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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a Chin, Few Questions

After seeing some pics of the adorable Chins here and visting the Chinnatude site, I'm considering getting one in the future. Probably won't be untill a few months from now since I'm making a big move soon and want to get settled first, but I figured you can't start researching too early.

First, do they do better in pairs for company? Or is it okay to only have one?

How big of a cage do you all reccommend?

What kind of routine vet care do they need?

How affectionate can I expect one to be provided it recieves a good amount of attention and handleing? (although I do realize they all have thier own personalities so it's hard to say for sure)

How early should I contact a breeder to express interest in one once I know the date of my move? (I'll probably be ready to get one a couple weeks after moving) I know for puppies it's reccommended to contact breeders months in advance, not sure for Chins.

Thanks!

Ann & The Collie Crew,

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 02:32 AM
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I've owned 2 chinchillas in the past.One died in May..so sort of recently.[I want a pair when I move to the city,off a breeder,no more pet store ones for me!].Both times I had only 1.But yes they do prefer pairs.My first chinchilla was very affectionate & would sleep in my lap.He was also really old.My 2nd was so in love with my chubby chihuahua & would nap by her & hop all around her to get her attention.[Remember don't leave your pet unattended especially with another] One is ok if you are going to take the extra time to bond a bit more with him or her.Their personalities are not based on gender either.Each has its very unique personality.My 2nd chinchilla bonded with my mom & me,& brought her teddy bear everywhere with her.My first only bonded with me.

Cage size...this can't be stressed enough...the bigger the better! Add levels! Chinchillas love to hop.But even with a big cage they still need "out of cage time!!"

AVOiD wire platforms.Like i said they like to hop,its NOT safe for them to hop from a platform with bars their tiny feet can get caught! That being said,they don't need ramps to climb to get from one ledge to the other.Also,wheels can be wicked dangerous! They can cause chinchillas to break their backs by going too fast,or risk painful injury! I wouldn't chance it.

Regarding vet care,you need to find a vet that knows chinchillas well.Since they are an exotic animal.Chinchillas hide their illnesses well,by the time they actually show signs of sickness it may be too late! I stress bringing your chin to the vet yearly.

I don't know how readily available chinchilla kits are in your area,so I have no idea on how soon you should contact a breeder (sorry!!)
Keep in mind the rarer the chinchilla color the more costly they are!
Standard (piebald) is the most readily available color,thus the cheapest.

I'm not so great at advice,hope I was of some help though.
I think you would adore sharing your home with a chinchilla or two * *


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Last edited by candyraver; 07-25-2006 at 02:35 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 10:12 AM
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I personally think that they do better in pairs. They seemingly get lonely when left alone.

as for cage size, the bigger the better, but be sure that there is a door on each level because you do not want to be chasing the chinchilla up and down the ramps. also wire platforms are bad, they can get their feet stuck and end up getting hurt.

Make sure their is an exotic vet in your area, some areas its really diffcult.

If you are sure you want a chinchilla contact a breeder whenever you feel you are ready. Sometimes you could end up being put on a waiting list for a certain color.

As far as handling and affection it depends greatly on the animal and whether it feels safe with you or not. Some of them will urinate or bite if they are scared or threatened.

I hope this helps some.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. Good to know they do better in pairs. I'm assuming it would be better to get two babies from the same litter? At least this way they would already be familiar with each other.

Honestly I'd be happy with any color, but I do love the look of the white ones. What's the term for that color?

I'm really excited about this, they're just about the most adorable things I've seen. Can't wait to bring one (or two) home! Hate to wait so long, but at least I have plenty of time to learn more about them.

Ann & The Collie Crew,

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverpawz
Honestly I'd be happy with any color, but I do love the look of the white ones. What's the term for that color?
It depends on the parents (genetics), so ask a breeder when you go to see some.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverpawz
First, do they do better in pairs for company? Or is it okay to only have one?
It depends. Some chins do better in pairs, some prefer to be alone. Some chins will NOT live with another chinchilla of the same sex, and I would strongly recommend against keeping two of the opposite sex unless you've done a lot of research on breeding and have a mentor to help you.

Quote:
How big of a cage do you all reccommend?
http://www.qualitycage.com/chinchilla.html
This is my favorite cage site. The townhome would probably be the smallest I'd go for two chins. The condo would be ok for single a chin who got a lot of playtime outside the cage. Bigger is obviously better, so get the Mansion if you can.

