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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Are They Easy To Handle?

I am planning on buying a Chinchilla in a few weeks, and I want to know if they are easy or mildly easy to take care of.

Are they ever mean?
How much do they cost you per month for supplies?

So, uhhh... Ya, thanks.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 07:10 PM
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I don't own a chin, but tons of people here do. JUST going by your stats and posts - 16 is a little young to own a chin, IMO. Plus, they are, what I would call, special needs animals. By that I mean that they require lots of specific care (food, temperature in the room, housing). So I would do a lot of research before considering a chin. They are a lot of work. And they do cost a bit. Also, you have to find a vet that will treat chins, which can be hard.

Someone else here will have a lot of info for you. I do know, from what I've read here, that the temperment depends on the chin. Each one is different.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 07:46 PM
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I visited a chin breeder today and she mentioned that the more handling they get,the more handable they are! I barely know anything bout them tho,so I will let someone with more experiance then me come along!




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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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It depends on the chin and the breeder you buy from if the chin is easy to handle. We have a baby boy here that has gotten SO much attention he will jump onto your hand and wait for you to put him on your shoulder, then ride around for hours. He CRAVES human attention. But then we also have some that have such an attitude it's difficult to feed them let alone handle them - they are from ranchers and were never handled as kits.

Chins can be mean. Females will spray pee if angry or frightened, and both genders can bite.

Chins do require atleast weekly dust baths, a lower temperature than most people have in their houses, specific food and purified water. They need solid built cages, no plastic and lots of chew toys. They also need hay 24/7 and excercise to keep them healthy and happy.

For our 21-25 chins we spend about $90-$130 a month. We buy supplies in bulk.

The main thing with chins are the vet bills. Most vets will charge you upwards of $65 for just walking in the door. Surgery and emergency visits can go through the roof.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for posting...I am now learning everything I can too! Didn't mean to hijack Kyle!




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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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sure, anytime!

Another thing, I don't think 16 is too young, it's maturity and responsibility that matter. I know many 20 and olders that i wouldn't trust with a stuffed animal let alone a live one.
I got my first chinchilla when I was 14. Of course I got my first one with little knowledge but did a TON of research before getting anymore. Since then I have managed all aspects of the chinchillas we own, breed and show and my mom is pretty much just the financer. I build the cages (except for 3), monitor diet, weight, and health. I decided who gets bred to who, which chins we purchase and sell, everything. My mom has input but ultimately i make the final decision. I help anywhere i can when I have extra money, although now she's caring for them while i'm off at college. In return she gets most of the money whenever we sell a kit, i get like $20...which i usually end up spending on the chins anyway
BUT I don't get presents for christmas (just a stocking) or my birthday or allowance, or cash for good grades...I get chins, or supplies for the chins ^_^
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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I used to own Chinchillas. I consider them to be one of the more difficult to own pets. They have special needs that must be considered prior to ownership. Everything from special temperature requirements to specific food requirements.

Some Chinchillas do not like being handled while others can be cuddly. They have teeth that can chew through wood and have no qualms about using them should they become scared or feel threatened. They will also gladly spray anyone or anything that threatens or frightens them. You are more likely to find a nice, loving Chinchilla with a breeder as good breeders take the time to tame and handle their Chinchillas.

They are not a part-time pet, nor are they for beginner pet owners, young children, busy students, teenagers who will be going away to college soon and leaving the Chinchilla behind, etc.

ChinBin in Oregon

I highly recommend searching out more informational websites about Chinchillas and perhaps taking a trip to your local library to borrow some Chinchilla books.

As you can see, owning a Chinchilla is not a decision to be made lightly. And as a youth, your parent(s) must be committed to the care of the Chinchilla as well (including all financial costs, which can be great.)

Good luck in your quest for knowledge :]

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 12:34 AM
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I don't own a Chin yet but i will be getting on the the next couple of days.
Quote:
I am planning on buying a Chinchilla in a few weeks, and I want to know if they are easy or mildly easy to take care of.
Are they ever mean?
How much do they cost you per month for supplies?
Chinchillas are not easy or mildly easy to take care of. They are a lot more work than a dog, cat or a hamster etc. There are alot of rule to follow when owning a Chinchilla to keep them healthy. If you committed to your pet then there great but if you want any easy pet they're not for you.

