The basis of the diet of chinchillas as herbivores - feed of plant origin. In nature, these rodents feed on grassy, cereal and leguminous plants, seeds, fruits, twigs, moss, roots. That is, where large amounts of cellulose are contained. Therefore, in the diet of your pet should certainly be hay and twigs.
Rodent feeding: chinchilla hay
Hay - the most important component of the diet of chinchillas. Most experts believe that hay should always be in the cage of these rodents, so that animals can eat as much as they wish. It is rich in fiber that is so necessary for animals.
Properly harvested quality hay smells good, without sticks, debris and other impurities. Wet and moldy animals are no good for food.
In specialized stores you can find different types of hay (from legumes, meadow, forest, etc.). You can harvest it yourself.
The best is hay from legumes (clover, alfalfa vetch). It contains vitamins and minerals necessary for animals (phosphorus and calcium). In addition, it is very nutritious and contains a sufficient amount of digestible protein. Bean grass should be mowed in the budding phase, or at the beginning of flowering.
The best time to mow cereal is the earing phase. Grass hay (meadow fescue, timothy, hedgehog team, meadow bluegrass) is slightly inferior to legumes (it has less protein and mineral substances).
Forbred hay is very nutritious if it contains legumes and cereal grasses, as well as bird buckwheat, meadow salsify, etc. Before flowering, herbs are especially rich in vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, hay should consist of grasses, mowed before the first flowering of herbs. Late cut grass has low nutritional value.
In the hay for chinchillas categorically should not fall fern, rush bird, dope, black nightshade, euphorbia, horsetail, white whale, henbane, cornflower, raven eye and other poisonous plants.
Today, in any specialty store you can buy ready-made feeds for furry pets. They are of two types: regular and granular. Granular is more economical, but chinchillas often prefer precisely whole food, in which all components are contained in their natural form. The animals often choose individual "snacks" from them, the rest has to be thrown away. When feeding with granules, the ration is more balanced, since the animals willy-nilly have to eat everything. Granules, as a rule, contain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the animal, including calcium. 1-2 tablespoons of this feed per day for the animal will be enough.
From time to time you can feed the rodents and ready-made feed for rabbits. In principle, feeding chinchillas differs little from feeding rabbits. In summer, the same green grass, vegetables with tops, plant seeds, fruits. In the cold season - hay, tree branches (birch, apple, lime, pear, hazelnut, willow, willow), dried fruits (apples, raisins, dried apricots, nuts). Dried fruits are offered to the animal without pits, finely chopped. The fruits of barberry, wild rose and hawthorn are very useful. They are given one berry 1-2 times a week.
Green food, vegetables and fruits
The warm season makes it possible to significantly expand the menu of chinchillas. In the spring the first greens are given very carefully, starting with servings of 1-2 well dried leaves of dandelion per day. So that the animal does not have a swelling of the tummy, the stems of leguminous plants and clover are always used dry or dried. Do not feed the chinchilla alone with green fodder, forgetting about the hay. This can lead to gastrointestinal disorders.
Here are the characteristics of some plants that will be useful to include in the diet of chinchillas:
- Salad - a storehouse of vitamins and mineral salts. Pet can be given 1-2 leaves a day,
- Spinach is rich in easily digestible iron, contains sodium and lime. It is believed that spinach increases the fertility of rodents. You can give 3-4 leaves per day,
- chicory - contains a lot of phosphorus, which growing organisms especially need. The plant cleansing acts on the stomach, regulates the liver, increases appetite,
- strawberry leaves - have a diuretic effect, help with diarrhea. You can give with indigestion,
- celery - contains vitamins A, B, C. It is very useful for nursing females on 2 leaves 2 times a week,
- wormwood - increases appetite, strengthens the nervous system. Pet give a few twigs a week.
In addition, the animals with pleasure eat plantain leaves, yarrow, burdock, young nettles, horse sorrel, dandelion.
Vegetables and fruits can be given carrots, pumpkins, squash, apples, pears, sweet peppers, bananas, grapes, figs, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, apricots, melons, watermelons, etc. Fresh chinchilla cabbage leaves are not recommended.
Grain feed in the chinchilla diet
From grain feed chinchilla can be given the following:
- oats - contains proteins, fats, vitamins B1, B2, B6, K, carotene. In case of indigestion, the mucous substances contained in the broth and in the oatmeal are helpful. Usually, oats are used as a basis for a cereal mixture,
- Barley is a valuable grain product, it contains vitamins A, D, E, PP, B vitamins, as well as calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, iodine, etc. At 6% consists of fiber, necessary animals. It is given to adults and better ground,
- buckwheat is a valuable dietary product. It is rich in amino acids, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, PP, P) and microelements. As a complex carbohydrate, buckwheat gives a feeling of saturation for a long time,
- Corn is rich in protein, but it is worse in composition than oat protein. It should be given carefully, in unlimited quantities it can cause flatulence,
- wheat contains enough protein and carbohydrates and is low in fat. Also, the animals can offer wheat bran mixed with grain,
- millet - especially useful are red varieties containing a large amount of carotene. However, chinchillas do not like it too much.
