Volume 3, Number 1

Auction Update
Do pet owners need show combs?
What is an acceptable weight for a breeding chinchilla?
The significance of size differences between males and females
Auction / E-store discount coupons for newsletter subscribers
Newsletter subscribe and un-subscribe information

Auction Update

This week on the auction, we have a one of a kind Timali and Co. chinchilla playcenter on promotion, starting at a $1 minimum bid. This is a unique playcenter that is only available on this week's auction. It was custom crafted by Timali and Co. to provide an entertainment outlet for your chinchillas. To see the playcenter, click here.

Over the last decade, there has been a spike in interest in multi-mutation hybrid chinchillas, especially in ebony, violet, and sapphire crosses. 2004 has seen a special interest in sapphire crosses. This week on the auction, we have a very good quality Ritterspach bred white mosaic sapphire carrier male. Next week, we will have a show quality white mosaic sapphire carrier female.

If you are interested in breeding multi-mutation hybrids and you have questions concerning genetics, or if you want to know what color mutations you will need to buy in order to produce certain colors in the offspring, e-mail us . We provide free herd-consulting services to our chinchilla and E-store customers.

Do pet owners need show combs?

We have had a lot of questions recently from pet owners asking if they need to buy show combs. If you have a chinchilla whose fur has become matted, you can use a #4 or #7 comb to gently comb out the mats. Otherwise, as long as you keep your chinchillas dusted regularly, and in a clean environment, they usually do not need to be combed. If you do not show now, but plan to try showing in the future, it would be an advantage to start practicing grooming on one of your non show chinchillas. Good show grooming takes a lot of practice, and hands on experience is important to becoming proficient at show grooming.

What is an acceptable weight for a breeding chinchilla?

This is another question we have been asked lately. The answer depends on the sex, color, and bloodline of your chinchilla. Females naturally tend to be larger than males, so breeding females should be a little bit larger than breeding males. Females also have both an environmental and a genetic influence on the size of the offspring, where the males have only a genetic influence. In general, standards are larger than dominant mutations, and dominant mutations are larger than recessives and hybrids. If you are using large males to increase the size of your offspring, make sure that you breed him to females that are not too much smaller than he is. If so, you may encounter littering problems. Keep in mind that some of the best producing males have been small males, especially the ebony, sapphire, and hybrid males. The larger your males, the slower they tend to produce. If you only use very large males, you may run into slow production. Also, do not assess the size of your chinchilla before it is done growing. Some bloodlines mature faster than others. Some chinchillas are nearly full grown by 11 months, while others are still growing past 18 months. Your foundation quality standard females should probably be close to 625-700 grams or larger if you are producing for show purposes. Allow more lenience for the recessive carriers, males, and mutations, and for females whose other qualities are exceptional.

Significance of size differences between males and females.

If one of the goals in your show breeding program is to produce size, it might be more efficient to concentrate on using large high quality females with average size high quality males, rather than the other way around. If necessary, you can breed smaller females to larger males, but make sure that the size difference is not too extreme.

Auction / E-store discount coupons for newsletter subscribers:

Newsletter subscribers can take 10% off the purchase price of any one chinchilla purchased on an active auction between November 20th and December 4th, 2004. E-mail laurie no later than December 5th to apply this discount to the qualifying chinchilla of your choice.

Also for newsletter subscribers, take 10% off all Oxbow Hay products through the 30th of November by entering coupon code 4002126 upon checkout.

Thanks for subscribing, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!