- What do chinchillas eat?
- Feeding advice
- The diet of home chinchillas
- The balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
- Prohibited Products
- Rules for feeding chinchillas to grass
What do chinchillas eat?
In the wild, chinchillas feed on bark, flowers, shrubs, and sparse, low-lying plants in the highlands, which is a natural habitat for South American rodents. The nutritional value of mountain herbs is much higher than the usual hay produced for chinchillas. Therefore, the diet of home chinchilla should be more diverse and balanced than that of wild animals, and include not only carefully selected herbs and hay, but concentrated feed, fruits, berries and vitamin supplements.
Green food is needed for chinchillas, but as an addition to the main menu. Plants contain essential vitamins and minerals, plant proteins.
The main recommendation of breeders is to dry fresh plants before feeding.
The dried grass and leaves should be fed to the animal from early spring. To offer such a treat is necessary no more than 1-2 times a week.
In catering, it is not enough to know how to feed chinchilla and what cannot. Proper feeding is also the observance of the diet, maintaining clean feeders and drinkers, as well as an understanding of the digestion of the animal. The first and most important rule – there should always be hay in the cage, as well as drinking water.
Feeders and drinkers should be kept clean. To do this, they should be disinfected with boiling water regularly (at least twice a week). Wooden feeders are better not to use – they absorb odors, become sources of mold and mildew. Preference should be given to ceramic, which are perfectly attached to the cage and easy to clean.
Chlorhexidine can be a disinfectant for the whole cell – it kills microbes well and has no smell, but it is better not to use it for drinkers and feeders. Some breeders use ordinary household soap as a disinfectant. You can wipe the drinkers and feeders, as well as the cage with alcohol.
Vegetables and fruits intended for chinchillas must be washed and cut into convenient small pieces.
It is necessary to feed the pet at the same time, and all the rest of the food is removed from the feeder the next day. It is most preferable to give roughage in the evening and juicy in the morning. If the chinchilla reluctantly eats – you should change the feed. The first reason for poor appetite is a monotonous meal. New types of feed should be introduced gradually and little by little.
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, given the need for small rodents in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Failure to comply with the proportions of nutrients, the norm of vitamins and mineral supplements in the diet of chinchillas is extremely negative for:
- On the growth and formation of the skeleton of a domestic animal;
- As wool;
- Reproductive, digestive, immune and excretory functions of the body.
Given the inactivity of pets, the amount of feed consumed should be correctly calculated to avoid the development of obesity in cute animals. You can feed chinchilla with a relatively small amount of food, provided that it contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and trace elements in the required proportions.
The balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
When compiling a daily diet for chinchillas, it is necessary to take into account the daily need of the animal in proteins, fats, carbohydrates as a percentage, time of year, age and physiological condition of the animal.
Proteins are necessary for fluffy rodents to regenerate cells of all animal organ systems. Chinchillas have a relatively low need for proteins and amino acids, during the day you can give chinchillas about 20% of protein feed, which are responsible for the luster and elasticity of chic fur, it can be alfalfa or hay, oilseeds, milk, legumes, cereals and nuts
Fats in the diet of pets should be kept in a minimum amount, about 4%, they are responsible for the proper development of small chinchillas, the condition of fluffy fur and skin, are a source of energy. To satisfy the need for fats, exotic rodents introduce nuts, oilcake and oilseeds into the diet.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy and the main component in the diet of domestic chinchillas. They account for about 35% of daily feed and 30% of crude fiber, necessary to maintain intestinal motility and toxins. Feeding chinchillas is based on the use of cereal hay, grain, herbs, vegetables and fruits, rich in plant fibers with a low content of protein and fat.
In addition to food, pets must necessarily receive vitamin supplements and mineral nutrition. The lack or absence of which negatively affects the formation of the skeleton and muscle tissue of small animals, the quality of the fur and the coordinated work of all systems of rodent organs. Often, vitamin deficiency is the cause of serious pet diseases.
Vitamin A (Carotene)
- Correct formation of tooth and bone tissue;
- Responsible for the work of the organs of vision;
- The immune system;
- The condition of the skin and fur.
A lack of this vitamin in the diet of chinchillas leads to:
- To the deterioration of immunity;
- Hair loss;
- Decreased reproductive function;
- The frequent incidence of domestic rodents.
To supplement vitamin A, you can feed chinchilla:
- Green salad and spinach.
Thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid are involved:
- In metabolism;
- The formation of body fat;
- Regulate the work of the nervous system, liver;
- In the development of a growing organism;
- As a coat.
The lack of these vitamins leads to:
- To impotence and pathologies of pregnancy;
- Nervous disorders;
- Liver disease.
It is recommended to add to the main feeds that chinchilla eats:
- Germ of oats and wheat;
- Fresh vegetables and fruits;
- Beans, peas, chickpeas;
- Wholemeal flour.
