We did a piece on this topic a while back in 2015. Link here
Everybody seems to have new chinchilla in their home these day. People are more aware of their needs and diet. 90% of us would also be feeding on the feeds/pellets that came with the pet. Situation have remained unchanged most of the time.
Pellets provided the main nutrients and ingredients for growth and well being of a chinchilla. Timothy hay should make up minimum 70% of the diet for balanced diet consumption, maintain a healthy digestive system, reduce boredom and maintain healthy dental. Recent research on small animals indicate that timothy hay increased the tooth wear highest in the top incisor. It is also higher in the cheek teeth compared to alfalfa pellet diet.
Recently, I had a discussion with some breeders about all pellet diet is good enough for them and would be good enough for pet owners too.
Lets work out some financial numbers for the breeder. If the breeder have a herd of 100 animals, feeding on 50lbs hubbard life tradition pellets that cost only USD25. That bag would last him/her for less than a week. Throw in a hay bale USD10-15/forthnight for boredom. You probably get a monthly bill of only $155. Changed that to a 70% hay diet, 30% pellets, the breeder would need to fork out atleast $220/month. You also need extra storage for the amount of hay too.
For a pet owner, most of us would probably have 2-3 chinchillas in Singapore. We probably pay for $20-$25 (bag of pellets) and $10-16 (bag of hay) that will last us a month. The options to look for alternative quality food is high. What are the options now?
1.MAZURI Chinchilla Diet
Good feeds are important for the growth of chinchilla and top of the line is produced from Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition (world largest exotic food manufacturer for zoo).
Mazuri Chinchilla Diet , a complete nutritional diet is packed with alfalfa and timothy hay pellet goodness designed to meet the nutritional need of chinchilla such as acid aminos (omega-3 fatty acids), Vitamin E and probiotics. Zoos prefer it because it helps growth and prolong the life of their animals. That’s why pet deserved it. No other food in the market is packed with so much goodness that is needed by your chinchilla.
Checkout the long list of nutrient composition for the Mazuri Chinchilla Diet
Features and Benefits
- Nutritionally complete – No supplementation required.
- Contains multiple fiber sources, including Timothy hay.
- Contains flaxseed – Great Omega 3 Fatty Acid source (good for fur and growth)
- Contains live probiotics – Lactobacillus and Enterococcus sp. to promote gastrointestinal health.
- Sweet smell – Highly palatable.
- Contains natural vitamin E and stabilized vitamin C.
Dehydrated alfalfa meal, dehulled soybean meal, wheat middlings, ground timothy hay, ground oats, ground soybean hulls, wheat germ, dried beet pulp, cane molasses, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed, soybean oil, dried whey, salt, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, choline chloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, magnesium oxide, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (form of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized vitamin C), vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast culture, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, calcium pantothenate, zinc oxide, nicotinic acid, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, manganous oxide, ferrous carbonate, zinc sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate.
2. OXBOW Chinchilla Deluxe
This young company specialised in producing quality pet feeds for small animals in USA. Recognizable red bag that is highly recommended for pets, Good basic (essential diet) for overall usage but lacking is some key ingredients for fur quality. Highly palatable because it is packed with wholesome sweetness of Cane Molasses, main ingredient.
Not suitable for chinchillas that required more nutrients due to malnutrition. Recommended to be supplemented when use.
Recently they have changed the packing size and nutritional values of the product.
- Alfalfa Hay = Beneficial Fiber and Protein
- Soy Products = Fiber, Balanced Protein, Healthy Fat
- Wheat = Ideal Carbohydrate and Energy Source
Alfalfa Meal, Soybean Hulls, Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Oil, Salt, Lignin Sulfonate, Cane Molasses, Calcium Carbonate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Bentonite, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Yeast Culture, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Magnesium Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate
- Crude Protein (min) 18.00%
- Crude Fat (min) 2.50%
- Crude Fiber (min) 18.00%, max 23.00%
- Moisture (max) 10.00%
- Calcium (min) 0.60%, (max) 1.10%
- Phosphorus (min) 0.25%
- Vitamin A (min) 10,000 IU/kg (reduced from 19k IU/kg)
- Vitamin D (min) 900 IU/kg
- Vitamin E (min) 190 IU/kg
3. Bytin Chinchilla Feed
This is a new feed in the market. Promoted as a breeders choice for chinchilla. Packaging looks nice and the chinchilla in the picture looks cute and fat too.