Quote:
What kind of routine vet care do they need?
Yearly checkups are about it. I always recommend a visit within a day or two of purchase, then yearly after that to ensure the chinchilla is healthy. There are no vaccines, etc. to worry about.

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How affectionate can I expect one to be provided it recieves a good amount of attention and handleing? (although I do realize they all have thier own personalities so it's hard to say for sure)
I have some who will hop right out of the cage to me, and others who would sooner pee in my face. It REALLY depends. The best you can do is spend a ton of time with your chin and get it used to you. It may take time, it may not. Just remember these aren't cuddly pets - they won't sit and just hang out with you.

Quote:
How early should I contact a breeder to express interest in one once I know the date of my move? (I'll probably be ready to get one a couple weeks after moving) I know for puppies it's reccommended to contact breeders months in advance, not sure for Chins.
I'd say at least a month in advance for a medium size breeder, earlier the smaller they are if you have a certain color in mind, etc.

Quote:
I'm assuming it would be better to get two babies from the same litter?
If you want to try a same sex pair, this would indeed be the way to go. Young chins will sometimes bond well even if not from the same litter, but then you have to consider a month of quarantine if they're from different breeders, etc.

Quote:
Honestly I'd be happy with any color, but I do love the look of the white ones. What's the term for that color?
The white and grey ones are called Mosaics, for the most part. There are several mutations of the white gene, so it depends.

Please ask if you think of anything else! Best of luck!

Stephanie

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, I love that Mansion! It almost looks like a giant parrot cage. I have to have it! lol

Quote:
I have some who will hop right out of the cage to me, and others who would sooner pee in my face. It REALLY depends. The best you can do is spend a ton of time with your chin and get it used to you. It may take time, it may not. Just remember these aren't cuddly pets - they won't sit and just hang out with you.
That's good to know. I wasn't sure if they would just hang out on my lap or not. I'd love to have a Chin computer buddy, but if they're not into that it's okay with me.

One last question. What's the average adoption fee for a well bred Chin? Price is not my main concern, and I know it may vary between breeders but if somone could give me a ball park range for a Mosaic baby that would be great.

Thanks again for all the great advice!

Ann & The Collie Crew,

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 03:36 PM
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Price will depend upon where you are located. A mosaic kit will usually cost between $100 to $175.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 01:35 AM
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First, do they do better in pairs for company? Or is it okay to only have one?
It really depends on the chin, some like company other's don't. It has been my experience that they do better in pairs. If you get two young chins or two siblings they should be fine, but be prepared if some time goes by and they decide they don't want to live together anymore you have arrangements for a second cage.


How big of a cage do you all reccommend?
My first cage was one of those my first chinchilla homes from PetCo, the dimensions were 29" high x 30" long x 18" deep. Now that I have a pair instead of a single I got them a new cage, and it's dimensions are 56" high x 30" long x 18" deep. My chins love their new cage, and take advantage of all the new space they have. So the bigger the better. I would get the biggest cage you can.


What kind of routine vet care do they need?
It depends. A lot of people will tell you that they don't need to go to the vet unless there is something wrong with them. The vet's can be noisy, and stressfull which is pretty unnecesary if your chin is fine, and can actually cause problems. I would find a vet who treats chins and interview them find out how long they have been treating chins, how many chins they have treated, and any other questions you might have, that way at least if something goes wrong you already have a vet lined up to help you.


How affectionate can I expect one to be provided it recieves a good amount of attention and handleing? (although I do realize they all have thier own personalities so it's hard to say for sure)
Your right, they do have their own personalities. Think of them as Pokemon, each one is different. My male really doesn't like to be held, he would rather just be scratched and that's once in a while. We are still working with him, I got him when he was 2 from a breeder and he hadn't been handled very much. My little female loves to be cuddled, we got her when she was 4 months old and she will sit on my shoulder while I'm on the computer, for quite a while if she wants to. I can tell when she's ready to get down. She gets real squirmy. She is very lovey, and if she doesn't get her attention she will bark at me until I take her out.


How early should I contact a breeder to express interest in one once I know the date of my move? (I'll probably be ready to get one a couple weeks after moving) I know for puppies it's reccommended to contact breeders months in advance, not sure for Chins.
I would contact a breeder as soon as possible. That way you can visit their facilities, and chins. You may not like what you see, that way you can visit several breeders and pick the one you like the best. Also getting to know a breeder in advance is helpfull, they can show you a lot before you bring your new baby home. They can even hold one for you if you want a more expensive one (or two, lol!) while you make payments.

Good Luck!

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