It is not necessary to give constantly one kind of grain feed, it is better to feed the grain mixture to chinchilla (various types of grain, legumes, seeds).
You can offer pets and cereals (oatmeal, corn, rice, millet). Young individuals grow well on porridges (they assimilate them better than whole grains).
Very useful for rodents and germinated grain, especially during the breeding season. Usually germinated barley, oats, wheat.
With great pleasure, animals eat seeds. They contain essential fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the skin and fur of animals. However, due to the high fat content, it is not recommended to give them too much. The share of sunflower seeds should not exceed 20% of the total grain feed. Give them only raw.
Legumes Bobs, lentils, peas, soybeans contain more protein than all grain products. They need to be included in the diet of chinchillas, but not in pure form, but as part of a grain mixture. The share of legumes should be 10-15%. They are given in ground form.
Nuts - very nutritious food. Their chinchillas adore. But you can give them quite a bit and no more than two times a week, otherwise you will not avoid indigestion. Of course, nuts must be raw.
Now that can be considered a delicacy for these animals. The thing is necessary - after all, chinchillas are not exactly trainable, but they are fully capable of recognizing the owner and walking into his hands. So, we need a tool of encouragement.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are a delicacy, and they should not replace the main food. The intestines of chinchillas are designed so that they are contraindicated in juicy food in large quantities. The main thing is not to feed the pet with treats. A piece of fresh apple or pumpkin, a slice of mandarin, a couple of grapes a week is enough to pamper the ward. Once a week you can give 1-2 raisins and a special supplement with vitamins.
Animals love pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, walnuts. Pumpkin seeds are used not only as a treat, but also as a prophylactic against worms. Pine nuts contain a lot of fat, so giving them is not recommended. You can offer your pet dry tea leaves or rose petals.
Sweet chinchilla loves delicacies very much and do not know how to use them. With an irregular treat delicacies animals may refuse the main feed. And eating only "delicacies" will lead to metabolic disorders, diabetes and obesity.
You can diversify the dainty for the animal each time: on the first day, give a nut, on the second day - dried apricots, hawthorn fruit or black chokeberry, on the third - a piece of apple or melon.
After feeding any new kind of snacks, it is necessary to monitor the reaction of the pet organism. If the animal feels good, it does not torment diarrhea, or constipation, then this food is not contraindicated to him. It happens that after eating fresh vegetables and fruits, the rodent has a digestive upset. Hence, the succulent feed should be abandoned.
Fried seeds and nuts, citrus fruits, cabbage and potatoes, meat, eggs, mushrooms, chips and pastries cannot serve as delicacies! First, all this can cause allergies (up to loss of wool). Secondly, lead to problems with the intestines. Third, it contributes to the obesity of the animal, which for him can be very dangerous.
Chinchilla water should always be fresh with no signs of flowering. It is better to give the spring water, but not boiled, since it already does not have those useful trace elements that the body needs. Many breeders and amateurs use bottled water from such companies as Shishkin Forest, Nestlé and others. And, of course, the water should be non-carbonated.
The ration of chinchilla should consist of:
- 20-25 g of finished feed or from the same amount of concentrated feed (cereal feed, legumes, oilseeds, bran, oilcake),
- 20-30 g of hay,
- 4-6 g of green fodder,
- 4-6 g of additional feed (tree branches),
- 2-4 g of delicacies
- 10-25 g of water.
Chinchillas love accuracy, so they should be fed every day at the same time (the maximum error can be 1-2 hours).
What can not feed chinchillas?
Rodents should not be given:
- food from a person’s table with salt, spices, sugar, animal products, fats, etc.
- baking, bread,
- nuts, grains, seeds, roasted,
- rye grain,
- spoiled products.
And finally, we note that for the well-being of the animal, the stability of the diet is important. It is not necessary very often to change the food to which the ward is used. It is better to transfer a pet to a new food gradually, within 1-2 weeks. Do not forget, chinchilla is a delicate beast. And above all, it concerns feeding. Fluffy pet stomach is very sensitive to eating disorders. Feeding errors can lead to serious chinchilla health problems.
Some features of the diet
Speaking about how to feed the chinchilla, it is necessary to remember that there are a number of rules that must be followed. In the first place in the bowl should always be a mixture of grain or ready-made food for these rodents in the amount of 2-3 tablespoons. If your pet scatters food, selects only individual seeds, you should reduce the portions. Do not forget that in the bowl should always be fresh water, as well as soft hay.
