Chinchillas in the wild live in a very arid and dry area. Because of this, they have a fairly unique digestive system thus care must be taken in what they eat to promote a long and healthy life. The biggest 2 things to avoid are sugars and fats. Things like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are packed with sugar and/or fat and should be avoided at all costs. Negative effects are not instantaneous but cumulative and can seriously reduce their lifespan and lead to serious and expensive medical problems.



What's the Best Pellet for My Chinchilla ?

You want to feed an alfalfa based pellet, with no added ingredients, like colored nuggets, fruit or treats.

Alfalfa is the first ingredient in Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food, and Mazuri Chinchilla Food, both of which we like for long-term health and are available in the US and Canada. The best pellet to feed in the UK is Science Selective. If you live in another country that doesnt have any of those 3 brands, we suggest you post images in our Facebook group of the name & ingredients for the brands you do have and we can help you choose the best alternative.

Give about two tablespoons of pellets for each chinchilla, every day, with unlimited timothy hay.

There are rabbit formulas that are similar to the Oxbow and Mazuri pellets, however we just can't recommend foods designed for other animals.

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Oxbow Chinchilla


Science Select


Hay is critical to the health and well being of small animals. It helps file down the teeth and adds much needed fiber to their diet. Just like people, pets benefit from some variety in their daily diet. We all know our beloved chins can be extremely picky eaters. Each type of hay has a different taste and texture, some are sweeter or softer than others. When mixed in with their primary hay, these various textures and tastes will encourage your chinchilla to eat more hay. PLEASE NOTE: The stacks/cubes should not be the primary source of hay as they lack the length to grind the teeth down.

Taste = On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being sweet and 5 being hearty
Texture = On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being soft and 5 being crunchy

Timothy - Taste 3, Texture 3

This is the primary type of hay that should be fed. It should always be available and chins can eat as much as they want. Its available in 3 different cuttings - first, second and third. The first is more of the stalk parts than leafy. The second is an even mix of leafy and stalks. The third is more leafy than stalks. Chinchillas are extremely picky, but the second cutting seems to be a favorite across the board. You should only try the other cuttings if you are having problems getting your chinchilla to eat their hay. Most chinchillas will not pick up hay that had fallen to the floor, so to help reduce waste, weve found if you cut your hay into 3-4" pieces, less falls so there is less waste. The longer pieces stick together so when they pull 1 out, it tends to pull 2-3 more out with it.

Alfalfa - Taste 1, Texture 2

Alfalfa hay is not a grass hay, its in the legume family. It has higher protein and less fiber so its essential for growth. It can be used sparingly as a treat hay, but it does not contain the fiber that a grass hay provides. For kits, birth to 6 months, they should be offered both alfalfa and Timothy. You can start offering alfalfa to expecting mothers during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Orchard Grass - Taste 2, Texture 2

Like other long-strand grass hays, the soft-textured Orchard Grass Hay is high in fiber, low in protein and supports the health of small herbivores by stimulating digestion, preventing obesity and making mealtime more appealing.

Botanical - Taste 2, Texture 3

Botanical Hay Is A Rich Blend Of Herbs United With Western Timothy Hay To Stimulate Your Pet's Appetite For Hay And Create A Relaxing Getaway In Your Pet's Habitat.

Meadow - Taste 3, Texture 4

Meadow Hay Is Composed Of A Variety Of Naturally Occurring Grass Hays Providing An Enticing Combination Of Textures, Fragrances And Flavors.

Oat - Taste 4, Texture 5

Your animals will love the immature oat grain that is attached in the head and will benefit greatly from the fiber in the leaf and stem. Oat Hay is a good source of fiber and gives variety to your animal's diet.


Similar to oat hay, a great source of fiber.


Like oat and wheat, but can cause gas and bloating so we suggest you skip this one!

While Timothy should be the primary type of hay fed, Oxbow does suggest you add in some of the other types of hay. This video explains The Importance of Feeding a Variety of Hay.

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Timothy Hay

Small Pet Select
Timothy Hay

Alfalfa King
Timothy Hay

Rabbit Hole
Timothy Hay

Timothy Hay

Timothy Hay

Oxbow Timothy
Orchard Blend

Alfalfa Hay

Oxbow Orchard
Grass Hay

Botanical Hay

Oat Hay

Oxbow Organic
Meadow Hay

Alfalfa King
Alfalfa Hay

Small Pet Select
Oat Hay

Timothy Stacks

Oxbow Timothy with
Chamomile Hay Stacks


Treats should be limited to no more than 1 small pinch per day. Goji berries should be limited to 1 per month, or you can split one in half and give half twice a month. Kits under 6 months of age should not have any treats and kits 6 months to 1 year are limited and are marked with a * in our list below.

Treats Considered Safe



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