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Chinchillas should be offered free choice hay like guinea pigs and rabbits. They should also receive approximately 1-2 tablespoons of chinchilla pellets a day for the average adult. Please see the rabbit section for more details on hay selection. Growing or breeding chinchillas should be given additional pellets.
You may notice that chinchillas primarily eat at night. If you are an early riser or a night owl, you may also notice your chinchilla eating their own feces. Like rabbits, chinchillas produce a special type of soft feces called cecotropes. Eating these special feces is important for proper nutrition. Normal bacteria in the gut break down indigestible fiber into products that the chinchilla can use when it is eaten in the cecotropes. The hard fecal pellets are waste and should be cleaned from the cage.