How to Make Apple Twigs for a Chinchilla

Consider the fact that your pet chinchilla was virtually designed and programmed to chew. Chewing is not only necessary to the animal's health, but also gives it a pleasurable pastime when you're not able to play. That's a lot of chewing, and it can burn up plenty of your hard-earned cash in a hurry. Fortunately, natural apple wood can be easily transformed into an excellent chinchilla chewy, as long as it hasn't been chemically treated or processed. There's no reason to spend all that money on commercial apple twigs when you can collect free and inexpensive materials to make your own apple twig toys. Besides, your chinchilla doesn't know or care whether they're fancy store-bought items or if they're homemade.

Collect fallen or cut fresh branches, sticks, and twigs from apple trees. Look for pieces that don't have any knots in the wood. Make sure they haven't been chemically treated. Foliar sprays are lethal to chinchillas.

Bake the apple wood at 148 degrees C for about 30 minutes to kill any harmful microorganisms that may be harboured in the wood. Cool the wood completely at room temperature.

Break the apple wood into various sizes that will fit nicely into your pet's cage. File or rasp off any sharp edges, but don't remove the bark. Chinchillas love stripping bark from tree limbs. Bigger chunks are great for climbing all over during breaks from chewing. Don't throw away even very small pieces. These pets love toys that they can pick up and carry around with them.

Toss these individual twigs and sticks into the chinchilla cage one or two at a time, right along with the other toys, treats, and cage furnishings.

Select groups of slim little apple sticks of like size. Dilute some food colouring with water to the desired shade and paint sticks with it, if you wish. Let them dry well. Gather from two to six sticks in a bunch and tie them securely together with several pieces of natural jute, hemp, or cotton cord. Offer it to your chinchilla and watch the scramble. Your pet must now decide what to do with which piece after disassembling the new apple twigs toy.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple tree limbs, branches, and sticks
  • File or rasp
  • Natural cord--jute, hemp, or cotton
  • Food colouring
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.