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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Intro, Questions, Concerns

Hello! My name is Kathie and I am a proud new mommy of a 2+ month old mosaic chin named Pogo. I got him about a week ago. He is such a joy! I knew I would love having a chin but I am so surprise at how attached I am to him already! My kids love him too! And they are VERY good with him although neither of them feel ready to hold him...he's too squirmy for them!! They love to pet him thought!! Not to mention giving him treats...not too many and often times we just give him a pellet or a piece of corn from the cob in his cage!

I do have some questions and concerns however and was wondering if anyone could shed some light for me. First...he was eating pretty well until two nights ago. I brought home some food from the breeder I got him from and fed that to him for about three days or so. Then I started mixing it with the food I got for him. I can't find the food she gets and she is having trouble finding it also. (It is by Koch). It has pellets and a couple of different types of oats but not a great amount. I purchased Mazuri based on all that I was able to read on the internet about different feeds. After about three days or so, I started mixing mine and hers...about 50/50 or so. He ate fine for about two days and now he only eating maybe 25% of what he was eating before. I give him about a TBS in the evening each night. He never cleaned it all up, but he did eat at least 75%. He doesn't seem to be acting any different but I know at least with horses (I have two of those also!!), when they go off their feed it often means a problem! I provide him alfalfa cubes and dried corn on the cob also. (The breeder does that with all her chins). I see him working on the cubes sometimes and he LOVES the corn! Goes through them rather quickly and like I said, we use the kernels for treats as well. I did take all the corn out last night to see if maybe he was filling up on the corn instead of his pellets but he still ate very little.

The second question/concern is that he doesn't seem to chew on anything but his corn and feed. I have put lava blocks, the colored wood/chew toys as well as plain wood blocks from the pet store in there but he never chews on them. We also made his home before he came to us...it is made up entirely of wood except for the hardware cloth/metal mesh on his doors and to support his ramps and the metal brackets to secure the shelves and the corogated plastic that lines the walls and floors. His home is 5x4x2 feet and there are 10 shelves and 10 ramps. I also made him a cubby house and a bath house all of wood and it is in there all the time. So...he has lots to chew on and doesn't chew!! I have checked everything for marks and there are none. I worry about him developing teeth problems without him chewing.

So...does anyone have any advise, info or anything else to offer to a concerned chin mommy? I know that he is still a baby and they don't always do things "by the book", but if there is a problem, I rather be proactive than reactive. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give as much info as I could.

Thanks!! Kathie and Pogo
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 12:44 PM
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Ok, I don't know what breeder he came from the but the concensus among chinchilla owners I've met is no corn. I would take that out and not give it to him again.

It also sounds like you're giving him hay cubes only. Some breeders do this, I find they prefer loose hay. He'll probably eat it better for you. Oxbowhay.com has some, most pet stores carry it too. It's bland and easy to digest, which can help make a transition from food brands less difficult.

It's probably going to take some time to adjust. I'd keep the feed at about 1/2 and 1/2 for a good week or so, give him time to get used to the Mazuri. Then slowly wean it out.

As far as the chewing, he's in a brand new, scary situation. He's probably just not settled in yet. I wouldn't worry about it.

Keep an eye on his poos - as long as they're formed and plentiful and he's eating something, he's probably okay.

Stephanie

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2006, 06:53 AM
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hello and welcome to pt
I'm sorry I can't help with your concerns as I don't know much about chins but there are lots of very helpful and knowledgable people here so I'm sure you will find an answer


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 02:22 PM
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crazy, mine whom i just got but he's 4 years old only seems to eat his hay i dunno why he won't eat his food. i bought the same stuff they've been feeding him since he was a baby and i had only mixed in a little mazuri.... he eats none of it only his treats and hay...i'm worried about andy too.... so i got some of his reg. feed w/out mazuri mixed in and he still isn't eating it any help suggestions??

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 03:02 PM
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What is his regular feed? Chinnies do love their hay. The amount of feed they eat is pretty small really. Only about 2 Tablespoons or so per day.
I'm a big fan of the chinchilla Lifeline. It helps with their appetite. It's a little expensive, but you don't have to use much and with only 1 chin a little will go a long way. I saw big improvements in one of my chins when I started him on the Lifeline.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 03:11 PM
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his feed that he's been eating for the 4 years that the others owned him for .... it's called "KAYTEE fiesta ~chinchilla~" it says it is "healthful and nutritious...has anitioxidants (protect cells), Omega Fatty Acids (boost immunity), Essential Fiber (aids digestion)" if you need anymore info off the bag let me know.....i watch his food level and it just doesnt seem to drop.... but i know that the Kaytee food has the same pellets that is in the Mazuri.... *shrug* i dunno i just worry...though he does poop and etc. i just hope he's getting everything in his diet he needs

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 07:11 AM
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I've never heard anything good about Kaytee anything. Mazuri is a good feed so if you have some of that I would work on switching him over, slowly. It may not make him eat more, but it'll be better for him.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 11:35 AM
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Ok. I just got back from a Petsmart trip and I glanced at the Kaytee Fiesta feed while I was there. It looked like it had a lot of what I would call "treats". Lots of seeds, sunflower seeds, and stuff that just wasn't pellets. Like I said before, the Mazuri will be healthier for your little guy. If you could switch to that, I would.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indychinchick
Ok. I just got back from a Petsmart trip and I glanced at the Kaytee Fiesta feed while I was there. It looked like it had a lot of what I would call "treats". Lots of seeds, sunflower seeds, and stuff that just wasn't pellets. Like I said before, the Mazuri will be healthier for your little guy. If you could switch to that, I would.

