Shannon M. Riggs, Mark A. Mitchell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on biology, health, and medical care issues of chinchillas. Chinchillas are native to the semi-arid mountainous areas of South America, particularly the countries of Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Chinchillas are active animals, requiring a relatively large enclosure. The enclosure should be large enough to provide an area for eating, sleeping, exercising, and eliminating wastes. Cages with multiple levels are preferred, as they provide additional room for the animals to exercise. Chinchilla cages are generally constructed of wire. Any other materials being considered for a cage should be "chew proof." When considering a wire cage, it is important to select a structure that will not entrap limbs. The recommended nutritional composition of a chinchilla diet is 16% to 20% protein, 2% to 5% fat, and 15% to 35% bulk fiber. An appropriate chinchilla diet should be comprised of high quality hay, chinchilla pellets, and an assortment of dark leafy vegetables. Chinchilla enclosures, food bowls, water bottles, and cage accessories should be sanitized using a standard disinfection protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationManual of Exotic Pet Practice
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781416001195
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Chinchillas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Manual of Exotic Pet Practice

    Mitchell, M. A. (ed.) & Tully, Jr, T. N. (ed.), 2009, Elsevier Inc.

    Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook

Cite this