one overweight, one underweight

thetwomuses

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I just adopted a pair of 5 year-old girls who were rescued from an abusive home. One weighs 480g and the other 800g. This is their weight after they were rehabilitated by a foster carer who apparently did wonders for them. So I have 2 main question:
1. what is the best way to help a chinchilla gain some weight?
2. how do i give the fattening food to only one of them?

One side question:
It's possible the heavier one had to eat all the food in the abusive situation and that's how this happened, but it's also possible the smaller one won't eat when stressed? I'm not sure.... Any tips on helping the little one eat? She's been munching pellets happily a lot but she's just so tiny...

They're on their old diet for now since they just came home with me, so just hay and pellets.

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
 

Pepperpot

Chin Mum & Fluffslave!
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Firstly, well done for rescuing these chins. Please do not feed your smallest chin any fattening foods. A diet of good quality pellets and hay will help her gain any weight she needs to as she relaxes. Your heavier chin is not over weight. Chins have a massive variance in weight, for example, my heaviest is 891g at last weigh in. My smallest chin is just over 500g, but full of life and health. Chinchillas will only eat what they need to maintain health, but again, please do not feed any fattening foods. No fruit or veg, fresh or dried, no nuts or seeds and no raisins.
 

Spoof

Kung Fu Chinny!
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Some chins are naturally tiny - unless you know they are related it is ok that they are different weights. I would just leave them on the plain pellets and hay and let them adjust to life in a new home for a few months before playing with the diet.
 

Amethyst

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Are they actually under weight and over weight? or are you just going by what they weigh because chins vary in weight a lot, from about 400g to over 1,000g and all still be at healthy weights. As others have said a healthy diet of a good quality pellet and unlimited hay should help get them to the proper weight if they are infact under or overweight. If they are housed together make sure they have two food bowls too, ideally as far apart as possible to prevent one from hogging all the food.
 

thetwomuses

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Firstly, well done for rescuing these chins. Please do not feed your smallest chin any fattening foods. A diet of good quality pellets and hay will help her gain any weight she needs to as she relaxes. Your heavier chin is not over weight. Chins have a massive variance in weight, for example, my heaviest is 891g at last weigh in. My smallest chin is just over 500g, but full of life and health. Chinchillas will only eat what they need to maintain health, but again, please do not feed any fattening foods. No fruit or veg, fresh or dried, no nuts or seeds and no raisins.
Thank you for the advice! I don't know enough about chinchillas to be sure about their weights. It is possible the 800g one looks so large just in comparison to her sister. But they have constant access to pellets and hay already.
 

thetwomuses

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Some chins are naturally tiny - unless you know they are related it is ok that they are different weights. I would just leave them on the plain pellets and hay and let them adjust to life in a new home for a few months before playing with the diet.
Thanks for the advice! Definitely a good idea to leave their diet alone for now. They come from a really sad background so the rescue said they couldn't be sure of their background but it's pretty likely they are biological sisters from the same litter.
 

thetwomuses

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Are they actually under weight and over weight? or are you just going by what they weigh because chins vary in weight a lot, from about 400g to over 1,000g and all still be at healthy weights. As others have said a healthy diet of a good quality pellet and unlimited hay should help get them to the proper weight if they are infact under or overweight. If they are housed together make sure they have two food bowls too, ideally as far apart as possible to prevent one from hogging all the food.
I honestly can't tell.... but I haven't noticed ant food hogging luckily and the smaller one seems to always be eating pellets so that's good I guess.
 

thetwomuses

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Although now I've noticed they won't eat any hay. I've tried meadow hay and timothy hay in a hay rack, a bowl, and on the floor but they're only eating the pellets and I don't know what to do about that... Any tips?
 

thetwomuses

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Mar 8, 2020
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Keep persevering with the hay. You could try sprinkling a little dried mint onto your hay, as this is usually a chinny delicacy.
Interesting! I might try this. Can any dried mint do? Even like from the spice section in the grocery store?
 

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