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Chin Debate Debate chin topics here - PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL!

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  #11  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:55 AM United States
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Pikaia Pikaia is offline
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I have often wondered this myself. A friend's daughter got a chinchilla and he came to me wanting advice. I told him everything he wanted to know and more I even gave them a big bag of sticks, safe toys, treats, etc- TWICE. I told them everything can be ordered online for way cheaper prices than in stores and it's SAFE!!! They have been listening for the most part, but they won't spend any money on the chin. It's aggravating.

There are groups on facebook (local buy, sell, trades) and I see chinchillas on there every once in a while. A girl was selling some and usually I would shut my mouth, but I had to speak up when I saw the information she was giving people. She said, "Chins don't need toys, you can use a leash with them and to house them in a guinea pig cage". She didn't mention anything about A/C. I had to speak up at that point. She called herself a breeder too. GRRR. I was polite but wanted everyone to have the correct information before purchasing an exotic pet. A lady actually messaged me privately to get more information and decided not to purchase the chin.

It's the same with raisins. There are tons of healthy treats that chins would love. Why feed them raisins? There are a lot of misconceptions. That's why you have to do your research before getting a pet. Some people just can't be told they are wrong either. Like my friend's daughter. She says, "How does SHE know everything? The pet store told me this is what you buy". They are stubborn. Some people just don't care too and that's sad. Chinchillas are disposable to them, so why bother?
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2013, 01:41 PM United States
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I think what also keeps people from listening is their experience with how they've done things. Let me explain. I was on a facebook group the other day talking about chin diet, and these people were posting pics of their chins eating fresh fruits, diets made mostly of dried herbs and dried fruits, all sorts of stuff that we, here, would know would be bad. I nicely explained, hey, not good for them. The result? Well, besides everyone telling me I was wrong, they all basically said, "well, we've been going this for x amount of years and the chin's still alive, so it must be fine!!!" They said this is the natural way of feeding them and then proceeded to make fun of me and my pellet and hay diet, asking me where I could find a pellet tree in the wild Needless to say, not open to changing.

I tried to use the smoking example. You smoke, and externally you look fine, but on the inside, your lungs are black, there's damage to your lungs, potentially shortened lifespan from lung cancer or other things, and so on and so forth. According to these people's argument, since the smoker is still living, smoking must be great!!

I'm personally of the same mindset as dawn. If someone says its bad, I will stop using it, and THEN (if I feel like it) research to see what I can find on my own. Sometimes it's not something I feel worth debating safe/not safe, especially as there are SO MANY safe treats and foods out there. But I prefer to err on the side of caution..... not a lot of people do that apparently.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:42 PM United States
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When I first started out with chins, about 10 years ago, there wasn't much info on them in books nor the internet, at least the places I was looking at. When I finally found chins-n-quills, it was already too late with one of my chins as he had already been diagnosed with malo. I don't get the closed-mindedness that people have about learning things, especially when it comes to the health and safety of your pet.

I learned A LOT of lessons with my first chin, sadly at his expense but I did try to give them the best I could, even then. I read this forum day and night as well as a few other resources that I found through here. I would chat with a few seasoned members and went to a few chin shows and lectures to learn as much as I could. I swore that I would do right by him and not make the same mistakes if we ever got chins again. It didn't take us long to have chins back in our life and even though there are some things we still can't control, I will always be open to learning everything I can in order to give my pets a better and longer life.
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Last edited by Sandi; 07-10-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2013, 02:32 AM United States
Zoaea Zoaea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greychins View Post
"well, we've been going this for x amount of years and the chin's still alive, so it must be fine!!!" They said this is the natural way of feeding them and then proceeded to make fun of me and my pellet and hay diet, asking me where I could find a pellet tree in the wild Needless to say, not open to changing.

I tried to use the smoking example. You smoke, and externally you look fine, but on the inside, your lungs are black, there's damage to your lungs, potentially shortened lifespan from lung cancer or other things, and so on and so forth. According to these people's argument, since the smoker is still living, smoking must be great!!
That smoking example is great! I usually point out that Chinchillas are from a cold desert, the natural flora there is dry grass type foods. I don't think a wild chinchilla has ever seen a head of lettuce let alone a tropical fruit tree!! Also, just because only a few chinchillas drop dead from something doesn't make it healthy for those that survive. If something kills even 1 or 2 chinchillas in 100 why risk it!
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2013, 06:24 AM United States
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Quote:
People don't like to be told that they are wrong. Or that those they trust - the employees at the pet store or the veterinarian that treats their dog or the backyard breeder they got their chin from - are wrong.

