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Old 09-24-2017, 12:07 PM United States
PirateHorse PirateHorse is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Missouri
Posts: 5
Chinchillas: 2
Default Alfalfa and juveniles

I recently purchased 2 male cuties. Sterling is a white mosaic and is 3 months old, Onyx is a med ebony and is 2 months old. I've had chins in the past but it's been quite a while and I'm afraid I was highly uneducated at that time.
Obviously I want to give my boys the best and healthiest lives possible.
I'm a bit confused about the rules on alfalfa. I've tried to read as much as I can but some of the info I'm finding is a bit conflicting.
Right now the boys are on Mazuri and loose alfalfa per the breeders recommendation. I realize now that said breeder was more of a hobby breeder and has already given me some flawed recommendations (raisins being excellent multi-daily treats for one). I've only had them for a little over a week and have been feeding the loose alfalfa, Mazuri and alfalfa cubes per instructions. This seems like an incredible amount of alfalfa to me, even for juveniles.
I'm certainly no expert, but this seems incorrect to me. I wanted to double check with you since your information and advise has been such an enormous help to giving my boys the pampered (but healthy) life they deserve
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:48 PM Canada
Amethyst's Avatar
Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,580
Chinchillas: 2

It's fine and good to feed young chins alfalfa for the first year. You can add in timothy or other grass hay too if you want to help get them use to it and add more fiber to the diet. Young chins can use the extra protein and calcium in alfalfa for growing, so feeding a alfalfa only diet shouldn't be a problem. Once they are about a year or so you want to start switching to mostly timothy hay with the alfalfa pellets just to balance out the diet. Basically the general rule is timothy hay with alfalfa based pellets or alfalfa hay with timothy based pellets for adult chins. My guys get mostly timothy, as well as other grass hay and alfalfa cubes for hay, and oxbow (alfalfa based) pellets.

From what I'm read a lot comes down to genetics, some breeders have there chins (hundreds of chins) on alfalfa only all the time with no issues, others their chins end up with bladder or kidney stones from the excess calcium. You also want to avoid any of those calcium chews, they are not good for chins.

Oh and not only are raisins bad, you really don't want to give any treats to them until they are closer to a year old. You can give sticks and various hay types as "treats" for now though. You can give unlimited chew sticks, so they can make good bonding things to give to start with.
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:30 PM United States
PirateHorse PirateHorse is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Missouri
Posts: 5
Chinchillas: 2

Excellent, thank you very much! I've ordered some different types of hay for a bit of variety, but will stick with primarily alfalfa stuffs.

The sticks are an amazing idea! I hadn't been giving them any treats, but as they are young and still skittish I wanted something to treat them with, that's a perfect 'compromise' for them

The boys and I thank you very kindly
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