Angora Chinchillas

Sage12

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I am curious about them. I think they are adorable. One day I may be able to own one. I can’t spend the 1000 on a chinchilla right now. Is there anything wrong with them health wise? Are they more likely to overheat? Are they hard to groom?
 

Pepperpot

Chin Mum & Fluffslave!
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Angora chinchillas stand more chance of overheating due to the length and density of their double coat. I'm not certain if enough information is yet available ref their genetics to predict their health long term. They are certainly not suitable for a novice chin keeper, but are adorable.
 

Spoof

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They are very cute. They take a lot more maintenance - you do have to keep them brushed or they get mats. If they have long hair around the privates you will want to keep that trimmed or you will have to wash it every few days to keep it cleaned and untangled - if they only have a 1" rise between the bum and where they pee and the fur is longer it gets soaked in urine. Some breeders keep them on wire floors for this reason.

It has been my experience that they do not live as long as a regular chinchilla. I have seen very, very few make it past five years of age. I have one breeding male that I finally decided to use that is over 5 - because he is older. For some reason they just die on you - be it an illness in the herd, accidents, whatever, they are far more prone to it. It has been quite the saga watching breeders start, loose their animals, then restart again. Both in the U.S. and overseas. I only have the one angora and am working strictly with carriers that are from healthy lines due to this. I fully expect them to kick the bucket any day to be honest. Even my carriers have been prone to more damage.

I haven't noticed a difference regarding over heating, nor had any reports of this. They do not have very dense coats compared to a good show quality chinchilla.

As far as keeping one as a pet - just start working with handling them like you would a show rabbit. They'll get used to being groomed and worked on. My male will lay on my arm and let me wash his privates. He doesn't pee on himself but the girls get him soaked every once in awhile and regular dusting doesn't remove the urine with 3"+ long fur.
 

equus_peduus

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It has been my experience that they do not live as long as a regular chinchilla. I have seen very, very few make it past five years of age. I have one breeding male that I finally decided to use that is over 5 - because he is older. For some reason they just die on you - be it an illness in the herd, accidents, whatever, they are far more prone to it. It has been quite the saga watching breeders start, loose their animals, then restart again. Both in the U.S. and overseas. I only have the one angora and am working strictly with carriers that are from healthy lines due to this. I fully expect them to kick the bucket any day to be honest. Even my carriers have been prone to more damage.
Sorry to bring up an old post -

Do the carriers have the same issues as the ones that express the longer coats?

Vaguely related, at what age does one decide if a baby is a carrier or actually is angora? I'm looking at a baby who's got one angora parent and one carrier parent, and at not quite 4 weeks old, I can't tell from the photos... but if the carriers have the same lower life expectancy as the fully expressed angoras, then I'll steer clear.
 

Spoof

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Do the carriers have the same issues as the ones that express the longer coats?
If the breeder is utilizing lines that have issues, yes the carriers will have issues.

I can only talk about my own experience here, but over the last 2.5 years I had an exceptionally high death rate with first generation carriers - over 50%. I did not loose any after they made it to weaning age (10 weeks). I say they were carriers as they were not visibly longer furred, but I will discuss that below.

Currently I am only breeding carrier x carrier at this time and I am using lines that I know live to a ripe old age based on the parents/gp/ggp still being alive.

As for as the age to tell for sure, 8-12 months. Some will stay short furred until that final adult prime and push in long fur or ear tufts. I sold one at six months that did around 10 months of age. Almost all of the surviving rpac babies got longer tail fur than normal as they aged over a year.

As far as buying one for a pet - I'd just steer completely clear of them for another decade and really watch the lines that you are interested in unless the breeder has both parents on site and they are over the age of 6. That will rule out most of the genetic issues like malo and heart issues as these animals tend to die very young.
 

equus_peduus

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I can only talk about my own experience here, but over the last 2.5 years I had an exceptionally high death rate with first generation carriers - over 50%. I did not loose any after they made it to weaning age (10 weeks). I say they were carriers as they were not visibly longer furred, but I will discuss that below.
Interesting. From what I can tell, this breeder isn't having heavy losses like this, but I haven't spent a ton of time sounding them out yet, but they do offer babies for reservation at about a month old so I imagine they're not expecting losses. Most of their animals are angora or carrier.

