Chinchillas are herbivores, meaning they eat only plant material. Herbivores must have food moving constantly through their digestive system to avoid health problems. They require a high fiber, low carbohydrate, and low fat diet. This is accomplished by feeding your chinchilla a diet that consists of high-fiber grass hay, a fortified pellet diet, and fresh produce.
Our recommendations for a balanced chinchilla diet are:
Your chinchilla should always have fresh grass hay available and hay should make up 75%-80% of his/her diet. The most common grass hays available in market are timothy and orchard grass. Alfalfa hay contains too much calcium and protein for an adult animal and should only be fed to young chinchillas ( <6 months) and lactating females.
Chose a pelleted diet that is hay-based and does not contain any added fruits, nuts, or seeds. Most adult chinchillas do well with 1-2 tbsp/day, but your vet may recommend increasing or decreasing the amount, depending on your chinchilla's weight. We recommend feeding your chinchilla a measured amount of pellets every day so that you will notice as soon as possible if your chinchilla's appetite has decreased.
Chinchilla should never have any fresh produces. No Fruits and no veggies. (also no seeds and nuts)
Chinchillas should have access to water at all times, either in a water bottle or a heavy flat-bottom bowl. Water should be fresh daily.
Daily Food We recommenced:
Mazuri® Chinchilla Diet Pellet Food (all life-stage chinchillas)
Modesto Milling® Organic Pellet Food (special for gaining weight and growing young chinchillas, suggest to feed with more amount of timothy hay)
Oxbow Essential only in Red Bag (the garden select line is not good)
Alfalfa Hay Cubes
High Quality Timothy Hay or Orchard Hay (can not absence from chin's diet)
High Quality Shaving
Fine Bath Dust
Plastic Free Supplies
Please avoid anything Kaytee, All Living Things brand feed or treats. No other pet store feeds are healthy.
No death balls - the plastic balls that they run around in ARE DANGEROUS! Chinchillas become overheated in them, covered in their own feces and urine, and they do not run naturally in these so you can harm their spine. No wire hay balls or racks – chinchillas can get their legs caught in them which could lead to amputation. Just put a small bit of hay on the floor of the cage for the animal daily, they will pick through what they want to eat.
Chinchillas purchased at a young age should not use a wheel as they are burning off the calories they need to grow. Only small amounts of free time out of the cage should be given before 6 months of age. Wheels that can be used include the Leo Braun, Ed Wheel, Chin Spin and metal Flying Saucer - they are not required, it's just a choice. No plastic wheels should be used, period. The mesh wire wheels are not safe.
Above feeds and supplies you can find in our Esty @ChinchivillaShop
There are two feeding schedule that I recommend, you might need to figure out which is more suitable for you and your chinchilla. Before it, the chin's basic food that is 1) pellet food and 2) timothy hay, daily treat is hay cubes (alfalfa hay base).
A: Feed One Time a Day:
Switch the 1) pellet food and 2) timothy hay on each day.
Example: Monday give enough amount of pellet food. Giving timothy hay only on Tuesday.
This way is for making sure the food-picky chinchilla ate the type of food she/he should finish before get another type of she/he prefers.
B: Feed Twice a Day at AM and PM:
Giving 1) or 2) which your pet like more at AM. Then 2) or 1) like less at PM. It works well if your chinchilla can finish the two types of food in one day.
No matter which way you choose, consistency is the key to keep the diet.
More helpful information on Shoots Chinchilla Ranch, Mr. Shoots has over 50 years breeding experience on top quality chinchillas and be first mentored me to my chinchilla breeding hobby.