I WANT to switch to Mazuri...i just fear that he won't eat it b/c he seems really uninterested or are chins like most animals and they will eat it when they are hungry?? b/c if they are i'll just slowly change his food to just Mazuri and then that is what he'll be left w/and when he gets hungry enough he'll eat it.... but if Kaytee is full of 'treats' no wonders he doen't want me to take it out of his diet...lol

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 03:21 PM
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He will get hungry eventually and eat the pellets. Since hes still new in your home, he might be adjusting and getting use to his new surroundings. As long as he's still pooing and picking at the food, I'm sure he will come around. My chins LOVE hay and will eat it all until its gone in one sitting. Its good to have a contant supply of hay for them to munch on.

I haven't heard anything good about Kaytee either. Very fatty. Mazuri is a good food to go with. I'm sure you have read about mixing it in with the old food to switch it over and thats a good method.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 05:07 PM
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Kaytee is bad, you are right to switch him to Mazuri. Just remember to go slow. No more corn either...they don't digest it well and it can cause intestinal problems. Corn cob bedding (if that's what you're using, I was a bit confused at that part) needs to go as well. Aspen, Kiln dried pine, or carefresh will be safe to use instead. I don't know who you got him from, but the breeder needs to do some research.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchilla_Girl
Kaytee is bad, you are right to switch him to Mazuri. Just remember to go slow. No more corn either...they don't digest it well and it can cause intestinal problems. Corn cob bedding (if that's what you're using, I was a bit confused at that part) needs to go as well. Aspen, Kiln dried pine, or carefresh will be safe to use instead. I don't know who you got him from, but the breeder needs to do some research.
i don't do corn, that was the person who had the original posting, i just added my questions that were along the same line to her post

BUT i'll continue to do the 'switch' on his food then thoguh i'm not sure what to do w/ the 2.5 lbs of KAYTEE food I have sitting around now.....

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone...and thank you for those that responded to my post. Pogo is doing better with his eating. I talked with the lady that I got him from and she made some suggestions that made a lot of sense to me. Regarding the chewing, she said that babies don't always chew a lot and that hers tended to chew more as they got older.

As for the eating situation. It seems that corn is not popular with many of you and I asked her about it. She said that she has always given them dried corn (on the cob for them) and has never had a problem. That they eat just the sweet tips of them and leave most of the kernel. I have also read about chins having corn and haven't read anything negative. If someone could send me some links to check out about it...I would really appreciate it. She felt that Pogo had discovered that he REALLY LIKES CORN and filling up on it. When I took it away, it was kinda like him protesting. Now, I only give him a few kernels at night as a treat, rather like his one raisin a night. I also tried the loose hay that someone recommended. I have found that he REALLY likes that too and would eat more of it instead of his pellets, so I took that out too. I plan to put it back in once he eats his pellets more regularly since they have all the vitamins and nutrition that he needs and just alfalfa hay doesn't.

He is still pooing and playing and learning and growing just like he should. I got him a plastic wheel the other day, HE LOVES IT!! I didn't want to get one that was really expensive before I knew whether he would use it or not. Looks like I will need to do some shopping for one soon, before he outgrows this one. (It is a 12" wheel)

I would still love to hear any words of advice or encouragement from everyone. Knowledge is a powerful thing!! Thanks again!!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 04:53 PM
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Thats great your little guy is adjusting!

As for the plastic wheel, you will want to get it replaced before he starts chewing more. Ingesting plastic is harmful for chinchillas.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-03-2006, 08:31 PM
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Not only is the plastic harmful for chins, they just don't hold up worth a darn. A solid metal one (no wire mesh) will hold up MUCH longer. I used to go through a wheel every other week before I knew better. You'll pay more for it but it'll last a lot longer.

Corn is kind of one of those things I wouldn't take a chance on. Some people say its bad for chins and they don't need it in their diet, so I don't take that chance. Some people never have an injury on a wire mesh wheel either, but I'd sure never buy one.

You're doing great. It takes a while to really get to know the ins and outs of chinnies. You're in the right place for info. Keep it up!
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alfalfa hay, chew toy, chew toys, corn cob, corn cob bedding, dried corn, dried pine, hay cubes, kiln dried, kiln dried pine, pet store, pet stores, sunflower seeds, wire mesh


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