I don’t remember when it happened exactly.
But sometime in the past 10 or 20 years, kale suddenly became a huge fad.
Yes, it’s healthy, but so are many other vegetables.
But for whatever reason, kale became the “in food. Not that that is a bad thing.
People eating healthy food is always good. And so is chinchillas eating healthy food.
The problem is: foods that are good for us are usually not good for chinchillas.
Is that the case here? Can chinchillas eat kale or is it best to avoid this leafy green?
Keep reading to find out. If you know the deal with chinchillas and most other vegetables, you can probably already guess what the problem is with kale.
Can Chinchillas Eat Kale?
Yes, chinchillas can eat kale. But you can only feed your chinchilla kale in small amounts. Even though it’s a healthy food for humans, that does not mean it is just as healthy for chinchillas.
The problem with kale is the same as with any other leafy green vegetables for chinchillas. Or with most vegetables in general. They are not toxic, but they contain a lot of water. Let’s take a closer look.
Is It Safe For Chinchillas To Eat Kale?
As long as they only eat a small amount of kale, it is perfectly safe for chinchillas to eat. Moreover, they love the taste of kale and enjoy it as a snack or treat every now and then.
Kale isn’t toxic for chinchillas to eat, so you don’t have to worry about your chinchilla becoming sick after eating it. The only reason it isn’t a great food choice for your chinchilla is its nutritional value and it’s high water content.
Kale Nutritional Value
The nutritional value in kale doesn’t quite meet the nutritional needs of a chinchilla to have a healthy diet, which is why kale can never be more than an occasional treat.
There is not enough protein or carbohydrates in kale for it to be a staple in your chinchilla’s diet. Your chinchilla needs both of these nutrients for energy. Without enough protein or carbohydrates, you would have one very sleepy chinchilla on your hands.
There is also not enough fiber in kale to benefit your chinchilla. Fiber is important for your chinchilla to be able to fully digest its food. Without sufficient amounts of fiber, your chinchilla could have issues with bloating or pooping.
Of course, you can still incorporate kale into your chinchilla’s diet. It makes for a wonderful treat. Just keep it as a snack and nothing more and don’t feed any more than a small amount (around the size of your pinky finger) to your pet once or twice a week. The reason for this limit is the water content.
While kale may be low in protein and carbohydrates, it’s still high in water. Chinchillas can not consume too much water, because their bodies don’t need a large amount.
Chinchillas naturally retain more water than other animals, because they are originally from the Andes mountains where there isn’t a large amount of water for them to drink.
They have evolved to need much less water to function. As a result, if your chinchilla gets too much water, it can cause bloating and stomach pains. In other words, you have to be careful with any foods that contain a lot of water. Like kale.
You don’t want to feed your chinchilla too much kale and give your chinchilla more water than what is needed. Feeding your chinchilla just a couple of leaves will be enough to treat them to a snack without causing any harm to their health.
Other Treats to Feed Your Chinchilla
While kale, and any other vegetables, may not be the best snack to feed your chinchilla, there are still plenty of others out there that your chinchilla will absolutely love and which are much healthier.
Rose hips are one of the best choices of snacks to feed your chinchilla. They are the tiny fruits that come from roses and chinchillas love them thanks to their unique taste.
You can also feed your chinchilla shredded wheat as a healthy snack. Just make sure it isn’t the frosted type! Shredded wheat has lots of nutrients that will benefit your chinchilla such as a high fiber content.
Flowers also make great snacks. One type of flower you can feed your chinchilla is chamomile. You can it the flowers or the leaves. They enjoy the taste of both. Of course, dried chamomile is better for your chinchilla, since it is lower in water.
Can Chinchillas Eat Raw Spinach?
You can feed your chinchilla small amounts of raw spinach, without it causing any harm to your pet. Like kale, spinach is also high in water, so feeding your chinchilla too much can cause stomach issues.
I would suggest feeding your chinchilla small amounts of spinach a two or three times a week, just as with kale. It should never be more than a treat to accompany the primary diet of Timothy hay and pellets.
Can Chinchillas Have Kale:Final Thoughts
Chinchillas can eat kale, but only in tiny amounts. The reason for that is the high water content, same as it is with all other leafy greens. And all other vegetables, really.
That said, kale is better than most other greens, since it does contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. In other words, it does offer some value, compared to a leafy green like lettuce, which offer virtually nothing. As a result, kale makes for a good treat, as long as you limit it to a small amount once or twice a week.