Chinchilla’s are a high mountain rodent of the Andes Mountains in South America that are now bred in captivity. Chinchillas can be kept in large wire cages with solid bottoms. They do great in multilevel cages that encourage vertical activity. They like to rest in small covered spaces so provide ample hides for this purpose. They are cold weather critter and do not tolerate temperatures much above room temperature and prefer temperatures below 60 degrees. In the wild they are mostly active around dawn and dusk but in captivity adapt well to a diurnal life style. They do not bath in water but rather in dirt; a behavior called dust bathing. Commercial chinchilla “dust” is available and probably cleaner and safer to use that dirt or sand. Grass hay should make up 85% of the diet and the remainder of the diet can be made up of commercial pellets and grains, fruits, and dark leafy greens in small quantities.
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