Frequently Asked Questions
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Do you have any chinchillas for sale?
We always have babies, adults and shelter chins available in several colors. If we don't have what you are looking for we can reserve a future kit, contact other breeders, or shop at a show for you. To see who's waiting for a forever home, visit the Chin Shop.
How much are they? What's the cheapest one you have?
People who call and ask this question are telling me me that they aren't serious about adopting, and/or probably can't afford to be a responsible owner. To purchase a chinchilla, cage and accessories will cost between $200 and $700. Happily, food is fairly inexpensive, and chins don't need vet care unless they are injured or they are fed improperly.
Prices for chinchillas vary by age, color, pedigree, quality and disposition. When you are shopping for a chinchilla you get what you pay for. SydChilla's prices are competitive with pet stores, and adopters get knowledgable care information and support for the lifetime of their new pet. Visit the Chin Shop
Do chinchillas need special care?
* Chinchillas need a temperature controlled environment. Their room should be kept between 55-70 degrees year round, meaning they need an air-conditioned area. The area should also have low humidity, about 50%.
* Never get them wet. Chinchillas bathe themselves with fine dust that removes oil and dirt and keeps their fur fluffy and beautiful. They should be offered a dust bath at least twice a week.
* They need a low stress environment. If your cat or dog will spend time stalking the chinchilla cage, your home is not a good place for a chin. Loud noises or music, boisterous children, too much playtime, and erratic schedules will all stress a chin.
* Read the Care Information
Is a chinchilla the right pet for my child?
Chinchillas are not a good pet for most kids under 12, and not for some under 15. Young teens often have changing interests, but chins live 10-15 years. Parents should be prepared to care for the pet when the child is too busy with other activities or leaves for college.
Chins are independent by nature; a child will quickly lose interest. Chins also do not enjoy being hugged, cuddled, or held for long periods, and can overheat. Their ribs and lungs are small and delicate; proper handling is essential.
If your teen expresses interest in adopting a chinchilla, ask them to read my care information, watch some YouTube videos, and meet a chinchilla before they adopt. My Adoption Application is an eductional tool, have your teen complete it.
Where are you located? Can I visit?
Sydchilla Chinchillas is located in Augusta, Maine.
After your application is approved I will contact you to schedule an adoption visit and supply my address. Visits to SydChilla and MCS are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
What do chinchillas eat?
Chinchilla's eat a very simple, high fiber diet that consists of timothy hay and a low protien alfalfa based pellet. They can be fed a supplement that is predominantly oats, and be offered limited amounts of cheerios, mini shredded wheat, rose hips, dried apple bits, or apple sticks as treats. Check my safe foods list here.
Chinchillas should not be fed vegetables, fruits, corn products, baked goods, seeds, nuts, or food meant for guinea pigs, birds, ferrets, degus, or humans.
How long do chinchillas live?
Chinchillas have been known to live in captivity for up to 30 years. They average 10-15 for most pet owners. Your chinchilla will live a longer life if you purchase a pedigreed animal, limit exercise, provide air conditioning, and feed it properly.
What kind of cage do they need?
Chinchillas love to chew, so if you want to keep your chin contained and healthy, you will get an all metal cage with no plastic latches, connectors, or shelves. They chins will chew the latches and eventually be loose in your home, or chew the shelves and die from an intestinal blockage. A plastic pan is usually ok if the wire walls sit down inside of it. Plastic shelves can be covered with fleece to make them safe.
Chinchillas will poo everywhere but will use a litter pan to urinate. If your cage has a wire floor you should have a litter pan to prevent rust. Litter pans most often are 3 quart glass lasagna pans filled with 1" of pine shavings.
Your cage should be made of 1" wire bars or mesh with a slide out pan for easy cleaning. There should be several wood shelves and/or perches because chins like to hop and climb, and often sleep in the highest place. A typical cage will be 2' tall, 3' wide and 2' deep. Check our Cage Shop for chin safe homes.
Chinchilla's natural homes were rock crevices and burrows, so they enjoy a small hiding place such as a house or under a low shelf. Professional chin breeders use smaller cages because chins feel more secure, and they are safer for babies.
How do I choose a new chinchilla?
I will help you during your visit! :D Female and male pet chinchillas have generally the same dispositions. The notable exception is that a very fearful female will spray you with urine as a defense. I usually only see this behavior with shelter chins and some breeding females, and a spraying chin won't be offered as a pet.
Male chinchillas need to be checked every few months for fur rings, and I educate new owners on the procedure.
We always try to adopt chinchillas in pairs because they transition better to a new home, feel more secure with companionship, and are overall more interactive, better pets for their owners.
Can I adopt just one chinchilla? Why are yours in pairs?
Chinchillas are herd animals and are healthier, happier, better pets for their owners when they are in pairs. Chins with a companion are less anxious and have a higher resistance to illnesses. Pairs also transition better into new homes and live longer healthier lives.
If you already own a chin and would like to adopt a chinny companion, we can find a baby and sometimes we break up pairs. Most importantly, I will explain the introduction process to insure a smooth transition!
Some chins just like to be alone, and we often have singles available. They are often older chins who were surrendered as singles, or retired breeders.
How do I adopt from SydChilla?
1. Browse this site to learn more about chinchillas, view the available chins and choose your furry friend.
3. Send a $50 deposit via PayPal to reserve your pet(s) to , or wait to purchase your new friend with cash during the adoption visit.
4. Visit SydChilla to pick up your new furry friend. Plan an hour visit to learn about care, handling, and behavior. Bring a carrier or box to transport your chins home, cash or credit card for payment, and a truck if you're purchasing a large cage.
5. After you're home, call, text, facebook, or email Marianne with any questions! I want you and your chin to be happy together for many years ahead!
How do I surrender my chinchillas?
I understand this is a very difficult decision and and I will make the transfer as easy as possible. Only adults may surrender animals. If you have several chins please contact me first.
We ask that chins arrive with their hay, food, water, dust, and $40 donation. Having their own food and water smooths the transition and reduces stress.
During the transfer I will ask questions about your chinchilla and you will sign a surrender form as required by the state of Maine. Surrendering owner information is private and confidential.
Maine Chinchilla Shelter is a Maine licensed facility and accepts transfers from other shelters.