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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Help with fur biting female

Hi everyone,
I've joined this forum because I have concerns with my female chinchilla. She has demonstrated a few behavioral problems, the latest being fur biting. She's pulled out the shiny fur on one side of her body, revealing the woolly under-layer, but not down to her skin. In the past she has shown behaviors of Single Female Chinchilla syndrome because she lives alone. She was aggressive and stressed out. I was able to relax her a little bit by putting a stuffed toy into her cage but she has since figured out it's not a real boyfriend so she's starting back to her aggressive ways. I'm wondering if the fur biting is part of this.

I also have an adult male chinchilla. They have lived as neighbors but not together for years. I would have the male neutered so they could live together if it would help my female's mood, but I'm worried about a few things:
a)they're so used to living separately they won't live well together
b)the female will continue to be stressed and take out her aggression on the male
c)health concerns for neutering an adult

If you have any advice for any of my issues I would appreciate it. I would go to the vet with my questions, but it's expensive and the vet might not know very much about chinchillas. So I was hoping to get more information here first
Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 10:34 AM
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The thing with fur chewing is it is genetic. There may be nothing you can do. there is no such thing as single female syndrome. A lot of chinchillas prefer being alone. It is very likely if you introduced another chinchilla to her one of two things will happen.
1 it will stress her out and she will chew more
2 she will chew his fur as well.
things you can do to perhaps lessen the chewing is see if there is something stressing her, did you move the cage? did you change her environment? does she has enough space? does she have somewhere she can hide and feel safe?
Also what are you feeding a poor diet can make chewing worse. so can pain. Again there is no such thing as singlr female syndrome where on earth did you hear that? it sounds like a Back yard breeders excuse to breed poor quality animals IMPO


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help!
I read about Single Female Syndrome on another Chinchilla site. It explained a lot of my girl's behavior. It said that wild female chinchillas are 'guarded' by males, they watch for predators so the females can eat without worrying. They said more high-strung domestic females can experience stress because there is no male standing guard and it recommended adding a stuffed toy to take his place. I did this and it initially worked for months...until she started to beat up her stuffed boyfriend. The fur biting started after that.
I've read about the things you talked about, cage size, boredom, stress. Her cage isn't huge, but it has two levels, ladders, platforms, and a wheel. She doesn't really chew things, but she has wooden stuff in with her. I give them standard chinchilla pellets, and occasional timothy hay cubes and treats.
Do you think I should give them more diversity in their diet?
So you recommend keeping my male and female apart?
Thanks!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:23 PM
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I do recomend keeping them apart. single female syndrome is made up. Keep in mind there is a lot of bad information on the internet. In the 14 years I have been breeding and showing and attending seminars no one has ever mentioned osingle female syndrome. in the wild males do not keep watch over females in that manner and even if they did domestic chinchillas are so far removed from thier wild conterparts comparision is pointless. Most breeders keep females separate and you don't find any with syndromes. That is someone making up BS so they can excuse breeding animals who should not be bred


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 06:05 PM
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Just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's not that uncommon for social animals to develop neurotic behaviors if they desire companionship.

http://www.chincare.com/HealthLifest...nment.htm#sfcs

This article deals with the "syndrome" and it's occuring behaviors. They only pair neutered males or female groups (since they're rescuing), so they're not trying to justify bad breeding.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

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