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Old 01-20-2019, 03:34 AM United States
jellybellybean jellybellybean is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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hmmm Chin is avoiding bedding

Hey all,

So we recently had to switch from fleece to Aspen shavings because looks to me and the breeder like fleece was drying out and irritating my poor chin's feet. I thought being on shavings might be better for her tootsies in the long run.

But she hates them with a burning passion so far, and is avoiding all areas with shavings. She grew up on shavings before I got her, but then I had her on fleece...and I guess she doesn't remember what shavings are like on the feet.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem with persnickety chins and if so, of they just sorta got over avoiding the shavings after a while?

She's sorta avoiding the spots where her hay and water bottles are because shavings are there too. Part of me wants to move that stuff to the areas she's not avoiding. But part of me also doesn't want to enable her avoidance strategy by moving her essentials to only places she likes. Catch 22 I guess.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:13 PM United States
keala keala is offline
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Mine much prefer fleece and quite hate sitting on shavings. It would probably be best to let her avoid it for now and some do set up their cages so that the chinchillas really don't have to sit on the floor at any time. Not eating or drinking enough can be a death sentence quickly for small herbivores. Certainly worse than irritated feet in the short term. Make sure there are some solid shelves to comfortably sit on and put her bottle and food up there. One of my cages also has a shelf mounted house they love even with fleece. I haven't gotten any others built yet and it's a bit of a pain to clean sometimes.

If you can't move the bottle up I'd set something flat under it to sit on. I use ceramic or natural stone flooring tiles a lot around my animals. You can buy those chinchilla chiller tiles but really they are just the same thing as much cheaper marble flooring tiles from any hardware store. Flooring tiles come in 3" up to 14" squares. Marble, polished granite, or ceramic if you are a bit careful not to break them should be perfectly safe and I use the long, thinner ceramic ones to hold down the edges of fleece sometimes. Travertine and slate can be porous or sealed with questionable substances.

I'd add some sticks or other treats on the shaving floor periodically and as she adjusts put her food dish and hay back on/over it directly. When she's not avoiding it as much move the water bottle back if you want. They can get set in their ways and take a bit of time to accept changes.

Personally though I've had shavings cause more foot problems than fleece. Especially certain brands or types can result in even more dryness or irritation but it depends on details. It may or may not solve the problem.
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