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In their natural environment, chinchillas would probably pounce on anything that smells good. Only the offer in the wild is exactly suitable for the rodents: fiber-rich plant parts. The animals do not know anything that is quickly digestible, for example, and therefore feeding should remain close to nature even with a pet. But out of ignorance one or the other harmful feed seeps into the chinchilla cage. The following feed and poisonous plants are not recommended.
Beware of poisonous plants
There are a lot of poisonous plants out in nature that we humans also have to watch out for, for example, the Foxglove, the deadly cherry or the angel's trumpet. It is obvious that chinchillas are not allowed to eat them. But did you know that houseplants can also be very dangerous for chinchillas? If you let your rodents run free, you must first eliminate poisonous houseplants for them, such as: ivy, ficus, yucca, rubber tree, tree friend, poinsettia, geranium or fern. Here are just a few mentioned, please inform yourself about possible toxins from your houseplants or set them aside prophylactically from the outset.
Your chinchillas will surely get delicious twigs and buds to gnaw from you. This is also commendable, but dangerous if the parts of the plant are sprayed. You can only trust your own apple tree or your neighbor's pear tree. Never take parts of stone fruit trees, some contain hydrocyanic acid. You should also prefer to use tree parts and plants from a low-pollution area, not a main street or a city center.
Do not use conifers as nail wood for your chins and watch out for Christmas: many contain essential oils and they do not belong in such a small body. Other trees, bushes and shrubs unsuitable for use as nail wood are: Chestnut (the fruit), yew, elder, pomegranate or boxwood. Also be careful when choosing the right roots, for example horseradish is not suitable. In general, it is advisable to inform yourself explicitly about non-toxic rodents and roots.
Unsuitable food for chinchillas
- ● nuts: These have too high a fat content. Bitter almonds even contain toxic hydrocyanic acid - not a good idea.
- ● fruit seeds: Fruit kernels are even more dangerous. Many release toxins in the stomach.
- ● treats: Yes, candy tastes simple, but everyone knows - it's not healthy. For example, yogurt drops and rodents are heavily sugar-coated.
- ● feed additives: With salt licks, it is difficult to control whether your chinchillas absorb salt in moderation. There is a risk of over-supply with sodium chloride, which can cause kidney problems. Caution is advised. Limestones certainly do no harm if chinchillas gnaw on them occasionally. However, since it is not entirely clear what they contain, some chinchilla owners avoid them.
- ● Dry bread: The high salt content, preservatives and leavening agents are absolutely unsuitable. The same applies to pretzel sticks or bread chips. If so, crispbread is more suitable, but only very rarely!
- ● Rice and pasta:Rice and noodles may seem tasty to the rodent, but they contain too many carbohydrates - not suitable food for the chins.
- ● compound feed: Food mixes are not advisable because your chinchillas will probably only pick what they like best throughout their life. In the long run, the animals lack such important nutrients. It is important to have more control over the chinchilla diet.
Guinea pigs: food and feed for rodents
The diet of tame guinea pigs should be as little as possible from their habits ...
Attention! Not all types of fruit and vegetables are suitable
Even for fresh leaves like dandelions, which should actually be on the chinchilla menu, the following applies: not too much of it. The little South Americans know rather dried parts of plants from their homeland. This is why it happens that the animals cannot tolerate too much fresh food and get diarrhea from it. There are even fruits and vegetables that are extremely dangerous for Chinese people, such as apricots! Other types of fruit and vegetables are intolerable to the animals because, for example, they contain too much fructose, are highly acidic or have a flatulent effect:
- ● Legumes, such as lentils, peas or beans
- ● cabbage
- ● Corn, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic
- ● apricot, citrus, nectarine, banana, pineapple
Avoid plants and unsuitable foods if you want to enjoy your chinchillas for a long time. There are enough alternatives, read about this in our guide on "Chinchilla: food and feed for animals".