The Debate On Playtime

Zahrii

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Aug 17, 2019
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84
I know I just posted a thread on playtime, but after some research, I've realized that there's a LOT of different opinions on this, and as a new chin owner, I'd like to get some opinions and tips on what to do. Now, some people say every day, a few times a week, or none at all as "They are prey animals and don't really enjoy the open areas for exercise. They prefer to stay hid. Also most injury or accident happen during out of cage time." What do you guys think? How often should a chin be let out for playtime? There's also another factor to this debate. How long? Some people say 15-30 minutes max, others say 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours, or it just depends on the chinchilla. Opinions on that? I'm leaning toward letting my chins out for playtime, even if my situation right now makes it a bit complicated, but some people say that it's not required as they get plenty exercise in the cage, while others say that they get depressed, bored, and weak if they stay inside the cage all the time. This is quite the battle I suppose.
 

tunes

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I think it depends entirely on you. I will share this from my own experience. I used to let every single one of my chins have playtime. I had 3 playpens with toys, houses, etc. and they would get an hour every other day. I set a timer and would rotate in and out on the hour (I used to work at home). Then an illness hit my herd. Because of playtime, all of the chins intermingled and I ended up losing so many chins with a monstrous vet bill that did no good. So from a person with a good number of chins, I wouldn't ever do it again with the number of chins I have.

That being said, if I only had a couple of chins, and I had a secure playpen with a top and a bottom cover, loaded with toys - you bet I'd do playtime every day. I'd start with 15 minutes and build up from there. If they were having fun and enjoying it, I'd probably leave them out most of the evening while I was at home. I would also carefully monitor their weight to make sure that they weren't losing any because of prolonged playtime.

Do they HAVE to have it? No, of course not, if you have a good-sized habitat. However, as with any animal, enrichment is always a good thing.
 
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Zahrii

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Aug 17, 2019
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84
Is access to the cage important? I heard that it can stress a chin out if they can't get back into the cage when they want to, but I'm not sure how that will work with the playpens I've seen with top and bottom covers. Is there a hazard with getting a playpen with no top cover? Also, would every other day work for playtime? Edit: I figured out a way to do it without a playpen entirely, but thank you for the tips.
 
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cboyer

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Jan 17, 2019
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We've only have the one, and only have had him for about a year. But we let him out in the bathroom for playtime a couple days a week, usually for about a half an hour or so. Its tile in there so he stays cool and he seems to enjoy it. He has no access to his cage at that time (usually use that time to do a full clean his cage while DD stays in the bathroom with him) but he does get his bath and really enjoys that. And it is really easy to clean up after him, just sweep up the dust/poop and we are done.
 

naomi_brightt

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I get my chinchilla out every day at the same sort of time and he knows that, I leave the lower door to his cage open the entire time. I aim for an hour but by about 45 minutes he goes to the top of his cage and stares at me until I feed him. The thing with my chinchilla, he will bark at me if I don't let him out... So I wouldn't worry too much, I think they'll let you know if they want something done differently (I don't know this for sure, just from my experience) he always seems so happy to be let out, he bunny hops off of my walls and me, it's also made him a lot more comfortable with new people.
 

Chinmama

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ZZ used to get an hour or more of playtime nightly. I would sit in the room with him and he would interact with me. He loved it. I don't have time to let him out anymore now, but he also has a much larger cage. Marble hated playtime and would just hide under something most of the time. I also only let them have playtime during the cooler months because even with the air conditioning, it could get too warm in the summer for them to be out running around.
 

JamaisVu

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I have their play area set up around their cage. It's fenced off the rest of the room and completely chin proof. As long as I'm at home and able to keep an eye out for them, they have free access in and out their cage.

Usually they wake up when I get home from work and that's when I let them out. They get very excited and will run around immediately after being let out to explore what I rearranged from the day before. After that they calm down and will sporadically explore/play and go back into the cage for naps/food/water as they need.

I will try to come in and interact with them for at least 15-20 minutes every day. Susu has become cuddlier with age and loves to jump on my shoulder and just hang out. Kumo prefers if I sit down and he can just bounce on and off my legs. Usually after 15 minutes they go back and do their own thing.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
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I know I just posted a thread on playtime, but after some research, I've realized that there's a LOT of different opinions on this, and as a new chin owner, I'd like to get some opinions and tips on what to do. Now, some people say every day, a few times a week, or none at all as "They are prey animals and don't really enjoy the open areas for exercise. They prefer to stay hid. Also most injury or accident happen during out of cage time." What do you guys think? How often should a chin be let out for playtime? There's also another factor to this debate. How long? Some people say 15-30 minutes max, others say 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours, or it just depends on the chinchilla. Opinions on that? I'm leaning toward letting my chins out for playtime, even if my situation right now makes it a bit complicated, but some people say that it's not required as they get plenty exercise in the cage, while others say that they get depressed, bored, and weak if they stay inside the cage all the time. This is quite the battle I suppose.
I have 7 males. All but one love play time. The other one likes it but is very scared to be picked up as he was abused for years before I saved him. He is coming around now but it takes time. I use a 2 person tent and get in there with them. They use me as a jumping post. They love it and so do I. I have singles and bonded pairs and even one set of 3. I do not put all 7 in the tent together. They have separate times. Each bonded pairs go only with me and then the others. I sometimes do daily for around 30 minutes to an hour but On days that are to busy sometimes it's less. Some say they don't need it and they could probably be right I just know how much mine love it. I am planning on starting up a eastcoast Chinchilla rescue so I can help more chins. Hope that info helped some
 

Hresko

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Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
13
I have their play area set up around their cage. It's fenced off the rest of the room and completely chin proof. As long as I'm at home and able to keep an eye out for them, they have free access in and out their cage.

