A chinchilla is an animal that can fall in love with itself at first sight. One can admire such a tender and soft wool and large expressive eyes, chic mustache, which are in constant motion. But let’s talk about what chinchillas eat.
What do chinchillas eat?
List of foods that can be consumed by chinchilla:
What you can not give chinchillas
List of foods that can not be fed chinchilla:
- Cabbage, beets, potatoes, rye. Poor chinchilla digestion, can lead to fatal consequences.
- Citrus fruits (tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and various citrus hybrids). Their branches and leaves can cause allergic reactions.
- The branches and leaves of stone fruits contain hydrocyanic acid, which is poison for the animal.
- Branches of coniferous resinous trees. They are also poisonous.
- Food 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 forbidden to feed.
- It is impossible to collect fruits, berries, nuts, herbs, greens, branches and leaves on ecologically polluted territory. It is dangerous to feed them with an animal; a pet may become ill.
- Animal protein (meat, dairy products) is contraindicated. Chinchillas are vegetarians.
- Stale hay, alfalfa and other foods for chinchillas can cause various diseases.
- Fresh bread and other baked goods are not suitable for chinchillas. Bread is too heavy for digestion, the composition of other bakery products is unknown and can harm the animal.
- Roasted seeds and nuts are also dangerous, they can cause irreparable harm to the liver.
- Confectionery and sugar are contraindicated for chinchillas, the consequences are difficult to predict.
- Tap water can contain harmful substances or bacteria and can harm the health of the chinchilla.
Boiled water is “dead”, it is deprived of useful substances and trace elements, the use of exclusively boiled water can cause their lack in the body of the animal.
You can not feed chinchilla for a long time with foods rich in protein, as this can cause poisoning. Excessive fatty foods can damage the liver, and this also applies to fat-soluble vitamins. Excess carbohydrates can cause obesity in the animal.
How to feed chinchilla
As we have already found out, chinchilla feeds exclusively on plants. The diet can be very diverse, and for this there is no need to rack your brains than feed your favorite animal, fortunately, all the components in the chinchilla “menu” are available.
But nevertheless, feeding rules exist, and if you love your animal, you need to know how to properly feed the chinchilla.
Advice from the chinchilla breeder, what should be the composition of the feed:
- Carbohydrates should be approximately 50%;
- Protein – 16-20%;
- Fiber – about 13%;
- Fat – 2-6%
When purchasing a chinchilla, take an interest in what it was fed before. If you decide to feed the animal in a different way, there is no way to feed the same, transfer to another feed gradually. When you first give food unusual for the animal, give a little at first, gradually increasing the portion. If you have diarrhea from a new food, give a little oak bark as a medicine (you can’t drink too much) or a little dry black tea.
Chinchilla breeders feed them compound feed for rabbits and guinea pigs – feed No. 122 or feed No. 90 intended for feeding young rabbits. Finding it for sale is not a problem; it is certified and tested by experienced chinchilla breeders. When purchasing this food, make sure that it is of appropriate quality, with a good shelf life. As previously mentioned, it should be started with small doses, and if there is no disorder, the animal feels well, you can continue to feed this food. By the way, pay attention: there should not be fishmeal in this feed.
Hay . the most important component of the diet of chinchillas. It should always be available to the animal.
It must be added in small portions so that the pets do not scatter it around the cage and do not contaminate it.
If the chinchilla begins to scatter, toss hay over the cage. it is necessary for some time to stop lining it.
Hay helps chinchillas move food through the intestines, thereby preventing it from stagnating and causing fermentation.
Also, herbal food is a source of vitamins, trace elements, fiber and protein for chinchillas. Slow or young green foods (which can be eaten in limited quantities) are rich in chlorophyll, which is close in chemical composition to blood hemoglobin.
Chewing hay helps chinchillas grind teeth evenly and on time, which prevents the development of tooth hooks on the posterior incisors.
Chinchillas eat hay from seeded herbs (alfalfa, clover, timothy) and soft meadow hay (timothy, hedgehog team, meadow fescue, wheat grass, bluegrass), mowed during the flowering period of legumes.
Experimentally, about 100 species of herbaceous plants were identified that most prefer chinchillas. These species belong to 24 families.
Chinchillas are especially good at eating legumes (alfalfa, clover, vetch), then cereals (Sudanese, wheat grass, bluegrass, and umbrella). They also love hay from the Rosaceae family (cuff, hemophilicum, cinquefoil, rose) and Asteraceae (thistle, cornflower, wormwood, dandelion, ticarnate chicory, goat-breeder).
They do not like plants of the sedge and horsetail family.
Forbs contain plants such as a blood pot, a cuff, caraway seeds, parsnip, leopard, yarrow, cornflower, kulbaba, dandelion, plantain, cow parsnip, which help to improve the taste of hay and stimulate appetite.
