Posts tagged grooming
Happy April!

For the month of March eleven (11) chinchillas were surrendered and six (6) chinchillas were adopted.

The eleven incoming chins were, in fact, the mixed herd I spoke of in last month's post. We have 7 girls and 4 boys. The transfer party tossed all the chinchillas together into one cage for transport. Picture to the right shows the transport cage after we sexed and moved the girls. 

What were they thinking???? This decision made the history forms absolutely useless. We were then forced to start at ground zero with regards to grouping them according to compatibility. Of course we would have had to separate the sexes anyway, but still.

Six of the seven girls get along well enough to share a triple stack Critter Nation cage. The one loner was exceptionally anxious. She lashed out at every chin who came near her. She has her own penthouse next to her former housemates and seems to enjoy the special attention. She also seems to be the only one showing signs of pregnancy. *sigh*

Of the boys, two began to cause trouble and had to go into separate cages. A pair of boys was adopted later in the month.

When we take in surrenders, we require the cages come too. Most of the time unwanted chins come in typical pet store starter cages. You know the kind. The small two level cages with plastic ledges? We've even had chins surrendered housed in hamster cages! One of the chins incoming lived in a tiny carrier with barely enough room to move in a circle. This was evidenced by the amount of protein buildup in the urine spots on the cage floor. Of the various cages, we were able to salvage a two part Critter Nation cage. We cleaned that up, gave it brand new pan liners and accessories and added a third level. The other cages were just too rusted and broken or too small to use. They went for scrap metal.

The pictures below are from surrender day.  This is where the term "rescue" comes in. Several of the chins had pretty bad fur mats and grease balls despite the transfer party telling us they had a dust bath the night before. This little girl had a virtual turkey tail. Someone from our Facebook page said she looked like a peacock. The matted hair was long as dreadlocks. Surprisingly, the grooming session only took 6 minutes flat to remove. It's amazing what one can do with a proper show comb and some experience. ;) You're welcome.

Chinchilla with Dreadlocks

When surrender chins come to Whimsy's, they (and their cages) arrive in various states of condition.

This special case came in with chinchilla-size dreadlocks hanging from his back and sides. These knots can develop on chins with especially dense coats when new fur grows and tangles in the old fur during a priming (shedding) cycle. Rolling in clean dust serves the purpose of removing old, loose fur as well as oils and foreign particles in the new fur.

Without regular bathing, the knots can grow so large that they require a special grooming comb (typically used when preparing a chin for shows) to remove them. This is not a store-bought flea comb. It is specially made for thick chinchilla fur, with teeth needle-sharp to separate the super fine hairs. One such chinchilla stars in our latest video... it's a chinchilla makeover! Watch the transformation.

It'll take another couple of months for the resulting patches to grow back in completely. Check back later for before/after pictures.

A Show and a Munchkin.

So about those new additions...

Two weeks ago we took a trip to Ohio to take part in another chinchilla show. This time we brought along a couple of our own to show off. Silly us. We had NO IDEA what it takes to show our own chins and ours looked rather scruffy after the extremely long ride. Fortunately for us, this particular show was supposed to be a "field day" for newbies like us. A very kind woman named Hope taught us how to groom our chins. Groom chins? You mean there's more to it than just offering a dust bath? Yes! And the difference is amazing. We're now proud owners of two professional grade grooming combs and are much more prepared for the next show. By the way, one of our chins (Dove) took a second place ribbon in her class. The judge said she'd have gotten a first place if it weren't for some fur slip on her backside.

While we were in Ohio at the nationally known Ryersons' Chinchilla Ranch, we were determined to find a new color mutation called "sapphire" to add to our herd. We found the sweetest little girl. She's just about the same age as Bubbles and the two of them get along like best friends. Picture coming soon!

Also, while we were at the Ryersons' Ranch, I was supposed to meet up with JAGS for a violet male that had won Color Phase Champion at the York Show. He was formerly known as "T33". We now call him Aaron. Surprisingly, he gets along very well with Petra, the other champ from the York Show.

Now, originally, I wrote about new additions. This update wouldn't be complete without mentioning Bindi. The kids have been asking for a kitten, but Whimsy really doesn't like cats. She's waiting for Paisley to pass over the rainbow bridge. Whimsy stupidly made a seemingly impossible opening by stating that she'd only consider getting another cat if it were a munchkin cat. So here's my testimony that ANYTHING can be found on craigslist.