Usually they wake up when I get home from work and that's when I let them out. They get very excited and will run around immediately after being let out to explore what I rearranged from the day before. After that they calm down and will sporadically explore/play and go back into the cage for naps/food/water as they need.

I will try to come in and interact with them for at least 15-20 minutes every day. Susu has become cuddlier with age and loves to jump on my shoulder and just hang out. Kumo prefers if I sit down and he can just bounce on and off my legs. Usually after 15 minutes they go back and do their own thing.
I would love to see a picture of your setup. We have four chins that get out every night for 30 minutes and have for years. They have done alot of damage and I am looking into other options where they can still get out and play but are somewhat confined. Thank you.
 
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I would love to see a picture of your setup. We have four chins that get out every night for 30 minutes and have for years. They have done alot of damage and I am looking into other options where they can still get out and play but are somewhat confined. Thank you.
If you use a tent they can play in it with you in there with them. They love it and popcorn all around. It's just a 2 or 3 person tent I have set up in my living room and I bring them to it from their cage each time. That way I don't have to worry about them causing damage to anything and also there is no worry of them getting hurt. Plus I get to get right in there with them and they jump all over me.
 

Hresko

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May 22, 2013
Messages
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If you use a tent they can play in it with you in there with them. They love it and popcorn all around. It's just a 2 or 3 person tent I have set up in my living room and I bring them to it from their cage each time. That way I don't have to worry about them causing damage to anything and also there is no worry of them getting hurt. Plus I get to get right in there with them and they jump all over me.
Thank you I like that idea although does it get warm inside the tent?
 

borwin98

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Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
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I know I just posted a thread on playtime, but after some research, I've realized that there's a LOT of different opinions on this, and as a new chin owner, I'd like to get some opinions and tips on what to do. Now, some people say every day, a few times a week, or none at all as "They are prey animals and don't really enjoy the open areas for exercise. They prefer to stay hid. Also most injury or accident happen during out of cage time." What do you guys think? How often should a chin be let out for playtime? There's also another factor to this debate. How long? Some people say 15-30 minutes max, others say 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours, or it just depends on the chinchilla. Opinions on that? I'm leaning toward letting my chins out for playtime, even if my situation right now makes it a bit complicated, but some people say that it's not required as they get plenty exercise in the cage, while others say that they get depressed, bored, and weak if they stay inside the cage all the time. This is quite the battle I suppose.
I change toys and rearange the chin cage frequently. They love to explore their new situations.
 

borwin98

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Apr 11, 2019
Messages
2
If you use a tent they can play in it with you in there with them. They love it and popcorn all around. It's just a 2 or 3 person tent I have set up in my living room and I bring them to it from their cage each time. That way I don't have to worry about them causing damage to anything and also there is no worry of them getting hurt. Plus I get to get right in there with them and they jump all over me.
Gread idea, I'm out hunting for a tent for my two girls later on today. They have a playpen which I attach to their cage where they can go in and out as they please. It has a cover for top and bottom, so they are safe. I change their toys and move toys around to keep them interested.
 

Hresko

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Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
13
Gread idea, I'm out hunting for a tent for my two girls later on today. They have a playpen which I attach to their cage where they can go in and out as they please. It has a cover for top and bottom, so they are safe. I change their toys and move toys around to keep them interested.
Can you please share a picture I'm looking at ideas. Thanks
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

Active member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Southern California
I know I just posted a thread on playtime, but after some research, I've realized that there's a LOT of different opinions on this, and as a new chin owner, I'd like to get some opinions and tips on what to do. Now, some people say every day, a few times a week, or none at all as "They are prey animals and don't really enjoy the open areas for exercise. They prefer to stay hid. Also most injury or accident happen during out of cage time." What do you guys think? How often should a chin be let out for playtime? There's also another factor to this debate. How long? Some people say 15-30 minutes max, others say 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours, or it just depends on the chinchilla. Opinions on that? I'm leaning toward letting my chins out for playtime, even if my situation right now makes it a bit complicated, but some people say that it's not required as they get plenty exercise in the cage, while others say that they get depressed, bored, and weak if they stay inside the cage all the time. This is quite the battle I suppose.
I know I just posted a thread on playtime, but after some research, I've realized that there's a LOT of different opinions on this, and as a new chin owner, I'd like to get some opinions and tips on what to do. Now, some people say every day, a few times a week, or none at all as "They are prey animals and don't really enjoy the open areas for exercise. They prefer to stay hid. Also most injury or accident happen during out of cage time." What do you guys think? How often should a chin be let out for playtime? There's also another factor to this debate. How long? Some people say 15-30 minutes max, others say 1-2 hours, 2-4 hours, or it just depends on the chinchilla. Opinions on that? I'm leaning toward letting my chins out for playtime, even if my situation right now makes it a bit complicated, but some people say that it's not required as they get plenty exercise in the cage, while others say that they get depressed, bored, and weak if they stay inside the cage all the time. This is quite the battle I suppose.
Yeah honestly it's really up to the owner. I let Roo out whenever I can and she is out usually 30 min-1 hour.she loves coming out to play cuz she is able to explore and get stimulation. This helps to prevent your chinnie getting tired. The more they are our the more stimulated they will be
 

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