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Old 12-06-2018, 11:30 AM Canada
Megsie Megsie is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Question Chinchilla Companion?


I'm new to this forum but I had a bit of a long winded question I was hoping you could help me with.
So to start from the beginning I found my chinchilla. He ran across the rode and I almost hit him with my car (I live in Canada where chinchillas should NOT be outside). But long story short I was never able to find out why he was out on the streets and I ended up keeping him.
Fast forward 3 years I fear he may be lonely and was looking into getting him a companion.
Here are my questions,

1.Generally does this sound like a good idea? He is at least 3 years old (I think around 4 maybe 5) and because I have no idea where he came from I do not have any clue as to his socialization skills. He seems to have no fear what so ever and will go right nose to nose with my 60 pound dog and even try to catch his tail through the cage bars. Is he too old and been alone too long to try and introduce another Chinch?

2. What are the general rules for gender pairing? I am pretty sure he's a he (but after looking at sexing pictures I am not so sure.) he does not have a pronounced space between his anus and "junk" which makes me feel like female but he has a very long and pronounced penis looking thing so I can't really tell. Could anyone help me with that?
Do males get along with males? Will a female companion always end up in babies? If I find he is actually female are female partners easier to introduce?

3. Should I look for a Chinch around his age or get him a younger partner (baby?)

4. Am I just over reacting in assuming he's lonely and he's probably fine?

Thanks so much for reading and for helping! I got thrust into Chinchilla motherhood and did as much research as I could but I needed some help with this topic.

Heres a cute picture of him(her?)
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:05 PM Canada
Amethyst's Avatar
Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,597
Chinchillas: 2

Chinchillas are herd animals, so they often do benefit from having other chins around. Even 4 or 5 years old isn't that old, they can live 15-20 years, sometimes longer. I realize you don't know for sure, and don't know the history so that can make it harder. Not all chins get along with all other chins, so pairing doesn't always work out. So if you get a second one it should be because you want a second one and have room for a second cage.

As for pair, yes if you put a male and female together they will breed, so I would make sure of what you have. They don't always breed right away though if the conditions aren't right, which can throw some people off thinking they are same sex or one is sterile, then one day wake up to kits. If you want you can try posting a photo on here and we can try to help identify gender. Take the pic from the back, hold the base of the tail and lift the back legs off the ground. All chins have a cone, you can't actually see the penis unless it's out, and you normally wont see the balls unless the chin is hot.

Male/male and female/female pairs both get along just fine, personality matters more then gender or age. From your description the chin sounds pretty dominate, so you would want to find one that is more on the submissive side that is ok with not being boss.

Does the chin act lonely? Frequent contact calls, moping around, etc? Also how much time do you spend with them? Especially for a single chin you should be spending at least an hour a day interacting. If they have spent their whole life alone though, they might not want a companion, like a human suddenly having to share their home. If you want a second chin it is worth a try, having another chin around to "chat" which, even in another cage, can be beneficial. Also I have had chins that enjoy a play mate, but don't want to share their cage.
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
3 Dogs: Bear, Loki, and Blaze
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