Supplies for Your Chinchilla
Some are a necessity...
While others are
optional ...
And some are even considered ...
"
No-No"s for your little chinchilla.
I will touch base with each here, but ...
Go into more detail on Pages 2 & 3.
Please, do not purchase a cage and/or
accessories
just because
the manufacturer says it is
"
made for chinchillas".  

Rarely do manufacturers do the needed research
on what individual animals/species need.  
More times than not,
you will find these cages and accessories are
made of plastic or coated with plastic.

This is, as you can imagine, one of my pet peeves.
The metal pull-out tray is for chin safety and your  convenience..
The Hut should be made of seasoned untreated pine
wood.  It does not have to be fancy, the chinchillas will
"decorate it" themselves, regardless of how much or how
little you paid for it.  
OR you can go out and buy one of
these cute little fancy ones, made from woven hay ...
It
might last over night.
This is a 5-sided home-made hut
made from
1 board 1" x 8" x 48",
16 wood screws and a screwdriver.
With a small board left over that is
about 1" x 4" x 8".
That small board can make
32 chew cubes approximately
1" x 1" x 1" for your chinchilla.
This hut
was attached
to the side
of the cage with
4 fender washers
and 2 screws.
Or you can buy one for $25 to $30 like below ...
And it will end up looking like ...
The pictures of it below the original pictures.
Hay Holders
like these can be
easily made with
1/2" x 1/2"
or 1/2 x 1" wire,
'C' clamps and hung
with
a hook or clasp.
Here is a 4-sided Hut
that can be attached to
the inside top of the cage
with 4 fender washers and 2 screws ...
It will provide you chin with a "look-out"
that he will definitely enjoy!
Blocks like these
can be threaded
on to a chain
and hung inside
the cage
for your chin
to play with.
OR
They can be
given
to the
chinchilla  
to play with
individually.
Resting Tunnels can be made with
1/2" x 1/2" wire molded around a
large round straight-sided vase,
closed together with "C" clamps and
suspended or attached to the top of
the cage or under a balcony.
Here at Luv 'N Chins ...
We use the flying saucer wheels
invented by, made by,
and marketed by ...
Dr. Marty Hull
Meadowbrook Chinchillas
I, personally, feel they are the safest on the market.
Supplies for
Your Chinchilla
Accessories Page 3
Less than 1 month later ...
The two major cost when getting a chinchilla is the
chinchilla itself and the starting supplies, especially the
cage.  After that, the costs are minimal, if you stick to the
basics, it should only cost about $10 per month.

I suggest getting your cage and all of the supplies ready
and have them set-up before you bring your new  
chinchilla home.

Your first big costs will be the cage.  Keep in mind, a
chinchilla can live 20+ years, if properly cared for.  You
want to get a cage that is
appropriate and that will last
for many years.

Now, let's check out what is "
appropriate" ...

1)   For a chinchilla to live comfortably, it needs a
minimum of  2 cubic feet per chinchilla, per cage.  To
get the cubic feet, you will multiply the width
x depth x
height of the cage to get the cubic feet of the cage.  Most
measurements on cages are listed in inches, so, it is best
to change the inches to feet, before you start multiplying.  
For Example, the cage below is:
18" x 24" x 30" = 12,960 cubic
inches OR
1.5 feet x 2 feet x 2.5 feet = 7.5 cubic feet.  
Three adult chinchillas could easily live in the cage
as it is
pictured
.  But, when you start adding accessories,  you
are
decreasing the available area for the chinchilla to
move about.  Please keep this in mind when purchasing
your cage and accessories.

2)   The size of the wire on the outside of the cage should
be 1/2" x 1"
or smaller.  People rarely carry a measuring
tape with them, so to make it simple,
1/2 inch is about the
size of a dime and 1" is about the size of a quarter.  The
reason for the small wire size is so that a chinchilla kit or
a young chinchilla can not get out into the room through
the wires.  Even young chinchillas six to eight weeks old
have been known to escape through a 1" square hole.

But, you don't plan to breed, so you wonder why is this wire
size is necessary?  Because, I would hate to have to add up
the number of people that have called me in a panic,
because they purchased two chinchillas of the same sex,
only to find out ... They weren't the same sex after all.  The
person in the pet store didn't know how to tell them apart,
but when you said you wanted two of the same sex, the
employee just told you they were, to keep from being
embarrassed  because he/she did not know and they
wanted to make the sale.  The proof they are not the same
of course ... being the little kits running around in the cage,
or even worse, found dead on the floor, because the wire
was to large.

3)  The shelves, floors and ramps, if made of wire, should
be 1/2" x 1/2" or smaller.  Any larger and a chin could
break a leg when running or playing.  Wood is also an
option, to use as shelves.  Just make sure you sand them
occasionally to smooth out any rough spots or remove any
stains.  These can be easily purchased and cut to fit at
most lumber yards or hardware stores.  8 fender washers
and 4 screws and a screwdriver and the wooden shelf will
be securely in place.  

4)  The cage should be made of metal and/or a
combination of metal and solid wood,
not pressed wood.  
Pressed wood often contains toxic glues.

No plastics, please!  A chinchilla will eat plastic.  Plastic
will not digest and can cause some major problems in the
digestive tract.  It can even kill.

5)  A cage with two or more levels will give them some
exercise and entertainment.

6)  There should be access doors to each level of the cage.  
This is for the safety of the chinchilla and for easy access
to the chinchilla and for the ease and convenience of
cleaning for you.  

7)  Chinchillas are very smart and often learn to unlock
the conventional locks or closures on a cage.  Often, it is
necessary to purchase extra locks for the door.  ( The small
hooks used on key chains are often good for this.)