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  #1  
Old 12-30-2015, 11:08 AM United States
EBB EBB is offline
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Default chinchillas in 4-H

I grew up studying and practicing animal husbandry by way of 4-H and chinchillas seem like a very practical, economical and progressive 4-H project for children and teenagers to get into.

For those who are not familiar with 4-H it is a program whereby youth raise crops, breed and raise livestock and do educational, artistic, or practical projects usually culminating in a week long event called a county fair where livestock shows, art shows, and various exhibits created by the students are displayed and offered to the public.

Essentially we'd be using chinchillas to teach animal husbandry instead of cows. The reality is many families aren't farming anymore because its not practical, and city kids miss out entirely due to space limits, but chinchillas don't require a bunch of space, and all of the same educational opportunities that exist in breeding and managing horses, cows, pigs and goats exist in breeding and managing chinchillas.

What do you guys think? Has anyone ever done this or heard of it being done? One major concern would be an air-conditioned situation at the fair( exhibit festival) as these are usually held during the summer and fairgrounds generally consist of barns that aren't air conditioned.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:14 PM United States
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I used to attend the 4-H county fair when I lived in Ohio but never saw any chins. Mostly rabbits, chickens, etc for small animals.

A couple of things I wonder about,
1) Would this situation be too much stress on the chins since a lot of people would be walking around their cages and looking at them?

2) Since they sleep most of the day, would being woken up or kept awake by constant noise from the fair and people traffic be harmful since the fair typically runs a week?

I think of my own chin in this situation and he would chew himself naked from the stress. But then from reading posts about other's chins I think mine might be more uptight than most because he usually reacts badly to noise and I have to keep him shut away during the day so he can sleep well.

Interesting idea though, looking forward to reading experienced owners thoughts.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2016, 04:40 PM United States
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One of the chinchilla show organizations has a chinchilla 4-H program. It's not very popular since 4-H programs don't typically look past regular farm animals, but we do have about 15 4-H members right now.

http://empresschinchilla.org/join-empress/

4-H Empress membership is $25 for a year and regularly donated to 4-H kids by Empress members. Their are also breeders on stand by around the states willing to donate animals for a 4-H program.

If you know any 4-H kids or groups that are interested in getting into chinchillas, you should have them contact our national board 4-H program representative, Kristy Morici at ABCChinchillas@comcast.net
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:10 PM Canada
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Chinchilla's in 4H wouldn't be any different than having them at a show and it would totally depend on the chinchilla how they tolerated. Obviously well breed, well handled, well socialized chins won't have any problems- happens to them all the time already. My fur-plucking rescue would not be a good project and wouldn't uphold the proper standards for showing or 4H anyways, so I wouldn't subject him to it. The goal would be to have top quality chins- whether for breeding or fur- just like a chin show. It sounds like it would be really fun. My only concern would be in attending any of the fairs with regards to keeping away from rabbits and having the guests wash their hands. And having an air conditioned space. Definitely a possibility though.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:31 AM United States
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You might email Debbie and Kelly from chins-to-go, they usually have a chinchilla exhibit every year at the CA state fair, they may also have some tips/info on how chins do. They bring like 15-20.

chinstogo@aol.com
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:32 PM United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightnurse View Post
Chinchilla's in 4H wouldn't be any different than having them at a show and it would totally depend on the chinchilla how they tolerated. Obviously well breed, well handled, well socialized chins won't have any problems- happens to them all the time already. My fur-plucking rescue would not be a good project and wouldn't uphold the proper standards for showing or 4H anyways, so I wouldn't subject him to it. The goal would be to have top quality chins- whether for breeding or fur- just like a chin show. It sounds like it would be really fun. My only concern would be in attending any of the fairs with regards to keeping away from rabbits and having the guests wash their hands. And having an air conditioned space. Definitely a possibility though.
Very good points. Bentley is a nervous flighty chin and I tend to view him as the norm since I don't have experience with any other kind of chin. If I ever get another chin I want one that is settled and calm.

Why do you mention keeping away from rabbits?

Thanks
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:41 AM Canada
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Sorry for the late reply. Most rabbits are carriers of a disease called Pasteurella, which is very deadly for chinchilla's. The rabbits won't necessarily display symptoms of it but could carry it and I believe it is airborne. It causes upper respiratory infections and can quickly lead to pneumonia. Someone on here quoted 50-80% of all rabbits carrying it and it's difficult to detect.
So any contact would be a concern for me- even someone petting a rabbit in another barn then coming to look at the chinchilla's might spread it along.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2016, 09:24 AM United States
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Thanks for replying to my question. I had no idea and will make sure to remember this!
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