GROOMING A CHINCHILLA
Grooming normally should begin when an animal is young, possibly at weaning time or 3-4 months of age, by using a coarse comb to just straighten all the fur shafts so that the dust will penetrate and clean. This is the only reason for combing ahead of show time. As long as the fur remains clean and unmated (by water, urine or dirt) continued grooming is not necessary and actually is harmful.
In all cases of handling the animal for examining, grooming, moving, grading or crating, care should be given as to not frighten or harm the animal or slip any fur. Excessive jerking of the ear or dangling by the tail is very unnecessary. It is far better to pick an animal up by scooping under it with your open palm and lifting it off its back legs and then reaching around for its tail: after gaining experience this type of catching soon becomes very easy.
The techniques of actual grooming are quite varied across the country. We have seen all types of utensils from wire brushes to curry combs. The most common practice is with the regular Chinchilla grooming comb which is simply pulled thru from tail to head in short easy strokes until all tangles are removed.
Holding the animal by its tail gently comb from tail to head (top area tail to head and then side areas tail to head.) Only penetrate the comb about 2/3 of the way into the fur. Going too deep can cause the teeth to hit the skin of the animal and may cause an injury.
If you hit a tangle, let the comb fall out so that you donít pull a huge chunk of fur. What combing does is to straighten the fur and separate the fur fibers. You are only combing out any loose fur that may be there.
When you are finished combing there will be a small amount of loose hair that needs to be removed. Some people use a lint roller, however, just to use your hand from tail to head and collect the loose fur between your index finger and thumb is the best way. Always stroke the fur from tail to head as we want to stand the fur up straight. Ideal perfect Chinchilla fur should be totally erect and looking at it from the top down is like looking into the bristles of a brush.
CARE OF GROOMING COMBS
Store your combs in a dry area when not in use. Moisture will cause them to possibly rust.
Prior to a show - Always wash your combs thoroughly. Dirty combs will leave marks in your animals.
The easiest way to wash them is to use an old toothbrush. Putting a dot of dish wash soap on it thoroughly scrub the teeth - from the bottom of the teeth (where it attaches to the handle) out on both sides under the hottest faucet water you have.
Rinse thoroughly - shake excess water off and lay on paper towels to absorb the rest of the moisture.
Completely air dry thoroughly before putting away.
Be sure to keep the teeth straight. If you should happen to drop a comb - check the teeth for straightness before combing. A crooked tooth can cause fur slippage.
Some of the original combs have very sharp teeth. They penetrate the fur very well, however, only comb about 2/3rd into the fur so that you don't accidentally scratch the skin.
Never comb the back of an animal after combing the belly or rump area where there might be urine or sticky fur (doing this is how your combs get so dirty). We always found it easier to keep one comb specifically to do the bellies and under the rump area.
Proper care and your combs will last for years.
|Copyright © 2008 Shoots Chinchilla. All rights reserved.|
No images may be downloaded or used without the express written permission of Shoots Chinchilla Ranch.