cute chinchilla seating on the carpet

Can Chinchillas Eat Rabbit Food?

Do you have chinchillas or are planning to keep some? These cute and fluffy pets are easy to keep once you know the right foods to feed them.

As rodents, chinchillas can eat a variety of food. What if you are raising your chinchillas with rabbits and you want both pets to eat the same food?

Can chinchillas eat rabbit feed?

Even though chinchillas and rabbits look similar and have a wide range of mutual natural foods, chinchillas should not eat pellets and mixes made specifically for rabbits. These foods do not satisfy the nutritional requirements of chinchillas.

Why should chinchillas not eat rabbit feed? What can chinchillas eat? Continue reading.

Chinchilla on the carpet

Can Chinchillas Eat Rabbit Food?

To know if a particular type of food is suitable for your pet, you need to consider the nutritional requirements of the animal and determine if the feed can satisfy it or not.

What do chinchillas need in their diet?

Chinchilla Nutritional Requirements

Here is a list of nutrients and the compositions that chinchillas need in their diet:

  • Proteins: Chinchillas need at least 30% protein in their diet. Protein helps your chinchillas to grow, reproduce, produce, and repair damaged tissues. Rabbit feed typically contains only 12-18% protein according to the age of the pet.
  • Fiber: Since chinchillas need to constantly eat to prevent their teeth from overgrowing, they require a lot of fiber in their diet. Chinchillas should always have access to fiber-rich food. Fiber also helps with the digestion of chinchillas. Rabbit feed contains 20-25% fiber, but chinchillas need 35%.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates give your chinchillas the energy that they need to perform every metabolic process and stay alive. Their diet should have 35% carbohydrates. Aside from their regular feed, chinchillas can get a lot of carbohydrates from treats, fruits, grains, etc.
  • Fat: Chinchillas need less than 3% of fat in their diet. Chinchillas should eat foods that have very little fat to avoid becoming obese.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: What’s a complete diet without vitamins and minerals? Fortunately, it is easy to provide enough vitamins and minerals to your chinchillas by giving them natural feeds such as hay, vegetables, fruits, etc.
chinchilla next to fresh grapes

The major nutrients to consider when feeding your chinchillas are proteins for growth and fiber for their teeth and digestion. As you can see, rabbit feed does not contain sufficient proteins and fibers.

If you feed your chinchillas with rabbit feed regularly, you may be harming your chinchillas as they might develop nutrient deficiencies or even overgrow their teeth.

Now that you know that you should not feed your chinchillas with rabbit feed, what should you feed your chinchillas with? Continue reading.

Food Ideas for Chinchillas

Here are some awesome food ideas for chinchillas:

  • Hay: Hay contains a lot of proteins and fibers for your chinchillas. Timothy hay is the best for chinchillas. You should also supplement this diet with other sources of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Chinchilla Pellets: Unlike rabbit feed, these pellets are made specifically for your chinchilla. They contain all the nutrients that your chinchilla needs. Feeding pellets can also help maintain their space because they are less messy.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Just like hay and grass, some vegetables can be part of a chinchilla’s regular diet if they have enough proteins and fibers. Research which vegetables are safe for your pet. As for fruits, give fruits to chinchillas as treats because fruits contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugars.
  • Seeds and Grains: Seeds and grains are rich in carbohydrates (and some proteins). Since chinchillas love their seeds and grains, you should give them as treats.
  • Chinchilla Treats: You can buy treats for your chinchillas from the store or market. Make sure that you read the label and check if the treats are suitable for your chinchillas or not.

Awesome food ideas, right? What will you feed your chinchillas?

gray chinchilla eating spikelet of wheat

Related Questions and Answers

Got any questions? Here are some answers:

1. Can You Raise Chinchillas and Rabbits Together?

You can raise chinchillas and rabbits together so long as the cage or space is large enough for every animal and there is enough food.

Regarding food, you should only feed chinchillas and rabbits with natural feeds such as grass hay, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. For processed treats, pellets, and mixes, you should not give both animals the same kind of food.

2. Can Chinchillas Eat Guinea Pig Food?

Just like rabbit feed, guinea pig feed is not suitable for chinchillas.

Guinea pig feed contains too much vitamin C because of guinea pig nutritional requirements. You should not feed your chinchillas with guinea pig feed.

Cute Chinchilla Playing

3. Is it Normal for Chinchillas to Eat Their Poop?

Have you ever seen your chinchillas eating their poop? Well, chinchillas and rabbits are similar as they both eat their poop. They do this usually at night. Chinchillas are known as coprophages (which is a term for animals that eat their poop).

The poop that chinchillas eat is not fully digested, so they swallow it back again, absorb the nutrients (including some beneficial bacteria), and excrete a less moist poop later.

Have you found the answer to your question? I hope so.

Final Thoughts

Even though chinchillas and rabbits have a lot in common, you should not feed your chinchillas with rabbit feed regularly. To raise both chinchillas and rabbits together, choose natural diets such as hay, grass, vegetables, etc.


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