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The Quality Chinchilla

After many references to the Quality Chinchilla it may be necessary to explain briefly what this means. The Chinchilla has the finest and most beautiful fur known to man and is stunning to see in its full splendour. What then are its qualities? The Chinchilla in full prime (having a coat with no sign of moulting) should have strong dense upright fur of approx. 3cm in length. The fur should be so dense that when it is blown into lightly, the skin beneath cannot be seen and when gently pressing your hand on the back of the animal the fur should give the impression of having bounce and resilience.

Approximate Bar Size – Hips 6mm, Back 4.5mm ,Neck 3mm

The Standard Grey animals should have an even coverage of veiling (the black pigment at the very tip of each shaft of hair) This veiling should cover from the neck to the base of the tail and from the centre of the back down to the blue-white belly fur. Mutation coloured Chinchillas in general do not have the black tipping but are required to have a similar coverage to that of the Standard grey colour but in their individual colour. In a Charcoal or ebony, or any Mutation relating to them e.g. Pastel or Charblack, the belly fur is the same colour as the main body fur. However, regardless of whether the animal is a Standard Grey or one of the many Mutation colours, the glow or haze given off by a good quality Chinchilla should be blue. The easiest way to see this is to look across and through the top of the fur on the back of the animal under daylight quality fluorescent tubes or in daylight (but not in direct sunlight).

The conformation of a good quality animal is important, this can best be described as the animal looking blocky, the neck and hips being as equal in proportion as possible, and not having wide hips with a narrow neck which is described as “necky”. Conformation and size are not the same and size is also a consideration when assessing for quality. As a guide, a fully grown chinchilla is expected to weigh at least 700g.

The points described above, go towards making the Quality Chinchilla. These tips will help you on your way to determining the quality of your animals, or the animal you wish to purchase, however this is only meant as a brief guide.