1. bookVolume 14 (2014): Issue 1 (January 2014)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
ISSN
1642-3402
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Analysis of factors increasing the probability of fur chewing in chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) raised under farm conditions

Published Online: 13 Feb 2014
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2014) - Issue 1 (January 2014)
Page range: 189 - 195
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
ISSN
1642-3402
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess the extent of fur chewing problems on chinchilla farms. The research was based on a 20-question survey addressed to breeders. A total of 47 anonymous questionnaires were answered. Results showed that the problem of fur chewing was found in as many as 85% of the farms but the proportion of affected animals was usually low (mean±SE: 3.5±0.55%). To determine the relationship between herd size and the extent of the problem, the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated to be r = -0.315 (P≤0.05), possibly indicating the problem to be more severe on smaller farms. No correlation was found between fur chewing and the type of fodder (pellets from different producers), temperature, humidity, type of cage equipment or frequency of dust baths. Moreover, the level of fur-biting animals kept on a deep-litter floor was estimated at 1.7% while the level of those kept on a wire floor and in a mixed system was 2.8-times higher (P≤0.05). The fact that 37.5% of the respondents perceived the predisposition to fur chewing to be hereditary was an important observation suggesting a direction for further research. A considerable proportion of those surveyed (37.5%) also pointed to a greater excitability among fur chewers. To sum up, results of the present study revealed that keeping animals on litter reduces the incidence of fur chewing. Breeders’ observations also suggest that fur biting may be determined genetically and/or connected with impulsive-compulsive disorders; however, more detailed studies are necessary to confirm these hypotheses.

Keywords

Egri B.J., Egri J., Hajnovics B. (1994). Fatty liver in young male chinchilla (Chinchilla velligera). Tierarztl. Umschau, 49: 45-47.Search in Google Scholar

Ewringmann A., Glöckner B. (2005). Leitsymptome bei Meerschweinchen, Chinchilla und Degu: Diagnostischer Leitfaden und Therapie. Enke, Stuttgart.Search in Google Scholar

Fehr M. (2009). Chinchilla (in Polish). In: Gabrisch K., Zwart P. (eds.): Krankheiten der Heimtiere, 7th ed. Schlütersche Verlagsanstalt Hannover: 2008, Polish edition. Galaktyka, Łódź, pp. 171-198.Search in Google Scholar

Greer J., Capecchi M. (2002). Hoxb8 is required for normal grooming behavior in mice. Neuron, 33: 23-34.Search in Google Scholar

Kowalski A. (2005). Stereotypies as an indicator of animal welfare (in Polish). Med. Weter., 61: 1335-1339.Search in Google Scholar

Kozłow A. (2009). Fur biting - disease or bad habit? Self chewing of chinchillas and animal welfare (in Polish). KZHS Myślenice, Zesz. Hod., 8: 10-14.Search in Google Scholar

Kurien B., Gross T., Scofield R. (2005). Barbering in mice:amodel for trichotillomania. BMJ, 331: 1503-1505.Search in Google Scholar

Mason G., Rushen J. (2006). Editors. Stereotypic animal behaviour: Fundamentals and applications to welfare. 2nd ed. CAB International, Wallingford OXON.Search in Google Scholar

Ponzio M.F., Busso J.M., Ruiz R.D., Fiolde Cuneo M. (2007). Asurvey assessment of the incidence of fur-chewing in commercial chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) farms. Anim. Welfare, 16: 471-479.Search in Google Scholar

Ponzio M.F., Monfort S.L., Busso J.M., Carlini V.P., Ruiz R.D., Fiolde Cuneo M. (2012). Adrenal activity and anxiety-like behaviour in fur-chewing chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera). Horm. Behav., 61: 758-762.Search in Google Scholar

Sulik M. (2009). Problems of fur chewing of chinchillas. Self chewing of chinchillas and animal welfare (in Polish). KZHS Myślenice, Zesz. Hod., 8: 15-19.Search in Google Scholar

Tisljar M., Janić D., Grabarević Z., Simpraga B., Marinculić A., Pinter L., Jan-icki Z., Nemanic A. (2002). Stress-induced Cushing’s syndrome in fur-chewing chinchillas. Acta Vet. Hung., 50: 133-142.Search in Google Scholar

Tombarkiewicz B., Szeleszczuk O., Niedziółka J., Rapacz A. (2003). Hygienic conditions in cages and reproductive performance of the chinchilla (Chinchilla velligera). Pr. Kom. Nauk. Rol. Biol. BTN, B, 51: 275-280.Search in Google Scholar

Tombarkiewicz B., Pawlak K., Niedziółka J. (2006). Temperature and humidity distribution in multi-storey cages in chinchilla-houses. Book of Abstracts. Proc. XXXVI Annual Meeting, ESNA, Iasi, Romania, 10-14.09.2006, p. 44. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo