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EDGEHILL CHINCHILLAS -ABOUT ME

 

I am a small hobby breeder (around 60 breeding adults) who has been breeding chinchillas since 1990. I started off with a pair, but very quickly got hooked.Back in 1990, few people had even heard of a chinchilla, vets knew very little about them and the internet did not exist. I was lucky, I bought many of my original animals from a gentleman called Arthur Sweeney (unfortunatly no longer with us), who had been breeding chinchillas for many many years. He was always at hand to give valuable advise whenever I needed it and much of what I know comes from Arthur or from experience over the years.

All my chinchillas are my pets. I do not breed for commercial reasons (I spend far more than I ever get from selling animals!). All those I keep have names and have toys, exercise wheels etc .. I do not breed polygamously but either in pairs,trios or groups of 4 (3 females to one male). That way when the females are "resting" between breeding, they have each other as company - chinchillas are very sociable creatures and enjoy being with each other. This also means that when the females are retired from breeding, they can spend the rest of their natural days happily living together in a group.

All my animals originate from good quality chinchillas bought from top breeders in the country. Although I only started showing in 2010, the vast majority of my chinchillas come from show lines, most being ribbon winners themselves (including special ribbon winners). Full pedigrees can be supplied with the offspring of these. In 2013 I won my first Grand Show Champion with a black velvet female I bred and have won a number of other special awards on the show bench. I breed standard greys and some mutations. I do not breed all mutation colours but concentrate on Black Velvets, Brown Velvets, Pink Whites, Wilson White, Beiges and the new Lowe Recessive Whites/Goldbars. This does not mean that I will always have these mutations available since chinchilla genetics is complex and with mutation breeding you do not know what colours you will get (for example breeding a Pink White to a Standard grey could produce you Pink Whites, Wilson Whites, Beiges or a Standard grey). Many of the animals that I have available for sale are often older (5 - 12 months old). This is because I exhibit and often keep some of the chinchillas until the end of the show season. While I understand most pet owners want young kits (please note they need to be a minimum of 12 weeks old to be re-homed); in the belief that they can "mould" the personality of the animal, this is in fact not the case. Chinchillas, like any other animal, have their own unique personality and as I always tell people if they are calm, cuddly etc. as a young adult (c.7 months old) then they are very likely to remain like that, so often an older animal is a better "bet".

I am a very active member of the National Chinchilla Society, being the secretary/treasurer of the West Midlands and Wales Region and I sit on the National Commiittee as Editor/Website Manager (producing the NCS Gazette and the NCS website). I am also a qualified NCS judge. Even if you only intend to keep chinhcillas as pets, the NCS and its gazette, provides owners with lots of top tips and articles on ownership and care of chinchillas. Details of the organisatrion can be found on www.natchinsoc.co.uk .