You can expect to spend approximately

$ 1.50 CAD - 3 lbs of pellets (I recommend Riedstra's brand)
$ 1.50 CAD - 3 lbs of timothy hay
$ 3.00 to 5.00 CAD for PINE shavings
$0.90 CAD for 1 lb Blue Sparkle Dust
$ 10.00 For treats and toys

So you can spend about $18.90 CAD before tax and shipping a month for supples.

The Cost of start up items is costly for example the start up items I bought for 1 Chinchilla (all in CAD) Mind you I did go over board a bit but I want the best for my pets

- 1 male standard grey Chinchilla $75.00
- 1 cage 30"x18"x33" $125.00
-1 Chin-Chiller $10.00
-1 Bowl for food $5.00
-1 Water bottle $ 10.00
- 1 metal water bottle guard $5.00
-1 Chinchilla bath box $3.00
- 1 Apple Swirl Toy - $5.00
-1 hammock $8.00
- 1 Rainbow cruncher surprise! - $5.00
- 1 Apple chewer & 'log' toy - $6.00
- 1 Chinchilla Nook hut(made of pine) $14.25
- 1 comb $6.95
- 5 lb of pellets $2.50
- 5lb of timothy hay $2.50
- 2 small ledge $10.00
-1 chinchilla wheel or saucer $100.00
-1 large ledge $6.00
- 7/8" Wood Cube x 10
1/2" Wood bead x 20
1" Wood Wheel x 20
1-1/4" Wood Teddy Bear x 10
5/8" Wood Spool x 20
7/8" Long Wood Spool x 10
Stars 1-1/2” x 20
2" Medium Faced Wheel x 10
Wood Pumpkin Bead x 20
3 feet of wire
3 rings and 3 clips
Only $25 (makes 6 chew toys or more)
- 1 snowflake hay box $3.75
- 1 pawprints on navy fleece tube $12.00
- 1 blue snuggle bear $9.00
- 1 bag of shavings $10.00
- 1 Cat carrier (for transport) $20.00
- 1 bag of Apple Wood Sticks $7.00 /7oz. bag
- 1 bag of Whole rosehips $4.00 /100g bag(treats only to be feed to Chinchillas over 6 months of age)

Total start up costs not including shipping, does include tax is $489.95 CAD
Pics of my cage and carrier can be found here

Heres some other helpful info:

- Chinchillas can only have dust baths, NEVER give a Chinchilla bath with water unless they are very extreme circumstances.
- Never put a Chinchilla in a large hamster ball thing its very bad for there backs
- Never give them a wheel less than 15" in diameter because it will cause back problems
- Chins do not tolerate the heat well so it is best to keep at temps below 80 degrees
- For a single chinchilla you will need a cage approx 24x24x24 (NO Smaller, but bigger is ok) Wire spacing should be 1"x1" to 1"x3" (any bigger and they will escape or hurt them selves)

more info can be found at these sites:

Original Chinchillas - Welcome to Original Chinchillas
Chinchilla Frequent Questions
Chin Info
Ontario Chinchillas
www.chins-n-quills.com

I think I'm finished

Any more question etc. PM me



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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 08:42 AM
 
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You can buy a cage smaller than 24" x 24" x 24". We don't even have any cages that big and all of our chins are happy and healthy. People who own chins strictly as pets most times like to buy bigger cages but your chin will not die if it's in a smaller cage.

Once you get into a routine with your chins (and they LIKE routine) it's fairly easy to care for them. It's just learning everything in the beginning and you and your chin(s) getting used to each other. Our chin chores are pretty much second nature to us.
We wake up in the morning, feed and water.
Check routinely during the day.
At night before we go to bed we water, feed and hay.
Once a week we clean cages, give dust baths and vacuum and dust(taking all the dust OFF) the room. We also give new chew toys and wash water bottles at this time.
During the day or at our bed time is when we give attention. There are some sites that say not to touch your chins during the day because they're nocturnal and that's NOT true. Heck, during the day they are more sleepy and less prone to jump out of your hands.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PokeyPokey
You can buy a cage smaller than 24" x 24" x 24". We don't even have any cages that big and all of our chins are happy and healthy. People who own chins strictly as pets most times like to buy bigger cages but your chin will not die if it's in a smaller cage.

