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HOUSING YOUR CHINCHILLA


HOUSING YOUR CHINCHILLA
When it comes to choosing your chinchillas’ housing, your motto should be the bigger, the better. Chinchillas are busy, active, inquisitive animals and they love lots of space to jump and play around in.

Housing your chinchilla

Your chinchillas’ housing must be kept inside and be as big as possible, but an absolute minimum of 1m high x 2m wide x 2m deep. Your chinchillas need as much space as possible so that they can relax and feel at home. However, make sure their housing is securely closed – chinchillas are very good at opening things! In addition to their housing chinchillas need daily access to ample space outside their housing to exercise. However, it is important to make sure the area is safe and secure. It’s also important all electric cables are covered to stop your chinchillas chewing on them and any house plants should either be safe for chinchillas or kept out of the way.

Chinchilla HousingYour chinchillas’ housing should contain lots of levels and platforms. However, don’t have any drops higher than 60cm as chinchillas can often fall off platforms due to their poor eyesight and clumsiness at times. Nesting boxes or fleece cubes should be provided for each chinchilla, and a larger enclosed space to allow them to rest together. Cover their housing floor in dust extracted material or shredded paper.

Chinchillas are easily bored so put lots of stimulating toys and safe items for them to  chew in their housing. Any ledges, shelves and toys should be made from untreated, safe woods and plastic should be avoided completely.

Dust baths

Chinchillas need access to a dust bath to wash at least 2-3 times a week for a short amount of time. If your chinchillas are washing daily, limit their access to 10-15 minutes. Watch out for dry skin around their ears as this is a sign they are bathing too much. Make sure the sand is suitable for chinchillas and don’t put a lid on the dust bath as this will stop the air flow.

Chinchillas love dust baths!

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Quick tip

Just like rabbits and guinea pigs, chinchillas' digestive systems undertake a process called caecotrophy to extract as much goodness as possible from their food.

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Chinchillas can be become bored easily so its important to provide different toys to keep them entertained! Wooden boxes are great for chinchillas to play in. However, as they will get chewed, cardboard boxes and finished toilet rolls are great budget options.

Housing checklist

Chinchillas are very active and need lots of space to exercise so the bigger their housing the better. Ideally, the enclosure should have several levels or shelves to allow your pets to bounce around. As chinchillas are enthusiastic chewers, a non-toxic wire mesh is essential to ensure that they can’t chew their way out. The mesh should be no larger than 15mm x 15mm with a solid floor so their feet don’t become sore. Put a couple of locks or clips on the housing or your chinchillas may break out! Additionally, provide a bedroom or a space where they can snuggle up – a nesting box will help them feel secure.

Chinchillas should only be housed indoors, but it’s really important temperature in their housing is regulated to between 10-18 degrees. At 21 degrees your chinchillas will become distressed and overheated, and a temperature of 30 degrees could be fatal to them. Keep their housing away from draughts and direct sunlight and in a quiet area away from loud noises.

The essentials you will need to make the perfect set up for you rabbits:

Lots of tasty Excel hay! Excel nuggets Excel treatsWire mesh housing Platforms Food bowl Water bowl Nesting boxes Fleece tubes Shredded paper Chinchilla-safe cleaning products

Cleaning chinchilla housing

DAILY:
You should give your chinchillas’ housing a quick spot clean daily, removing any wet/dirty bedding, uneaten food and cleaning and refilling food and drink containers.

WEEKLY:
A more thorough clean should be completed weekly using soapy water and washing any fleece bedding or flooring.

MONTHLY:
Every month you should give your chinchillas’ housing a ‘deep clean’ where you take everything out, scrub and disinfect the housing with a animal-safe cleaner.

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