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Chinchilla Feeding Guide

Chinchilla Feeding Guide

Chinchillas are herbivores and need to eat a high fibre, low energy diet. Our chinchilla feeding guide has lots of great advice to help you keep happy, healthy chinchillas!

The Excel Feeding Plan

Following our Excel feeding plan will ensure that your chinchillas get the correct balance of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 85-90% of a chinchilla’s diet should be high quality, dust extracted feeding hay. This should be supplemented with a small portion of Excel nuggets, the occasional Gnaw Stick, Excel Country Garden Herbs or Excel Mountain Meadow Herbs, a small handful of fresh greens and plenty of fresh water.

Chinchillas are herbivores who live on a plant-based diet, however we like to call them ‘fibrevores’ as fibre is by far the most important part of their diet and is essential for their gut and dental health.

The Excel Feeding Plan

Types of fibre

Chinchillas always need to keep their digestive systems busy with a mix of two kinds of fibre moving through the gut. These types of fibre are called digestible fibre and indigestible fibre. Chinchillas get this fibre mainly from good quality hay – we’d recommend Burgess Excel Feeding Hay!

Chinchillas can’t get enough nutrition from fibre when it passes through their gut the first time. So chinchillas excrete soft, sticky-type droppings, called caecotrophs. They then re-eat them for vital nutrition. Burgess Excel has been specifically formulated to have all of the vitamins and minerals your chinchillas need.

Digestible fibre is moved up into an organ called the caecum. This acts like a giant appendix. Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre, making it easy to digest. This emerges in the form of clumps of sticky droppings – we call these droppings caecotrophs. Chinchillas then re-eat the caecotrophs directly from their bottom and the essential nutrients are then absorbed when the digestible fibre passes through for the second time.


Indigestible fibre is moved through their digestive system and excreted as separate, round, hard droppings. This type of fibre keeps the digestive system moving and your chinchillas’ appetites stimulated.


Beneficial fibre

If chinchillas don’t get the right amounts of both digestible and indigestible fibre, it can rapidly lead to serious health problems. At Excel, we call the correct ratio of these two types of fibre ‘Beneficial Fibre’.

Sticking to The Excel Feeding Plan will ensure your chinchillas get the right amounts of fibre in their diet. The Excel Feeding Plan was developed in conjunction with one of the world’s leading small-animal vets, to provide a perfect daily balance of fibre and nutrition.

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Quick tip

Chinchillas need lots of feeding hay in their diet. Hay is naturally abrasive and helps to wear their teeth down.

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Chinchillas are prone to selective feeding! When fed a muesli style diet, they pick out the sugary bits and leave behind the good fibre. Chinchillas are really sensitive to sugar, so this can lead to all kinds of health problems, including obesity. Feeding your chinchillas high fibre nuggets, instead of muesli, can help prevent these health issues!

Our chinchilla range

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Burgess Excel Chinchilla Nuggets is a delicious, complementary food - great for your chinchillas at any age!

It's high in Beneficial Fibre and rich in vitamins A, C and E to help support their eyesight, coat and immune system. Feed them Excel Nuggets every day as part of the Excel Feeding Plan.

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Good quality feeding hay is essential to your chinchillas' diet. Burgess Excel Feeding Hay is made from 100% natural ingredients and is a great source of good quality, long fibre.

Grown in the UK, with added dandelion and marigold our feeding hay is high in beneficial fibre to help keep your chinchillas happy and healthy.

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Our range of Burgess Nature Snacks are great to keep your chinchillas entertained. Sprinkle them throughout their Excel Feeding Hay to encourage their natural foraging!

Remember to feed your chinchillas the right diet by following the Excel Feeding Plan.

Transitioning to Excel nuggets

Transition your chinchillas’ diet over a period of 14 – 28 days by gradually reducing the old food and replacing it with Burgess Excel Nuggets.

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Don’t forget the hay!

& ensure there is plenty of fresh water available.

Do you need more advice?

To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range.

Alternatively you can call our free consumer care line on +44 1405 862241 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.

If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.