Tried it first when we just started with good chinchillas. Tried it again with a bag from a friend. My chinchillas never love them as much as Mazuri. It seems a lot less palatable – this is also visible in currect batch of pellets. Nutritional values are much lower even compared to Oxbow.The only thing i like about it is the packaging itself. Early days, the pellets were recommended with special supplement usage. It seems the supplements recipe have more impact on the growth and fur quality – still using it.
Additional Vitamin C in the water or feed is not necessary when using this product.
Need to be able to gnaw in order to keep their incisor teeth from growing too long. Long stemmed hay and hard pelleted feeds
Crude Protein, min % 17.0
Crude Fat, min % 3.0
Crude Fiber, max % 16.0
Calcium, min % 1.1
Calcium, max % 1.6
Phosphorus, min % 0.8
Salt, min % 0.2
Salt, max % 0.7
Vitamin A, min 3,000 IU/lb.
Vitamin D, min 1,200 IU/lb.
Vitamin E, min 50 IU/lb.
Forage products, processed grain by-products, plant protein products, roughage products, molasses products, sodium bentonite, animal protien products, calcium carbonate, monocalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, vegetable fat, salt, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, propionic acid (a preservative), natural terpenes, acetic acid, sorbic acid, benzoic acid, monoesters and diesters of 1, 2 propanediol, hydrated ammonium phosphate, amorphous silica, propyl benzoate, propyl acetate, butylated hydroxyanisole, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, yucca schidigera extract, niacin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D supplement, artificial flavor, sodium selenite, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, biotin, vitamin A acetate, folic acid, riboflavin, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K), pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate.
4. Supreme Selective Food
This is also another new product in Singapore. Most of us are too familiar with US based product but on the other side of the world (Europe), they are feeding on other quality product such as Supreme Selective. This old company produced a quality balanced diet that contain tasty parley, plantain and linseed for healthy, shiny coats.
The high fibre levels are very important for a chinchilla’s digestive system and also help to wear down continually growing teeth. Fat levels are very low because chinchillas can easily become overweight. Linseed is another important ingredient to ensure their soft coats stay glossy and in good condition. It also contains no molasses or syrup or other sugary ingredients. I love this product too. Too bad the price is slightly more than the other brands.
And don’t forget fresh hay and water! Your chinchillas should have an unlimited supply of both at all times.
- High Fibre – 19%
- Zero Added Sugar
- Rich in Natural Ingredients
- Prevents Selective Feeding
- Balanced diet
- No artificial colours
- Highly palatable
- Promotes dental wear
- Supports digestive health
- Helps maintain healthy skin & coat
Lucerne meal (alfalfa), soya hulls, wheat, soybean meal, wheat feed, extruded locust beans, dried parsley, dried plantain, linseed, monocalcium phosphate, salt, calciumcarbonate.
Vitamin A 15000 IU, Vitamin D3 1500 IU
Protein 16.0%, Crude fibre 19.0%, Fat content 3.0%, Inorganic matter 7.0%, Calcium 0.8%, Phosphorus 0.4%
Overall, Mazuri still my choice. For the amount that i paid for, it still has the highest nutritional values compared to the other brands in the market. It is afforable and easily available in US and Singapore. Thats why it is more popular amongst pets and breeder owners.
Since it is all life cycle product, quantity of feed should be adjusted according to the age of your chinchilla.
Do always note that a balanced diet should always include 70% timothy hay, only 20% fortified diet (pellets) and 10% only for the rest such as supplements, treats and herbs.