- Responsible for the functioning of the immune system;
- Blood coagulation;
- Cell regeneration.
Vitamin deficiency is manifested by a decrease in the resistance of animals to diseases. To ensure the needs of the animal in ascorbic acid, you can give chinchilla:
Responsible for the functioning of the immune and reproductive systems. Lack of tocopherol leads to:
- Pathological pregnancy and childbirth;
- Congenital diseases of newborn puppies.
Vitamin E is found in:
Calcium, phosphorus and potassium are involved:
- In metabolism;
- The construction of bone and dental tissue;
- Responsible for the functioning of the immune, protective, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
The lack of minerals is manifested by rickets of young animals and chinchilla diseases.
- Bone flour;
The body of the chinchilla needs sulfur, copper, iron, cobalt, magnesium, zinc, the lack of which is manifested:
- Hair loss and deterioration;
- Nervous disorders;
- Decreased reproductive function.
To meet the needs of trace elements, a rodent can eat:
- Sprouts of wheat and oats;
- Various greens;
A good option is the use of vitamin supplements and mineral dressings developed for chinchillas taking into account the daily needs of the animal.
Some owners believe that everything that smart rodents eat can not be harmful to the body of chinchillas, and fluffy animals are able to independently determine harmful and useful products. This insidious misconception sometimes results in the death of pets as a result of eating prohibited foods.
Chinchillas need vitamin supplements regardless of the presence of vitamin feed in her diet. Finished granular feed contains vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the daily norm of the rodent when using ready-made feed can be halved.
- 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 on the animal’s favorite treats, the tablet form is hidden in a twist, pieces of dried fruit are crushed in powders.
Specialists have identified a list of plants that are dangerous to the health of chinchillas. Among them:
- White hellebore;
- Raven eye;
Subject to the rules of feeding animals and knowing the existing restrictions, you can please a pet by diversifying its diet with not only a tasty, but also a healthy treat that supports the pet’s well-being.
What else can diversify the pet’s nutrition, read in our articles “The branches of which trees can be given to chinchillas” and “What nuts can be given to chinchillas”.
Persimmons are forbidden for feeding. This fruit useful for humans is rich in iodine, which is contraindicated in animals. In addition to iodine, persimmon contains a lot of sugar and astringents, which will lead to constipation.
It is not recommended to give chinchillas and beets.
When harvesting tree branches for the winter, it is worth remembering which species are dangerous and unsuitable for feeding. The branches of which trees can not be harvested:
- Acacia white,
- Ashen maple,
- Branches of any citrus species,
- Sweet Cherries
- Branches of any conifers,
- Common maple
Branches of stone fruit trees (cherries, cherries, plums, etc.) are dangerous because they contain a dangerous cyanide compound, as a result of the splitting of which hydrocyanic acid is formed in the chinchilla’s body. If you feed the animal with such branches – you can get not only the strongest poisoning, but also the quick death of the pet.
Any kind of honey, as well as purchased cottage cheese and sour-milk products, is also a prohibited product.
Not all breeders know that you can’t give chinchillas leaves, stems and flowers of indoor plants. Most of them are poisonous to the animal and very often cause death.
It is also not recommended to give any food from the person’s table. Everything that is normal and familiar, even useful for people – for the chinchilla becomes the cause of digestive problems, allergies, obesity and other serious diseases. The animal will never give up tasty and fragrant food and can eat both a slice of cake and cheese, meat or fish. However, such food is not normal and familiar to the stomach of a furry pet. And the possible consequences are very sad.
As a treat, you can use what chinchillas like to eat most of all: dried fruits, nuts, berries, fruits, hercules, sunflower seeds and pumpkins. You can treat the animal with a scanty amount and monitor the reaction. With the manifestation of intestinal disorders or hair loss, it is worthwhile to cancel a delicious food.
Rules for feeding chinchillas to grass
Particular attention must be paid to the quality of feed used.
If you run out of chinchilla food or special hay, you can feed the animal with berries, vegetables, fruits, independently picked and carefully prepared herbs.
The pet menu should consist of the following main ingredients:
- Basis: concentrated home-made feed or factory-made special food for chinchillas, hay and drinking water.
- Vegetable top dressing is used in dosage: green fresh and dried herbs, berries, fruits, seedlings of wheat and oats.
- Treats are used in minimal quantities to encourage small rodents during training or treating a furry friend: nuts, corn rings, dried fruits.
- Vitamin and mineral nutrition.
- The pet’s cage should have clean water all day, concentrated ready-made food and fresh, 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 content. Concentrated feed includes legumes and grains, oilseeds. The ideal option is the use in the diet of chinchillas of high-quality finished granulated feed of well-known manufacturers Versele Laga Chinchilla
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