The chinchilla is a rodent native to South America that is often adopted as a pet.
Just like a guinea pig, a hamster or a degu chinchilla is a particularly popular rodent as a pet. If he has a pleasant physique, he nevertheless remains ferocious. Therefore, it is advisable to be well informed before taking or buying it.
The natural habitat of the chinchilla is in South America, more precisely in the heart of the Andes mountain range. Therefore, it is adapted to an arid environment with strong thermal fluctuations, as well as to an altitude of 3000 to 6000 meters.
For domestic chinchillas, a cage with vertical bars is recommended. The volume should be large enough to allow it to develop as it pleases. Give preference to models with floors or for placement in height. As for the premises, it is desirable to place the animal in a place with a temperate climate, protected from the rays of the sun and having moderate humidity.
Its physical characteristics
The chinchilla has large ears with rounded contours. It can have a short or long tail. It weighs up to 800 grams by thirty centimeters in length. Its morphology bears similarities to the rabbit, such as the lack of distinction between its round head and body. Which gives him the impression that he is curled up.
Chinchillas have a gray coat with a blue tint. Its domestication and numerous crosses have resulted in various variants such as beige or white.
Due to the fragile digestive system, the chinchilla’s diet must be high in fiber. It is recommended to give him food to chew so that he can perform sufficient chewing effort. As a herbivore, it feeds mainly on grass and dry leaves.
A large amount of hay is ideal for feeding chinchillas. Avoid fresh foods, dried fruits and seeds. Plantain, dandelion and endive can be given in small amounts and from time to time.
The difference in price when buying a chinchilla is especially large. It is necessary to count from 30 to 300 €. This discrepancy can be explained by the place of purchase, such as a pet store or nursery. Added to this is the appearance of the rodent, the color of its coat and origin.
It is also desirable to provide a suitable cage, ie. from 100 to 200 euros, as well as various fittings for an additional fifty euros. Chinchilla litter and food cost about $30 a month.
In general, a chinchilla lives for about fifteen years. If he does not have a particular sensitivity, however, it is necessary to pay attention to his diet in order to avoid indigestion, constipation or diarrhea. In case of stress or deficiency, he may end up suffering from alopecia. Like other rodents, chinchillas can have dental problems such as malocclusion.
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