Posts tagged breeding
Happy December!

Happy December everyone!

For the month of November, zero (0) chinchillas were surrendered and zero (0) chinchillas were adopted. This is actually a good thing as giving pets for Christmas is generally a bad idea and the numbers of dumped pets each holiday season is notoriously common.  In our particular instance, as long as our adoption numbers remain low, we simply cannot take in more surrenders. For those of you who consider adoption instead of purchasing chinchillas from a breeder or pet store, thank you!

December has a been a busy one for Christmas orders. It's fun to see people who want to spoil their fur babies this time of year. Many individuals have chosen the Ultimate Chew ToyBundle. We're thrilled! The bundle has so many favorites and a fantastic variety. Depending on the number of chins one owns and how "destructive" they are, this bundle can last for many months. Which reminds me...we had someone write with concern that their chinchilla was suddenly destroying all his new cage accessories. Folks, this is a good thing! A chin with a hearty chewing habit is one that is less prone to malocclusion. It's a mistake to choose toys that aren't ones the chin demolishes quickly. Did you hear that? Sometimes I feel like a broken record. After having been immersed in all things chinchilla for nearly a decade, I find myself making the same statements over...and over...and over again.

I hope our long time followers don't become frustrated by the repetition as Whimsy is tempted to be. Unfortunately, some of our long time followers are the ones who are guilty. Case in point: we heard from someone recently who purchased a 50lb bag of feed for a single chinchilla. Thinking they could save lots of money, they would have done just as well feeding their chinchilla cardboard. The nutritional value depleted long ago.

Another instance of broken record syndrome this year was hearing from another young chin owner who wanted to let a father/daughter pair share a cage. Her rationale was that the chins would somehow know they were related and not mate with each other. (I'm so glad y'all can't see my eye roll over here.)

And other hall of shame instances this year are otherwise intelligent people who can't accurately tell the gender of their pet or who feed their chins fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts and wonder why they suddenly have unplanned babies, pass away or have other health issues. So when people contact us saying they've "done the research", please forgive me if I'm skeptical.

Ok, enough pessimism for one post. On a much more positive light, we've received some beautiful, wonderfully uplifting emails regarding the essay in last month's post. We have also experienced some extremely generous individuals who have donated to our cause. When we began the chinchilla rescue it was to fill a need. Whimsy absorbed all the upfront costs with no expectation of assistance. We are thankful that the webstore has grown to the point where the rescue has support with no struggle. We routinely have enough funds to cover the cost of operation and have even managed to set aside the humble beginnings of a down payment for that elusive farm. Please know that when you place an order through our store and round up the payment amount, the donation portion is counted separately. We hope to have an actual total figure to post about after this year's tax filings. Until then have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year.

Happy January!

For the month of December, three (3) chinchillas were surrendered and three (3) chinchillas were adopted. For the entire year of 2015 that brings us to 32 chinchillas surrendered with 36 chinchillas adopted. We do have 4 chinchillas expected in this month, but we finally have carved out enough space for that elusive clothes washer and dryer.

After the holidays we've spent as much time as we can muster toward fixing up the secondary chin (laundry) room. We'll still have space in there for four triple stacked cages, but now we're going to take back one wall for combined use. ;) The primary chin room holds 12 triple stacked cages.

In our space saving venture, we've had some wonderful success with pairbonding and larger group bonding with our own chins as well as with those who seek to find a friend for their own fur baby. Which has really helped consolidate the little space we have. The latest success story came with a male who had spent his life with a female cagemate who accepted a male friend with no issues. *cue all kinds of social agenda jokes*

But the point is, just because a male and female chinchilla "love each other" is no reason to keep them in a situation that could lead to the procreation of more chinchillas... who will eventually need more homes.

We have paired mothers with daughters, fathers with sons in an effort to keep the snuggle factor, without the risk of pregnancy. Of course the bonding has everything to do with compatibility. We have also pairbonded chins who have never been in the company of another chin since weaning. We've pairbonded a 17 year old chin with a 10 year old, breeding chins with same gender chins, babies with unrelated adults, so there is really no "magic" age or indicator that a single chin will or will not accept a friend. (Although pairbonding weanlings is by far the easiest).

The degree of friendliness a chin has for humans or even the family dog or cat is NOT an indicator of whether or not a chin will pairbond. The only way to know for sure is how they react to other chinchillas. Keep in mind, chinchillas do like to choose their own friends, so just because a chinchilla hates another chin does not necessarily mean they will hate all chins.

We do, however, know how to recognize an alpha. Those are the ones who are simply too aggressive to pairbond and have proven aggressive towards their own kind as a general rule, not as a single episode. We have on occasion met with chins who were too aggressive to pairbond. Our own mascot, Titus, is one of those. So while we will always push for keeping chins in pairs or groups, realistically speaking, it's just not always possible.

We could only hope that if this is your situation, it's with the chins best interest in mind that he or she is single and not simply for convenience or cost.

Happy October!

