Do you have chinchillas? That’s cool. What do you feed your chinchillas?
This question is asked by a lot of new owners. Chinchillas are herbivores, so people feel that chinchillas can eat every plant product.
For example, people think that chinchillas can eat spinach as they are vegetables. Can chinchillas eat spinach?
Chinchillas can eat spinach, but not too much of it, as spinach contains too much water and few beneficial nutrients for chinchillas. You can give spinach to chinchillas as treats, not regular food.
If chinchillas should not eat too much spinach, what should they eat? Why does the moisture content of spinach matter? Continue reading.
Should Chinchillas Eat Spinach?
Chinchillas can eat spinach, but just a few leaves. Let us consider why chinchillas cannot eat too much spinach.
What You Should Consider
Consider the following:
Spinach Nutritional Composition
See the table below for the nutritional composition of spinach:
As you can see from the table, spinach contains over 90% water. This means that your chinchillas might just be drinking water and not eating actual food. Also, take a look at the low amount of proteins and other nutrients.
Now let us compare the table with the nutrient needs of chinchillas.
Chinchilla Nutritional Requirements
See the table below for the nutritional requirement of chinchillas:
When you compare the nutrient needs of chinchillas and the nutritional composition of spinach, you’d agree that spinach cannot sustain the growth of chinchillas.
Why Chinchillas Should Not Eat Too Much Spinach
Even though chinchillas would love to eat a lot of spinach, you should not give them too much of it for the following reasons:
1. They Will Excrete Watery Poop
When chinchillas eat watery foods, they have watery poop. Watery poop is difficult to clean from the cage and is an eyesore.
2. More Water Means Fewer Nutrients
The greater the amount of water a food contains, the fewer nutrients will be available. This means that your chinchillas cannot grow healthy and strong by eating spinach leaves.
3. Chinchillas Need a Lot of Fiber
Chinchillas need a lot of fiber in their diet to help with their digestion. Chinchillas also need fiber as they eat a lot.
Spinach does not contain as much fiber as chinchillas need, so you should not give too much spinach to chinchillas.
As you can see, spinach cannot fully sustain the growth of your chinchillas, so you should not give too much of it to them.
When Can Chinchillas Eat Spinach?
You can give spinach to chinchillas in the following instances:
- Mixed with Fiber-Rich Foods: If you like, you can mix spinach with hay and other foods rich in fiber appropriate for your chinchillas. You can also provide protein supplements.
- Mixed with Dried Foods: To prevent your chinchillas from producing watery stool, you should give them dry foods. To feed your chinchillas with spinach, give them more dry foods such as hay, pellet, etc.
- As Treats: Just give spinach to chinchillas as treats instead of their main food.
Now you know when you can give spinach to chinchillas. Do you think that chinchillas can eat dried spinach?
Can Chinchillas Eat Dried Spinach?
If you have dried spinach, you can feed your chinchillas with it. Consider the nutritional composition of dried spinach with the table below:
As you can see, dried spinach contains more proteins than fresh spinach as the water content is reduced. You can mix dried spinach with hay and other fiber-rich foods for your chinchillas.
Other Healthy Foods for Chinchillas
Here are healthy foods for your chinchillas:
1. Hay and Straw
Chinchillas need their hay and straw. Hay and straw contain fiber and other nutrients for chinchillas. Hay should always be present for your chinchillas even if you are to give them other foods.
Pellets made for chinchillas are excellent because they have just the right amount of nutrients for chinchillas (according to their age). Pellets are also portable and easy to store. Get your chinchillas a grass-based pellet.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Chinchillas enjoy fruits and vegetables, so they will always eat fruits and vegetables when you offer them. Remember that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and fewer proteins, so you should give them only as treats.
Vegetables such as lettuce, celery, etc. with less water content, and dried vegetables are recommended for chinchillas.
What will you give to your chinchillas as food?
Chinchillas can eat spinach, but not too much of it as spinach contains a lot of water and very few nutrients.
You should give spinach to chinchillas as treats instead of their main food. You can also give dried spinach to chinchillas.