Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Word Concerning "Chins"

Baby, wondering how he can escape, and take over the world
Baby, in my work area 
   This morning's amblings were inspired by Baby's escapade today. I have, living in a huge cage on the kitchen counter, two male chinchillas. They were acquired from my sister, Steph, when her otherwise tolerant husband said they had to go. She called me almost in tears, so I told her to bring them out here. I have since found out IN SPADES why John wanted them out of the house.
   Chins are cute, incredibly soft, and chew everything they can get their teeth onto. They are a bit larger than a guinea pig. They move like stink ... running, scurrying, and jumping.
   Since they have moved out here to the country, [not that they'd notice, living indoors in a cage] the fuzzy little bastards have managed to chew my dressage saddle, a bridle and set of hand-made braided reins, and a bathroom! That was the primary damage; there was a lot of gnawing done on furniture, baseboards, and anything within reach of their teeth.
   Chinchillas must gnaw, as like so many rodents, their teeth are continually erupting from the jaw. In watching them, I have also come to think that they use their teeth and mouths to explore their environment.So it is quite natural, BUT .....
   Anyway, to give them time out of the cage, and time for a cornstarch bath [really, it's grooming] I bought a large playpen. This I set up in the kitchen, put in their bath, some toys, and cover with an old blanket which I batten down with bungee cords and a plank. One of the chins, Baby, is a master of escape. This morning, I didn't even know he was out till I saw him zip around the bedroom. He also looked wet. When I checked the bathroom , the floor near the toilet was wet. He had jumped up and fallen in. But how did the little bugger get out? Anyway, he had his romp, allowed himself to be relatively easily caught, and placed back in the cage.
   The other chin, Fat Bastard, is not as keen on being out of the cage. His quirk is  sprawling on his back for hours ... a most un-chinchilla-like posture. He also has a serious raisin addiction. Both chins like raisins, but he will do anything and go anywhere to get one.
Inspecting my bridle
Fat on left, Baby on right
   So, that's a little bit of my life with chins.


  1. What a great post! They are darling, if TONS of mischief! I always, always wanted a chinchilla when I was a kid. But for some reason my parents just wouldn't go for it. I'm thinking they may have been wiser than I thought! :)

  2. Ahhh... I used to have two Chinchillas! One was called Hobnob and the other, Cookie! They are SO cute! :0)