Cute fluffy chinchillas have recently become no less popular with animal lovers than hamsters, guinea pigs, and even cats. They are successfully kept in an ordinary city apartment. One of the most important factors in maintaining animal health in captivity is the right chinchilla food.
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Nutrition in nature
Fur coat health and wholesome food are two of the most important concerns of a chinchilla owner. Moreover, the quality of the animal’s fur directly depends on the quality of the food that it consumes.
By type of food, these are herbivorous animals. Moreover, all parts of plants can serve as food for them. To make the right diet, it is important to know what chinchillas eat in the wild.
The main varieties of food for chinchillas in nature:
- Herbaceous plants of different species;
- Legumes and cereals;
- Leaves and branches of bushes;
- The bark of young trees.
Do not disdain animals and small insects. Food at home should be similar to their natural diet.
Chinchillas tend to adhere to a strict feeding schedule. It is better to give food once a day in the evening. Then they begin a period of activity.
The constant presence of clean and fresh water in the drinker is mandatory. It is believed that during life in the wild animals do not consume water. For them, the moisture content in the juicy herbs that the animal eats is enough. However, when feeding chinchillas at home, fluid replenishment in the body of animals is mandatory.
Regardless of what the chinchilla eats, there must always be hay in the cage. For him, you need to provide a special feeder.
Food at home
Gastrointestinal diseases are the main cause of death of these animals in captivity. Therefore, knowledge of how to feed chinchilla at home is necessary. Food should be selected correctly so as not to damage the health of the pet.
After the cage and the necessary equipment for it are purchased, the future owner needs to find out exactly what to feed the chinchilla with.
A list of what chinchillas eat includes:
- Various types of concentrated feed (including bone meal, yeast, trace elements, flour);
- Grain mix from barley, wheat, oats with the addition of milk powder;
- Additional additives to the main feed – fruits, nuts, vegetables and others.
Chinchilla should be accustomed to new types of food gradually, injected in small portions and observe the well-being of the animal. Any sudden change in diet is fraught with problems in digesting food and can even lead to the death of furry pets.
After birth, small chinchillas feed on breast milk. Very often it is not enough, because the female usually has only 2 of the available 6 mammary glands.
Care must be taken to ensure that newborn chinchillas receive breast milk at least during the first 25 days. The optimal time for breastfeeding is 50-60 days. After this, the kids can be transferred to a special feed intended for young animals. This will allow to complete the development of the gastrointestinal tract and to teach the young to perceive the food of adults.
Chinchillas get used to a certain kind of feed. It is necessary to introduce new feeds with caution and at the same time know for sure that you can eat chinchilla.
Sometimes owners try to cook their own food for chinchillas. It’s better not to experiment and to feed with food intended specifically for these animals. You can make hay yourself. Feeding should be diversified with various treats.
The teeth of rodents grow constantly. Animals need their regular grinding. For this purpose, a special stone should be fixed in a cage with a chinchilla. It may have a mineral or salt composition. When grinding teeth, the animal will additionally receive the necessary trace elements.
Knowing how to feed chinchillas, you can be sure that they will live in captivity for many years. The average lifespan of animals is 18 years. All this time they will be healthy and cheerful, if you choose the right care and balanced food for chinchillas.
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