Four Js Plantation -  Breeders of Top Quality Chinchillas

Chinchilla nutrition is actually a simple process.  So simple in fact that many will often inadvertently do more harm than good because they want to add things to the diet that is not needed and can actually cause a nutrition imbalance.  Dietary staples of fresh, high quality pellets, hay and distilled or filtered water is all that is required.  These should ALWAYS be available for consumption.  Chinchillas will not overeat of their dietary staples but will do so with treats.


Pellets can be found at most feed and seed stores.  Many chinchilla owners use pellets intended for Rabbits or other rodents and this can be fine so long as proper ingredients are included and, of course, your chinchilla eats it.  Many large breeders have their pellets specially made and can be a great source for your herd.  Always check with a professional breeder or your association for details on proper pellet content analysis.


Hay used to feed chinchillas should be either timothy or alfalfa. A chin's primary hay, for daily use, should be HIGH in fiber and LOW in protein content. A good guideline to observe is when a chin is fed a timothy-based pellet, feed more alfalfa hay (high-fiber, higher protein content) and when a chin is fed an alfalfa-based pellet (most pellets are alfalfa-based, but check the guaranteed analysis), feed more timothy hay.

Hay is absolutely vital to chinchillas, it is the domestic chin's substitute for the roughage they had in the wild. As an essential part of maintaining good health, it is very important that a chin never goes without hay. Grinding and chewing course hay also keeps their constantly growing teeth filed down.  This prevents molar spurs and other dental problems. Although most chins aren't particular about the source of their hay, if your chinchillas aren't eating, switch to another source or brand until you find one that they prefer.


Treats for chinchillas, while not totally restricted, must be supervised and given ONLY as a treat.  An occasional raisin or other dried fruit is fine but nuts should be avoided due to their high fat content.  Do NOT allow our chinchilla to have free access to treats!  Over time this may cause health problems that can lead to premature death.  The chinchilla GI tract is not equipped for foods rich in fat, sugar or very high in protein. Unless treat intake is strictly monitored it can cause: diarrhea, severe digestive distress, seizures, bloat, malnutrition, liver damage, pancreatitis, dental disease, malocclusion, and more.

A chinchilla should receive, at the most, just ONE treat per day. And no treats for those that are ill or have mushy or loose droppings. They need all the dietary staples they are able to consume and treats can aggravate their condition.  Chinchillas are notorious beggars.  After quickly consuming a single treat they will beg for more.  Just remember that giving excess treats can deter them from eating their normal food.  No matter how much they beg always keep in mind that it is BEST for them that you not to give in.


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