- Features of the diet and lifestyle of chinchillas in the wild
- Rules for feeding chinchillas at home
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A small fluffy animal with a pretty face and black beads – eyes won many animal lovers with its unusual appearance and gentle disposition. How to care? How to feed chinchilla? Beginner breeders are interested in these issues. In order for the pussies to be healthy, you need to approach their feeding with all responsibility, choosing good products.
Features of the diet and lifestyle of chinchillas in the wild
Chinchillas first appeared in South America. The animal with a long tail lives among the mountains of Chile, and with a short one it is most common in the Andes and Argentina. Animals live on the northern slopes of the mountains.
Chinchillas prefer vegetarian food: various branches of shrubs, plant seeds, fruits and cacti. Water for fluffy animals is not particularly needed, since juicy feeds contain a sufficient amount of liquid. Sometimes chinchillas drink fresh dew. In the natural environment, animals rarely get sick and live up to 20 years, as they feed on a large amount of greenery, including plants, which include astringents.
Rules for feeding chinchillas at home
Chinchilla is primarily an herbivore animal, therefore, the basis of the diet is plant food. It is necessary to feed the animal in a balanced and varied way, including vitamins for chinchillas and minerals in the menu. Since animals eat extremely little, food must be of high quality. You need to know how to feed chinchilla is possible, and what is not.
Chinchillas are big picks and the most delicious pieces are always chosen from the whole offered food. In this regard, the owners need to ensure that the animals completely eat their portion, as it contains vitamins and nutrients necessary for the health of chinchillas.
You need to purchase roomy and comfortable chinchilla feeders. If surplus food is often left in or around the pet’s feeder, you need to reduce its amount and offer less treats.
Feeding chinchillas is not an easy task, as they have a weak digestive system, so overfeeding the animal, treating it from the table and giving low-quality products is strictly prohibited. The food must be of good quality, fresh, with no signs of mold, rot or mustiness. Grass included in the nutrition of fluffy chinchillas should be harvested in ecologically clean areas, away from roads and industrial plants. Fruits, vegetables, greens must be thoroughly washed and dried before offering them to the animal.
If the chinchilla ate compound feed and had never tried green food before, you need to train it slowly, giving in small portions, gradually increasing the amount. If the pet feels well, you can safely introduce juicy food into the diet of chinchillas.
Giving food to the animal is necessary once a day, mainly in the evening. Before feeding, the bowl should be washed with plain water without soap and cleaned of food debris.
On a day, one animal has a certain list of products:
- Compound feed – 1-3 teaspoons;
- 30 grams of hay;
- 5 grams of green food;
- 6 grams of additional food (branches of shrubs and trees);
- 1-2 pieces of any goodies to choose from.
Important! Chinchillas lack a sense of proportion. They are happy to eat all the offered goodies in any quantities. Everything that chinchilla loves so much – vegetables, fruits, dried fruits and nuts must be given in strictly defined doses.
The approximate composition of chinchilla food:
- Carbohydrates make up half of the total diet;
- Proteins – 25%;
- Coarse fibers and fiber – about 15%;
- Fats – 5%.
Chinchilla living at home and eating mixed feeds must be given vitamins and healthy delicacies. For convenience, you can make a table in which the number of products and the time of their submission will be indicated. How to properly feed the chinchilla? The basic rules of feeding that must be observed.
- In a bowl at the same time, preferably at night, you should pour a certain amount of compound feed for the chinchilla. You can find out which feed is best from breeders or veterinarians. If the animal quickly eats up the offered, then the portion needs to be increased.
- Do not forget about the water. The drinker should always be filled with clean and fresh water. It is better to pour spring water, but in no case boiled or mineral.
- In the cage of a pet, you can put a convenient sennik, where soft hay will always be.
- If the rodent’s diet is not completely balanced, a certain amount of vitamins must be added to the composition of the chinchilla food. They should also be given to sick and weakened animals, during pregnancy, to the female and lactating females.
- Salt and mineral stone can be attached to the rods of a chinchilla cage. From time to time, the pet will gnaw them, grinding their teeth and at the same time receiving all the substances necessary for the body.
- So that the animal does not suffer from protein deficiency, in addition to vitamins, a little yeast can also be given.
Rough and juicy food
Juicy foods include various vegetables and fruits, herbs and tree branches. They contain vitamins and minerals useful for chinchillas. At any time of the year, you can treat your pet with all kinds of twigs and twigs of trees and shrubs. Gnawing hard twigs, the pet grinds constantly growing teeth.
