- Sand functions
- Sand baths
- Features of sand composition
- Sand for swimming
- Talcum and other additives
- Ready-made bathing mixes
- Sand quality
- How to make sure the right choice
- How to make do-it-yourself sand for chinchilla
- Making homemade sand
- Key issues for beginner breeders
In nature, chinchillas inhabit mountain desert areas with constant low humidity – not more than 30%. The structure of their fur makes water procedures impossible – because of its density, the wet coat falls off and cannot dry completely. This will lead to hypothermia, as well as various skin diseases.
Chinchilla needs sand to not only clean the coat without the use of moisture, but also to dry it. Small grains and particles of sand absorb moisture, sebum, remove lost hairs and dead skin cells, divide the fur, giving it splendor. Chinchilla bathing sand also helps protect animals from skin parasites.
For everyday care of thick and dense fur, the animals have enough sand. It is the sand baths that chinchillas take in nature daily. And that’s why:
- Sand removes dead skin particles well,
- Frees the fur from falling hairs
- Cleans of parasites
- Does not cause the fur to get wet,
- Does not lead to hypothermia.
At home, a bathing suit with sand is installed in a cage for an hour and a half, at least three times a week.
In large cage showcases, you can set up a permanent bathing, however, you need to make sure that the fur and skin of the animal does not dry out, and also remove all feces in time.
Features of sand composition
For the bathing procedure, ordinary quartz or river sand is not suitable – its particles are too large and can scratch the delicate skin of the animal. The main harm will be done to the wool – the sharp edges of the quartz particles will cut thin hair and tangled in it. Also, river sand may contain impurities that are harmful to the health of the pet.
It is best to use volcanic sand for chinchillas in which animals bathe in nature. Its fine particles resemble dust, perfectly absorb moisture, and then are easily removed without damaging the hairs.
Sepiolite has a porous structure, like talcomagensite – they are highly hydrophilic, well absorbing moisture and fats.
Zeolite absorbs water depending on the humidity level in the room, so it is willingly used on chinchilla farms. The high dustiness of the zeolite is often balanced by the addition of heavier ordinary fine sand.
Sometimes the mixture is based on dust-quartz, in which case additives of other minerals are usually included to improve moisture absorption.
Sand for swimming
Sand for bathing chinchillas has little in common with ordinary quartz. Special sand for chinchillas is made from zeolite and sepiolite. Zeolites are carcass silicates and have a pronounced pearlescent shine. The main advantage of zeolite is the absorption or release of moisture, depending on the level of humidity and temperature in the room.
Most often, zeolite sand is used on large chinchilla farms. In the remaining mixtures, large fractions of ordinary sand are also present to reduce the dust content of the zeolite. Sepiolite is a fibrous and porous material included in the talc group. It is very similar in composition and structure to sea pumice.
This is a good prevention of fungal diseases. This is especially recommended after visiting a veterinarian or exhibition.
Talcum and other additives
To protect the animal from fungal diseases, antibacterial drugs are usually added to the composition. If you buy clean sand, you need to add a remedy for the fungus yourself. The drug “Fungistop” based on sulfur and talc is well suited for this. This remedy is effective against spores of fungi of various types, it will perfectly cope with bacterial infections.
Ready-made bathing mixes
Sand is notable for its low cost and medium quality, made on the basis of quartz. The kit includes a bag of talcum powder, which should be mixed with the basic composition before bathing.
A mixture of volcanic dust and crushed quartz treated at about 400 degrees. The advantage is the low price.
Inexpensive volcanic sand with the addition of crushed quartz from a Russian manufacturer. Talc is included. The composition sometimes contains large particles, so it is recommended to sift the mixture before bathing.
Inexpensive high-quality version of the Russian production based on talc magnesite, does not dry out the skin, retains the structure of hairs.
High-quality mineral mixture of a fine fraction of volcanic origin, rather high price.
Sand based on crushed zeolite from a trusted manufacturer. The cost is slightly higher than that of analogues.
The composition of the mixture includes crushed zeolite 60% with the addition of other minerals, has a high hydrophilicity.
Finely ground sepiolite and other minerals of volcanic origin, German production. One of the most common options, has a fairly high price.
Buying inexpensive mixtures seems more profitable, but high-quality sand performs its functions more efficiently. It also requires less frequent replacement, so it is more economical to use.
Another manufacturer of swimwear filler – Little One – uses soft sand of volcanic origin in its mixtures. But it already costs more – from 600 rubles. Mixture Chistyulya Suite also consists of volcanic sand. It absorbs moisture well and cleans fur, without distorting the color of the animal. If a chinchilla bathes daily, it is better to use the most natural mixture.
One of the best, but the most expensive sand for swimming, released under the brand name Padovan Bathingsand. Composition:
- 60% sepiolite,
- 30% volcanic sand,
- 10% of talc magnesite.
Even purchased sand needs to be tested for quality before entering a chinchilla bathing suit. One of the easiest ways to check is to pour a tablespoon of the finished mixture into a bowl, add a few drops of water and leave for about an hour. A good and high-quality mixture forms lumps that are easy to remove. If, when removed, the lump begins to crumble, it means that it contains a large content of quartz and it is better not to use such sand.
The quality of the mixture can be determined in another way. For him, you need a small glass in which a tablespoon of sand is placed. After that, water is poured into the glass (approximately half the volume). A glass of sand and water is left for two to three hours. After a set time, the water is carefully drained.
By grinding the mixture in the palms, you can also check the quality of the sand. A good and high-quality mixture does not scratch or irritate the skin, does not cause discomfort and does not leave a matte shine. However, in this way it is not always possible to determine the exact content of quartz – it may be too small.
How to make sure the right choice
To check the quality of the finished mixture, there are several simple ways. Take a little sand and rub between your fingers – no tingling or large particles should be felt, the composition should feel more like flour to the touch. Then pour a small amount of the mixture into a container of water. Quality sand will be on the surface for some time, then it will slowly sink into the water, and the quartz components will immediately sink to the bottom. You can also drop a few drops of moisture into the jar – if they are not absorbed, but rolled into balls, soft in consistency, then the mixture is of high quality.
How to make do-it-yourself sand for chinchilla
If you do not trust ready-made mixtures, you can make sand for chinchilla yourself:
Making homemade sand
Before making the mixture for bathing chinchillas with your own hands, any of the selected types of sand must be washed well and calcined in the oven. To the already cooled sand add a few teaspoons of ground talcum powder and the same amount of medical sulfur.
If the number of chinchillas is large, then it’s understandable why you need to make a bathing mixture yourself: this is a good money saving.
Key issues for beginner breeders
Which sand to choose
The choice of mixtures for bathing chinchillas is very large, but you can not say in advance which sand is suitable for a particular pet. Chinchillas are individual. And which brand is suitable – depends on the characteristics and susceptibility of the animal’s body. Some owners change several brands before finding a suitable one and the price does not always play a decisive role here.
There is nothing wrong with chinchilla eating sand. This is a normal occurrence. Eating sand, they replenish the balance of certain minerals in the body, and also normalize the intestinal tract.
Before answering the question – is it possible, it is worth thinking about whether it is necessary. You can use ordinary river sand, but the quality of the mixture will be several times lower than that of the purchased one. Another danger lies in the fact that it is not always possible to rinse well and even burn sand collected along the river bank. It may contain too dangerous and toxic compounds that are not washed out by water and are not destroyed by high temperatures.
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