I would hope anyone would err on the side of caution when it comes to their family members. But not everyone is like that.
This is a big source of the problem, but also it's difficult to differentiate where 'correct' information is coming from. For example, back when I was first starting with chinchillas (about 13 years ago) raisins were a perfectly fine treat. Then it was raisins are ok, but only in moderation. I come on here on occasion recently and now I find "raisins are TERRIBLE!!!! WHY would you FEED that!!!". The typical chin owner has conflicting information then, some coming from friends with chinchillas they trust, anonymous people on the internet, and their veterinarian. In truth, there is no way to validate what any of the people on the forum are saying, you must choose whether to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that they have 'x amount of years of experience' or 'was told this by x who has hundreds of chinchillas', or just trust their vet who has a degree to prove their experience. I'm not saying vets are right, believe me, most are lacking in chinchilla experience, but I'm saying I understand where jane doe chinchilla owner is coming from. Ideally, there would be published studies we can cite from, but those are few and far between.

The way you take care of a pet is a personal choice, no matter what the animal. And unless the animal is in direct and immediate danger, there is no 'right way' take care of an animal, but suggested ways to better their health, or decrease the risk of health effects down the road. I wonder how many people on here that preach about the right way to take care of a chinchilla feed the best food and treats to their dog? What IS the best food for a dog? We can have a long, lengthy debate on that I'm sure. Some of the husbandry that people laud about on internet forums is in part a fad that waxes and wanes with time. I also remember a time when no one would suggest putting fleece in their cages.

I guess if really think the chin is in danger or poor health, the best way to approach the issue is not to automatically assume they 'don't care' or think ' chinchillas are disposable'. It's like they say, 'you attract more flies with honey'. Perhaps they will agree with you in time.
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Last edited by Sovay; 07-11-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2013, 06:53 AM United Kingdom
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Claire D Claire D is offline
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Much has changed in the world of pet chinchillas over the years that I have been keeping them. Some of it is good & some of it, not so good.
Some of the utter garbage I read on websites or FaceBook pages/groups makes me shudder &, quite frankly, I despair for the health of the chins who are forced to eat crappy, unproven diets, or are kept in unsuitable cages/environments etc.


Two phrases always spring to mind:

You can't sure stupid.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should ......
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2013, 09:00 AM United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greychins View Post
I think what also keeps people from listening is their experience with how they've done things. Let me explain. I was on a facebook group the other day talking about chin diet, and these people were posting pics of their chins eating fresh fruits, diets made mostly of dried herbs and dried fruits, all sorts of stuff that we, here, would know would be bad. I nicely explained, hey, not good for them. The result? Well, besides everyone telling me I was wrong, they all basically said, "well, we've been going this for x amount of years and the chin's still alive, so it must be fine!!!" They said this is the natural way of feeding them and then proceeded to make fun of me and my pellet and hay diet, asking me where I could find a pellet tree in the wild Needless to say, not open to changing.
That was a fun little exchange... the next couple of days were filled with them trying to justify their choice in diets and harassing us for being pellet and hay feeders...

I know what works for my chinchillas. In the past ten years I have changed very little about how I keep them because if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Fresh water, hay, pellets, clean cages with pine bedding, wood ledges... it's safe and it works. I used to give a daily or every-other-day raisin but that has stopped.
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  #18  
Old 08-26-2013, 11:11 AM United States
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I don't get it. Why do owners not want to educate themselves with all the info they can about their chinchillas health, with all the crud on the net, even from DVMs such as this quote from a DVM on chinchilla care " They love pizza crust, cheetos, raisins, apple and the like. However these items given more than occasionally will soon lead to digestive upsets, loose stools and eventual death" or the hack vet on Animal planet who crunched off a rabbits incisors with a wire cutters to the point they were flush with the gums and bleeding, way to go guy, to the vet who Rxed a oral steroid to a young chin for a leg injury who died shortly after, a internet friend of mine. I think if your vet actually thinks you have knowlege, it also means you really care. I just had to go to the vet for the first time in two years last week, it was for a simple incisor trim of some upper incisors the chin wore the cutting surface uneven, my vet knows I know teeth so he asked what I wanted, how I wanted it to look, how much off, what angle of the chisel, and he did it. Some other hack like the one on TV could have snapped them off and gave him back and I would have had no clue that was not cool if I didn't know.
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