In the fall, animals are offered vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini. Chinchillas are given carrots at any time of the year. Animals are very fond of fruits: pears, various varieties of apples, pomegranates, berries.
Fruit is a favorite treat. They need to be given to the chinchilla 2 times a week in a certain amount, for example, one berry or a slice of apple.
Due to the weak digestion system, vegetables also need to be limited, twice a week one small piece will be enough.
The new product is introduced gradually, in small doses, so that you can observe the reaction of the animal. If everything is in order with the pet and there are no problems with digestion, then juicy foods are suitable for him.
Rodents are very fond of fresh grass: dandelions, carrot tops, clover. Greens are best given clean and dry.
Ready-made industrial feeds are central to feeding chinchillas. They can be divided into two types: granular and compressed. It is necessary to give only high-quality fresh food of famous brands. The product must be made specifically for chinchillas, and not for rabbits or hamsters. The mixture should be well packaged and not expired. Compound feed by weight for chinchillas should not be purchased, as well as cooked at home.
Violation of the recipe can lead to negative consequences, for example, poisoning a pet or developing various diseases and pathologies.
Good feed ratings include:
- Vitakraft Pellets – the most popular right food;
- Chinchilla Complete – food with fairly soft granules;
- Chinchilla Duo is a good food, but chinchillas don’t eat it very well.
Fiber is an indispensable product for the successful operation of the gastrointestinal tract of chinchillas. Most fiber is found in hay. In the cage, fresh hay must be in unlimited quantities, so that the animal can get it at any time. Before you put the product in the sennik, you must carefully check it for mold, debris, a suspicious smell and rot.
It is impossible to suppose that in the composition of hay there were such herbs as: St. John’s wort and chytin. Breeders should know that poisonous plants are very dangerous for chinchillas: raven eye, poisonous ranunculus, henbane, marigold, white hellebore, poisonous milestone.
Instead of feed, chinchillas are sometimes fed with grain mixtures, especially in winter, which include:
- Oats are the best medicine for indigestion in animals. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, as well as healthy fats and carbohydrates. Oats are the basis of the grain mixture.
- Millet containing such a useful component as carotene.
- Wheat can be given to animals in the form of bran. It is low in fat and many nutrients.
- Corn has a lot of protein needed for chinchilla.
In a mixture of various cereals must be present nuts, legumes and seeds. From cereal mixtures, cereals are also prepared, they are especially useful for young animals. As a source of vitamins, animals need to be given germinated grains. They are added to the diet of animals in limited quantities, as from fresh shoots, digestion problems can occur.
Favorite Chinchilla Goodies
An affectionate pet can easily get used to the owner and even come to his call. For this, you can reward your little animal by treating it with a delicious reward. As a treat you need to use delicacies rich in protein, potassium, calcium, such as: fruits, vegetables, dried fruits and nuts.
In no case should juicy fruits displace dry food from the diet, as giving them to animals in large quantities is contraindicated.
Chinchillas are very fond of sunflower seeds and nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts. As delicious snacks, dry rose petals, tea leaves or mountain ash berries are suitable.
Chinchillas are big gluttons and love sweets very much, therefore you should not abuse sweet berries and fruits, especially during pregnancy and feeding of young ones.
A properly composed diet rich in useful trace elements will protect the animal from all kinds of diseases, obesity and early death. It must be fully balanced. A large amount of protein can cause pet poisoning. If chinchilla is fed with fatty foods, the liver and heart will suffer. Too much carbohydrate in the diet will lead to obesity and poor health of the animal.
An approximate list of products – why not, under any circumstances, feed the chinchilla.
- Do not give any cabbage, beets and potatoes. They can cause indigestion in the animal.
- Stale foods, including hay. Food with signs of spoilage, rot or mold.
- Roasted seeds and nuts, as well as pine nuts, are very fatty foods that are harmful to chinchillas. If you regularly treat the animal with fried seeds, the animal may grow fat.
- You can not give meat and other products of animal origin to eat, because the animals are herbivores.
- Veterinarians say that you should not give foods with highly allergenic properties, such as citrus fruits.
- Foliage, branches of coniferous and stone fruit trees. They are poisonous and may contain harmful substances. For chinchillas, their use can lead to irreversible consequences.
- Any pastries and bread. Fresh baking can cause bloating and upset stomach in the animal.
- Sparkling and boiled water, as well as tap water.
As soon as the animal appeared in the house, you need to immediately try to accustom it to a healthy and proper diet, as well as a strict feeding regimen. If you follow all the rules and adhere to the recommendations of veterinarians about how to properly feed chinchillas, you can be sure that the animal will be healthy, mobile and will live a long happy life.
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