Ok.. Iíve been considering a chinchilla (or two) for a good time now, that is, if 6 to 7 years is a good time. Iíve done lots of research, from housing to diet to recommended toys, etc. Right now, I think I have most of what is needed to keep a chinchilla happy and healthy and I have a decadeís worth of experience with gerbils, and a few years experience with rabbits and degus. The supplies I have so far are: dust bath house, dust bath, hay, running wheel, hanging toys, safe chewing branches, pumice chews, water bottle, wheel, food hopper, plush bed, hiding houses, PVC tube, and a solid floored cage with 1Ē square wire shown here:
I have those wooden perching ledges for the cage, and plan on getting one of the saucer-type wheels. I saw a slightly older chinchilla (they thought male) at the pet store yesterday. He was very curious about me and woke up from his nap to come over and put his paws on the front of the cage as I gently pet the top of his head. He was a brown velvet (I think) and very plush and bright eyed. He was quite agile and I think he deserves a lot more than the rabbit cage they are keeping him in. They said he was a biter, but I think that was only towards the small children that go in there and poke at himÖ I have looked far and wide for a breeder in Alaska, but have found none but those with occasional accidental litters. I would take in a pair of babies, but babies always find homes, what about the older ones that sit in the pet store for many months at a time and are still just as deserving of a good home? Also, this older one has a developed personality, the younger ones, as I have read, can be bound to change as they mature and will require a bit more taming. I do have a vet that would be able to treat a chinchilla as well, if the need arises. I also think that the lone one from the pet shop would be a good addition, since I would have enough evening time to spend with a nocturnal chinchilla, and during the day it could chirp (or whatever noises it wishes to make) at the neighboring degus. Iím quite used to the dust bathing habits, having degus and gerbils. Although I use sand for them, and occasional dust for the degus, Iím used to it and do have air filters in every room. The average room temperature is 65* to 72* (F) and never goes about 75* where they would be at. The humidity is rarely over 50% and I do have a dehumidifier if it gets too humid, and a humidifier for if in the winter it gets too dry (already have both of those for the other rodents). They wouldnít be getting direct sunlight or direct air flow/drafts. I would provide a ceramic or marble tile to lay on in the summer, and give extra cuddly housing in the winter.
Just wondering, do I basically sound ready for a chinchilla? I will still take any advice you guys have to offer!