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Chinchilla won’t eat oxbow pellets?

MinchiBaby

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Jan 23, 2021
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6
Hey so my chinchilla Minchi is usually a great eater and LOVES pellets. She used to eat them like I never fed her before when I’d fill her bowl back up. She’s been on oxbow pellets her whole life (not the garden select) and lately I’ve noticed that 1. She spends a ton of time at the pellet bowl eating slowly and 2. She’s leaving a bunch of half eaten pellets in the bowl (more than the norm for her, and no it’s not crumbled just in half). She gets very excited for the oxbow digestive treats, and still eats lots of hay.

I bought the oxbow pellets about 2 weeks ago, and she’s currently on a hay mix of mostly orchard grass with a pinch of alfalfa and oat hay since she is still gaining her weight back from being sick. She gets 1-5 oats a day during her weigh in, occasionally a digestive cookie for a big treat, and no other treats. She doesn’t have signs of dental issues, especially since that digestive treat and the oat hay are extremely hard and she’s more than willing to devour both. I’m afraid to even try to switch her to mazuri since she was sick with diarrhea, but I’m at a bit of a loss since I want her to eat and she doesn’t seem enthusiastic about pellets anymore.

I don’t know if the multitude of half eaten pellets and hanging out at the bowl for a good portion of her day are signs she doesn’t like it, but otherwise her appetite is great and the pellets are new so I see no other reason why she doesn't eat them like she used to. I’m just wondering what I should do since she needs to gain weight and I don’t want her skipping over food she otherwise would have eaten. Does anyone know if the formula changed recently? Maybe it’s less sweet? She’s got a huge sweet tooth so if it’s less sweet she probably won’t eat them like she used to but idk.
 

Amethyst

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Giving oats every day especially when also giving oat hay is not advised at all. Oats can be gassy as well as they are high in phosphate which can throw off the phosphate/calcium balance. Oat hay should be limited to just a handful worth a week, oats are actually starting to be no longer advised at all by some. Commercial oats test high for cancer causing chemicals used on crops, as well as since they are gassy it's best to limit them to only 1-3 oats a week.

One way you can help her gain some weight back is buy critical care and making critical care cookies
37722894_1113023338855215_190691887902883840_o.jpg

Aside from that have her teeth been checked? Suddenly not eating pellets can be a sign of a tooth problem, but as you mentioned it is less likely since she is still eating hay and the digestive treats. Does the bag of pellets smell good, or smell like it always does? I know awhile back I got a bag of Oxbow that just didn't smell right smelled old (it was not expired and was newly opened), the color was more brownish then greenish as well, and my guys really didn't like it, they ate it but not with as much enthusiasm as normal and would dump the bowl often.
 

MinchiBaby

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Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
6
Giving oats every day especially when also giving oat hay is not advised at all. Oats can be gassy as well as they are high in phosphate which can throw off the phosphate/calcium balance. Oat hay should be limited to just a handful worth a week, oats are actually starting to be no longer advised at all by some. Commercial oats test high for cancer causing chemicals used on crops, as well as since they are gassy it's best to limit them to only 1-3 oats a week.

One way you can help her gain some weight back is buy critical care and making critical care cookies
View attachment 21307

Aside from that have her teeth been checked? Suddenly not eating pellets can be a sign of a tooth problem, but as you mentioned it is less likely since she is still eating hay and the digestive treats. Does the bag of pellets smell good, or smell like it always does? I know awhile back I got a bag of Oxbow that just didn't smell right smelled old (it was not expired and was newly opened), the color was more brownish then greenish as well, and my guys really didn't like it, they ate it but not with as much enthusiasm as normal and would dump the bowl often.
Oh wow I NEVER heard about the thing about oats, thank you I’ll definitely pull those! About the oat hay, I was also giving her those to make sure her molars were ground down while eating the orchard grass since it’s soft. Is that really necessary or is the orchard grass on its own enough? I like the orchard grass since it has more calories, fiber and protien to help her recuperate. She went into full GI stasis and had three bouts of bad diarrhea. I also heard a SMALL amount of alfalfa is good for chins gaining weight and nutrients back. Unfortunately I’m guessing here based off of a small handful of sources.

I had the idea as well that maybe I should just rule teeth issues out as a precaution so I might just go ahead and make that appointment soon just to be sure. She didn’t eat for a few days while sick (almost 2 months ago) and I also don’t know if that may have been enough for her teeth to over grow a bit.

I already have critical care and I’ll definitely make those cookies, that’s awesome! I really hope it helps plus she likes the stuff! Is there any other dry kind of treat I can give her? It helps convince her to take medicine and cooperate for other things lol she’s strong willed and hates being picked up so she won’t do anything I need her to do without a bribe. She likes anything sweet, so maybe some sweet herbs?

The bag smelled SO GOOD lol I don’t think the smell is any different, though the color honestly I can’t speak on, based on my memory it looks the same. She likes the smell too when I open the bag, but then when it’s served, she seems unimpressed :/

Sorry about all the questions, and thank you!!
 

Amethyst

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Normally people feed timothy hay rather then orchard, since timothy is the most balanced feed hay, but orchard is very similar, the only difference really is orchard is a bit softer so slightly less tooth wear. You can give a handful worth of oat hay a week to help give more crunchy fiber, especially if she likes it. Personally I stay away from alfalfa for recovery unless vet recommended, it's high in calcium, too much calcium can cause bladder stones in some chins.

Not eating for a few days shouldn't cause too much tooth wear, it would probably take a couple months for the teeth to overgrow enough to cause an issues from not chewing food alone.

Here is a safe treat list from a FB group I'm in, it's also were I got the info on the oats no longer being advised.
Treat list.jpg

You can even mix some of the treats into the critical care cookies. If the pellets still smell good then they are probably fine, it was just a thought. (I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks a fresh bag of oxbow pellets smells good 😄)
 

MinchiBaby

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Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
6
Normally people feed timothy hay rather then orchard, since timothy is the most balanced feed hay, but orchard is very similar, the only difference really is orchard is a bit softer so slightly less tooth wear. You can give a handful worth of oat hay a week to help give more crunchy fiber, especially if she likes it. Personally I stay away from alfalfa for recovery unless vet recommended, it's high in calcium, too much calcium can cause bladder stones in some chins.

Not eating for a few days shouldn't cause too much tooth wear, it would probably take a couple months for the teeth to overgrow enough to cause an issues from not chewing food alone.

Here is a safe treat list from a FB group I'm in, it's also were I got the info on the oats no longer being advised.
View attachment 21308

You can even mix some of the treats into the critical care cookies. If the pellets still smell good then they are probably fine, it was just a thought. (I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks a fresh bag of oxbow pellets smells good 😄)
Thank you thank you thank you!!! That is super helpful, I can never seem to find full simple lists like this. I'll sample some of these to see what she likes, thankfully she isn't too picky besides hating raisins (tried once out of curiosity, she literally threw it she hated it). She does like rose hips so I may use those when I REALLY need to bribe her lol.

She was on nothing but timothy hay and pellets before getting sick but afterwards she lost interest in it, not eating much of it, and I was running out anyways so I decided to mix it up for her. Whatever gets her to eat more I'll do! I'll keep the oat hay quantities super low, I believe the extra fiber really helped bulk up her stools again. I think the most recent episode of diarrhea was caused by a shredded wheat square so I'm no longer offering them, or any other wheat products besides whatever small amount is in the pellets. Of course lucky me, she isn't motivated by different wood chews besides blueberry wood, which is very hard to find.

Those pellets and orchard grass smell SO GOOD I love that stuff!
 

MinchiBaby

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
6
It might be dental problem as well since hay doesn't have that crunch.
I had that thought as well but she very willingly eats an incredibly hard digestive cookie from oxbow, and chews it down well so I don't think thats it, but I may just take her to get seen anyways cause there's no harm in it anyways
 

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