I fear I’ve traumatized my chin!

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Nov 16, 2023
Hi all, yesterday during my weekly cleaning, I took the opportunity to add tile to the bottom of my cages. Previously, they were just stainless steel trays. I also replaced the critter nation, upper half tray with a series of approved-wood ledges and a fleece hammock to encourage them to get more exercise and jump around. This involved having them pinned up in half of the cage longer than normal, while I final-fitted the tile floor pieces. Afterwards, I gave them their normal bath and a couple of treats to help them calm down. They seem fine last night when I went to bed.

Today, during our normal daily visit, I was sweeping up poop pellets, as usual, and my mosaic perched in the corner and began barking. I tried to speak soothingly to him, and he seemed to calm down for a second. But as I continued my cleaning and feeding tasks, replacing old food, new hay and topping off the water, etc., he continued to sit in the corner and bark. He’s only barked two or three times since I got him three months ago, but he sat there and barked nine or 10 times off and on while I was there. I am hoping it wasn’t me. He even let me scratch him a little, but he did not seem interested in treats. Once I left he stopped barking.

Is this something that I did or is he upset about something out of my range of hearing or a little of both?
If it’s something I did, I hope he ”forgives me” soon.

On a related note, I noticed some of their urine stains on the floor of the cage were really dark. is this a stress reaction or possibly upset GI? I haven’t given them any weird treats, just dried flowers and rose hips from the “top 10 chin treats” list, and they’re eating purina show rabbit food, recommended by the breeder. Lots of hay, including orchard grass and Timothy hay. Water is always full.

Feedback welcomed.
My guess would be something other then changing the flooring to tile, especially since it was just going from metal to tile. However some chin do get freaked out by cage changes, they don't have the best eye sight so moving things around can cause them to miss jumps if things are moved too much and they do zoomies around the cage. Aside from that so many things can cause them to stress, noises outside like cars, dogs, and other animals, or even something in the walls like pipes creaking, or mice in the walls. One thing that can make them act defensive around you would be changing any scented things you use, like soap, shampoo, lotions, body sprays, etc.

Their pee can be dark, it's pretty concentrated, and range in color from yellow to orange is normal. Also one thing on thing people don't think about that can cause the pee to be more dark and even reddish is bark from wood. Here is a good explanation about pee color Chinchilla, rabbit, guinea pig urine discoloration-red, orange, white
Thanks, I should have done a better job peeling the bark off of the small perch I got from Amazon. That would explain that, but yes it’s a dark orange color.

I did some other reading, which supports your ideas. Sometimes Chins just get freaked out.