In the past decade, we have gain lots of experience and knowledge on chinchillas with much help from many of our friends local and overseas. During this period, we have visited many good breeders/shops and equal share of bad breeders/shops. As we spend $$$ getting new chinchillas in our early years, we encountered similar problems like many new chinchilla owners now. We figured that we might shared our learning process with others so that other chinchilla lovers also share our joy and fun in caring for a chinchilla. We will try to share a lot of qualities on how to judge a chinchilla and breeding principles on how to breed the best chinchilla. The content are not fact but merely our opinion and personal experience.
SHOW quality chinchilla and PET quality chinchilla shared similarities but have very major differences. The similarities is that they should share the same love and care from us owners. The differences are mainly in appearance. If the chinchilla is bred the right way and is not a show quality chinchilla, there is nothing wrong with keeping them as pets. We just felt that by breeding responsibly with the chinchilla at heart, you can improve on ALL the qualities and their health. If it is about financial gains, we will not change anyone’s mind. Getting to know a chinchilla starts from knowing how they look like. The most basic differentiation of each chinchilla is colour.
In the wild, chinchilla only exist in one colour – STANDARD GREY. It is more commonly found colour but is the most difficult to improved on. Standard grey chinchillas should have a perfect confirmation, agouti coat with a striking blue hue around their body and a pure crisp white belly. They can come in different classes based on their darkness:light, medium, dark and extra dark. Below is a picture of the standard grey at its prime [9-12 months old].
Incidentally, one of the commonly found colours in Singapore is the BEIGE due to extensive mutation breeding from a few major breeders in the early years. Some shops incorrectly refer them as “CINNAMON”. Similar to the STANDARD GREY, it has a white belly area but the coat has a distinctly even copper colour at the tip of its fur and it should have a blue hue too. While “HETERO-BEIGE” have distinctly freckles-like ears and dark ruby eyes, a “HOMO-BEIGE” chinchilla will have lighter coat, pinky ears and bright red eyes. If the BEIGE carries the recessive ebony gene – “TAN”, the colour of the chinchilla wraps around its body – losing its white belly . Do note that in Singapore, the beige colours and freckles increased with the amount of exposure to sunlight. Below is a picture of our Hetero-Beige, Kiki at its prime [9-12 months old].