A regular chinchilla eats 100 grams of hay a week and drinks 100 grams of water. This is a large and mobile animal, whose needs are relevant. If you are thinking about how to feed a chinchilla, immediately charge yourself with the procurement of a sufficient amount of fragrant hay. Chinchilla loves to steal it. Cook around a cage a little twigs and do the cleaning. Surely the animal will not resist the temptation to drag a twig out of the common heap and, running aside, sit down to gnaw it.
Treats for your pet
Speaking about what you can feed the chinchilla in addition to feed, you must also say about the various tasty dietary supplements. As always, pretty little. But these animals have a surprisingly well developed sense of proportion. They themselves will not eat more than they should be. Chinchillas are very fond of ripe bananas, it is also useful to treat pets with corn and flax seeds. In summer, you can bring plantain, nettle and dandelion leaves to your pet every day.
Dried fruits are very suitable for dessert. This may be an apple, carrot or pear (pre-dried). Once or twice a week you can give one berry of raisins. Chinchilla is a vegetarian, remember this when you pick up a treat. The whole diet consists only of natural products.
Daily routine and feeding mode
Speaking about how to feed the chinchilla, it is necessary to recall the periods of its maximum activity. This is a night animal, so with the onset of the evening you can put in a cage bowl with food. This will solve two problems at once: as soon as the animal sees that the bowl is already in the cage, he will run into place and no additional effort will be required. However, to see that the chinchilla eagerly attacked the feed, rarely. She usually eats one seed and runs around the cage, then goes back to the cup and again in a circle.
Do not forget that for good health chinchilla is important stability of the diet. If you want to introduce a new feed into it, this process should take no less than a week. It is always necessary to keep mineral and salt stones in the cage. The animal will gnaw them as needed. Now we take a closer look at what to feed the chinchilla at home.
The food is rough and juicy
This is the main source of trace elements and vitamins. Juicy feeds include fresh herbs and tree branches, vegetables and fruits. Organic matter, important for the growth and development of your pet, will be an excellent addition. In the autumn, chinchilla will be happy to eat vegetables and root vegetables, it can be carrots, celery, parsley. Fruits are very useful for these rodents are apples, and from dried fruits - prunes, apples, wild rose, barberry. Very well, if you have the opportunity to gather meadow herbs, it can be alfalfa, leaves of garden lettuce, spinach, chicory and raspberries. It is better not to give other plants, as the reaction is very difficult to envisage. Cabbage should not be given any, any varieties of its cause bloating.
In order for fluffy animals to grind down their teeth and at the same time regale themselves with goodies, it is better to use sprigs of apple and pear, willow and acacia, birch and oak. It is these foods that help provide the body with tannins and biologically active compounds that improve metabolism.
Food is dry and coarse.
Speaking about how to feed the chinchilla at home, it should be noted that the hay she needed in any case, no matter how balanced the diet looked. Best of all, if you will be engaged in its preparation independently. To do this, you have to spend quite a bit of time getting out into nature, walking in the meadows and cutting off the tender grass. Upon returning home, you need to decompose in the shade and dry well. Good quality hay has a green color and a pleasant aroma. Brown, wet, hay with mold should not be used even for bedding. An animal can try it on a tooth.
If there is no opportunity to collect hay, then you can order it in the village or buy it at the pet store. Your pet will be very happy with this addition to your diet.
They are sold in every pet store. Speaking about how you can feed the chinchilla, these feeds can be put on the foreground. It is in store packaging that contains a balanced mixture necessary for the full functioning and development of the animal's body. In this case, pay attention to the composition - the richer and more diverse it is, the better. But to use any one kind of grain is not recommended.
The mixture should contain 20% protein and 5% fat. Feed must be enriched with vitamins and microelements. Therefore, it is very convenient to buy mixes that are made in production - it is much easier to take into account all the characteristics of your pet's organism than to feed the chinchilla at home with various products and hope that the result will be a balanced diet. The granulated grain mixture is very convenient to serve - the animal will not choose one of the varieties of seeds that he liked most, but will eat everything entirely.
If the nutritional mixture in the pet store is missing
It may happen, but do not panic - your pet will not go hungry. Now we consider how you can feed the chinchilla at home. It will be necessary to independently make a mixture that will contain 20% oats, 20% wheat, 10% buckwheat, 10% barley, 7% peas, 55% crushed corn, 8% flax seed, wheat bran - 10%, dried nettle or alfalfa. Кроме этого, смесь должна быть обязательно обогащена специальными витаминными препаратами. Это может быть Poltamix L или Poltamix F. Дополнительно смесь обогащают молотым кальцием и метонином. В результате получается отличная питательная смесь.
