Blind chinchilla housing

Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

Help Support Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum:

Mandy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
352
I am going to pick up a chinchilla Friday.
She was born with no eyes, and currently lives in a sort of hamster like cage.
The woman was very nice and told us the chin gets around fine once she is use to her surroundings.
I had a design in mind for her cage. It's a ferret nation with three ledges (one on each side wall and one on the back wall.
I would build on ramps and side walls so she doesn't come too close to an edge and slip off.
I was wondering if ramps are even needed? I figured she would have something to land on or grip to if she went to jump and missed the ledge surface. All of this would be made of solid kiln dried pine.
I was also thinking the raised sides where the ramps won't be would act as 'bumpers' for her.
Nothing would be terribly high, and I would also be putting soft bedding at the bottom as I have bass pans.
I have been searching around for information and nothing seems to be set in stone on what shouldn't be done with a blind chin.
I could also put water bottles on each level for her? Or maybe one at the top and one on the bottom.

I will draw up and post a picture of what I plan to do, so maybe I could get some feedback?
Also, this isn't about housing, but ill just stick it in here.

What usually or would more commonly cause a chinchilla to be born with no eyes?
This woman said her previous owner bred chinchillas and 'kept her in a small cage in the basement.' she has had her for around a year and says her age is around 2 years - maybe.
 

JessieVictoria

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
94
A chinchilla with no eyes.. That's a new one! I hope she was actually born without them, but that sounds more like she is covering up an accident or something.

For cage design (I'm just throwing out ideas) you might want to avoid perches, just in case. You may also want to stick almost entirely to cage mounted toys, so your new chinchilla will always know where to nibble. Minimal amount of shelving. I think once she knows where her water bottle is she will be fine no matter where it is, of she's been blind all her life she'll be amazing at knowing where everything is once she's used to it.
I'd suggest mostly to choose where everything goes and don't ever change that. If she thinks there's going to be a shelf, there better be a shelf lol.
I like the ramps idea for her, and the bumpers. Maybe even just a little ledge around each shelf if you can. Perhaps router a groove into the shelf? Something to say "the shelf is ending". I would go with a slightly smaller cage than one for a seeing chinchilla but not much smaller, but only slightly.
 

Pikaia

Gonna keck your butt ;)
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
1,504
Location
Ohio
I think there is someone on the forum that has a blind chin, but I'm not sure. I would think that a blind chin would eventually get used to their surroundings, but I don't know how I would do the cage! I would think ledges need to be lower, in case the chin falls. Ramps and bumpers seem like a good idea, just as long as the ramps are solid and not a ladder type of ramp where chin's feet could get caught. I've never seen a chin born with no eyes, but I am sure anything in possible! It's great that you are taking in the challenge of a special needs chin! Good for you!

Definitely post pics, lots of members here have experience with special needs chins and will be able to help you.
 

Mandy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
352
The woman told us she lets her out and she is more than happy to run around and does seem to get use to her surroundings. I will try the cage, but will be sure to not make anything too high.
I can only assume shes telling the truth with being born without them. The way she was talking on the phone, she reall was.
I will post the pictures of her cage she's use to and of her.
(will also post some new ones tomorrow when we pick her up.)
 

Mandy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
352
FEA15C7D-8171-47A3-B6BD-945B528C8B17-1091-000000C32993FD26.jpg


7D1476C5-45AD-47DC-8FA3-A36DC7EE7DCC-818-0000007425041845.jpg
 

JessieVictoria

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
94
Aw poor thing, she's still really cute! I wonder if she'll be more scared than other chinchillas.. keep us updated for sure. I think having a blind chinchilla is an adventure that you have to figure out what is best for her and maybe writing some of it down for anyone else who has a blind chinchilla.

I'll post here if I think of/find anything that could help you out!
 

tunes

Administrator/Owner
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
10,025
Location
South Dakota
I had a blind chin, Beep, who had no eyes. He was attacked at birth. I did not give him shelves or a high cage. He had a long cage with a house to hide in and he got lots of run time out of his cage in a playpen for safety. He had a cagemate from the time I brought him home, another little boy who grew up with him named Bop. Bop is very solicitous of Beep and Beep would be lost without Bop. He was a bit timid when out of his cage, but he was okay as long as Bop was around.

I would not use a FN with a bunch of ramps and ledges. The FN is fine for size, but you cannot stop a chin from surfing and she could very easily get hurt. A one level cage is fine and will be safer for her in the long run. I don't doubt that she could adapt to the ledges, but before she does, she could end up falling and landing badly. I personally wouldn't think it was worth the risk. Instead of ledges and shelves, maybe try a corner hammock that you can hang towards the bottom of the cage. You can also get her a wood house. I would not use a hay holder unless it is one that can sit on the floor of the cage made out of wood, no metal ones with gaps. You could hang a fleece covered tube on the side of the cage near the bottom on the opposite side of the hammock as well. It will be low enough she can get on top of it or in it, and if she was to fall off our out, she wouldn't be so high up that she would hurt herself.
 

Mandy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
352
Well she changed her mind and now we have to go Sunday.
I can't go tomorrow as I have to be somewhere in the morning.
This is upsetting as I hope we don't get told we can't come Sunday/she gave it away/won't reply sort of thing. Wouldn't be the first time I've heard of it happening. :(

Plus, this throws off my entire weekend and plans of getting her settled.
 
Top