The largest simultaneous offering of compatible miniature
chinchillas we have had is on the auction this week, at a $1 minimum bid
/ no reserve price. Like miniature horses, mini chinchillas should be
bred down slowly, and by using males that are smaller than the females
they are breeding. When an animal is changed too radically, too quickly,
there are often problems associated with doing so. Mini chinchillas are
becoming more popular than ever, but breeders should take care to use
the heartiest breeding stock they can obtain, and breed the minis down
slowly over time. This lot of minis is a good foundation group because
of the very small size of the male, and the color compatibility of the
We have had a few comments from users concerning dynamic
bidding, and there are pros and cons both to using it and to not using
it. Dynamic bidding is described in the terms and conditions of use. It
is a function of our online auction software that allows a live on line
auction to function like a live auction (item sells to the high bidder).
With dynamic bidding the auction close time is extended when bidding occurs
in the last several minutes of the auction, allowing bidders to place
their final bids. The auction stops when the bidding stops. The main argument
against using dynamic bidding is that in some cases, a bidder will have
to pay more for an item than he would have had to pay if the auction closed
at the exact minute and second scheduled. The main complaint against not
using dynamic bidding is that it allows "snipers" to obtain
an item at the last minute, after others had been bidding on an item for
the entire duration of the auction and thought they would be the successful
bidder, there being no other counter bids for an extended period of time.
For the time being we will be enabling dynamic bidding, although we reserve
the right to not use it. Feel free to send us your comments.
People often ask what "TOV" means.
Technically, it is an abbreviation for "Touch of Velvet," referring
to the influence the black velvet gene has on hybrids. However, if you
ask a mutation breeder who has been breeding chinchillas for 30 years,
he or she will likely associate that term with what is now called a TOV
beige, or brown velvet. In the past when mutation hybrids were relatively
few and new, the only mutations being Gunning Black (or black velvet),
Wilson White, and Tower Beige, the only recognized black velvet hybrid
in existence was TOV beige. TOV whites were just recognized as white variants,
and were shown as mosaics. So, for short, the black velvet/beige hybrids
were just called TOVs, instead of TOV beiges, referring to a beige
with a "touch of velvet." Now there are so many black velvet
hybrids, it is more appropriate to say TOV Violet, TOV Beige, TOV Sapphire,
TOV ebony, TOV white, etc
Dwarf animals of any species are typically sterile.
There are some fertile dwarfs that appear from time to time, however.
One of the most prominent lines of fertile dwarfs being bred today originated
at Pete and Sue Kiseskeys ranch, PSK Chinchilla, of Southern California.
In about 1989, a true dwarf standard male was littered by a normal violet
female at PSK, and that dwarf later proved to be both fertile and to have
a true recessive homozygous gene set for dwarfism. He had a large head,
very large eyes, short legs, an extremely small round body, and a tail
of only about 2 inches in length. He was also long lived and healthy.
He was originally sold by Sue Kiseskey at the age of about 6 or 7 to Gaby
Scheidig of Southern California for a very modest price. Under her ownership,
he produced a single pre-term kit, possibly mummified, out of a miniature
non-dwarf standard female. But, he proved himself to be fertile. Not being
interested in becoming a chinchilla breeder herself, Gaby finally resold
the dwarf to a mutation breeder in Encinitas, California who had expressed
a continued interest in having him. It was there that he successfully
produced viable offspring, although being a true recessive gene, the first
generation was all of normal size. When inbred the second generation,
and when line-bred in subsequent generations, dwarfs reappeared. Many
of those dwarfs and carriers have gone on to other breeders, and have
also proven to be fertile. It is my understanding, however, that dwarf
females of this line have littering problems, so only dwarf males or dwarf
carrier males should be used on dwarf carrier females to safely produce
Some people new to chinchillas often mistake
homozygous beiges or white variants for albinos. There are no true albino
chinchillas being bred today. In about 1960, a true albino chinchilla
did appear, but it was completely blind, and no breeders continued the
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