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wonderlandhorror said: Okay, so, first off I want to say how awesome and helpful you are. I got my chin from your place of employment and have been asking you all sorts of questions, and shall continue to because you are so friendly and helpful. Anyway, question time! Number 1: I was told my chin was a darker standard grey, but from what I've read, standard greys have to have a white belly, and he doesn't, just a grey (that matches the surrounding fur). Is it a necessary trait to have?
Well first, I’m not sure what you mean that you got your chin from my place of employment. I work as a graphic designer for a real estate company, and we certainly don’t sell chinchillas (: but I’m happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability!
1: All standard chinchillas have a white belly, anything else is a mutation. If he is solid grey, he may be hetero ebony or charcoal. You can check out this link for a breakdown of chinchilla colors!
wonderlandhorror said: Number 2: I am curious if you know anything about the TOV gene? I haven't found much, other than there having to be a continuous dark stripe from head to tail, which Link (my chin) has. And number 3: Should I be free-feeding him or doing scheduled feedings? He tends to wake up one or two times during the day to eat, and continue to nibble during the normal chinchilla hours. I'm not sure if that's normal or not.... Thanks again!! You're the greatest!
2: I am not a breeder, so I can’t claim to know anything about them on a genetics level. All I know of the TOV gene is that is stands for “Touch of Velvet” which, like you said, is characterized by the black “cape” over the head and back of the chin.
3. That’s very normal! Chinchillas like to snack throughout the day so it’s completely fine to let him free feed. In fact, chinchillas should always have hay and pellets available to them. On average, they will eat about 2 tablespoons a day, but it’s always good to put a little extra just in case. Just give him some fresh pellets every day and discard what he hasn’t eaten. The only time you might want to have a feeding schedule is if he is eating MUCH more than the average amount.