If you are a chinchilla owner, then you must be wondering what these animals like to eat the most.
Chinchillas are unique species, and they like to eat hay the most, and it makes up a huge part of their entire diet routine daily.
Hay comes from dried grass, and you must provide your pet chinchilla with high-quality hay regularly.
Chinchillas are known to be herbivores, which mean that they like to eat foods, including plants, leaves, grass, fruits, etc.
As they have a sensitive digestive system, therefore, you should only feed your pet chinchilla what fits their stomachs well.
Hay is an important part of a chinchilla’s diet, and it also helps to keep their digestive system on track.
Not only it is a good staple food which comes along with a high nutrient level to keep your chinchilla healthy, but it also helps in keeping their teeth safe.
Hay covers up to 75% of a chinchilla’s diet due to the enormous amount of health benefits that it has.
Let’s jump into the never-ending benefits of hay for your pet chinchilla.
Importance of hay in a chinchilla’s diet
Now I shall discuss the reasons which make hay an essential part of a chinchilla’s diet and why do chinchillas tend to consume it the most.
You need to make sure that your pet chinchilla has unlimited access to high-quality hay at all times.
Some pet owners also say that a chinchilla should eat hay twice the size of its body daily, which shows how important it must be for chinchillas to consume hay.
Eating hay can help to prevent obesity and diarrhoea and also keep a chinchilla’s teeth safe from any dental diseases.
Chinchillas have overgrown teeth, which means that their teeth would continue to grow throughout their life; therefore, chewing on hay can help in trimming their teeth.
Other than this, hay has great nutritional value since it is enriched with fibre and cellulose, which are vital for chinchillas.
Different types of hay
You can find a variety of hays available in the markets these days, but not all of them are suitable for a chinchilla, which is why you need to be careful when choosing one.
There are different types of hay that chinchillas like to eat, which you can easily find in any pet store for your pet chinchilla.
You can always shift between the different kinds of hays when feeding your pet so that they don’t get bored eating the same type of hay again and again.
It is the most common type of hay among chinchillas and is the best one to feed your pet chinchilla.
You can choose between three different cuts that it comes in depending upon your pet chinchilla’s preference since this species is known to be picky eaters.
Timothy hay is high in fibre and low in protein.
Its first cut is unevenly stemmed and has many heads, whereas the second cut which is the most popular is a mix of soft and leafy hays.
The third cut is the perfect fit for chinchillas that are picky with what they eat due to its softness.
Another kind of hay that chinchillas love to eat is the orchard grass since it is also high in fibre but has a low protein level.
It is leafy and can be used as an alternative to the timothy hay when you want to give something different to your pet.
It has a bright colour and has green leaves, which may turn a bit bluish after a few days.
Oat hay is another great source of fibre for chinchillas.
It has a sweet taste which your pet would definitely enjoy.
This kind of hay has a brown colour, and it comes with oat heads.
In case your pet chinchilla is really young or sick you can feed it some alfalfa hay since it is highly nutritious.
Due to it being incredibly rich in nutrients, you can also feed alfalfa hay to your pregnant pet chinchilla.
It has a sweet taste and fresh smell.
Alfalfa hay is bright green in colour.
Make sure that you don’t feed alfalfa hay to adult chinchillas on a regular basis.
Can chinchillas survive only on hay?
Yes, chinchillas can easily survive on just hay, which proves how vital it for them.
Since hay is highly nutritional and beneficial for chinchillas, therefore they can eat just hay and not any other food and still be healthy and well.
You can buy high-quality hay from any pet store nearby.
What type of hay do chinchillas like to eat?
So, according to my observation chinchillas are very picky eaters and they won’t just eat anything that you place in front of them.
They also have certain requirements for the type of hay they would like to eat so make sure that the hay you feed to your pet chinchilla comes up to that level.
Must be free from preservatives or additives
Make sure that the hay you are buying for your pet chinchilla is fresh and clean.
Ensure that the hay you are feeding to your pet has not been treated with any chemicals by washing and drying it before giving it to your pet.
Always inspect the pack of hay to see if there are no thistles or poisonous plants mixed in it.
Must not be wet
You should not feed your pet wet or damp grass as it may contain wood shavings that can harm them.
Must not cause any allergic reactions
Also, beware of any allergies that your pet has to prevent them from having an allergenic attack.
In case your pet chinchilla is allergic to hays you can always buy hay cubes from pet stores as they are free from dust and won’t cause any allergic reaction.
Must not be dusty
Another thing that you must take care of when buying hay for your pet chinchilla is to ensure that you are not choosing dusty hay as it can harm your chinchilla’s respiratory system.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and shop packs of hay for your pet chinchilla and let them enjoy it to the fullest!