Note for Pet Owners:
information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of
your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise
on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for
Topics on this Page:
becoming increasingly popular as pets ...but what do you know about them ? Here
are 10 facts that you might find interesting.
- Chinchillas originated from the Andes mountain range in South America
- They are easy to look after ...but they are mainly nocturnal so they are
not very suitable as pets
- They live to be over 10 years of age ...and up to 20 years is not uncommon
! So if you buy one as a family pet consider who will look after it once the
children grow up !!
- They are members of the rodent family ..like mice, rats and hamsters.
- They eat grasses, bark, leaves, fruit and other vegetation
- If fed a commercially prepared diet they still need fibre in the form of
good quality hay (eg timothy grass)
- You should never change the diet of a chinchilla suddenly because they can
develop serious gastrointestinal problems including diarrhoea
- Like many rodents chinchillas often get dental disease which needs to be
treated by your veterinarian
- Chinchillas like to be cool (but not cold). They can suffer heat stroke if
they are kept in an environment at over 80oF
- Chinchillas need low humidity (ie they should not be kept in a moist
Chinchillas are Mammals.
Classification : Rodents
Average life expectancy : 10 years (upto 18 years recorded)
Body weight (males) : 400-500g
Body weight (females) : 400-500g (larger than males)
Body temperature (rectal) : 38-39o C
Heart rate : Range 100-150 beats per minute
Respiratory rate : Range 40-80 per minute
Sexual maturity (males ) : reached at 8 months.
Sexual maturity (females) : reached at 8 months
Oestrus cycle : lasts 30-50 days. Seasonally polyoestrous - breeding mainly
during November and May in the Northern Hemisphere.
Gestation period : 111 days
Average litter size : 4-12. Maximum recorded 26.
Young at birth : Weight 30-60g. Born with fur, eyes open. Suckle milk until
weaning at 6-8 weeks of age
Weaning : 6-8 weeks of age
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