November 28, 2022 by Umair Shahid
You probably are worried about what to feed your new chinchilla if you have just purchased one. Surely you must have thought of many choices of food to offer your chinchilla. Considering they are herbivores; you likely had in mind oats. So, can chinchillas eat oats?
Can Chinchillas Eat Oats
The answer is yes, they can eat oats. Having oats as a snack is a good idea. If your chinchilla gets a small quantity of them, they won’t cause problems. There are no gastrointestinal issues or diarrhea associated with these foods.
The nutrients chinchillas require are in them. They can, however, cause your chinchilla’s weight to increase if consumed in large amounts, so do not feed your chinchilla more than two or three oats a week.
The following information will give you all you need to know about whether or not chinchillas can eat oats, plus a lot more.
People often hesitate to feed their pet chinchillas anything in the beginning, as they don’t know much about what they’re feeding them. Many animals can eat oatmeal or white oats to satisfy their appetite needs, and oatmeal or white oats are one of the most common food staples around the world.
You can prepare raw oatmeal or, if you want to make porridge oats, you can make that for your chinchilla, and they will enjoy it. However, you should not overfeed them oatmeal, as it could overload their tiny stomachs and cause them to become sick.
If you want to feed them oatmeal, either put some oatmeal on your hand and let them nibble at it or take a spoonful out.
Healthy Benefits of Feeding Oats to Chinchillas
Because oats contain a balanced nutrient and mineral composition, they are highly nutritious for chinchillas. Oats are high in fibers, proteins, and fats and contain all of the essential nutrients.
There are many health benefits to chinchillas from soluble Beta-glucan fiber found in oats. It is crucial to the chinchilla’s digestive system that it increases the growth of bacteria. The chinchilla’s fur is made up of iron, manganese, and biotin, minerals found in Oats. Oats promote the production of hemoglobin.
The chinchilla prefers oats over other carbohydrates because their fiber content keeps their stomachs full. The avenanthramides found in oatmeal lower blood pressure and help regulate blood flow, therefore they are natural antioxidants.
Moreover, these compounds prevent chinchillas from itching and give them smoother fur, making their time with you more enjoyable. If your chinchilla had eaten unsuitable meals, they would help relieve constipation.
Packed With Vitamins
Several vitamins can be found in oats. So it gives your chinchilla all the support it needs while it is growing and maintains a well-functioning immune system and body. In oats, you will find thiamine, which is also known as vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is necessary for the growth and function of certain organs, including the brain.
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, should never be taken as a dietary supplement since it could cause serious problems. Just one grain of oats can provide them with the amount of Vitamin B12 they need to meet their daily requirements.
Your pet must be given the appropriate amount of riboflavin to maintain normal growth and energy levels. Among the vitamins that are included in this list are vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B9. In regards to vitamin B12, it is the only one not included in this list of vitamins.
It only takes a few oats per week to provide the vitamin B complex your chinchilla needs to survive. In addition to helping to promote growth, this will also minimize the chance of infection, assist in digestion, and help support brain function.
Rich In Minerals
In particular, we like oats because they contain several minerals that are beneficial to our health. Oats, for example, are a good source of manganese, which is also found in abundance in whole grains.
As a mineral, manganese is vital for growth, metabolism, and development. Iron is essential to the production of hemoglobin. On the other hand, selenium helps strengthen the immune system.
Potential Health Problems of Feeding Oats To Chinchilla
Oats tend to be high in fat, so chinchillas fed on them tend to contract the fatty liver disease, where they never fully recover, and the owner is completely unaware of why the condition is occurring.
Chinchilla’s dental and bone health suffers when they eat oats, as they reduce the calcium and phosphorus ratio. This makes it impossible for the chinchilla to absorb valuable nutrients from other foods, including hay.
Due to the high carbohydrate content found in oats in each meal, continuous feeding of oats will cause obesity in Chinchillas. The binding effect of Avenin and phytic acid in oatmeal prevents minerals from being absorbed.
