Any time we mention chinchilla matchmaking on our Facebook page, we inevitably receive multiple requests for pairbonding help. Folks, it would take a book to explain our process. We actually have a unique, tried and true method that relies heavily on reading the subtle signs of chinchilla body language. It has taken almost a decade to develop and refine this skill. We carefully watch and learn the individual temperaments which gives Whimsy a good idea which chinchillas would be compatible.
Our pairbonding method generally takes 3 days and we like to keep a close eye on the new friendships for a full week. This helps to establish a good foundation of trust between them. If an original pairing doesn't show signs of promise within 3 days, we start all over again with another candidate. We know that if a bond doesn't occur within a week, it's not likely to happen at all. If a pairbonding is that difficult, it won't last! The slightest stressor or change can send an uptight chin into a fit of desperate attacks. Especially if the chins "eventually" grew to accept each other.
One of the key components of matchmaking is to never allow an attack to happen in the first place. If the chins develop bad feelings towards each other, this serves as a negative, downward spiral. Urine spraying among females is normal and helps to establish boundaries. Subtle nipping during nose sniffing does the same. Dominance mounting is fine only if the one being dominated submits. Otherwise a fight for power can occur. If two chins turn into a tumbling mass of fur, do NOT push the friendship.
Also, never, never, never hold one chin up to another to sniff noses! When chins nose sniff, one has to yield. This is impossible when one or the other is held hostage in a person's hands. Trying to let them sniff noses from your hands actually forces the held one to exhibit a stance of aggression. (In this picture we actually used a mother/daughter duo who are already tightly bonded.)
This week we're trying a radical effort to pairbond 6 females. Only two of them are co-bonded already. We have one rescue who came from a male/female pair, one female who was recently rejected by her long-term cagemate, a baby whose mommy passed away, and another single female who was previously bonded, but lost her cagemate. We knew the rescue and the attack survivor would need some careful attention. They were placed within close proximity of the most gentle girls to help ease them into the group. By day three they were ready to move into their new shared cage. Here they are exploring their new, triple stacked Critter Nation cage.
If you would like to utilize our matchmaking service, please see the link on our "Services" page. As matchmaking can be radically different with each chin, please do NOT email Whimsy for pairbonding advice. With any pair or grouping, there is always the chance that a chin will reject or be rejected by his or her cagemate. Be prepared to have separate cages if you have multiple chins. Our next update will be about when chins attack.