However, there is one difficulty: unlike nutrient granules, in which all the components are thoroughly mixed, here each grain is separated from the other. Your pet does not know that his diet should be balanced, which means that he will choose only what he likes. As a result, the chinchilla will quickly shake out the grains, which she has grown fond of, and ask for food again. This violates the necessary balance.
What should not be given to furry animals
Not all of what you have in the kitchen will suit your little animal. Let's talk more about how you can feed a chinchilla, and what you can not. First of all, you need to eliminate all baked goods. Note that the animals are very fast, they can get into the kitchen and drag off a cookie or candy. Chinchillas should not be given white cabbage, color, red beet, persimmon, pepper. These products cause intestinal diseases and disorders. There are poisonous herbs that should not fall into your pet's cage. These are bindweed and buttercup, spurge and crow eye, tributary, lily of the valley, henbane and much more. Do not forget that an excess of fresh vegetables and fruits can harm the delicate chinchilla's digestive system. It is better to give dried fruits in small quantities.
Let's sum up
Chinchilla is a funny and cute animal with its own character and predilections. However, his diet must be carefully monitored, only so that your pet can live a long and happy life. Do not give your fluffy anything from your table, especially spicy, salty, baked and sweet. This is a pure vegetarian, and therefore you need to feed him exclusively with natural products. If suddenly your pet is poisoned, ill and began to refuse food - immediately contact your veterinarian.
What eat chinchillas?
In the wild, chinchillas feed on bark, flowers, sprigs of bushes and scanty low-growing plants of the mountainous terrain, which is the natural habitat of South American rodents. The nutritional value of mountain herbs is much higher than normal hay produced for chinchillas. Therefore, the diet of home chinchilla should be more diverse and balanced than wild animals, and include not only carefully selected herbs and hay, but concentrated food, fruits, berries and vitamin supplements.
The diet of home chinchillas
The diet of pets is as close as possible to the composition and quality of the feed that chinchillas eat in nature, taking into account the need of small rodents for proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Non-compliance with the proportions of nutrients, the norms of vitamins and mineral supplements in the diet of chinchillas extremely negatively affects:
- on the growth and formation of the skeleton of a domestic animal,
- wool quality
- reproductive, digestive, immune and excretory functions of the body.
Given the pet's mobility, it is necessary to correctly calculate the amount of feed consumed in order to avoid the development of obesity in cute animals. You can feed a chinchilla with a relatively small amount of food, provided that it contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and trace elements in the required proportions.
At home, it is necessary to use for feeding small animals not only hay and combined feed that chinchillas eat, but also to introduce mandatory supplementary products: fresh and dried herbs, berries and fruits, twigs, vitamin and mineral supplements.
The balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates
In drawing up the daily ration for chinchillas, it is necessary to take into account the animal's daily need for proteins, fats, carbohydrates in percentage, season, age and physiological state of the animal.
Squirrels necessary for fluffy rodents for the regeneration of cells of all organ systems of the animal. Chinchillas have a relatively low need for proteins and amino acids. During the day, chinchillas can be given about 20% protein feed, which is responsible for the shine and elasticity of the chic fur, it can be alfalfa flour or hay, oilseeds, milk, legumes, cereals and nuts . A nursing or pregnant female should consume additional protein feed of animal origin for the proper formation of the organs of the young and breastfeeding. These include: cottage cheese, meat and bone meal, dairy granules, milk, kefir.
Fat In the diet of domestic animals should be kept in a minimum amount, about 4%, they are responsible for the proper development of small chinchillas, the state of fluffy fur and leather, are a source of energy. To meet the need for fats, exotic rodents are introduced into the diet of nuts, oilcake and oilseeds.
Carbohydrates - The source of energy and the main component in the diet of domestic chinchillas. They account for about 35% of the daily feed and 30% of the crude fiber needed to maintain intestinal motility and eliminate toxins. Feeding chinchillas is based on the use of cereal hay, grain, herbs, vegetables and fruits, rich in vegetable fibers with a low content of protein and fat.
The balance of vitamins and minerals
In addition to food, pets should be required to receive vitamin supplements and mineral supplements. The lack or absence of which adversely affects the formation of the skeleton and muscle tissue of small animals, the quality of the fur and the harmonious work of all the systems of the organs of rodents. Often, avitaminosis is the cause of serious illness of pets.
Vitamin A (carotene)
- proper formation of dental and bone tissue
- responsible for the work of the organs of vision
- immune system
- skin condition and fur.
The lack of this vitamin in the diet of chinchillas results in:
- to the deterioration of immunity,
- hair loss
- reduction of reproductive function
- frequent incidence of domestic rodents.
To replenish vitamin A, you can feed the chinchilla:
- green salad and spinach.
Thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid are involved:
- in metabolism
- fat formation,
- regulate the nervous system, liver,
- in the development of a growing organism,
- as a coat.
