Chinchilla Bonding

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Stitchie

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
3
Location
NL
Hi all :)

We have had 1 chinchilla girl (Lilo) for a few weeks now.
Last sunday we brought 2 new female chins home, Angel of 10 weeks old and Nani, her mom of around 6 years old.
Currently Angel and Nani are in a smaller cage until they all can get along together in the big cage Lilo is currently in.
When trying to introduce them together, Lilo and Angel work out fine, a lot of running around and sniffing.
But when Nani also joins Lilo starts to get very dominant and pulling fur out of both Angel and Nani.
This evening Lilo even stood up on her hind legs and started spraying at them.
Of course we separated them, but just now Nani started chasing and biting Angel!?
Why would she be attacking her own baby?

What is the best we can do now to try and get the three of them to get along so they can join the same cage together?
 

Amethyst

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
2,911
Location
Alberta
First off when getting new chins they should be quarantined in another part of the house for 30 days. The reason is it allowed the new one(s) to settle in, for you to get to know them, and to make sure they aren't sick with something that can infect your chin. Obviously it's too late to prevent an illness spread (what is done is done, just hope they aren't sick), but you can still allow the new chins time to settle in.

As to bonding all 3, it's not uncommon for existing bonded pairs to end up fighting, it's not usually advised since two can gang up on one, or as said the existing pair can have a falling out. It is also not uncommon for chins to not get along, even a mother and daughter, at 10 weeks the kit should be weaned and the mother senses it's time for her to move on. She also could just smell Lilo on Angel and doesn't like it. You may very well need three separate cages for the three chins.

On a more helpful note, if you really want to try bonding, take it way slower. First give the chins time to settle, if Nani and Angel are not getting along separate them for now. Give everyone time to calm down, a week or two, then try bonding individually two chins out together at a time. So Lilo and Angel, then Lilo and Nani, then Nani and Angel, etc, that gives them the ability to form friendships without a third chins changing the power balance. If they still fight you may need to reevaluate the pairings, for example if Lilo is still fine with Angel but not with Nani, they may now be a new pair and Nani will be housed alone. Or if Nani can get along with Angel, it might be best to just leave it like that and keep Lilo as a solo chin.
From what I've read more often then not threesomes fail more often then succeed. Most successful tend to be, a female with two female kits, male with two male kits, sisters and a female kit, or 3 same sex kits bonded from birth or weaning. I have had success allowing multiple chins playing together, anywhere from 2-6 chins (different play groups for males and for females), all playing together no problem, but sharing a cage was not on their agenda.
 

Stitchie

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
3
Location
NL
Thanks for your reply!

We have already ordered a big chinchilla sized cage, Angel and Nani are now in a smaller cage which is too small to be permanent or for more than a week or 2-3.
So this was really necessary to order.
It will take a week or 2 for the cage to get here, until then they both are getting a lot of playtime without Lilo ofcourse.
After around 30 days we will try and slowly introduce them together again during playtimes.
So that if necessary Angel and Nani can be housed together permanently and Lilo will stay housed alone in her own cage, but in the same room.

The attacking of Nani to Angel luckily was of short duration, they went to eat some hay and fell asleep cuddling afterwards.
There have been no more issues between them also.

But afterwards I put out a dustbath and all three of them used the same dustbath without problems.
If I understand correctly what I have read this could be a good sign?

Originally we only wanted to buy Angel as a companion for Lilo, but the original owners only wanted to "sell" both mom and daughter or dad and son.
This because mom and dad were bought as 2 females and the kits were completely unexpected and they did not want to risk more babies.
Most chichillas for sale here are grey, and we really wanted a white one, Angel is pretty white, so we agreed on getting both Lilo and Nani.

Another "problem" we have is that Nani is a very picky eater.
We have pellets and hay available, at first she did not eat anything, after switching to another brand of hay she eats that fine, and so do Lilo and Angel.
But she won't touch the pellets, Lilo and Angel eat them like crazy when I refill the bowl.
We also have a bag of non-pellet food we use to give as a small treat to Lilo from time to time.
When trying that with Nani she immediately started eating, so my guess is that was the same food the previous owners gave her.
For now I have mixed this food with pellets around 50/50 and when I woke up this morning almost everything including the pellets was gone.
As I do know pellets are much better I will keep mixing her food and gradually add more pellets and less other food while they are settling in together.
 

Lucy~Caitlyn

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
51
Location
Kent UK
Hi Stitchie,
I'm a newbie awaiting my first Kit (22/23rd Feb) so I can't offer any advice :~(
Though from experience with a variety of other creatures I'd say you've got the food answer well worked out :~)
Good luck on the slow socialization of your 3 Chinchilla, hopefully you'll get 3 playmates even if they can not share a home.
Something I've regularly found with my variety of creatures is that 3 is often a problem.
I had 3 kittens all siblings and great friends, but 1 would often get left out of things. Eventually I got a 4th kitten when my older ones were a year old. The difference was amazing. Now there are varying combinations of 2 & 2 or the best site of all, all 4 sleeping in a tangled heap :~)
I only had problems with 3, when I had 5 animals not an issue so it's not odd numbers per se.
Hope this helps, good luck :~)
 
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