For the month of September, sixteen (16) chinchillas were surrendered and two (2) chinchillas were adopted. This is pretty typical as September is the month when school starts back up again and people are in a general state of end-of-summer transition.
With the end of summer comes cooler months. This is a blessed relief for chinchillas who may have endured a climate warmer than ideal. This time of year we throw open our windows and welcome the cool, fresh air.
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between a draft of air and fresh air, however.
One dictionary resource defines a draft as an unwanted, cold, wet blast of air in an enclosed space. Drafts of winter air in leaky homes can cause upper respiratory and nasal infections in chinchillas, which can be life threatening.
On the flip side, fresh, circulating air is absolutely necessary for optimum chinchilla health. Ironically, chinchillas that are confined to stuffy living spaces also suffer from respiratory problems. Theirs is due to compromise in overall health which predisposes the weakened chinto catching transferable illnesses such as the common cold.
Lighting is also important to a chinchilla's health. Their natural circadian rhythms require a certain number of daylight and dark hours. Chins kept in a basement without natural daylight suffer. Chins kept in a room with artificial light, or a nightlight on constantly, also suffer. This can be evident by behavioral problems as well, which are a symptom of stress.
Ranchers know the importance of air and light. When a chinchilla lives in a stuffy or dark home, this affects their health often evidenced by their fur, which becomes oxidized much more quickly, giving the animal a dull, yellowish cast. Chinchillas without adequate access to fresh air and natural or full spectrum lighting become obvious in the look of their coat. These two factors play an especially important part when chinchillas are shown professionally. For people with chinchillas strictly as pets, wouldn't you too want to give them the best, most healthy, home?