The lack of these vitamins results in:
- to impotence and pathologies of pregnancy,
- nervous disorders
- liver disease.
To the main feeds that chinchilla eats, it is recommended to add:
- oat and wheat germ
- fresh vegetables and fruits,
- beans, peas, chickpeas,
- wholemeal flour.
Calcium, phosphorus and potassium are involved:
- in metabolism
- construction of bone and dental tissue,
- responsible for the immune, defense, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
The lack of minerals is manifested by rickets of young animals and chinchilla diseases.
- bone flour,
The body of chinchilla needs sulfur, copper, iron, cobalt, magnesium, zinc, the lack of which manifests itself:
- loss and deterioration of wool quality,
- nervous disorders
- decrease in reproductive function.
To fill the needs of trace elements a rodent can eat:
- wheat and oats seedlings
- various greens
A good option is the use of vitamin supplements and mineral supplements developed for chinchillas, taking into account the daily needs of the animal.
Some owners believe that everything that is eaten by intelligent rodents cannot be harmful to the body of a chinchilla, and furry animals are able to independently determine harmful and useful products. This insidious delusion sometimes results in the death of pets as a result of eating prohibited foods.
How to feed a chinchilla: features of feed
Special attention must be paid to the quality of the feed used.
Do not feed chinchilla with spoiled food, wet or moldy hay or grass. Such a food causes upset and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and often a sudden death of a pet as a result of distention of the stomach or intestines.
If you run out of food for chinchillas or special hay, you can feed the animal with berries, vegetables, fruits, self-collected and carefully prepared herbs.
The pet menu should consist of the following main ingredients:
- Basis: self-made concentrated feed or factory special feed for chinchillas, hay and drinking water.
- Herbal top dressings are applied metered: green fresh and dried herbs, berries, fruits, wheat and oat seedlings.
- Treats are used in minimal quantities to encourage small rodents in the period of training or refreshing a fluffy friend: nuts, corn ringlets, dried fruits.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements.
- In the cage of a pet all day should be clean water, concentrated ready-made food and fresh high-quality hay, which is given to healthy animals in unlimited quantities.
Concentrated feeds are the basis of the diet for small rodents, combining high nutritional value with minimal fat and sugar. To concentrated feeds include legumes and grains, oilseeds. The ideal option is to use in the ration of chinchillas high-quality ready-made granulated feed from well-known manufacturers Versele Laga Chinchilla & Degu Pro, Vitakraft Vita Special, Vitakraft Pellet, designed specifically for chinchillas taking into account the physiological needs of rodents in nutrients. An adult eats about 1 kg of granulated feed per month.
Granular feed for chinchillas carefully balanced
Granules are prepared according to a carefully verified recipe and contain the necessary amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, feed is produced taking into account the age and physiological state of small pets.
When using only purchased or self-made grain mixtures without introducing granulated feed, the animals sort out the grains and eat not all the ingredients, which leads to a lack of nutrients in the pet's body.
Granulated feed is recommended to be poured into feeders at the rate of 25-30 g per day per adult. When scattering or throwing out food, it is recommended to reduce the number of fed snacks, do not sprinkle a new batch until the previous feed has been eaten.
Cereal mixtures are a very important component of the domestic chinchilla diet, saturating the body of animals with vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins. Fluffy pets are encouraged to enter into the diet the following cereals and seeds:
- buckwheat - complex carbohydrate, giving a long saturation of the body of the animal, contains iron, protein, vitamins of group B and P, calcium phosphorus and iodine,
- wheat - It is a source of vegetable proteins and carbohydrates with a low content of fats, trace elements, vitamins of group B, and fiber, which stimulates intestinal motility. Wheat consumption is important for nursing chinchilla females who require increased care and recuperation after childbirth,
- pearl barley - made from barley, rich in a huge amount of useful macro- and microelements (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, chromium, cobalt) and vitamins A, D, E and group B, which are necessary for the nervous system to maintain beauty chic chinchilla and leather,
- corn - contains the amino acids and vitamins necessary for the body of the rodent, which are involved in the metabolism of the pet,
- oats or rolled oats - useful nutritious cereal is rich in vitamins A, B, E, amino acids and carbohydrates, helps to remove toxins from the body of rodents, it is recommended for pregnant women, nursing females and puppies,
- flax seed - contain vitamins A, B, E and Omega-3 acid, necessary for the reproductive function of pets and maintaining the immune system, seed husks are an excellent means for removing toxins from the body,
- sunflower and pumpkin seeds - rich in fats, protein and vitamins, are used in minimal quantities to exclude pet obesity.
It is advisable to feed chinchillas not with one kind of grain, but with a grain mixture. Cooking porridge from cereals - oatmeal, corn, buckwheat and millet, which are especially useful for feeding young animals, is allowed.