As far as buying one for a pet - I'd just steer completely clear of them for another decade and really watch the lines that you are interested in unless the breeder has both parents on site and they are over the age of 6. That will rule out most of the genetic issues like malo and heart issues as these animals tend to die very young.
It looks like this particular breeder has been around (as a breeder) for about 5 years. The dam of the baby I'm eyeing is about 4 years old and angora, the sire is their own breeding and almost 2 (carrier) but I don't know who the parents are (not obviously available information, I can ask). I'll have to see if I can get them to tell me more about their pedigrees, but I don't know what good that will do me, I don't know where to get information on the lines available here in France.

I lost my previous chinchillas not too long before moving to France a decade ago, and I'm finally in a place where I can get new ones... but it's proving difficult to find good breeders here and I don't know where/how to get more information. I'm glad this forum is still around, but it's mostly US-centric...

(eta: a lot of the breeders I can find online seem to do lots of mutations, often one animal with several (eg white violet ebony tov sapphire carrier angora!), which isn't ideal unless things have changed since I last paid attention. But I can't find anyone even vaguely in my area that doesn't do this, and at least they do mostly have reasonably big blocky animals (at least per photos), rather than the ratty standards I see in the pet stores...)
 
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Spoof

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Europe is completely different when it comes to angoras. They have had them for over 15 years (hence all the colors) vs. they have only been sold in the U.S. in a very limited fashion for the last 4. Before that, a US based breeder would have to ship them in from another country, so the few lines that were available are heavily linebred as the long fur is accumulative/recessive and requires it.
 

equus_peduus

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so if I ask some questions about say, how she chooses her breeding stock and what she knows about the parents/grandparents/etc of her breeding stock and like what I hear, I shouldn't necessarily be wary of an animal that is from angora lines?
 

Spoof

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As far as wary, it depends on what you want out of a chinchilla. Regular lines live 20-30 years when well taken care of. This mutation, heavily linebred to create longer fur, has only existed in Europe for 15 or so years. If you are ok with the price and only having a chinchilla that may live say, 6-10 years sure go for it. If you expect a normal health issue free long life out of a chinchilla, I'd stick with a regular coated one.
 

Amethyst

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I think it might depend a lot on the breeding lines, there are several people on another chinchilla group (on Facebook) that have and/or breed angoras, one breeder their oldest angora is currently over 5 years old, as well as knows other breeders that have angoras that are 10+ years old. When I asked about them not living very long they said they have never heard about them not living as long as other chins. The breeder I talk to is in I think Poland (Europe for sure though), not the US.

Here is a bit more history on the mutation Chinchillas.com Chinchilla Resource Home Page
 
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equus_peduus

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As far as wary, it depends on what you want out of a chinchilla. Regular lines live 20-30 years when well taken care of. This mutation, heavily linebred to create longer fur, has only existed in Europe for 15 or so years. If you are ok with the price and only having a chinchilla that may live say, 6-10 years sure go for it. If you expect a normal health issue free long life out of a chinchilla, I'd stick with a regular coated one.
It's a fair question. I figure if I get 10 years, I'm doing well - my last chin died at 8 or 9 (looking back at it, I think it might have been a toxic plant in the hay, which I was sourcing from horse sources. The overall hay quality was better than what I was finding in pet stores, it was way cheaper, but something that would technically be toxic to a horse but not enough quantity to cause problems could be problematic to a chin).

My oldest cat is currently 16 without any significant health problems other than arthritis. I figure I'm doing pretty well... She might live to 22, or she might come down with some horrible "old age" disease any day. I've seen cats that die from "old age" problems (cancer, heart, etc) at 10.

OTOH, it'd be "better" (for some definition of better) to start with animals that are more likely to make it past 10 in the first place...

From what I can tell, France has a bunch of hobby breeders, most of them on the other side of the country from me, and most of them seem to have some or a lot of angoras. Even the ones that "don't specialize" have a few. It's kind of frustrating. Of the two that are near-ish me that I've been able to find, one "specializes" in angora (though they do have a couple of pairings that aren't), and the other doesn't (but has a coupe of pairings that are).
 

equus_peduus

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I think it might depend a lot on the breeding lines, there are several people on another chinchilla group (on Facebook) that have and/or breed angoras, one breeder their oldest angora is currently over 5 years old, as well as knows other breeders that have angoras that are 10+ years old. When I asked about them not living very long they said they have never heard about them not living as long as other chins. The breeder I talk to is in I think Poland (Europe for sure though), not the US.

Here is a bit more history on the mutation Chinchillas.com Chinchilla Resource Home Page
I think maybe I'll float the question by the breeder and see what they say...
 

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