Feeding Chinchilla’s things that are not natural to their diet may lead to an upset stomach or in extreme conditions, death. Excess moisture in their food will lead to bloating. These provide chinchillas with the much required proteins, fats, as well as vitamin A and B12. You need to be careful not to feed your chinchilla the same diet as this can make them very ill. What do chinchillas eat in the wild? They got their name from the Andes tribe known as the Chincha. Read on to learn about the chinchilla. Chinchillas are considered rodents. Keep in mind dietary requirements for chinchillas are specific and are different from other animals. A diet containing pellets is better than mixed food. Chinchillas use their teeth for protection. Charlotte lives in the United Kingdom and has worked in animal shelters looking after small animals. Although sugary and fatty foods are bad even for wild chinchillas, these foods are packed with energy and sometimes they would make the difference between life and death considering the scarcity of the foods available in the Andes region, which chinchillas occupy. The chinchilla is a common exotic pet, but is also largely used in the fur industry for fashionable clothing. All Rights Reserved, environment from which chinchillas come from, How To Help A Depressed Chinchilla? Chinchillas are herbivores that eat a high fiber diet in the wild. Water is scarce, humidity is low, and it rarely rains so wild chinchillas must rely on morning dew for a drink. There are two types of chinchillas: the long-tailed chinchillas and the short-tailed chinchillas. Chinchillas like to live in groups referred to as herds. Not only do they eat grass, leaves, seeds, nuts, berries and flowers, they also feed on small insects and bird eggs when they have a chance to. Chinchillas are strictly herbivores and feed primarily on seeds and grass, they also eat a variety of other vegetation and plant matter. Chinchillas are herbivores (plant eating animals) and in the wild their diet would be bland, feeding off seeds, roots, leaves, fruits, berries, bark, alfalfa and various grasses, all of which contain a high percentage of fibre. Chinchillas are coprophages which means they can eat their poop. In this post we will tell you exactly what chinchillas eat when they are in the wild. Nevertheless, a well-balanced diet is crucial to ensuring a happy and healthy lifestyle for your pet chinchilla. Not only do they eat grass, leaves, seeds, nuts, berries and flowers, they also feed on small insects and bird eggs when they have a … Chinchillas Will ALWAYS Eat on Their Haunches Similar to hamsters, Chinchillas also enjoy eating on their haunches (that being their back legs). Chinchillas Are Speedy. Wild chinchillas are only found in Chile, but historically lived in areas of Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. Similarly, pet chinchillas should be offered food twice a day but may consume food throughout the day, as they tend to eat more slowly than other small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Chinchillas drink less water in the wild as they get a lot of their water from the food they eat. Chinchilla Itching and Scratching- Why And What to Do? Illegal poaching is the biggest problem for the continued decline of chinchillas. They do this to absorb extra nutrients. You should be giving your chinchilla a handful of pellets each day while still giving them a constant supply of hay. Therefore, she recommends letting chinchillas out of their cages at least once a day for as much time as they can as a part of proper chinchilla care. In the moist year’s chinchilla will eat a range of 21 different plants. After all, beggars can’t be choosers. They don’t always get to find eggs in the wild, just like there may not always be nice plants to chew on. Chinchillas breed twice a year and have a gestation period of 111 days. One of the major problems that they face in the wild is dehydration. Only give your chinchillas small amounts of dried fruit and root vegetables as treats. Nuts + Seeds are high in fat. Although not their favorite things to eat, chinchillas also lay their hands on some meat in the wild such as insects and bird eggs whenever they climb trees. The original population nearly became extinct, thanks to hunting, strip mining activities, habitat destruction, poaching, deforestation due to firewood extraction, and competition from cattle. In their native Bolivia and Peru, chinchillas are already extinct. However, when they are domesticated, they will feed on commercial feed pellets. Hay & Its Importance In Chinchillas' Diets Another interesting fact is since chinchillas live in herds and it takes them time to feed on chewy grasses there would usually have one designated chinchilla that will be on the look-out while the others feed, he would keep an eye out for predators making sure it’s buddies are safe! In the wild, a chinchilla consumes fruits, small plants, seeds, plant leaves, and small insects. Chinchillas in the wild typically eat most of their food in the early mornings or late at night due to predators and because of their natural routine. Chinchillas originate from a dry climate, and have developed needing a very dry diet. Owls, foxes, cougars and mountain lions are all predators of the chinchilla. One of the major interruptions of the wild chinchilla population is human activity. While eating, chinchillas sit upright on their hind legs and hold the food in their front paws. Some cacti and the cacti fruit they feed on also provide some water. Little has been done to protect chinchillas, and all the actions have apparently failed. In the wild, chinchillas eat a diet of seeds, fruits, plant leaves, and small insects. Is straw safe for hamsters? How often do chinchillas eat? These rodents face severe danger and if action is not taken, the might become extinct in the near future. 22. Chinchillas graze on hay all day and should be given a handful of grassed based pellets daily. You should be careful not to feed your pet chinchilla the same diet as a wild chinchilla, as their dietary requirements are completely different. Whether we are talking about wild or domesticated chinchillas, you will notice that they are real gourmets, they take their food and hold it with their forefeet slowly nibbling on it and savoring each bite, munching on that piece of grass as if it is the most succulent thing ever. They are not designed for rich or fatty diets and such diets can easily cause serious digestive upsets. Another favorite among chinchillas are succulents, which are a rich water source and are available all around the year. They are known for their extremely soft, gray fur. Chinchillas primarily lived in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and Chili at high elevations in the mountains around 14,000 feet. In the wild chinchillas feed on a large number of grasses, seeds, fruits, plants, small insects and even bird eggs. According to Jiménez (1990), wild chinchillas feed on up to 24 plant species, mainly herbs, and their diet changes substantially between sites and during the year.” “The dietary analysis of chinchilla based on the contents of feces indicates that the different plant life forms eaten varied markedly among seasons and between years. In captivity, they should be fed a grass/hay/grain-based pellet product. Chinchilla Diet. You may be left wondering whether straw is a suitable bedding alternative for hamsters? Copyright at 2020 Chinchilla Care Group. In the wild, chinchillas forage a complex range of nutrients from a variety of grasses, barks, and flowers to support optimal health. These plants offer a very low amount of water and in order to stay hydrated chinchillas drink the dew off of rocks and shrubs at dawn. Here we share care knowledge and tips to keep your rodent (and rabbit) healthy and happy. It is important to use chinchilla foods that closely mimic the diet the animal would eat in the wild. Sadly, many chinchilla owners do not know about the dangers these beautiful animals face on a daily basis. She owns a hamster as well as a dog and a cat and hopes to spread her knowledge about rodents to help other pet owners. The introduction of legal measures has helped protect the chinchilla population since 1920, but still, the population continues to reduce. 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