Hay - an important part of the diet fluffy animal, which should be available to the chinchilla every day. It is best to purchase hay for exotic rodents in specialized stores, which have successfully established themselves as brands: Prestige, Fiori, Medow Hay, Biokraft.
Before putting hay in a cage - check its quality.
For chinchillas, hay is best; consisting of alfalfa, wiki, clover, legumes contain sufficient amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins. Good animal eats and grass or grassy hay, a little inferior in nutritional legumes.
Hay should be dark green, uniform, fresh with a pleasant smell, without dust or mildew; chinchilla should not be given wet or spoiled grass.
Hay is necessary for rodents to improve intestinal motility to avoid stagnation and fermentation processes in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as to prevent the formation of hooks on the teeth. Hay is given to animals in small portions to avoid contamination. If the rodent spreads grass around the cage, it is recommended not to give hay for several days.
It is not recommended to use hay as bedding, wetted product is dangerous manifestation of intestinal disorders and deaths.
If the hay is contaminated, wetted or darkened, it is necessary to immediately remove the spoiled product from the cage. If the hay remains in the cage the next day, it is also thrown away.
An alternative option is self-harvesting hay with careful selection of herbs. Crowned eye, buttercup, poisonous, dope, white whale can cause the death of a little friend. It is necessary to mow the young grass to the stage of appearance of spikelets and dry it in a dark, well-ventilated room in order to avoid the mildew of the product. It is recommended to store the self-prepared product in a dry room by placing the hay in canvas bags or cardboard boxes.
What can feed a chinchilla at home
Feed prepared specifically for chinchillas should contain 16–20% protein, 2–5% fat, and fiber 15–35%. Chinchillas have special dietary requirements that are different from other rodents, and their health will suffer if they are not fed with high-quality, specific food of chinchilla.
Hay is the staple food of chinchillas, and the main component of hay is hard and fibrous stems and herbs. It is they who provide the bulk of fiber.. Without fiber, movement through the long intestines of these rodents may slow down or even stop completely. This dangerous condition, known as gastrointestinal stagnation, is often fatal in a very short time.
There are two types of hay intended for chinchillas. This is alfalfa hay and grass hay. The main difference between alfalfa hay and grass hay is that alfalfa has more protein and calories. There are other differences, such as differences in the ratio of phosphorus, calcium and vitamins. Grass hay is better for teeth, and alfalfa hay should be given to young animals, pregnant, lactating and sick animals. Both types of hay can be purchased at any pet store.
In the wild, these animals are adapted to the use of vegetation with a high content of coarse fibers, therefore, in percentage terms, feed for chinchillas should consist of 80–90% of hay, 10% of pellets and about 2% of fruits or vegetables. Granules must contain all the nutrients in the right percentage.
Remember that the granules must be specific for chinchillas and must not contain grains and seeds, milk and dairy products, eggs, waste products, fruits and vegetables. When buying pellets, even if the package shows a chinchilla, always read the indicated ingredients. Daily amount of granules for adults it is about 30 grams (two tablespoons).
Granular diets are better than a mixture of bulk products. Bulk mixes can be balanced, but only if your chinchilla eats all parts of the mix (and chinchillas tend to choose what they like from the mix).
If you decide to feed these animals with a free mix (with pellets, seeds, corn, etc.), then keep in mind that there is a fear that feeding with corn may cause indigestion and bloating, although many chinchilla products contain recycled corn in as an ingredient. ScientificallyLittle is known about the perfect diet for chinchillas. Perhaps due to the fact that corn is starchy and, probably, largely indigestible for chinchillas, whole corn should be avoided as the main part of the diet.
Outside of dry feed, it is recommended to introduce at least 50 grams per day of vegetables and herbs such as:
- брюссельская капуста,
- цветная капуста,
- зелёные бобы,
Some of these vegetables - such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, parsley, celery and spinach should not be given often, as they contain high levels of calcium. In addition to carrots, the remaining vegetables should be given in a dried state.
Fruits can be given as a dessert in small quantities. It can be:
- fresh figs,
- an Apple,
- pears and plums.
Dried fruits are preferred as fresh ones can lead to diarrhea. You can not give citrus fruits.
Sticks, branches are an essential element in any chinchilla diet. For these animals, gnawing sticks is not only fun, but also a great help in the fight against the continuous growth of teeth.
Make sure that the wood you use is not treated with pesticides. In addition, you can not give branches of coniferous trees, as they contain resin. The tree of the following species is recommended:
- an Apple,
- Birch tree.
These woods do not contain resins and essential oils that are harmful to these animals.
There should always be water in the cage, which should be changed at least once a day, especially in summer.
Tips and tricks
Chinchillas are active at dawn and dusk, and although they can gradually change their habits, you need to feed them at about the same time every morning and evening.
