Diet

Chinchillas

Chinchilla lanigera
Chinchilla brevicaudata

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Diet

Chinchillas need a careful diet, in the wild they would eat desiccated plants, grasses and seeds and they are not well equipped at digesting fatty foods, high protein, or too many green plants. A good chinchilla diet has high levels of roughage and fibre.

Chinchillas will appreciate a set routine for feeding and changes in food must be done gradually to avoid upsetting their digestive systems.

Water

Because of the dangers of getting a Chinchilla wet, it is best to offer this in a water bottle. This should be available constantly and checked regularly for drips. If using a plastic bottle be sure to protect it with a wire barrier of some sort to prevent your chinchilla chewing through.

Pellets

Chinchilla pellets form the main bulk of their diet and are deisgned to be longer than normal in order to make them easier for a Chinchilla to hold whilst eating. Rabbit or guinea pig pellets may be substituted if needed providing they are high in fibre and low in fat.

Hay

A good brand such as Timothy hay is ideal, look for hay that is free of chemical sprays, smells sweet and is free of mould. Chinchillas must have hay constantly available to meet their fibre needs.

Supplements/Treats

Chinchillas should not have treats that are high in sugar or fat which rules a lot of commercially available treats out. Healthy treats include raisins, (no more than four per week), small pieces of wholemeal toast, unfrosted shredded wheat, sugar free cheerios, dried rosebuds and dried rosehips.

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