Author Topic: Chinchilla Cages  (Read 51528 times)

Offline cerulean.blue

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Chinchilla Cages
« on: January 17, 2005, 01:44:29 PM »
One of these days (when I get down to one rat cage... lol) I want to get a chinchilla. I wanted to know if a R-690 or 695 would be an okay cage. I'd think that maybe the floor spacing might be a problem, but could you just cover that with those Magic Mat things or something else? Also, would one chinchilla be all right by itself, or should they be kept in groups (like rats)? I'm definitely going to be doing more research before I get one (if I ever can get down to one rat cage), but I was just wondering right now if either of the cages I had would be all right.

Offline DragonTamer

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 02:17:17 PM »
they live 20 years..and need dust baths, and are related to degus...   I know that much, heh...  other than that I can't help you.

Offline ekw4petrescue

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2005, 03:11:29 PM »
The R-695 would probably be big enough for a chin.  But if you're going to get a pair, you might want to go even bigger than that.  The bigger, the better, as chins are quite active.  Unless they are going to get a LOT of outside-the-cage-playtime.  If the shelves are wire, you could always have wooden shelves cut to fit over them, or some other sort of chinchilla-safe material.  They are generally social animals, and do very well in a same-sex pairs.  (Of course, as with every animal, there are always exceptions)  I have heard and read about chins living up to 20 years old, but I believe that is quite rare. From what I understand, the more common lifespan is about 10-15 years.   Here are a couple of links you might find to be helpful www.spoiledchins.net and www.chinstation.com   :)
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Offline cerulean.blue

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2005, 04:05:11 PM »
The shelves and full floor are made of 1/2"x1/2" wire. So I would have to get something to cover the floors then... Okay... I know Martin's also makes chin cages, but the chin cages also have wire flooring. Would the ramps be fine if they were left just wire?

I don't know when I'd be getting chinchillas, but I do want to make sure I have everything and have done all my research first. I'd like to use one of my rat cages as a chin cage, once I get down to one cage of rats, but if that's not possible, then I could sell the rat cage, and buy a chin cage.

Thanks for the links, I didn't have those!  ;D

Offline elle

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2005, 06:00:19 PM »
if you look at the numbers on the martins chinchilla cages, they're actually just rat and ferret cages labeled for chins


Offline Noe

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2005, 02:52:59 PM »
Honestly, when it comes to chins, you really want to maximize their housing as much as possible because they are extremely fast and energetic and are much happier when they have the room to race around.

My chin, Bamboozle, lives in a wire cage that I inherited from her previous owner. To protect her feet, I cover the floor with grass mats (which she ADORES shredding to pieces), wooden ledges, and slabs of marble (good for cooling down on hot days). Bambam's cage is 4ft high x 3ft wide x 1.5 feet deep -- and I'd give her more space if I could. I know she'd make good use of it. But in fact, I'm planning on buying or building her a solid cage ASAP -- and I recommend you do the same, for a couple reasons.

1) Chinchillas spray urine out of their cages. Since they need a fair amount of height to really move the way they want to, this can get extremely messy. Bambam's cage is in a corner that we've lined with plastic shower curtains, and periodically we use a sponge to wipe the congealed brownish-yellow mess off of them. Plenty of the urine also gathers on the wires of the cage, especially the lower levels, and then fur and bathing dust stick to that...yeah, it's about as fun as it sounds. With solid enclosures you don't have to worry about urine spraying on your walls, floor, and furniture.

2) Chinchillas love to jump, and wire floors really limit their ability to do this. Most solid chin cages have lots of ledges and branches and hammocks and and so forth, but also lots of open space for the chins to jump around in ways that just aren't possible with a wire cage with full levels.

This photo shows the kind of cage that is generally recommended for chins:

http://www.spoiledchins.net/Product_Sales/cage3.gif

The sides of this cage are melamine, but the levels are pine because the chins will gnaw on them. So you may have to replace those once in awhile, but not often, and I think they're vastly superior to wire in terms of how much cleaning time they'll save you. (And yes, pine levels are generally considered safe for chins. The chins will not devour the wood, chewing it won't release toxic phenol gas that will melt their lungs, etc. Just don't house them on pine shavings, and they'll be fine.) That site also sells instructions on how to build that cage for $5 (the instructions are $5, not the cage!). It's simple-looking but a good site, I've ordered plenty of supplies from them.
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In regards to living in pairs, it's extremely rare for chinchillas to be neutered because it can cause various health issues, so make sure to seek out a same-sex pair or consult your vet. Chinchillas definitely form emotional attachments to each other -- after BamBam lost her lifemate, she grieved for months, stopped eating well or grooming herself, etc. She's doing better now but we do plan on getting her a companion since of necessity she's alone all night and most of the day.

Also, if you don't have an air conditioner, you'll have to get one. It's a good idea even if you already have central air. It's the one aspect of chin care that is non-negotiable, because temps over 75-80 degrees can kill chins. You may already know this, but I'm telling you because I wish someone had told me before I agreed to rescue a chin in the middle of a summer heat wave and ended up shelling out $500 to have a portable AC rush-delivered because our windows aren't set up for the window-mounted kind.  :P
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Offline Rowena

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Re: Chinchilla Cages
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2006, 12:56:11 PM »
I know this is old, but I just wanted to recommend checking out:

http://www.qualitycage.com for chin cages :)

Also, there are a lot of good chin forums, if you want to learn some more. http://www.nibblerniche.com http://www.chinsandgliders.com
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