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Old 03-28-2019, 07:20 PM Canada
Jack_burton Jack_burton is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
Default Natural environment cage.

Howdy all. I just got a one year old bratty chinchilla for my daughter. Everything is fine, both are adjusting to each other, well as good as a seven year old and a hyper rodent can get.

I'm just wondering if any one has tried building a zoo like type habitat for the little fur balls. Let's put aside the hassle it could turn into. I've been playing the idea of making a four by eight mini garden in my apartment. Since we've gotten her I thought two birds with one stone. Inside garden and chin habitat.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:12 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,577
Chinchillas: 2

I know some people have tried going with a more natural style cage setup, adding logs, rocks, and stuff like that If you want to go "cage-less" it's more a situation of converting a whole room or at least a floor to ceiling area. Chins are hoppers, so they need height to their living area, they live on moutain sides after all. Height is more important then floor space, lots of ledges, perches, and shelves. You also need to make sure everything is over lapping so the chin can't fall more then a foot, or it can get seriously hurt or die. They can also easily jump 5 feet, so the enclosure really needs to have a ceiling/top to it so the chin can't escape.

One idea that could work would be something like but setup for chins rather then birds.

I'm not sure what you envision for a garden, but chins can't eat fresh plants, so it would be a plant-less garden. Yes they do eat plants in the wild, but food we feed them, like timothy hay, is more nutritious then the scrub grasses they are normally eating in the wild. Chins in the wild only live 5-10 years, chins in captivity average more like 15-20+ years with proper care. Open water is dangerous, so no water, other then a water bottle either. So it would be pretty much just rocks, logs, leafless branches, and sticks for the "garden".
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
3 Dogs: Bear, Loki, and Blaze
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:23 PM United States
WeedEater4Life WeedEater4Life is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Chinchillas: 1
Default My Chin Room

My husband and I converted a screened-in porch to a Chin habitat by putting up plexiglass over all of the screen. It is approx. 10' x 12'. We added an opening for a room AC and have a good heater for the winter. I live on the southern coast of NC and while it does get cold in the winter and really hot in the summer here, I have always been able to maintain a decent temp for them at all times. When I adopted my first Chin, my husband built a cage that is 3' tall x 6' long and 24" deep. That wasn't enough for me, so while we do use it, it is inside the porch with the doors open. I use large cardboard boxes elsewhere and they prefer those over their expensive cage. They eventually chew them up, but they are easily replaced. I cut openings into each one so they have multiple ways in and out. They LOVE new boxes and I have different sizes to mix it up. One of their absolute favors is a long box about 5' long they use as a tunnel. I also have quite a few large rocks and some slate in their enclosure. They have two cage trays to pee in and do use them more than you would think. I also have small towels down and they will pee on those the most often and they are easily washed and replaced. I try to change it up for them all the time by rearranging the rock pile in their cage or moving the boxes into different configurations. While I do have a water bottle at all times, they prefer to drink from a bowl. I just have to change it daily so it stays clean. This will likely surprise many, but during the winter I hang a heat lamp over a large piece of slate. I keep it on 24/7 from mid October to the end of March or so. I cannot tell you how often they get under it when the temp in there is in the 60's! I also have a Chin disc for them to use and the only thing I have ever seen one of them do is spin it with their hand because they have tons of room to run and climb!
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