Chinchillas have a pretty bland and simple diet compared to a lot of other animals.
With this being said, it can still be confusing when trying to understand what are the best types of hay and pellets as well as what type of feeders and food bowls to choose.
Luckily, on this page, we will breakdown exactly what food and accessories you need for your chinchilla in a simple and easy to follow format and we will also give you our top recommendations for each so you know exactly what to buy and where to get it from.
If you don’t have the time to read this post fully, then we have listed the items we recommend below so you can go and check them out directly on Amazon…
As we mentioned at the top of this page, a chinchilla’s diet is pretty simple and they only really need a small number of items to be considered healthy.
One of those items is hay, and hay should actually account for around 80-90% of your chinchilla’s diet.
Hay is vital to a chinchilla for many reasons, including…
- Good protein levels
- High in fibre
- Keeps teeth short
With this being said, it’s still confusing to know what kind of hay you should be providing for your chinchilla.
We would recommend using either timothy hay or orchard grass timothy hay.
The nutritional benefit of both these hay varieties is almost identical.
Check out the table below that shares the nutritional data for both timothy hay and orchard grass timothy hay…
Timothy Hay Vs Orchard Grass Hay
|Hay Type||Protein %||Fat %||Fibre %|
|Orchard Grass Timothy Hay||7%||1.5%||32%|
The main difference between these 2 different hay varieties is that orchard hay is slightly more course than standard timothy hay and will do a better job of keeping your chinchilla’s teeth short.
With all things considered, both of these hay varieties are great options and are the ones we recommend you offer your chinchilla.
For standard timothy hay we recommend purchasing Kaytee’s Timothy Hay product as it’s high quality and trusted throughout the industry.
For the orchard grass variety, we recommend going with Oxbow’s Orchard Grass Hay as this is also great quality and a product you can trust.
Even though 80-90% of your chinchilla’s diet will come of hay, it’s still important that you supplement your chinchilla’s diet with specially formulated pellets.
This helps to balance out your chinchilla’s diet and keep them healthy at all times.
There are lots of different pellets options to choose from, however, we recommend that you go with the Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food.
This is because the pellets offer a great variety of nutrients and often overlooked nutrient balances such as the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is excellent thin this product.
Here’s a breakdown of the minimum nutritional value of Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food…
Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food
|Vitamin - A||10,000 IU/KG|
|Vitamin - D3||900 IU/KG|
|Vitamin - E||190 IU/KG|
As well as providing your chinchilla with high-quality hay, you also need to make sure you are offering them it in a feeder too.
This makes the whole process much simpler and easier for both you and your chinchilla.
Without a hay feeder or hay rack as they are sometimes called, hay just gets everywhere and this means it can become contaminated in your chins urine and poop.
Keeping the hay in a feeder is much more hygienic and also keeps the cage looking tidy too.
The last thing you want to do is overthink this purchase as hay feeders are a relatively inexpensive buy and pretty much all do the same thing.
Having said this, the one that we recommend is the Kaytee Hay & Food Bin Feeder.
The main reasons why we recommend this exact product is that it’s a great size for your chinchilla, it has bars to stop the excess hay falling out and the Kaytee brand always makes great products that last.
Once you have hay feeder, it’s easy to think that you wouldn’t have any use for another kind of food bowl.
Even though hay feeders are important, it’s also just as important to provide your chin with a regular bowl that sits in their cage.
This is because in addition to hay you will also need to feed your chinchilla pellets and a small number of greens that will need to be placed inside a bowl.
These bowls are really inexpensive and last for a long time and you can even grab them at your local pet store.
If you prefer to pick one up online then we recommend a bowl like the Ethical Stone Wear Animal Dish is a great sized bowl for your chin and will do a great job.
When it comes to supplying water for your chinchilla, we recommend always using a water bottle rather than a bowl.
This is because bowls can get contaminated with urine and poop as well as get tipped over get easily get your chinchilla wet.
Water bottles, on the other hand, offer totally the opposite of what a bowl does.
They are hygienic, don’t get contaminated, don’t tip over and are all around a better option.
When choosing a water bottle, unfortunately, cheaper usually means trouble in our experience.
Cheap water bottles will often leak or get blocked due to cheap and poor manufacturing and you will often have to pay more, in the long run, to keep replacing them.
When recommending a water bottle for your chinchilla, there’s really only one brand that comes to mind and that’s Lixit!
Lixit are the leaders in water feeders for small pets and we strongly recommend using only their water bottles for your chinchilla.
You will have the option to use either a plastic or glass bottle, again, we strongly recommend you use a glass water bottle as the quality is easily the best and you will likely be able to keep the bottle for a much longer time when compared to a plastic version.
The glass water bottle we recommend is the Lixit Glass Tube Water Bottle.
The fixings and connections are generally just so much better with glass water bottles than plastic ones and you can’t go wrong with this brand or bottle.