Chinchilla Fur Chewing
Fur chewing in the chinchilla is a vice, similar to weaving, cribbing, or self biting in horses. Fur chewing, like malocclusion, tends to be hereditary and is likely a polygenic trait, but it can also have environmental influences. Fur chewing should be avoided in breeding animals. Fur chewers will chew their own fur either constantly, or at intervals, sometimes regrowing the fur completely between intervals. Chinchillas usually chew the fur off of their hips and sides, about half-way down the length of the hair. They will also chew the fur of their own offspring, or of cage mates. Chewers tend to produce chewers, and they occasionally turn out to be maloccluders, and vice verse. There are some incidents when an uncomfortable pregnant female will chew at her side, but this behavior should be evaluated carefully if she is to be retained for breeding.