A high quality pellet is very important to your chin's good health. Do not skimp on the quality of pellets you feed your chin. It will make a difference in his overall health and vitality. The pellets you feed should be just that, pellets only. Do not feed your chin pellets that have anything added to them such as seeds, nuts, biscuit pieces or corn. These added items are junk and unhealthy for your chin and can lead to obesity, intestinal blockage, bloat, fatty liver disease and a picky eater. Since chins can very easily become sugar addicts and addicted to junk in their food, they will pick out these items and push the pellets to the side, but who could blame them considering the pellets in these types of mixes are very low quality and have no taste or aroma for your chin to want to eat them.
I believe the best chinchilla pellets are Oxbow Essentials Chinchilla Food and that is what I feed our chins.
All new rescues that we switch over to Oxbow chinchilla food show improved energy, brighter eyes and improved overall health. These pellets are also very high in fiber, up to 23% which is very important for your chin's intestinal health. Protein average is 16% with ash only about 7%.
American Pet Diner (APD) is another decent brand even though I have never used it. It is also the only brand that gives you the option of getting it alfalfa-based or timothy-based. Timothy-based is best if you have a chin that is prone to bladder stones. It has high fiber and low protein. Since it is also made for guinea pigs, it has added vitamin C and has 12% ash.
Another popular brand of chin pellets is Mazuri. I don't particularly care for this brand nor do I recommend it, but many people use it. It is way too high in protein, over 20% and too low in fiber, only 15% with ash at 9%. A few chins do well with it and many others have intestinal upset and get diarrhea. The protein level being so high may have something to do with it. When we rescue a chin that has been on Mazuri and we mix in Oxbow to transition them over, they will eat the Oxbow and leave the Mazuri in the bowl.
The worst brand of pellets you can feed your chin is Charlie Chinchilla. Following close behind is Sunseed, LM, Vitakraft, Ultra-Blend Select, Kaytee Fiesta, Kaytee Forti-Diet, Nutriphase and Zupreem.
You can see from the photo below the huge difference in pellets from the worst brands to the high quality pellets.
I realize it may seem convenient for you to just go to your local pet store and buy these brands, but I want to strongly encourage you to find places where you can buy the much higher quality pellets. It will be more than worth it for your chinchilla's overall health as well as his taste buds!