These rodents are famous beggars., and you can not indulge their requests, since they can eat almost everything that you give them.
When you feed a chinchilla from your hand, keep in mind that they rely most of all on smell, as their eyes are on the sides of their heads, so sometimes they may have trouble finding food or they may accidentally bite your finger.
Fresh or dried herbs - You can offer a small amount 3-4 times a week. Fruits are fresh or dried - also offered 3-4 times a week.
Vegetables or greens should be cut into very small pieces (1–2 pieces 2–3 times a week).
The diet of chinchillas should not be confused with the diet of rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents.
Grains - you can offer 2-3 times a week about 1 tsp.
Most pet foods sold in pet stores have a high content of sugar, fats and oils. In addition, they contain preservatives.
Since these animals love to eat and nibble everything that gets in their way, and they are very curious, make sure that electrical cords, toxic plants or something destructible are out of reach.
What you need to remember when feeding chinchilla
Fresh hay wood and water should always be available. Water should be fresh and 100% free from chlorine and heavy metals.
A limited amount of vegetables and fruits can be given daily, but their number should not exceed 10% of their total food volume.
Vegetables and fruits uneaten within 24 hours should be removed.
Consult with a veterinarian if you are not sure that you are feeding the chinchilla correctly.
At home, chinchillas drink from nipple drinkers suspended from the wall of the cage or aviary. It is not necessary to pour water into open containers in order to avoid rapid contamination and turning the dishes.
For fluffy rodents use bottled non-carbonated baby water or purified with a carbon filter, it is not recommended to water small pets with raw water from the tap in order to avoid intestinal upsets.
It is recommended to change clean drinking water once a day. 2 times a week it is necessary to wash off the mucus from the inner wall of the drinking appliance, process the spout and the drinking bowl with boiling water.
Vegetable supplements are given in very limited quantities, not more than 4-10 g per day. These include dry herbs and leaves, branch feed, dried berries and fruits, seedlings of cereals.
Greens are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Green feed is introduced gradually with a daily dose increase, feeding with herbal supplements has a positive effect on the development of young chinchillas.
Since spring, small pets can be treated with a small amount of well-dried green herbs, rich in vitamins and microelements. As a green bait use:
- dandelion grass,
- horse sorrel,
- crow's feet,
- salad dressing
- carrot tops,
- leaves of strawberry, strawberry and raspberry.
Dill should not be fed small pets, the seeds of dill or fennel are well used for swelling of the intestines or stomach in chinchillas.
It is very useful to feed rodents with barley sprouts or wheat rich in vitamin E.
Pregnant females germinated grain is given daily for the safe course of pregnancy and proper development of the young.
Dry leaves - a source of fiber in the chinchilla diet
Branches and leaves of trees
Spruce feed must necessarily be present in the diet of fluffy pets. It is necessary for proper grinding of teeth and a source of vitamins and trace elements, dried tree leaves are also eagerly eaten by exotic rodents. For chinchillas prepare the branches of the following trees.
Not all tree branches can be given chinchilla
Birch branches contain vitamins, carbohydrates and phytoncides, dried young leaves are a source of vitamin C.
Fruits of the oak branch have an astringent effect, are highly nutritious food.
It is advisable to feed chinchillas with nutritious willow branches, cut in winter.
Bark, leaves and young shoots are used for food, which can be given to animals all year round.
Berries, Nuts, Vegetables and Fruits
Juicy food is a source of vitamins, trace elements and fiber, necessary for harmonious work of the gastrointestinal tract. Chinchillas willingly eat tasty fruits, the owners need to accurately dose the feed in order to avoid the development of allergies and intestinal disorders.
Berries in the diet of chinchilla are strictly dosed.
Pets dosed treat:
- fresh apples and pears
- rose hips
- Jerusalem artichoke,
It is forbidden to feed small animals with fresh cabbage, persimmon, beetroot, oranges, fresh cucumbers. Also, rodents can not eat food from the human table: cheese, smoked meats, honey, sweets, bread.
Dried fruits contain a lot of sugar in a small piece of the product, so they are recommended to be used no more than once a week with minimum amounts. Chinchillas can be treated:
- dried apricots
- dried apples.
The nuts contain a lot of protein and fat, so they can feed a small pet in crushed form in an amount of not more than 2 pieces per week. Chinchillas give untreated:
Pine nuts and apricot kernels are not recommended for use in feeding a pet.
Vitamins for chinchillas
Chinchillas need vitamin supplements, regardless of the presence of vitamin feed in its diet. Ready-made granulated foods contain vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the daily rate of the rodent when using ready-made feeds can be halved.
Vitamin supplements must be purchased in specialized stores. Successfully proven drugs brands:
- Multi Tabs
- Canina Petvital N 200,
- Vitamin Cal.