For the month of September, zero (0) chinchillas were surrendered and three (3) chinchillas were adopted. We still have a waiting list for incoming surrenders as we struggle to reclaim space so that Whimsy's family can once again have a clothes washer and dryer in the house. At this time we have taken in 26 for the year, and 28 have been adopted. We still have rescues who have been with us from previous years who seriously need a permanent home of their own.

We recently softened our adoption contract. Some families have questioned the strict policy of returning adoptive chins to our facility if the adoptive owner could not keep them for any reason. They have inquired about passing ownership of the chinchillas from one sibling to another. For this reason we now have a "right of first refusal" clause. Each situation is unique, but not necessarily uncommon. Our priority is to ensure the chinnies once in our care continue to receive the same, if not better, lovingkindness that we promised them. And speaking of adoptable chinchillas...

We've had six rescue females on maternity watch since the summer who have successfully passed their four months mandatory time here. Only one of them had a litter. The result was a kit with one head and two bodies. It did not survive. We're excited to announce that the girls are now all available for adoption! We have a trio, a pair and a single with potential to bond with another female. Watch and wait for upcoming information about them. *cough* We have been very slow about keeping the available chins' information up to date on our website and we generally have many more available than we have listed. Please do NOT contact Whimsy inquiring about a certain color. While we understand the attraction, it is frustrating to see so many standard colored chins left behind simply because of the color of their fur! I can totally see a meme here...grey lives matter...all lives matter...

Reflecting back on the earlier statement about reclaiming space...the essay contest to win the farm has extended their submission date. The new date is October 31 where entries must be postmarked by the end of this month. Many of our loyal customers and chinnie friends have inquired as to how they can support our dream to win this property. The contest is based on skill and heart. We have submitted our essay which outlines our plans, confirms our strengths, and highlights our needs. If any of you are so inclined, you are welcome to submit an essay (plus entry fee and forms) on our behalf. Every entry counts towards their 5000 entry goal. *Sshhhhh* So even if your essay is secretly for your own benefit, it will still help ensure the contest runs. ;) Here's the handy-dandy link with all the information one could possibly need. Rock Spring Farm Essay Contest

Good luck and happy writing!

Happy August!

For the month of July, six (6) chinchillas were surrendered and three (3) chinchillas were adopted. After June's huge home-finding success, we actually welcomed the adoption lull here. Once again we have been able to open the triple stack cages and let our own small herd spread out. 

People often ask us about our show chinchillas and are sometimes confused by the difference between a "pet quality" chinchilla and a "show quality" chinchilla. The differences are based on; size of the animal, fur quality (color, clarity, density, strength) and overall condition.  A show chinchilla is large and blocky, with blue-toned, thick, straight fur. Even white and beige chinchillas should have a blue hue to their fur rather than a yellow cast. Usually it's easier to show people the difference between a pet chinchilla and a show chinchilla.

Sometimes folks ask if we show the rescue chins. Short answer: No. It would be pointless to show a chinchilla with an unknown pedigree. The main purpose of showing a chinchilla is to get a professional opinion regarding pair breeding for improved genetics. A responsible breeder will only allow chins to breed that have the potential for more robust health and vigor.

Backyard breeders, people who breed their pet store chins, and "oops" litters generally cater to popular colors or the general cuteness that all babies offer. This indiscriminate breeding leads to weaker bodies with chins prone to malocclusion, heart murmurs, genetically predisposed behavior problems, fur chewing and overall questionable health. However, even these animals need good, loving homes. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Save lives: Leave the breeding to the professionals.

Happy July!

For the month of June we had a record breaking month. Eight (8) chinchillas were surrendered and a head-spinning twenty four (24!!) chinchillas were adopted. It was also a very good month for matchmaking. Nine of the chinnies adopted went as singles or pairs to be new friends for lonely single chinchillas of the same gender.

We did have some failed matchmaking sessions, however. Pair bonding is no sure thing. Even though chinchillas live in herds in the wild, they can, and do, kill each other if they are not compatible. The difference being, in the wild they can run far away from an attacker to escape. In the confines of a cage, non compatible animals lead to a deadly combination.

Because the mating instinct can lead to aggression and fighting for breeding rights, it is not advisable that people keep different genders of chins in the same home. Chinchillas can smell a female in heat up to a mile away. So you're fooling yourself if you think you can keep them safely in separate rooms. As evidenced by the high number of single boys for adoption, even our rescue has trouble keeping bonded males together. Only the most beta males can safely live together in a home where females also live.

Chinchilla matchmaking is a service we offer. The process is a tricky one and relies heavily on knowing and being able to recognize subtle chinchilla behavior cues. For this reason, as a general rule, we do not provide instructions on how to introduce chinchillas. Not to mention those dimwits who ask us for introduction help to allow for breeding. Seriously? Yes, there is such as thing as a stupid question. Asking an animal shelter for advice on how to introduce non-sterilized, opposite gendered animals will result in a scathing reply.