Too plentiful and unbalanced nutrition with a lack of movement is the scourge of modern human civilization. Unfortunately, the "pet" of a person suffers from this. In captivity, indigestion is the primary cause of illness and death of chinchillas. This is not surprising on farms where the cells are cramped, the food is monotonous, and keeping track of hundreds or even thousands of animals is impossible. But you start one or two animals! So find out in advance how, how and in what quantity to feed them. This question has been studied for a long time and in detail, scientific articles, dissertations, chapters of monographs are devoted to it.
This article is based on strict data. Do not listen to anyone who is not able to confirm their statements with a reference to a scientific publication or with your own calculations! Unfortunately, non-fiction editions, even quite reputable ones, publish unreasonable materials about chinchillas, and the Internet is especially inaccurate.
The habitat of chinchillas in nature is the Andean Highlands, from 500 to 3000 m, where grasses grow in the mountains, undersized shrubs, mainly spiny shrubs, and succulents, for example, cacti. The animals fed on grain and stalks of grass, bark, twigs, leaves and fruits of bushes, juicy parts of cacti. Arid and cool places could not offer the abundance and variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds. And seasonality in those places is rather arbitrary: the average temperature of the coldest month is 2-6 ° С, and the warmest – 10-14 ° С. So the natural diet of chinchillas changed little during the year.
Like all rodents, chinchillas have a very long intestine – more than ten times longer than the body, and they are distinguished by a long and voluminous (1.5 times more than the stomach) cecum with rich microflora, due to which they can "digest" any dry food, even cellulose.
Studies of cellular chinchillas showed that an adult animal needs at least 65 kcal per day (spring, summer and autumn) to 85 kcal (winter), about 3.5 g of protein, 1.5 g of fat and 3-3.5 g fiber per day. Naturally, at home, where chinchillas live in spacious cages and every day go out to run around the apartment and play with people, the calorie content and protein content may be greater.
Chinchilla daily diet includes:
- 20-25 g of granulated feed for chinchillas;
- 20-30 g of hay;
- 4-6 g of green food;
- 4-6 g of complementary foods;
- 2-4 g of treats;
- 10-25 ml of water.
Granular feed is the most important part of the chinchilla diet. It is he who provides a balanced intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, macro- and microelements.
Some chinchillovodi try to replace the special factory feed with self-prepared mixes. This should not be done, since the chinchilla chooses from the mixture not what is useful, but what he loves the most. In addition, it is difficult to introduce vitamin premix and other useful components into the mixture. Another difficulty in the artisanal manufacture of feed – it is impossible to establish a supply of components of constant and high quality.
Compound feed should always be good. As a rule, its shelf life does not exceed 6 months, even if the packaging indicates a longer shelf life. Compound feed may contain milk protein or fodder yeast, which quickly deteriorate and serve as an environment for the development of microorganisms.
Food for adult chinchillas is given once a day – at the beginning of their wakefulness, i.e. In the evening. Adolescents up to 6 months of age can be added a little food in the morning, if all yesterday’s food has been eaten.
- Total treats per day no more than 4 g;
- Sweet treats (pear, banana, strawberries, actinidia) and treats with
laxatives (dried apricots, plums, orange) – not more than 1 g;
- Raisins no more than 1 pc. Once every two to three days;
- It is better to give nuts (peanuts, forest, almonds) less often, ½ a nut every three days;
- Sunflower seeds give no more than 10-15 pcs. Per day, and pumpkin – no more than 5-8 pcs. But only,
if you do not give seeds as complementary foods;
- Sour treats (blackcurrant, raspberry) can be given daily up to 4 g;
- 1 berry of hawthorn or wild rose, a couple of calendula flowers or a lump of hop, a coffee spoon of hibiscus petals per day.
Don’t indulge the sheechilla beggar – do no harm! Chinchilla, like a small child, loves everything sweet and tasty and, like a child, can not stop. Your moderation is the key to the health of your pet.
Drinking water should always be in the cage! There is a misconception that chinchillas do not drink at all. Indeed, in nature, chinchillas consume quite a bit of water, but they get liquid from succulent plants or lick dew. Pour filtered water into the drinker daily. Carefully read the description of the filter for water purification. Fluoride, which enters the water after passing through some filters, is good for human teeth, but deadly for chinchillas.
Vitamins need to be given to chinchilla periodically. There are several types of complex vitamins on sale that are suitable for chinchillas. These are, first of all, vitamins for chinchillas “Calci-fit” and vitamins for rodents “Vita-bon"Company"Vitacraft". It is necessary to give half a tablet of one or another for 1-2 months. You can also add vitamins to drinking water. Vitamins for rodents "Vitamin plus N"Sera" can be added 5-8 drops per daily water intake for a month. Vitamins for the quality of wool for all types of animals "Fell glanz Saft" Dr. Clauder’s companies can add 10-15 drops per daily water intake for a month. As vitamin supplements, you can slightly increase the daily amount of dry blackcurrant, as well as fresh dandelion leaves and chicory shoots.
With such a balanced diet, chinchillas will always be cheerful, agile and healthy!
© 2003, Alyona Maklakova, Igor Dubinsky Diplomats of the action “We are responsible for those we tamed” of the national program “Creature Rock 2003”
THREE important rules:
- Do not try to save on feed: eat little chinchillas and even expensive food will not be overhead.
- Do not try to feed chinchillas with any kind of food – no rabbit feed is suitable for animals,
neither sheep, nor pork, nor universal for rodents.
- Do not overfeed chinchillas! Excessive and unbalanced nutrition can cause
intestinal disorders, and later – serious diseases (fatty degeneration of the liver, diabetes).
To measure food without weights, buy a graduated plastic cup in a pharmacy.
Here is an approximate amount of the necessary components of the diet:
- 30 ml = 20 g of granular feed;
- 30 ml = 16 g of mixed feed (imported mixes of granular mixed feed with dry vegetables, fruits and cereals);
- 20 ml = 4 g of peeled oat grains;
- 5 ml = 3 g of Hercules flakes.
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