Once you get into a routine with your chins (and they LIKE routine) it's fairly easy to care for them. It's just learning everything in the beginning and you and your chin(s) getting used to each other. Our chin chores are pretty much second nature to us.
We wake up in the morning, feed and water.
Check routinely during the day.
At night before we go to bed we water, feed and hay.
Once a week we clean cages, give dust baths and vacuum and dust(taking all the dust OFF) the room. We also give new chew toys and wash water bottles at this time.
During the day or at our bed time is when we give attention. There are some sites that say not to touch your chins during the day because they're nocturnal and that's NOT true. Heck, during the day they are more sleepy and less prone to jump out of your hands.
You can buy a cage smaller than 24" x 24" x 24" but its not recommend. Chins like to jump and need room to do so.



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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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They also like to run which they cannot even do in a 24" x 24" x 24" cage.
If anyone is truly concerned about the health of their chin in a cage, then they can let them run and jump in a chin-proof area - either a room or a playpen (bathrooms are usually the easiest to chin proof)
Also, recommended wire spacing is 1/2" x 1" (most cages have this anyways). A small chin can squeeze through 1" x 2" and bigger.

There are many websites on care that you can find, and there's alot of info on forums. Most books that you find in pet stores contradict each other and have wrong info so I'd recommend that you find a good reliable breeder in your area (someone that has been recommended or if you visit them has a clean establishment and healthy looking chins) and ask them alot of your questions. Good breeders are willing to answer a lot of questions - and then they'll know that you want to be a good owner.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Sarah, I completely agree with you and also think chinchillas are a lot more work than a dog or a cat. I had up to 16 chinchillas and it was literally a full-time job taking care of them. Having one is work but definitely more managable!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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Sarah, I would also like to add I wish more people can use you as a role model for being such a responsible owner! You did so much research and I commend you for that!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 04:10 PM
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Thanks Denise between me and my friend Ashley we're walking books on chins after 2 months of hard researching



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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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chinchillas are like anything else, easy to dabble in, hard to master. i got my first chin when i was 11 years old and it was an impluse buy. my uncle took my sister (7 at the time) and i to the pet store to get some dog food for my parents and we saw one there and fell in love. it happened to be right before christmas and my uncle (admittedly not the most responsible person) bought it for us right then and there. my parents weren't thrilled but let us keep it. they left it to us to take care of and we basically treated it like hamster. i'm sure my sister and i amde mistakes, but what would you expect from a 11 year old and a 7 year old taking care of a delicate animal. he died after 5 years of a ruptured appendix, i don't know if it was due to something we did or if it just happened.
years later, after a LOT of trial and error, i know a lot more about them and how to take care of them. it is work but not nearly as much as a dog. if you can find a good breeder they can be very inexpensive as pets. my breeder charges:
$20 for a 25lb bag of mazuri pellets (lasts me 3 months for 12 chins)
$10 for 3 mo worth of shavings
$10 for 3 mo worth of dust
$15 for 3 mo worth of hay
$20 for 3 months worth of treats (my spoiled kids get a lot of treats)
bottled water can be bought in any grocery store for just a few dollars for a large jug so that's not much of an expense. we get delivery for $7 for a 5 gallon jug and just give it to them out of our cooler.
best of all, she does basic vet activities for free or just the cost of medicine. i had one with a broken leg and she charged me $30 for a bottle of antibiotics and set it for free. i had one with an eye infection and she charged me $8 for eye drops that cleared it rigt up.
if you don't "know someone" though, they can be expensive. i heard someone with a broken leg say that they ended up putting theirs down because it would have cost $700 to get it fixed and they could buy 5 of them for that - NOT the attitude to go into pet ownership with. so it can get pricey if you can't find a good breeder, but that is true of any pet. my mom paid $1000 because her dog sucked a foxtail up her nose.
as far as a time commitment, the most consuming part is the fun part - just spending time with them. if you get an easy to clean cage it doesnt take long at all. i have 6 cages and it takes me about half an hour to change the litter and clean out the water bottles in all of them. in a large cage once a week is usually enough for changing the litter. the water bottles should be changed and cleaned daily but that takes only a couple minutes. if you free feed with a container that is mostly outside the cage the feeding takes only a second to put food in, and handing out treats is more of a fun activity than work. dust baths are always fun to watch so i put that under play time too.
hope some of this helps!
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