Hay is mountain.
Mountain hay is low in fiber, but rich in protein. It has high nutritional value and delicate aroma.
The composition of such hay is very diverse. It includes such cereal crops as a hedgehog, field bird, timothy grass, fescue, ryegrass, mouse peas and other plants.
Legumes: vetch, clover. Forbs: cuff, bindweed, yarrow.
Alpine hay is of higher quality and nutritious in composition and contains many umbrella and plantain.
Meadow hay consists mainly of forbs: vetch, clover, red and meadow fescue, bluegrass, woodland, pike, sainfoin, astragalus, wheat grass.
Such hay is rich in cereal and moth grasses. The less coarse grasses such as sedge and horsetail in the hay, the better it is.
Meadow hay contains significantly less protein than mountain hay, but surpasses it in the amount of fiber. Has a pleasant, fragrant smell.
Forest hay is mowed in forest lands, at the edges and glades.
It is inferior in quality to meadow hay. Consists of cereals and legumes, as well as herbs. As a rule, it contains woody leaves and pieces of moss.
As part of this hay there is: vetch, clover, forest rank, fragrant spikelet, wagtail, pearl barley, forest fescue, bluegrass, pine forest.
Remember, any hay should have a pleasant smell, green color and look appetizing. In the hay there should not be any foreign objects, garbage, sticks, dust. Brown, moldy and musty odor hay should not be given to chinchillas. Also, hay is never used as a litter in a cage in animals.
The animal body is adapted to dry plant foods.
In the wild, the diet of chinchillas is poor. It consists of stems and leaves, seeds, roots and bulbs of drought-resistant herbaceous plants. lichens, cacti, moss, as well as fruits, leaves and bark of evergreen shrubs.
Chinchilla thirst quench due to succulent plants and dew.
For home chinchillas, the issue of nutrition should be approached very carefully.
The composition of the feed should be balanced and adapted to the digestive system of animals.
Chinchillas are very demanding on the quality composition of food.
Perhaps this is due to the very small amount of feed consumed by them, which is a consequence of their living in natural conditions, where chinchillas could eat only ephemeral (herbaceous plants with a short life cycle) and other alpine vegetation, which has a very short growing season and due to with this saves a large supply of nutrients.
In this regard, chinchillas should have dry, balanced and nutritious feeds in their feed ration. Western and domestic chinchillas prefer to feed their pets with granulate, which is a small oblong sticks of gray-green or brownish color.
The composition of granular chinchilla food, as a rule, includes:
grass flour, wheat bran, crude fat, oats, barley, sunflower meal, wheat, molasses, limestone flour;
fodder yeast, fish meal, salt, lysine, premix with a full range of vitamins and minerals.
For puppies and lactating females, food with a high protein content (up to 25%) is preferable.
For adult chinchillas, granules are used in which protein is 18-20% of the total mass.
Protein plays an important role in the development, growth and quality of chinchillas. With insufficient protein in the diet (especially in the diet of puppies), the growth of animals stops, the fur becomes dull, "cotton"dry and brittle.
Crude fiber is also an important component of the feed, which should be at least 10-15%.
The chinchillas digestive system needs plant fiber to improve peristalsis.
Cellulose "pushes through" food through the intestines, making it work.
The percentage of fat in the granulate should be 3-4%.
A balanced mineral and vitamin composition of the feed is of great importance.
The following mineral additives are present in the composition of the chinchilla granules:
calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium;
sulfur, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, manganese;
vitamins: A, B, D, E, K, PP, biotin, carotene;
various organic acids (malic, folic, ascorbic).
The energy value of one kilogram of feed. 2900 kilocalories.
Every day, the chinchilla should eat about 20 grams of food (1-2 tablespoons).
Chinchillas. big picks, and first of all they will choose from the bowl all the most delicious. To get good nutrition, the animal must eat all the food, not just tidbits. The pet should eat everything that is offered to him.
Do not pour a fresh portion into the bowl until he eats the previous one.
If your chinchilla has started raking and scattering pellets from the feeder. then you give her too much food. Reduce the amount of feed, remove sweets from the diet, divide the daily norm of granules into several parts and pour in small portions.
The most harmful animals can be put on a diet: leave the feeder empty for several hours so that the animal is hungry and natural instincts work. food is not always available, so you need to eat "in reserve".
It is better to slightly underfeed the chinchilla than to overfeed it with sweets.
A healthy chinchilla will eat any food. Of course, if she has a choice, she will prefer something more appropriate to her tastes, but to train a pet to eat properly can and is absolutely necessary.
3 Birch. bark, branches, leaves, catkins
5 Hawthorn. fruits, bark, flowers, leaves
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