Chinchilla does not chew much

toastette

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Joined
Apr 5, 2020
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1
I have had my chinchilla for a little less than a year. I got her when she was 3 months old. She barely chews on any of her toys or wood. She will chew on very thin twigs (only certain kinds). I have tried different types of wood, sea grass, banana leaves, vines, finger trap shredders (sometimes will chew on these), coconut shell, and pumice stone. She has shelves with different kinds of wood and different kinds of toys. She will chew on something new the day she gets it then barely touches it again. Any ideas about how to help? I have taken her to vet twice (she only has one bottom tooth) to have her teeth trimmed. She has been doing well with grinding them down on her own as we have not been back to the vet in 5 months.
 

Shadow1120

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Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
15
I am having this problem as well. Shadow is only about 8 months old. I have taken him to the vet and all was well. I have tried plain and colored wood toy pieces, loofa, pumice stone, shredders, coconut shell pieces, finger trap shredders, sea grass, banana leaf ball, willow balls, vine wreaths, and different types of wood sticks. The only thing he chews is the bark off apple sticks. Will he start to chew things more as he grows?

Another question, he doesn't like us to touch him. I don't always try to pet him but I do want him to get use to it so I can eventually pick him up to do hair ring checks and such. Do you think I should force it and try to hold him for a minute or so each day so he gets use to it or is this something that will come in time? I just don't want to miss my window to train him while he is young.
 

aznmexaggie

Chinchilla Chateau
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
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1,667
Location
Northern California
toastette and Shadow1120 -- do your chins also chew the cage bars? Chewing hard items such as wood or pumice help to grind down the incisors but some chins may get enough grinding of those surfaces through chewing on cage bars or even biting into compressed hay cubes if you offer those. Chewing bark off apple sticks is chewing though so maybe your chin really prefers apple sticks - I'd stick to the types of chewing items he likes. What would be concerning to me is if your chin also does not eat much hay... hay is one of the main things that helps grind down the occlusal surfaces of the molars (back teeth).

Another question, he doesn't like us to touch him. I don't always try to pet him but I do want him to get use to it so I can eventually pick him up to do hair ring checks and such. Do you think I should force it and try to hold him for a minute or so each day so he gets use to it or is this something that will come in time? I just don't want to miss my window to train him while he is young.
As for handling, most chins don't really enjoy being touched. With my kits, I try to get them used to handling from a young age first by just allowing them to explore my hands. You can sit in front of the cage and rest your arms inside to let your chin investigate and use you as playground equipment. Once he's no longer scared of approaching or jumping onto your hands, you can begin elevating your hands slowly or moving them so he gets used to the movement of the "magic carpet hands." lol. After they're okay with movement, I will bring my hands out of the cage and then hold them and offer a treat or a chew stick as a reward. They will begin to associate interaction with you as something positive.
 

Shadow1120

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
15
Thank you for your reply. No, he doesn't chew on his bars - just the apple sticks. He probably eats a pile of timothy hay about half his size a day with a small amount of orchard/alfalfa hay mixed in for a treat. We tried the hay cubes as well and he didn't like them either.

We are still at the stage where he will put his front two paws on my hand to check me out and if he manages to get all four paws on my hand they don't stay there long enough for me to start to moving my hand around, he just hops off.

I do open his cage and he likes to come out and jump all over my arms and legs but is very skittish if he thinks I'm going to try and touch him so he runs back into his cage for a moment before coming out again . I can only pet him a few times on the side of his body of on his nose while I let him gnaw on a treat - he doesn't like his chin or any other part of his body scratched. I feel like he is a grumpy old man set in his ways! :)
 
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