Posts tagged show quality
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.

Chinchilla Showin'

Last weekend Whimsy went to a chinchilla show in Pennsylvania.  We brought some of our own chins and were very eager to see how they would be graded. Imagine our shock when three of our standard chinchillas won color phase champion, reserve color phase champion andfirst place ribbons! These were from a Shoots extra dark standard male and a sapphire female from Mish Irish's lines.

It just so happens these three were the very same kits whose mother had the uterine prolapse when they were just 6 weeks old. Unfortunately, their mother died post surgery from the complications. The kits were taken in by a surrogate mommy chin whose own kits were nearly the same age. Although she didn't nurse them, she did snuggle and groom them. 

We are all very happy to see how Zaporah, ZaraLinda and Zaine have grown!  Their mother did leave a legacy after all.

Special Additions

When Whimsy went to the York PA chinchilla show two weekends ago, we had the great honor of bringing back two new additions. We wanted to add the sapphire mutation to our herd since Diva passed on with a prolapse earlier this year. What a pleasant surprise to find one of our favorite fellow MCBA members (Silkrheins) had this gorgeous guy available! Whimsy had her eye on him from the very beginning of the day and laid claim to him prior to the start of the show. Wouldn't you know it, the little guy won color class champion!

Another amazing addition happened with our very first Shoots extra dark standard. The standard gray (natural) chinchilla is the backbone of any good breeding program. Our second little guy has absolutely the most amazing depth of color and clarity and a nice sharp belly line. As a matter of fact, he is so dark that several people have mistaken him for a black velvet! For this reason we acquired him to put with our Bowen's black velvet female. We're expecting amazing results for this pair by the time next year's show season starts back up.


Things sure have been "hoppin'" here at the menagerie. We've had our first litter of Z babies born in our effort to work with variations of the violet mutation. As members of the Mutation Chinchilla Breeder's Association, we're very careful about breeding selection. Please keep in mind, we are NOT breeding chins to sell. Our goal is to work toward show quality/breed standard mutations in cooperation with our fellow members. With that in mind, occasionally there will be chins born who do not quite measure up in quality. Those are generally the tiny runts or those who do not have the characteristics we are working toward. While some chins will not meet certain "quality" standards, they are still deserving of love! If any babies born here are placed for adoption, they will only go in same gender pairs or as a proven buddy for another same gender chin. Ok, now that I'm off my soapbox, wanna see the new babies? :)

Showing Rescues

This weekend was an exciting one. Whimsy took six of our chins to a show in Statesville, North Carolina. We were curious to see how Judge Ralph Shoots would grade our little girls and boys. It was quite sobering going up against so many gorgeous animals. At the same time it was quite a learning experience that will help serve our growing knowledge. Our little fuzzbutts managed to bring home two second place ribbons, two third place and, just for fun we also entered two of the rescue chins (they each earned a fifth place ribbon).

Something else exciting happened this weekend. Today a nice family came over looking for a new cagemate/friend for their baby boy chin who had unfortunately lost his brother. They brought their little guy over to run a "safe intro" with two of our potential adoptables. Mr. Wilson was the lucky guy who was chosen to go home with them where I'm sure will wind up stealing all hearts who come in contact with him. Which brings up an interesting point...

The question was posed to me whether a single chin, by his very singleness, will bond with its human companion better than a paired chin. The answer: No.

Chins are herd animals by nature and need the companionship of their kind. I explained that people cannot be around to provide that same companionship 24/7. Additionally, because of this instinctual nature, paired chins tend to be more at ease in their environment, which makes for a happier chin.

If at all possible, I encourage adoptions of pairs or as a companion for another chin. (There are rare exceptions where certain chins are just too aggressive to pair off). Paired chins can still bond with their owner and people can still successfully own single chins. However, paired or same gender groups are by far a more favorable option, not to mention double or triple the fun!