Chinchilla: habitat, diet and price

The chinchilla is a rodent native to South America that is often adopted as a pet.

Just like the guinea pig, the hamster or the degus, the chinchilla is a particularly popular rodent as a pet. If he is distinguished by a pleasant physique, he remains fierce. It is therefore advisable to be well informed before adopting or buying it.

His habitat

The natural environment of the chinchilla is in South America, more precisely in the heart of the Andes mountain range. It is therefore adapted to an arid environment with strong thermal fluctuations, as well as an altitude between 3,000 and 6,000 meters.

For domestic chinchillas, it is recommended to provide a cage with vertical bars. The volume must be large enough to allow it to evolve as it pleases. Prefer a model with floors or to place in height. As for the room, it is advisable to place the animal in a temperate place, sheltered from the rays of the sun and which has a protected hygrometry.

His physical characteristics

The chinchilla is reminiscent of a miniature rabbit. stock.adobe.com

The chinchilla has large ears with rounded contours. It can have a short or long queue. It weighs up to 800 grams for thirty centimeters in length. Its morphology has similarities with that of the rabbit, such as the lack of distinction between its round head and its body. Which gives him the impression of being curled up on himself.

The chinchilla has a gray coat with blue undertones. Its domestication and multiple crosses have led to different variants, such as beige or white.

His diet

Due to a fragile digestive system, the chinchilla’s diet should be high in fiber. It is recommended to provide food to chew so that he can perform a sufficient chewing effort. As a herbivore, it feeds mainly on grasses and dry leaves.

A large amount of hay is ideal for the nutritional needs of the chinchilla. Avoid fresh produce, dried fruits and seeds. Plantain, dandelion and endive can be given in small quantities and on an occasional basis.

His price

A suitable cage should also be provided. stock.adobe.com

The price results regarding the purchase of a chinchilla are particularly large. It is necessary to count between 30 and 300€. This discrepancy can be explained by the place of purchase, such as a pet store or a breeding. Added to this are the appearance of the rodent, the color of its coat and its origins.

It is also advisable to provide a suitable cage, ie 100 to 200€, as well as various fittings for an additional fifty euros. Chinchilla litter and food cost around $30 per month.

His health

The chinchilla generally lives about fifteen years. If he has no particular sensitivities, it is however necessary to pay attention to his diet to avoid digestive disorders, constipation or to soothe him. In case of stress or deficiencies, he may eventually suffer from alopecia. Like other rodents, the chinchilla can have dental problems, such as a malocclusion.


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