleeping box or its location. Have you considered giving her a different type of setup to see if you can prevent her from being able to continue doing that? Or give her softer bedding where she can't cause injury?
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:40 AM
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Mood
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I had chinchillas for years (6 of them in total), and although they were bouncy and did all kinds of flips and tricks, they always landed on their feet. So yeah, if she's landing on her back and hurting herself, I'd say that's a weird behavior too.

I always had sleeping boxes made of solid wood, so the chinchillas were unable to move them. I also got a cement block that they liked to sleep in like this (only the one I had was 3 holes not 2).


Chinchillas aren't exactly "easy" pets to own, they're very picky about things, and it's possible that her setup/diet isn't too her liking. And I'm glad you've swtiched her to chinchilla forumlated pellets rather than rabbit ones.

A few things to remember.

Chinchillas are happiest in quiet areas, away from other pets. They're night creatures and daytime commotion can upset them. A dark shaded area is best, they seem to prefer it over areas that get bright or are in direct sunlight.

Baths - They are NOT happy if they don't get their regular dust baths! Every other day is about the minimum. And they like a clean area, don't like hopping around in their feces...daily clean out should be done.

Diet - Pellets (specifically for chinchillas), timothy hay and alfalfa hay (not too much alfalfa, because it's very rich). Hays are essential for their digestive tracts. They also like treats such as raisins and dried figs. Though they should be given in small amounts (no more than the size of 3-4 raisins per week per chinchilla.

Exercise - They do need to have time out of the cage on a regular basis, which you've said you are doing. Better to do first thing in the morning or evening/night. That's when they'll get the most fun out of it since they prefer to rest/sleep in the day. Should be done away from other pets too. No other pets whining/barking, stalking, chasing them around. They are skittish creatures as it is, and having other pets around while they play will only stress them out.

Companionship - I found having a lone chinchilla wasn't the ideal situation. They like to have a buddy. Though you can run into the problem of same sex aggression, and having one of each sex you may end up with babies. Though chinchillas (I've been told) are more picky about mates than humans are! And it's possible that a female may never let specific males mate with them. Same sex aggression I'm still not sure about.....I had 1 female and 3 males at one time, and everyone got along just fine.

Anyway, those are just some things to consider, that may or may not help. Around here there are very few vets that can help you with exotic pets, but if you have a vet in your area that knows a thing or two about chinchillas, it wouldn't be a bad idea to mention the issue and see if he/she can figure something out.
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