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  #1  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:24 PM United States
DekuChilla DekuChilla is offline
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Default Is my chinchilla okay?

Hey everyone, I posted a day or two back about my chinchilla having soft poop. Good news is, I was able to get the poo back to normal, but another thing has came up that has me wondering if my chinchilla is okay or if I am just paranoid.
He's young, not sure of the age, I imagine less then 4 months?. He eats Oxbow pellets and Oxbow timothy hay. The first few days he was quite active and ate his hay(not much) and once I got him his oxbow pellets he ate those(again not much). I have had him for about 1 week now and lately it seems like he spends quite a bit of time sleeping and is hardly active. I haven't seen him eat much and I keep supplying him with fresh food. However, when he is awake it's for maybe 30 minutes at a time and he seems alert and active, he doesn't seem sluggish or anything. I've seen him drink but not really eat lately. I am up till about 2am every night and he hasn't been active much or at all during this time anymore. I gave him a shredded wheat to see if he could even eat and he ate about half of it, so I'm not worried that he has a mouth problem or anything.
I'm mostly wondering if this is fairly normal with chinchillas and they go through phases, or if it sounds like something is wrong with him, again when he is awake he seems alert and active, just haven't seen him eat. Any advice would be super appreciated, and I thank you in advance! I hope that everything is okay with him and that I am just paranoid.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:46 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Well if he is still young then he is going to be sleeping a lot, just like any baby animal, as much as 20 hours a day or more. Also chins are not actually nocturnal, they are crepuscular, they are most awake at dawn and dusk, and sleep during the naturally warmest and coolest times of the day. My guys for example are generally wake when my husband gets up in the early morning to go to work, around 5am, then sleeping until late afternoon, awake for a bit, then sleeping again until evening. They may get up for a bite to eat or a drink of water in between those times but go right back to bed. Over time and as he gets older, he will get use to when you are awake and adjust his schedule a bit to be awake when you get up or get home for example.

They actually aren't always sleeping, kind of like a cat, if there is something to do or something is happening they are awake, otherwise they are napping to save energy. Chins are prey animals so they want to conserve energy in case they need to flee a predator.

Another thing, if he is only around 4 months he really should be eating mostly alfalfa hay with some timothy if you want, he needs the extra protein and calcium in the alfalfa to grow. You also don't want to be giving him any treats yet, just the hay and pellets. Once again you want him to be eating just good food not junk food for proper growth until he is about a year old. Chins should be eating roughly 2 tbs of pellets a day and about a handful of hay (or a pile about the size of a chinchilla) a day.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:52 PM United States
DekuChilla DekuChilla is offline
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Thanks for the response. I haven't seen him eat in a while and haven't noticed much or any poop, should I be concerned or is this just him still getting used to things?
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:40 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Hm, yeah not eating or pooping much is cause for concern. Chins have to eat or their gut shuts down, if he hasn't eaten anything in 12 hour or more it's an emergency. Chins poop about once every 30-60 seconds when awake, so not much poop could mean something is wrong, especially since he went from soft poop to now little to no poop. I would get him checked out at the vet. Also if you don't already, it's best to get a digital scale that measures in grams and keep a weight on him, since he is a kit he should be steadily gaining.

Since you say he is less then 4 months it makes me wonder if maybe he was taken from his mother too soon. They should not go to a new home until 10-12 weeks old and weigh at least 200g. You may need to hand feed him if he isn't eating on his own. But as I said I would get the vet to check him over first just to make sure there isn't a gut issue going on.
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