As a result of the overfeeding of oats to chinchillas, phytic acid can cause digestive issues in them. In chinchillas, high levels of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus in oats cause hypermagnesemia that results in renal failure and is unfortunately indicative of the details of the diseases.
An excess of calcium can cause hypercalcemia, which, in turn, may result in anorexia in chinchillas.
What types of Oats Can Chinchillas Eat?
As far as I know, chinchillas have the option of eating whatever type of oats they wish. As long as you give your chinchilla a moderate amount of regular oats and ensure that the rest of his or her diet consists of Timothy hay and pellets, regular oats will not hurt him.
I would not recommend feeding instant oatmeal to your pet. Most of these products contain a lot of sugar as well as various additives, which will harm your pet’s digestion. Chinchillas do not need to be given sugar or salt to maintain their health.
Also, instant oats are precooked before being ingested. It is not recommended that you feed your chinchilla any kind of cooked oatmeal, as it can cause digestive problems. The best thing to do would be to stick with just plain raw oats.
How To Feed Oats to Chinchillas
It is possible to feed your chinchilla oats in some different ways. One way of giving your chinchilla some oats is by scattering it over hay. This is perhaps the most common method. The cage of your chin will remain neat if you take this action.
Furthermore, this allows you to get rid of the need to buy a separate bowl for your chinchilla’s food. Besides mixing the oats and hay, it would also encourage the chinchilla to forage in the same way that he does in the wild.
Alternatively, you could put the oats in a small bowl and mix them with water. If you think you can handle having a bowl in a chinchilla’s cage, then go for it. It’s not something most people would do, as it may be knocked over easily.
But if you think you can manage it, you should do that. This type of feeding is not without its cons, as your chinchilla may go in it and contaminate it, making it unfit for consumption.
There is a bowl that you can buy that clips onto the edge of the cage of your chinchilla. Thus, there will be little chance for it to knock it off. The other option is to feed your chinchillas by hand.
You will be able to conduct this procedure quite easily if your chinchilla trusts you. If it does not, it may prove to be a bit more difficult than expected. The only thing I would recommend is that you do not feed the chinchilla by hand through its cage bars.
Your chinchilla would develop a negative association between fingers and food if you tried this with them. If this occurs, you will no longer be able to pet your chinchilla. Whenever it sees your finger, it will bite it – which is an unpleasant experience, to say the least.
How Much Oats can chinchillas eat?
It is important to offer oats in moderation because of two primary reasons. The first reason has to do with how many calories oats contain. There are about 400 calories in 100 grams of oats, which means a handful of oats could be more than enough to satisfy the caloric needs of your chinchilla for the day.
Second, calcium plays a very important role in the development of bones. Oats contain an average of 50 mg of calcium per 100 grams. There is no doubt about the fact that this is not a low calcium level, but it certainly isn’t as high as that of Timothy Hay.
The reason Timothy hay shouldn’t be given regularly, whereas oats can be given temporarily. It is possible that raising your chinchilla’s calcium intake could result in bladder stones, which could prove to be very dangerous in the later stages of the disease.
How Often Can Chinchillas Eat Oats?
If you plan to feed your chinchilla oats more frequently than once a week, we recommend limiting your feeding frequency. The reason why this is the case is that if your pet was fed lots of snacks, it would become overweight.
Providing your pet with a few oats once a week shouldn’t significantly decrease their weight even if you feed them once a week. Additionally, it is best if you weigh your pet semi-regularly to make sure that you are aware of if anything happens to their weight.
Upon the completion of this task, you will be able to identify illnesses before they become apparent, as many diseases can result in weight loss either suddenly or gradually as a consequence of their occurrence. Plus, you will be able to determine whether the snacks your pet is eating are causing them to gain weight.
Oats are a favorite food of chinchillas. Oats are good for your chinchilla since they are high in fiber. This is the kind of food that chinchillas need and it is suitable for it because it has the right nutrients.
There is no doubt that oats are one of the best snacks for chinchillas in terms of safety. As long as you do not overfeed your chinchilla, you should be able to keep the animal healthy. If they are overfed, they may get overweight and bloated, and you do not want to see overweight Chinchillas.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.