Meet Viktor and Jayce!

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kyrosh

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Feb 6, 2022
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Heyo!
My name is Kyle and I am a completely new chinchilla owner :D
I adopted these two handsome boys a week ago from our local shelter, theyre 6 and 7 years old! Because I couldnt keep their original names apart (Danzer and Daimon) I ended up renaming them to Viktor and Jayce.

This is the first time that I am owning chinchillas but I am pretty excited about it. Jayce sadly is quite a bit overweight (picked him up at 820g) but with the larger enclosure he has now and a strict hay and herb diet hopefully that'll change in the future!

Anyways I am looking forward to chat about these adorable creatures and picking up tips along the way! ❤

PXL_20220130_183202093.MP.jpg
 

Amethyst

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Welcome, there is a lot of good info here. One thing I can point out right now, you'll want to over lap things in that cage a lot more, or at least add some fleece hammocks, a fall of more then about a foot can seriously hurt or even kill a chin if they land wrong. Maybe even put a solid floor in the middle of the cage so it's not as far of a fall from the top. Even if they aren't clumsy, when I had two I sometimes saw them push each other out of the way, and off shelves and ledges, luckily I have hammocks set up so they just fell into a hammock not to the floor of the cage.
 

kyrosh

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Thank you, ill definitely have a look!
And thank you for the hammock suggestion - Ive already upgraded the cage a little bit since taking that picture but probably could use even more. Sadly I cant put an entire middle floor in because of the way the doors are on the cage (I do wish i had a different cage because of this though) but I'll see what I can do with hammocks!

Heres two pics to show it a bit better :]
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Any other tips welcome, thank you for the advice!
 

Amethyst

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Oh wow, that is a huge cage! Well here is my cage to show how I dealt with removing the middle of my Ferret Nation cage. The double FN is normally considered a good size cage, but seems so small in compared to yours, lol. I used 2x8 boards to run the width with a gap in the middle.
Cage.jpg
 

kyrosh

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Aah your cage looks so insanely cozy! ❤❤
I hope i can fill mine up a bit more to make it more like yours!
Im not sure what the legal standard is for chinchilla cages in germany but I was told the bigger the better - and i might've gone a little overboard in the process 😅
Common critter cages i see americans talk about I was unable to find here so what I have is actually an expandable bird cage.

I custom made the large board in the middle of the cage as well as some of the smaller boards on the walls
And we are going to the hardware store tomorrow to try and pick up some natural branches (if they have any) as well as granite slabs

Definitely taking your cage as inspiration though, thank you!
 

Pixie66

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Hi Kyle,
I love the size of your cage! Lucky Viktor & Jayce!
Thinking along the lines of Amethyst's advice, instead of installing a floor divider made of wood you can consider getting a simple fleece blanket (what's cold here a "throw") and attaching it to the cage (using fleece strings or metal clips) as a safety net to catch a falling Chinchilla. This will look like a large hammok, with some corners left open for free moovement between the floors. Of cource, you can also split into several different ones using scessors... (= making several separate hammolks). I have not tried it myself, but I do use cheep store bought blankets to cover the plastic trays in my CN cage.
Another tip I can suggest, if I may, is to make sure whatever natural branches you end up getting from the hardware store are Chinchilla safe. There are good resources in this forum defining safe wood.
Take care
P
 

kyrosh

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Hey Pixie,
thanks for the tips!
I just ended up getting some branches and a cork-tunnel from the pet store, along with some cooling platforms (since we don't have a car and have to carry everything in the tram its quite a hassle 😅)

I also ordered some fleece so thanks for the tips on that! Ill have to see how I can best attach it though, maybe metal loops are a good shout? Since im worried about them gnawing on string if were to just tie them down..

Ill try to post some cage updates in the appropriate forum once it has arrived! 👍
 

Pixie66

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Jawramik

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That cage is awesomely huge! They're lucky boys. :) And to think, I thought my girl was spoiled with a two-level Ferret Nation all to herself, haha.

I think with some extra ledges and hammocks for safety, it'll be fantastic. But do add some extra "safety levels." Chins aren't always as graceful and precise as they think they are. I've seen my girl misjudge a jump or lose her footing and fall several times. Fortunately I've overlapped her platforms pretty well, so she never falls more than a few inches onto the next platform or hammock, but falls do happen. Hardly a surprise given how fast they like to zoom around like furry pinballs, haha.
 

kyrosh

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I wasn't sure where to post this so I figured I'd just give an update here! :D
cages continue to be a nightmare to take pictures of but we installed the two large platforms as a sort of "inbetween level" today and rearranged some stuff in the cage, trying to layer as much as possible

i also ended up taking out the box i was using for the sandbath bc it took up so much space, ill be replacing it with something smaller instead :D

PXL_20220215_195418196.jpgPXL_20220215_195430096.jpgPXL_20220215_195441477.jpg

i still wanna make some hammocks to hang in some areas but i havent had the chance yet!
So far they seem to quite enjoy exploring the new layout - even jayce who isnt quite as mobile (presumably due to his size) has been hopping about

ill gladly take more feedback if you have any! Im always looking to improve
 

Amethyst

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The cage looks safe with more platforms. :) Another thing to keep in mind, although chins can jump high and far, the comfortable hopping distance is about 6 inches up/down and left/right, more then that can be harder for them and more likely to miss a jump.

