Volume 2, Number 3

The E-Store is Now Open!
Sales Gallery
Auction Update
Guard Hair
Desirable "Bar" Qualities
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The E-Store is Now Open!

After many months of planning, the E-Store is now open. We have a sale on Twin Packs of Western Timothy Hay for $5.99, 25# bags of Tradition Chinchilla Feed for $9.95, and 50# bags of Tradition Chinchilla Feed for $13.99. Tradition is used by top chinchilla show breeders in the US. We welcome your comments and suggestions concerning what products you would like to see in the new store.

Sales Gallery

Many people have been asking when the new sales gallery will be up. We are happy to say that it's finally here! (The old one was taken down last Fall, so that we could build a more attractive and usable gallery). The new gallery models the E-Store in appearance and maneuverability, but users must interact with sales directly through e-mail or by phone to buy animals, instead of being able to check out online as they can in the E-Store. The individual interaction with Gallery customers is a necessary part of live animal sales, as it helps buyers make well informed decisions before buying live chinchillas.

Our customers may have noticed that we have discontinued the majority of our pet quality chinchilla sales on the site. We have done this so that we can concentrate on providing proven show, and show quality chinchillas to serious breeders and hobbyists worldwide. However, quality "not for show" chinchillas are still available by request for $75-$150, and occasionally in the "specialty" category of the Sales Gallery.

Auction Update

This week on the auction, we have a special promotion. We have a very hard to find triple dominant mutation hybrid female, weighing 646 grams at 6 ½ months of age. She is heterozygous beige, heterozygous black, and heterozygous white. The hybrid possibilities with a female of this genotype are endless. Of particular interest might be the possible offspring achieved by breeding her to a dark ebony male. The possible offspring resulting from such a cross would be:

  • Ebony (ranging from a dirty bellied standard to a fairly dark ebony)
  • White ebony carrier
  • White and Ebony mosaic
  • TOV White ebony carrier
  • TOV Ebony and White mosaic
  • Beige ebony carrier
  • Tan (again, ranging from a dirty bellied beige to a fairly dark tan)
  • TOV Beige ebony carrier
  • TOV Tan
  • Black Velvet ebony carrier
  • TOV Ebony
  • Pink White ebony carrier
  • Tan and White mosaic
  • TOV Pink White
  • TOV Tan and White mosaic

We also have an extremely blocky, beautifully hued, Beige MCBA Section Champion male, and the MCBA Atlantic Chapter "Champion Male of Show" (a Black Velvet), on auction this week. These are the exceptional males that strengthen the quality of mutation herds.

Keep in mind that chinchilla show season generally runs from December through March, so this is the time to get proven show chinchillas.

Guard Hair

Each individual hair follicle on a chinchilla contains up to 100 hairs. In each follicle, there is one hair called a "king hair," or a "guard hair." This individual guard hair is longer and thicker than the other hair. The guard hair serves to protect the rest of the hair. The guard hair has no band of white, called the "bar," which all other hairs have. The guard hair is one long, solid colored hair.

Desirable "Bar" Qualities

The bar is the white band near the end of the hair shaft, just prior to the dark tip. A clear white bar is important to the overall brightness of the chinchilla. A bar that is off color will contribute to a "casty" look on a chinchilla, which is undesirable in a show animal. The presence of a chinchillas's bar can be described in 1 of 4 ways. It can be a blended bar, a narrow bar, an average bar, or a wide bar. The bar should be of the proper (average) length, which is about 1/8 of an inch. The narrow bar is less than 1/8 of an inch in length, and the wide bar is more that 1/8 of an inch in length. The blended bar lacks definition between the white band, and the grey shaft or tip, and is generally considered undesirable. The average, bright white bar is the most desirable in a good show chinchilla. Of note, the Gunning Black, or Black Velvet chinchilla, and the TOV hybrids lack a bar. This lack of bar is useful in determining the presence of the black velvet gene in potential TOV hybrids.

*The preceding information on guard hairs and bars was provided by Ross Jenkins, Jim Ritterspach, Sue Kiseskey, and Laurie Schmelzle.

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