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WoW!

Has it really been 3 months since I last checked in here? My, how time flies!

Bluebelle, our standard gray chinchilla is fairing well. But, I am afraid I got a tad bit lazy when it has come to updating her little house. This weekend, I finally stopped procrastinating and went out to get a few supplies.

Most of our previous chinchillas have been upright sleepers. Bluebelle here likes to sleep on her side, stretched out like a picnic on a blanket! And, she doesn’t seem to like to sleep in a box. Anytime I have put anything enclosed in her cage, she has used it as a potty instead of a resting place. So, when I set out to make her a shelter, I tried to keep in mind … a little cover, but nothing to close her in.

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This morning when I decided I must do this project today, I debated. Do I go out in the rain soaked yard, dig through my shed for the portable saw, bring it into out garage, cut the wood & then have to trudge back out there to put it away again. Or, do I just use my little hack saw & make do. Laziness won. In hindsight, it was a terrible decision! I must have hacked on that piece of wood for 2 hours on and off (Yep, I’m a gal! I had to take breaks!) And my cuts literally look like I gnawed the wood apart with my teeth. But, I soldiered on!

It’s rough. Basically, it looks pitiful. But, she seems to love it!

 

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Chinchilla Kisses Are Just Dandy

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Chinnie Sammich

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… even better than a mater sammich!

** The first time we bred our chinchillas ( many moons ago) she had triplets. The little kit filling inside this Oreo cookie sammich was the runt. She was not feeding well. I knew her brothers would fight for their food. But, she didn’t seem to have the fight in her. I really thought I was going to lose her. I scoured the internet for recipes for milk to feed her. After I mixed up what I thought to be the perfect formula, I spent the first week dropper feeding them all some supplementation while I rotated the babies in and out of the cage with their Momma. And thankfully, I was given a miracle. They all survived. And, because of the bond built by feeding them, I was rewarded with some very sweet babies! What wonderful memories!

Not Our First Rodeo

Gallery of some of our previous chingirls & chinboys …

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Because looking at chinchilla photos never gets boring!

Just for Fun: Chinchilla or Pika

This photo was recently shared on facebook from Mojo tv to “like and share when you see it.” Some of you may have seen the picture before …

Comments ranged through all sorts of animals – rat, mouse, rabbit, & more. But, the most common guess was chinchilla and pika.

To me, the ears were not right for a chinchilla. But, I had never heard of a Pika. Good thing Wikipedia knows what one is 🙂

What do you think? Chinchilla or Pika?

Come On Into The Ranch House

Our initial dilemma when getting Bluebelle, was getting her new housing quickly & affordably. But it had to be appropriate for her. Room to roam. No plastic. Cage wire that was not too wide. This is what we found. Prevue Critter Cage model 495 DSC02486

The cage itself is a great idea. I would have preferred to have a pan bottom with shavings. I just think it would be more comfortable for her little feet. But, she doesn’t seem to mind it. She chooses the wire to sleep most of the time instead of the solid ledges or the wood block that I put in there for her. With the bottom pull out pan, I do like how easy it is to clean. However, due to it coming with a smashed rail to slide the pan in to, getting the pan in is doable but a little more difficult than it needs to be.

The set-up was moderately difficult, made more difficult by the tiny print instructions, poorly drilled holes and unlabeled pieces. The instructions say things like put A up first, Unfortunately, A isn’t labeled. They say it is a one man job but that a second person is helpful. Um, take my advice … get a second person!

When we were putting this together, I had my doubts about the sturdiness of the metal. But, once together, it is a pretty sturdy good cage. I love the ease of opening the door without fear that a little Houdini will figure out how to get it open. It’s not gonna happen! The metal ledges are great! Easy to clean. Easy to take out the ramp. The only downfall is that it does make a racket when she really gets to running around. I can only imagine how loud it would be with more than one chinchilla in there!

And speaking of more than one chinchilla, this baby could hold a couple easily. Nice size!

I do have to warn you that if you decide that this cage is for you, it does require a little ingenuity. I did not realize until our first day out of the cage in the room. I was cleaning her cage and she was out running around. The bottom storage rack has wire that is too wide for little chinchilla feet. I tried to deter her with supplies on the rack until I got the cage clean, but she was determined to play there.

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Since I had a piece of cardboard handy, I cut open the box & secured it to the bottom rack with twist ties. Problem solved! DSC02704

Price – we got this cage on sale for $169 that day, regular price was $199. I feel like $149 would have been the right price for this cage.

Would I recommend this cage to others. Probably. But, I would suggest shopping around for a better price. Just remember to save the box to cover the bottom shelf with!

We’ve Howdied, But We Ain’t Shook!

Howdy ya’ll!

We are just beginning the startup of a small hobby chinchilla ranch located on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.

I am originally a Texas gal, transplanted to Tennessee in early 2000. You know what they say, you can take the girl outta Texas but you can’t take the Texas outta the girl!

We have currently started our ranch with only one chinchilla. But, we do have plans to expand the ranch … eventually.

Even though our chinchilla is currently new to us, we are not new to chinchillas. We have just been away for a while.

Last weekend, we welcomed Bluebelle into our home & she’s sweeter than stolen honey!

We had been thinking about returning to the world of chinchillas for a bit now. Debating about driving the distance to get to a good breeder to pick up a nice breeding pair or two. Searching stores, flea markets, thrift stores for acceptable cages or nice wooden furniture that I could turn into cages. Debating! Debating!

Then, I look on LSN and see her. She has been listed for 2 hours. She had been purchased from a pet auction. She is 2 years old. Wife won’t let him keep her. $70 & comes with a cage. Within the hour, we were headed to get her.

On the way there, my husband asked me … “so what would be the deal breaker?” My reply, “Only if she is on her deathbed. Anything else, we can deal with.”

She was outside on the front porch when we got there in this travel cage. Poor baby! She was stressing!

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The man that we got her from seemed nice enough, just uninformed. He passed on some “advice” from the breeder. Most was incorrect. He told me that she had only been there a day but that she had been well loved.

And while the travel cage was actually pretty nice for travel, she had been living in this for at least a couple days. My first thoughts were … no hay, no chew toys, a dish of water instead of a bottle. And, he had five dogs. Yikes! I’d be stressing too!

Even though our decision to get another chinchilla was well thought out, this was still a spur of the moment decision. So, we had to make a pit stop at the only chain pet store in our area to pick up as close to proper supplies as we could. (More on that later!)

She is a standard gray. A fur chewer.

She is now settled into her new home. She is eating & drinking well. She is peeing & pooing. Her droppings look good. She loves her hay! She looks lively. She greets us at her cage door anytime we come into the room. So, all is right in her world tonight!

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For many obvious reasons, she will not be bred. That was never the plan for her. She is our pet. Our mascot. Bluebelle, because in Texas (and in Tennessee) it is well known that Bluebell is the best ice cream in the country!

We hope she will have many happy years here with us!

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