The dust bath shouldn't be left in the cage 24/7 anyway, they just need baths a couple times a week, more or less depending on humidity and how much you handle them. Over bathing can cause dry skin as well respiratory issue, and if they pee and poop in it they will be rolling in that :sick:. I just use a one gallon glass jar for the dust bath (even when I had two), and have it in a separate cage so the amount of dust in the cage is limited.
(ignore the poos and dust, I just took a quick pic I haven't cleaned it yet)
dusthouse.jpg
 

kyrosh

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Thank you! I'll definitely take a look if some platforms are too far apart, but they seem to be getting around more than fine!

Yea I noticed that a large chunk of cleaning time is me cleaning the sand so this was definitely a good change!
What size opening does the jar have? I was trying to find smth similar but I wasn't sure what diameter of opening to go for so they can comfortably get in and out

Thanks again :D
 

Jawramik

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Another option for the dust bath, if you don't have a smaller cage, is to just put the dust bath in the cage for a few minutes right before you clean it. Let them climb in and out and roll around in it for 10-15 minutes, then take out the bath and clean the cage. That's what I do. Since I'm cleaning the cage anyway, any escaped dust gets cleaned up along with everything else when I clean the cage. I find that my chin doesn't really need to bathe more than once a week. I give her lots of pets and scratches, but I live in a pretty dry climate.

Some people put the dust bath in their chin's playpen or play area and then just clean up the escaped dust when they clean up the poops. I used to do that, but I find the cage-before-cleaning method easier. But that's just a personal preference, your mileage may vary.
 

Amethyst

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Thank you! I'll definitely take a look if some platforms are too far apart, but they seem to be getting around more than fine!

Yea I noticed that a large chunk of cleaning time is me cleaning the sand so this was definitely a good change!
What size opening does the jar have? I was trying to find smth similar but I wasn't sure what diameter of opening to go for so they can comfortably get in and out

Thanks again :D
Yeah I couldn't tell from the pics how far apart they are, just something to keep in mind though.

The opening is about 4" which is really the smallest you want to go for opening size. It's just a gallon cookie jar I got at a store not a specific one for a dust bath, the bonus is the lid since I can put the lid on and keep the dust clean between baths.

Another option for the dust bath, if you don't have a smaller cage, is to just put the dust bath in the cage for a few minutes right before you clean it. Let them climb in and out and roll around in it for 10-15 minutes, then take out the bath and clean the cage. That's what I do. Since I'm cleaning the cage anyway, any escaped dust gets cleaned up along with everything else when I clean the cage. I find that my chin doesn't really need to bathe more than once a week. I give her lots of pets and scratches, but I live in a pretty dry climate.

Some people put the dust bath in their chin's playpen or play area and then just clean up the escaped dust when they clean up the poops. I used to do that, but I find the cage-before-cleaning method easier. But that's just a personal preference, your mileage may vary.
Yeah I do the dust bath in another room in another cage because my chin cage is in my office, where there are two computers as well as my husband has asthma so I try to limit the dust that is in here as much as possible. Even if I give the dust bath in the cage right before I clean the dust still gets all over the room and possibly sucked up into the computers.
 

Jawramik

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Yeah I couldn't tell from the pics how far apart they are, just something to keep in mind though.

The opening is about 4" which is really the smallest you want to go for opening size. It's just a gallon cookie jar I got at a store not a specific one for a dust bath, the bonus is the lid since I can put the lid on and keep the dust clean between baths.


Yeah I do the dust bath in another room in another cage because my chin cage is in my office, where there are two computers as well as my husband has asthma so I try to limit the dust that is in here as much as possible. Even if I give the dust bath in the cage right before I clean the dust still gets all over the room and possibly sucked up into the computers.
Yeah, my chin is in the living room on hardwood, so any dust that escapes the cage will get swept up when I sweep and/or vacuum the area after cleaning the cage (because bits of poop, hay, and shavings inevitably fall on the floor as I clean the cage, so I have to clean the floor when I'm done anyway). What works best really just depends on one's situation and preferences.

If my chin was in a carpeted room and/or one with a lot of electronics, it would definitely make more sense to have her bathe in another room.
 

kyrosh

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Heyo! Sorry I havent checked in here for a while :D
They seem to be doing pretty good! I got a pressed hay treats for them off etsy that they seem to love and they have grown both closer together and closer to me, which is exciting!

Im a little worried that theyre not eating enough but i am trying another hay in a couple of days, maybe that helps.
The package for the pellets say 2 tablespoons per chinchilla per day but they eat about 3 of them together at max...

I still cant pick them up though - I can grab Jayce if need be (like when he escaped out of my room one time..) but i feel like Viktor would shred my hand with his teeth 😅
im currently introducing them to our kitchen scale in the hopes to get them to just sit on it by themselves so i dont have to grab them for weighing

I can definitely say though that Jayce has lost some weight, he isnt as pudgy looking anymore and also seems to enjoy moving around more! The vet originally said he was overweight so the larger cage and daily roaming time seems to have done him good!

Either way heres a couple pics of them!
 

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Chinmin

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Who's older? Just curious.

They're so adorable and look pretty healthy too. Glad that you're bonding and wish they let you hold them already.:) Thanks for the reply and for checking back in.
 

kyrosh

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I don't know sadly - I struggled a bit with keeping their names apart in the beginning (which is in part why I changed their names to Viktor and Jayce) so i also wasnt able to tell which one is the older one
I do know theyre 6 and 7 though so thats as good as it gets 😅

And thanks for asking about them! Im really happy to see them come to the cage front when i open it or when i talk to them it warms my heart ❤
 

Chinmin

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Oops, how could I miss this? Now I want to ask for updates again? Well, I just hope Viktor and Jayce are okay, and Viktor allows you to hold him already.:)
 
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