Vitamin supplements are available in the form of solutions, tablets or powders. Liquid preparations can be dripped onto the pet's favorite delicacies, tablet forms are hidden in the raisin, pieces of dried fruits are rolled in powders.
Treats for chinchillas
As a delicacy for promotion, you can use what chinchillas from food most love: dried fruits, nuts, berries, fruits, rolled oats, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Treat the animal can be a meager amount and monitor the reaction. With the manifestation of intestinal disorders or hair loss is to cancel tasty food.
Special delicacies for exotic rodents of the brands Rodent, Vitacraft and Life in the form of cookies, chopsticks, biscuits, ringlets can be purchased in specialized stores, which should be used solely as a treat for your pet.
Overfeeding a rodent with delicacies leads to a pet's obesity.
Feeding chinchillas with chips, crackers and other junk food is unacceptable
What can and can not feed the chinchilla
Inexperienced chinchilla growers often make stupid mistakes, treating their favorite animals with pine nuts, chips or tangerines. As a result, absolutely bald animals with the strongest allergies are brought to the veterinarians, sometimes nutritional errors cause the death of the pet. Chinchilla can be given granulated feed, hay and water. All other products must be strictly metered. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the list of products that can or cannot be used to feed your little friend.
Table of allowed and prohibited products
What not to give chinchilla
List of foods that can not be fed chinchilla:
- Cabbage, beets, potatoes, rye. Badly affect the digestion of chinchillas, can lead to fatal consequences.
- Citrus fruits (mandarins, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and various citrus hybrids). Their branches and leaves can cause allergic reactions.
- The branches and leaves of stone trees contain prussic acid, which is poisonous to the animal.
- The branches of coniferous resinous trees. They are also poisonous.
- Feed for rats, mice, hamsters. These mixtures have a different composition, individually balanced for other rodents, which are mostly partially carnivorous.
- Unwashed fruits, vegetables, herbs, branches and leaves are prohibited to feed.
- Fruits, berries, nuts, herbs, greens, twigs and leaves should not be harvested in an ecologically polluted area. To feed them an animal is dangerous, the pet may get sick.
- Animal protein (meat, dairy products) is contraindicated. Chinchillas are vegetarians.
- Stale hay, alfalfa and other food for chinchillas can cause various diseases.
- Fresh bread and other baked goods are not suitable for chinchilla food. Bread is too heavy for digestion, the composition of other bakery products is unknown and may harm the animal.
- Roasted seeds and nuts are also dangerous and can cause irreparable damage to the liver.
- Confectionery and sugar are contraindicated for chinchillas, the consequences are difficult to predict.
- Water from the tap may contain harmful substances or bacteria and can harm the health of the chinchilla.
By the way, do you know if everything is in order if a chinchilla nibbles a cage? Look, this is interesting!
Boiled water is “dead”, it is devoid of useful substances and trace elements, the use of exclusively boiled water can cause their lack in the animal's body.
You can not feed the chinchilla for a long time food rich in protein, as this can cause poisoning. Excess fatty foods can damage the liver, this also applies to fat-soluble vitamins. An excess of carbohydrates can cause obesity in an animal.
How to feed a chinchilla
As we have already found out, the chinchilla feeds exclusively on plants. The diet can be very diverse, and for this there is no need to wrestle with what to feed your favorite animal, the benefit, all the components in the chinchilla "menu" are available.
Still, the rules of feeding exist, and if you love your animal, you need to know how to feed the chinchilla.
Advice from the breeder of chinchillas, what should be the composition of the feed:
- carbohydrates should be about 50%
- protein - 16-20%,
- fiber - about 13%,
- fat - 2-6%
Buying a chinchilla, ask what it was fed before. If you decide to feed the animal differently, there is no way to feed the same, transfer to another food gradually. When for the first time you give food that is unusual for an animal, let's take a little at first, gradually increasing the portion. If diarrhea appears from the new food, give a little oak bark as a medicine (there is also not much of it) or a little dry black tea.
Chinchilla breeders feed them with feed for rabbits and guinea pigs - feed no. 122 or feed no. 90 intended for feeding young rabbits. Find it on sale is not a problem, it is certified and tested by experienced chinchilla breeders. When purchasing this feed, make sure that it is of adequate quality, with a good shelf life. As it was said earlier, it should be started from small doses, and if there is no disorder, the animal feels good, you can continue to lure with this feed. By the way, pay attention: in this feed there should not be fish meal.
The drinking bowl in the cage should be suspended, if the water is in an open container, a chinchilla can spill it out, it will be damp in the cage, which is unfavorable for the health of the animal. The feeder can be suspended or in the form of a conventional bowl. If the feeder is not suspended, it is necessary that it be heavy (ceramic or glass), otherwise the animal will turn it over.