Why do chins NEED Hay? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2003, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Why do chins NEED Hay?

I've always balked at people saying their pellet diet was "complete" and that hay wasn't necessary. This article that my vet sent me just convinced me I'm right! They need that rough, high fiber!

Quote:
Skull size and cheek-tooth length in wild-caught and captive-bred chinchillas.
Arch Oral Biol 46[10]:919-28 2001 Oct
Crossley DA, Miguelez MM

Chinchillas are herbivorous rodents with teeth that all grow continuously. In captivity, they are commonly affected by dental disease. As the range of dental disease occurring in wild chinchillas is unknown, the dentition of museum specimens originally obtained from the wild was assessed and compared with specimens prepared from captive-bred animals. Skulls from wild-caught chinchillas showed minimal evidence of dental disease and the teeth were all short, cheek-tooth lengths averaging 5.9 mm. Cheek-tooth lengths in zoo specimens (average 6.6 mm), clinically normal (average 7.4 mm) and captive-bred animals with dental disease (average 10 mm) were significantly elongated by comparison (P<0.0001). Captive-bred specimens showed a wide range of tooth-related lesions. These results suggest that some aspect of captivity is responsible for the development of dental disease in chinchillas. It is suggested that the diet (its physical form and
composition) is the main aetiological factor, and that provision of a diet closely matching that of wild chinchillas should significantly reduce the incidence of dental disease in captive animals.

Stephanie

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2003, 12:31 PM
 
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Thanks for posting that Jade... My chinnies appreciate it
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2003, 11:11 PM
 
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HAY!!!
That's great information you posted-thank you!

I recommend alfalfa hay, especially for breeders and lots and lots of timothy hay for everyone!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 07:51 AM
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I was told that Alfafa is very the babies because it has lot of nutrition. However, it was told not to suitable for adult chins as it would make them having diarrhea. Isn't it right?
 
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 11:07 AM
 
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I have always been told to give them high quality pelleted food and lots of Timothy Hay (just like the basics like the gp's) Alfalfa I always thought was very fattening and timothy more nutritious. The Alfalfa was to be a treat only. My guys like the hay and I don't think I would be able to get away with not giving it to them (they would hunt me down!)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2003, 12:51 PM
 
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Alice Kline and her daughter Beth have been my mentors for many years. They have raised chinchillas for over 50 years and use alfalfa, always. I've been breeding chins for 8 years and also use alfalfa. The protien and calcium levels are higher in the alfalfa which are great for chins. (Really bad for rabbits though). The timothy has less nutricious and calories but is an excellent choice for the fiber chins need.

I do however suggest that if you use timothy and have always used timothy , don't change to alfalfa. Your chins body chemistry is adjusted to the diet they are on and as long as they are doing well then-LEAVE THE DIET ALONE.

This holds true with the feed. Some do really well on Mazure while others use Hubbard or Kline. It is really a good idea to keep the chins on the food that the breeder has them on since a change of feed on offspring over many generations can possibly lead to cancer or other health problems.

There are many methods of feeding for our chins. Talk to large long time breeders and study to get proper information and this will help you to balance out and make right decissions about caring for your chins. But like Jade said give the little darlins hay !
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 02:22 PM
 
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that is really good to know Jade
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:20 PM
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Mine NEEDED to eat hay because I ran out of pellets and just got my order today.

I do give mine a small handful of timothy hay everyday. They seem to really enjoy it, except they're probably sick of it by now and will never eat it again.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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I just bought 25lbs of hay for 7 chins, soon to be 5 (babies going to their new homes). Mine get a huge handful to a handful and a half daily and it's usually gone by morning. They snub their Oxbow now that they tried kmshayloft's hay. Opinionated little monkeys, they are.

Stephanie

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