The nutrition of a chinchillas represents for many an owner a great challenge dar. Nature already provides the food. Chinchilla owners should follow what the rodents eat in the wild. The animals are not used to a creative diet.
Get your new favorites from the breeder, ask him for a bag of the previous food. If you later try something new, start with a few "side dishes" and increase the amount slowly. Owners of these cute grooms want to make their chinchillas happy, and preferably with delicious rich feed creations. It is often forgotten where the animals actually come from - namely from the Andes in South America. To feed as naturally as possible is the best for the rodents.
Chinchillas are used to certain foods
The rather barren landscape in the Andes provides grasses, shrubs, herbs, cacti, bushes and roots to the rodents in the wild. This often dry vegetable diet is rich in minerals and vitamins as well as very structurally-containing many raw fibers. The gastrointestinal tract of the chinchilla is adapted to this food and processes it optimally. The contained raw fibers are fiber that is even urgently needed by the rodents: They stimulate the digestion and keep the intestinal flora healthy.
Chinchilla basic food: hay and water
Since hay provides these important raw fibers, it is the ideal basic feed. Herbal substances are relatively low in energy, so chinchillas have to eat a lot of them for a healthy energy balance. It is therefore essential that the rodents have fresh, clean hay available at all times. In addition to the promotion of digestion hay is used by the animals for dental care. When buying, make sure that the hay is really fresh. If it smells slightly musty, it may soon start to mold and is no longer compatible with the sensitive herbivores. Always think of fresh water daily: it must always be provided to the animals, for example in a nipple potion.
How to enrich the basic diet?
From dried herbs, hay and seeds can be delicious meals for chinchillas conjure. All food for the rodents must be unsprayed and untreated. The best thing to do in your garden is to find out if you can not find one or two wholesome feeds. But remember to always wash it off thoroughly. The chinchilla diet allows the following foods:
- ● Chinchilla pellets - Special pellets for chinchillas are highly controversial, but some varieties or brands are basically not that bad. They just do not taste every chinchilla and a one-sided diet only with pellets would of course be completely wrong. Chinchillas also want variety on the menu. Above all, they are good for mixing with herbal mixtures and seeds. When buying, be sure to pay attention to the ingredients and select the product according to the ingredients contained in the plant.
- ● Dried herbs, leaves and flowers - These are very digestible for the small rodents and can be mixed with both the hay and the chinchilla pellets. Delicious herbs and flowers such as melissa, daisies, roses or dandelion or dried carrot herb provide a delicious variety.
- ● Fresh green fodder - After a slow habituation to green fodder, fresh leaves also taste particularly good. Greener food, however, has become more habitual for the habit animals, as fresh greens are hard to find in their homeland.
- ● Seed mixtures - Seeds with grass seeds and herb seeds serve as concentrates and belong to a balanced diet of chinchillas.
- ● Bark, Branches, Buds, and Roots - These things are abundant in chinchillas even in their natural environment. So they are well suited as feed. Unsprayed branches of apple or pear trees (but not stone fruit trees!) Are ideal for rodents, as are birch, linden, willow and beech. The buds and leaves are often eaten with. Chinchillas also use branches for their tooth abrasion. Herbal roots are also optimal for feeding.
- ● Hay and herbal cobs - They are a bit more expensive, but many chinchilla lovers swear by high-quality cobs and mix them into the concentrate.
- ● Selected fruits and vegetables - Fruits and vegetables spice up the rodent's diet. However, chinchillas get no fresh juice feed in their natural habitat. Therefore, the little rascals do not tolerate too much fresh fruit or vegetables. For example, place only very thin apple slices with the food (never apricot!). Make sure your fruits are not too high in fructose. Quite well - but in moderation - are also tubers such as celery, carrots or parsnips and leafy vegetables such as endive and lettuce hearts.
- ● Treats - Treats in between are dried fruit and vegetable chips, rose hips, rose petals, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and bits of carob. But: treats are just treats. You should not take the lead role on the feed plan - at best, you only give treats once a week.
In this video, a black chinchilla eats the young tender leaflets of the weeping willow:
And among these sweet chinchillas is today, among other dry vegetables on the menu: