Four chins in a three level

Chin Camino

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Got a question. We knew little about chinchillas when we got two that became four, but we have done anything and everything for the ones we have and they live among us in our living room in the a three level nation cage, decked out with custom cubies, ledges, and a Dr Who Police Box. They are in need of nothing from what I can tell. The boys were successfully neutered in Northern Virginia at Stahls, and after months all were introduced with zero problems to date. No area is cut off from the rest, a total free for all among the three levels.
We do have dogs, and cats, and six teenagers, so we are an active home and our chinchillas seem very chill with it all.
My question is...Three (mommy, baby girl, and uncle seem to hang out in the "best property" a large wooden Taj Mahal with three openings. It could fit four but I'm certain three is about what you would want to fit in there comfortably. Baby boy is always (during the day), on the lower 1/3rd , the Taj Mahal is in the top 1/3rd. He hangs out in the Police Box, which is more private.
There is NO activity that makes me think he is being excluded which makes me wonder if he is "on guard", is he the "worker", is he the one protecting the group, or could he actually be excluded?
Not knowing anything about chins outside of these guys I don't know if there is a "guard"...
Any ideas, should I be worrying about him.
There does not appear to be any fighting or establishing a boss etc... among them.
Also he IS blood related to mom and sister...the "uncle" who hangs out with mom and sister at the top is not.
Also "uncle" is smaller, and super super sweet so I have no reason to think he's keeping him away.
Thank you in advance,
 
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Amethyst

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I've never dealt with more then a bonded pair caged together, so I am only guessing here, but he could very likely be the guard. Chins are herd animals, so it would make sense if they are similar to other herd animals that have one that is tasked with being the guard and alerting the others to any possible danger (real or just perceived). If the "uncle" is more dominate (size doesn't matter) he may have claimed the females and left the younger male to guard duty for the herd allowing the others to relax.

Some chins also do prefer to have alone time, even my bonded pair I have now don't always sleep together, that is one reason to have multiple hideouts and sleeping areas in the cage. I would watch for any off behavior like him acting more skittish, make sure he is getting enough to eat, drink, etc, and watch for anything like barking or chasing behavior.
 

Chin Camino

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Thank you Amethyst for your reply, we are starting to think, there might be a changing of the guard between the two boys. Its so hard to tell them apart hidden in their hideout down on the first level :(... I'm hoping that's the case, I don't want one to feel left out.
 

Lucretia

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Its not so much guarding, it's "look out". it's part of their natural behaviour to watch out for the herd whilst they forage, play etc😊, as a herd they will take it in turns to look out in the wild, however in my herd my alpha is the one who spends most time as look out (ironically he's blind). Guarding is a term used when they are sleeping as one is lay over another...a very cute sleeping pose, but again part of their natural behaviour...in the wild although the herd can be upto 100 chins they sleep in smaller family groups in individual burrows and crevices, one chin will lay over the top of the other family members to guard them from dangers such as snakes. 😊
 
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I have two chins and they are both 5 month old twins but my boy (pudge) is spraying in and around my girls (pip) cage
 
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Also they are living in different houses just 2 houses away from each other but pudge is not allowed in my house because of this what should I do
 

Amethyst

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I have two chins and they are both 5 month old twins but my boy (pudge) is spraying in and around my girls (pip) cage
Also they are living in different houses just 2 houses away from each other but pudge is not allowed in my house because of this what should I do
I'm a bit confused, are the chins cages in the same room or different houses? Also what do you mean not allowed in your house, is the chin being kept outside or inside but at someone else's house? Most males can't spray (most just dribble when they try), it's normally the females that are good at spraying, though you can get that odd male that can, so I would double check that Pudge is in fact a male. If they are both in the same room it's best to make sure the cages are at least 6 inches apart to prevent breeding through the cage bars. Some people have found that putting a fleece blanket between the cages so they can't see eachother can help. Though others have needn't to keep the males and females in different rooms though because the male gets too frustrated with not being able to get to the female.
 

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