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WHY BUILD THE WEBSITE?
The Chinchilla World website has developed as a result of the Degu World Website. Let me explain. A number of years ago I visited a garden centre and came across two unusual looking animals that were labeled as Degus. (I have always been a lover of small animals, I had my first Hamster at the age of 5, and have since kept Hamsters, Jerds, Degus and now Chinchillas) We ended up taking the two Degus home. Degu world was developed a year later when our Degu had died aged just one. I felt that there was a distinct lack of information about Degus on the internet and in reference books that could be trusted. (my vet agreed with me!) The amazing success of Degu World certainly took me by suprise, and since then my love for these animals has grown enormously. Through the research for Degu World, i discovered Chinchillas. They are a close cousin to the Degu, and will at times in the wild even share burrows. Long story short, Mungo came to live with us. Sadly my Degus refused to accept this animal as a part of their family, and so Ripley came to live with Mungo. The success of Degu world, and my own desire to progress from Degus to Chinchillas has made it a logical move to now create Chinchilla World. I want to guide other people who are considering keeping Chinchillas as pets, to offer advice and a source of information to all.
The first time I came across Chinchillas properly was during the construction of Degu World. They were described as Destructo-Rats, and it was a term that stuck in my head. In fact, when we brought home Mungo I thought it was a totally unjustified nick name. but since Ripley has come to live with us I am inclined to agree with this more! Maybe we are just very lucky with Mungo!
When Mungo first came to live with us he was happy to cuddle and be stroked, however, once he had tasted the freedom of running around the living room the thought of sitting still was far less appealing. The same went for Ripley. We were advised to not allow him to rush about until he was 5 months old as baby Chins are more at risk of over heating. (try telling that to a chin who sits on top of a lit table lamp)! anyway, we cuddled Ripley dutifully when Mungo was out running about, but once Ripley tried this game for himself cuddles went out the window!
So If you are looking for a pet for a young child, or a pet that you want to cuddle lots, then go and get a hamster. A Chinchilla is a very demanding pet of both your time and resources! If you are still interested, then read on!
YES I THINK A CHINCHILLA IS RIGHT FOR ME!
I was hooked on Chinchillas from the moment I met Mungo. At the time he was living with his Mum and Dad and going by the name of George. We took him home with our high hopes of introducing him to the Degus as has already been mentioned. When this didnt work, the easiest and cheapest option would have been to simply send him to a rescue centre and put the whole experience down to bad luck. If anyone reading this agrees that that was the best course of action, leave now, a pet owner needs to be 100% commited right from the start! Pets should NEVER be bought on a whim, and a solution to every event should be in place first. If you plan to keep them in a cage with others, ensure there is a contingency plan for if this doesnt work. Its no good getting a pet and THEN thinking of the consequences!
If however you have read all my ramblings and you still think a Chinchilla is the right pet for you, read the various pages dedicated to understanding more and I wish you all the luck and happiness in enlarging your family!!
WHY MORE THAN ONE?
Chinchillas are very social animals and benefit greatly from a significant level of interaction from their owners. However, no matter how much attention you can give them, this will never be on the same level as keeping more than one Chinchilla together. The companionship they can get with being with others of their own kind, is invaluable.
I NEVER recommend keeping animals of opposite sexes together. There are far too many unwanted pets already for this to be a suitable housing arrangement for anything except the expert owner. I currently have 2 male Chinchillas happily together, and as there are no female Chinchillas even in the house, there is no worry of them fighting for the females they can smell. The same set up would work for females chins kept together, and shouldnt result in any fighting. If however you are still keen on keeping a mixed sex set up, I would highly recommend having the male neutered to ensure unwanted babies dont arrive!