1. Osker samples a tasty Timothy hay mat. 

     
  2. The Max Man Returneth.

     
  3. Osker face!

    P.S: I’m really behind on questions! Be patient- they will all be answered!  <3

     
  4. Osker is quite curious.

     
  5. playtime Max!

     

  6. trustyourmechanic asked: How often does this "teenager phase" occur? This is the first time I've ever heard of that. Have you ever personally experienced it with one of your chins, or have you just heard about it? I got my chin at 5 months old on the first of November, so he's embarking on his one year pretty quickly. I don't think I could have asked for a sweeter chinchilla, honestly. Patience has really paid off with this one. He doesn't even nibble my fingers anymore, he just wants to kinda sit with me during his free time out every day and loves getting scritches. I've noticed he doesn't freeze or run away if I walk at him from across the room at all either anymore. So I'm just curious about this "phase" you mentioned. Sounds scary! haha

    I have experienced it with both of my boys, and am not sure if it happens with females as often as males.  I have also read others’ anecdotes about the ‘teenager phase’ on Chins N’ Hedgies.

    Here’s what happened with my guys:

    Max: I spent a lot of time trying to bond with Max as a kit. He was so shy when I first got him, that he just sat in the corner of the cage looking terrified of existing. After quite a few months, I was able to give him ‘scritches,’ and he would run to the front of the cage, even stepping out onto my palms at times. When he was about 1.5 or 2, the hormones kicked in and he became grumpier. He still recognized me, and came to the front of the cage wanting pets, but was just slightly more aloof. I feel that it was just a small setback in the work I’d put into taming.

    Osker:  He was naturally more outgoing as a kit than Max, so I didn’t spend as much time trying to bond with him (although I should have).  He is much more curious, and willing to explore new things/ approach you. At about a year old, his personality “change” just made him a little feistier. He acted bolder and more fearless, I suppose, and just wanted to do whatever he wanted- which was usually getting out of the cage to bounce off of the walls like a psychopath.  I would say this change stuck with him slightly, but it’s not as pronounced as it was a couple of years ago- if that makes sense.

    The situation in which you should really be concerned about this possible phase is if you have two male kits living together- or one male kit and one male adult. The hormones can often cause them to suddenly have disputes or reject each other, and a perfect, cuddly pair can suddenly be having fights all the time, requiring their owners to finally separate them permanently- for safety reasons.

    All chins are different, and you may not even notice a change with your chinchilla. I would just keep doing what you’re doing- it sounds like he is bonding well.  It’s not like all your efforts will be in vain, if he does have a personality change- all that bonding doesn’t usually get automatically reset, from what I’ve read and experienced.

     
  7. Chinchilla Loaf 

     
  8. Not the most flattering portrait of Max- he can look a little demonic and hunched sometimes.  Also, you can see how the fur slip is growing in- slowly.

     

  9. mile-infinity asked: hi again! so i just have an opinion question (for any chinchilla owners who may be reading this!)

    my two boys are both almost two, and they have always been the best :] just yesterday tho, i noticed SUCH a personality change in Chong. He is so much more chill, doesnt run around as much, and lets me pet him for 5 - 10 min without even flinching. is this normal for a chins personality to change so drastically?

    ps: as a side note: i re-did my cage recently, and changed the layout. do you think he doesn't like it? i got them a tunnel fleece tube, and only one can fit in at a time. they don't snuggle as much as they used to now. do you think chong is mad at cheech for sleeping in the fleece tube??

    A personality change that sudden would worry me, and a vet trip is probably the safest course of action if he hasn’t returned to his normal self by the time you read this.  

    It sounds like he’s lethargic, which is a serious symptom because little prey animals like chinchillas will hide any sickness or weakness for as long as they can. By the time they show symptoms, the problem could be serious. This is one reason that weighing your chinchillas with a gram scale, and keeping a written log of weekly weights can be very proactive and beneficial. 

    On the other hand, Chong could just be having a bad day or something.  Is he still eating, drinking, and pooping normally?  If not- get him to a vet!

    About the tubes- I have seen many chins squished into those things.  If they both really want to be in the tube, trust me, they will squish in.  Maybe you need to get another tube, if Cheech has claimed it as his territory, though.

     
  10.  

  11. kerriadango asked: Hi there! I just started following your blog because Chinchillas are one of my favorite animals and I plan to own one or two in the future. I can't right now because my dad is allergic to anything with fur (dander). So when I move out, I plan to get one but I'm taking the time to do research on them beforehand because I know they can be complicated to care for. I just wanted to say that your blog is really helpful with that, plus your chins are adorable! :) It always warms my heart to see pictures of them. They make my day!

    I'm planning on living in an apartment for a while after I move out, would that be a suitable environment for them? From what I've seen, your chins live in cages most of the time and have playtime in a chin-proofed room. So I'm thinking that even though their cage has to be pretty big, it could fit alright in an apartment, and I could either use a spare room for them to play in or the bathroom if no spare room is available. Is this correct? Also any advice you could give would be helpful. Thank you in advance! :)

    Yep- chinchillas are great for apartment-living, as long as you are able to control the thermostat, to keep the temperature under 73ish. 

    My boys do have big cages, and they play in a chin-proofed room (in which their cages are located).

    If space is limited in your future apartment, the cage could go in your bedroom or the main living space, and you’d probably get used to the noise of their early-morning/ late evening activity. Plus, the more activity they are exposed to (high-traffic areas), the more accustomed they will become to you and your routine. It’s usually easier to bond with them if they are able to see and hear you moving around most of the time. They’ll eventually sleep right through vacuuming, loud music, ect. Also, many chinchillas love watching TV, and some have even been known to bark to get their owners to turn it on for them. 

    The only other thing I can think of right now: when you’re apartment hunting, make sure you’ll have a place where the cage will always be out of direct sunlight- it can easily lead to heat stroke even if the inside air-temp is appropriate.

    Oh, and the boys and I appreciate the follow.  :)

     
  12. Max explores one of the cardboard tunnels.