Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nocturnal Living....

Freeney pausing on the wheel to eat a raisin.
     Chinchillas are nocturnal animals, but ours have seemed to adjusted to the changing of the season and they way we live our human schedules.  Which helps lower the noise at night, boy who knew a chin running on a wheel could be so loud at times.  They love dark places.  They love hiding in their tubes, dust baths, and on top of the igloos to be out of the light.  Freeney & Bizzie love their sleep and get enough of it.  When they stay awake with us they, watch TV, bathe, play/chew with toys, watch us, and run about. I often wonder if Freeney or Bizzie will flip/break their wheel off the cage because they run so hard.  Watching them run is so adorable.  I'm home in the morning and work from 1:30-10:30 & come home on dinner break.  My boyfriend spends most of his time at home with them all day, so our work schedules allow for a crazy pet schedule. 
    I've read that as long as you spend lots of time with your chinchillas, they can adjust their sleeping/play habits accordingly.  After living with these animals for a month, they haven't changed their own living hours to accommodate us.  They just got lucky, we are night people and sleep in, hahahaaa.  I've heard some people complain about hearing their chins continuously run all night.  We just shut the bedroom door which gets rid of a lot of cage/running noise.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Introducing... Freeney & Bizzie

I've talked about them and the important basics of things about chinchillas, but finally here are our pets:

 Freeney is a Hetero Beige chin.  He was born on July 4th 2012.  We were throwing names around like freedom, independence, and other holiday type things.  We decided on freedom, but it just wasn't sticking or felt quite right.  So we were just randomly saying, free, freedom, and then my boyfriend said, "Freeney".  I said, I love it.  And it works out cos we are Colts fans (Linebacker #93).  So a holiday name idea turned into a sports fan idea, this is how Freeney got his name.  Which suits him, cos he loves to sit on top his green igloo (see him trying to nap in the igloo in the pic) and watch football with daddy (aka my boyfriend).

Bizzie, is a Mosaic chin.  He was born in April of 2012.  We rescued him from a couple on the South-side of Indianapolis after we went to a Colts game.  He has been with us for about 2 weeks now.  He is adjusting.  His previous owners got him at 11 weeks old, when he was ready to be removed from mommy care.  I don't thin they held him much or interacted with him much.  He bit at us and barked a lot in his first week.  Bizzie has calmed down a lot, but this is how he got his name.  One day after he bit and barked at us, he started going crazy in his cage. Running, hopping, the full 10 yards.  I said goodness Mr. Bizzie Body... and said, that's it.  I'm naming him Bizzie.  He is getting use to us petting him and getting him out to play.  I think he likes us a lot more than he planned on.

    Here are the faces of the chinchillas I will be constantly talking about. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Important must knows about young chinchillas...

     This morning we did the daily cleaning of the cage.  Lots of poo and the usual favorite spots to pee.  We have the monumental cages, of all cages!! 4 LEVELS of awesome chinchilla fun.  The size is amazing for them.  They both get two levels to themselves.  Bizzie lives on the top two levels and Freeney on the bottom two.  No worries though, they have tons of toys to be entertained with. Yes, they are separated and visit each other from time to time.  We keep them separated because they are both males and we want to get them mates soon.  Bizzie is 9 months and Freeney is 5 months old. 

     Now, on to important cages, toys, food and etc.  It is extremely important to keep them in a huge cage.  They are constantly chewing and eating, so they need LOTS of running and play space.  They are very energetic, bouncy, and can be hyper animals.  Not to mention, they can hop/jump up to 6 feet.  The bigger the better, unfortunately cages can be costly, but going for it will be worth it in the long run!  Chins require lots of exercise, because they will eat constantly and nap for hours at at time.  So when they are ready to run, they run hard.  Every chin needs at least 1 wheel.  They grow super fast, so to save money, just got for it and buy a big one.  Chins can get arthritis so they must have a wheel that is solid.  Do NOT get the ones they sale that are the wire ones with the square holes.  Chins are known to get toes, feet, and finger caught.  Which often leads to broken limbs.  If a broken limb occurs their overall health with decline fast.  So please make sure to get the correct toys to avoid any injuries and damage to your chins health. Another form of exercise we have for our chins, is the big hamster balls.  We have purchased the biggest ball that you can get.  This way as they grow older, we know they will always fit in it.  We put them in their balls and this allows them to travel anywhere in the house.  They cant get themselves stuck behind furniture, cant get to cords and chew, or crawl into or behind any kitchen or laundry appliances.  They love it because they can follow us anywhere in the house while getting some running exercise.
     They will require lots of chew toys.  UNTREATED wood is best.  They will chew, chew, and chew.  I highly recommend getting the toys that hang.  Our chins love the hanging ones the best.  They are usually sold with 1-4 blocks of wood.  There are also great hay intertwined balls with bells on the inside.  They love them.  We also save our paper towel holders and cut them up and throw them in the cages.  They love to chew cardboard.  Cardboard that doesn't have paint/die/color, glue, etc will be fine for them to chew.  This is why I don't use the cardboard from toilet paper. 
     Their food bowls are filled each day with a mix of pellets and Charlie Chinchilla food. We constantly use Timothy Hay.  Between the hay and this brand of food, they get the hard grains and nutrients they need the most of.  We also provide salt rings for them to chew on.  They are extremely cheap and help with avoiding dehydration.  They must have a clean water bottle or bowl of water every day.  Snacks... oh yeah, they love them.  Due to the type of stomach/digestive system they have, there are very few human food items they can have.  Here are a list that they can have:  raisins (once a week), Goji Berries, Rosehips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts (no more than twice a week though due to high fat content), animal crackers, & banana chips.  They do love tons of hay and its the best thing for them. 
    Bedding, the most important part for the bottom of your cage.  You can get wood chips, paper bedding (which I hate), or rabbit or kitten pellets used for litter boxes.  This is what we use, and we get the odor control.  Chins aren't very smelly, thank goodness, but the odor control will allow you to go a month for each changing. 
    Hiding and napping.  They will nap anywhere, however, they do love darker places for hiding and sleeping.  I say hiding, but its more related to feeling safe.  Igloos, yes... the plastic igloos you can find in your local pet store are perfect.  Just like the wheels, just go ahead and get the biggest igloo.  Chins do get attached to their toys, hiding places, and owners.  So if you just get the biggest igloo, they will have it their whole 18-22 years of life.  They will also nap in their baths a lot.  Make sure each chin has their own dust bath.  You hear right, dust bath.  Due to the type skin they have, they bathe in dust.  
    I think this is a great start for beginning your journey with getting a chin and creating it's new home.  There will be tons more I am sure.  Please feel free to ask questions.