Chinchillas are a fairly large species of rodent originating from South America.
They are active, social nocturnal animals and make brilliant pets if they are cared for correctly.
Two chinchillas are better than one
In the wild chinchillas live in large, social groups called herds. At Raystede we never rehome a single chinchilla on its own, they must live in a pair or group.
Pairs can be made up of male-female, female-female or male-male. Male chinchillas should always be neutered.
If you have a single chinchilla and are looking for a friend for him / her, Raystede offers a chinchilla bonding service. Chinchilla bonding at Raystede costs £20. If you are interested please ask a member of the small animals team for more information.
Chinchilla Housing & Enrichment
We ask for a 3ft x 3ft x 3ft cage for a pair of chinchillas.
Cages with wire floors are not appropriate for chinchillas as they can cause a variety of health problems.
Cages should have lots of perches, houses and tubes to play in - Chinchillas love to hide!
Chinchillas are very active, so they need exercise time out of the cage every evening. This needs to be a secure room with no accessible wires.
You will need to provide a sand bath for your chinchilla. Chinchillas cannot get wet, so they clean themselves by rolling in sand.
The Best Diet for Chinchillas
Chinchillas need lots of good quality hay to nibble on throughout the day, this helps to keep their teeth in shape.
They should be given a small quantity of pellets daily. Avoid muesli-type feeds as these as very high in sugars and contain lots of foods unsuitable for chinchillas.
Chinchillas are very intolerant of sugars and fats, if you want to treat your chinchilla, you can give him / her up to 2 raisins per week.
They should have constant access to fresh, clean water which must be changed daily.
Chinchillas can live for up to 20 years in captivity.
The most common health problem in chinchillas is overgrown teeth which can be very painful for them. Look out for weepy eyes, drooling or weight loss.
All our male chinchillas are neutered prior to adoption. This prevents future health issues and unwanted litters.