Bathing & Grooming
Chinchillas have very dense fur with a lot of lanolin. They require a special dust bath a few times a week. Use a dish that is large enough for your chinchilla to roll in. Pour about an inch of dust in the dish and place it inside the cage. Your chinchilla will jump in and have a wonderful time. Only leave the dust in the cage for about 15 minutes. Always use chinchilla dust. Never put your chin in real sand. The dust can be reused for about a week or until it begins to look clumpy. Scoop out all of the pellets before you store it away for the next use. If your chinchilla urinates in the dust you can not reuse it. If you are breeding your chinchillas, wait 10 days after a birth to give mother and babies a bath. When mom gets hers let the babies bathe too. If you have more than one cage of chinchillas, each should have their own container. Using the same dust for multiple cages is a good way to pass on a sickness. Do not wash a chinchilla with water. If you do happen to get your chin wet roll him up in a towel immediately and keep him warm.
A chinchilla's main diet is made up of Chinchilla pellets. We recommend Mazuri 5M01 Chinchilla Food. Calf Manna is a great source of Calcium for your chinchilla. We suggest 4 parts Mazuri to 1 part Calf Manna. You can find both products at www.LoneStarChinchilla.com. Another good choice for chinchilla pellets is Manna Pro Classic Show Rabbit Pellets. This has almost the same make up as the Mazuri. Most feed stores can order this for you. Your local Wal-Mart store may be able to order it as well. Stay away from the food that contains fruit. Do not give your chinchilla gerbil or other rodent food as a main diet. Find one kind of pellet and stick to it. Chinchillas have very delicate digestive systems so changing their diet too drastically can cause sickness and even death. We keep our chinchilla feed dishes full. There is no need to measure their feed since they will only eat when they get hungry.