Should I feed my chinchilla critical care?

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kittymuff

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Jun 9, 2022
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One of my chinchillas Zoey is about the same size as my new 3 month old chinchilla. Shes 401.3 grams, and shes approximately 1 year old. Shes always been a bit small and doesn't really finish all her food, which I feed 2 tbsp of oxbow essentials chinchilla food every day as well as lots of timothy hay and the occasional treat. I can sort of feel her ribs so I'm thinking it's a good idea to feed her some critical care. Does anyone have any recommendations for me on how to help her grow bigger and healthier? Should I syringe feed or let her eat it off a spoon or from her bowl? Thanks!
 

Amethyst

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If she is already about a year old then she is pretty much full size, adult chins can vary in weight from about 400g to over 1,200g based on their genetics, though most pet ones are normally in the 400-800g range. You should be able to slightly feel the ribs under a thin layer, it should feel similar to the back of your hand. If you think she is underweight though (and you aren't leaving something out like she has been sick or something) you should get a vet check something could be wrong with her, a normal healthy chin should not need supplemental feeding.
 

Jawramik

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Nov 3, 2021
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It sounds like your girl might just be on the petite side. My chin is a pretty big girl (800+g), but I can feel her ribs. They're not super prominent, but I can still feel them when I scratch her chest or pick her up. Chins can vary quite a bit in size and weight between individuals. She may just eat a little less food just because she's smaller and therefore requires fewer calories.

If you're concerned about her weight and appetite, it would be best to take her to a vet, as Amethyst said. It's my understanding that Critical Care doesn't really help that much with weight gain, it's more for helping to maintain weight with animals who won't or can't eat enough on their own.
 

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