I know I haven't posted in forever, but unfortunately this is going to be a short post because I'm trying to get through emails. But I emailed myself this pic so I'd remember to blog about it, so here goes.
Look at these oats:
I took this picture, because I purchased the oats on the left, and someone else brought us the oats on the right (brought in with their surrendered chins). The oats on the right are NOT safe for chinchilla consumption. Do you notice the difference? The oats on the left are old fashioned oats, which means they take forever and a day to cook. The oats on the right are what we call quick-cook oats, notice, it says "quick 1-minute" (cooking time) right on the box. Those are not safe for chinchillas. The reason is, since they cook so fast, they swell when they absorb liquid (which is what helps them cook so fast). Unfortunately for chinchillas, when the ingest quick-cook oats, they swell in their stomach, which can lead to bloat and probably other problems as well. I imagine possibly even impaction... though for sure bloat. And let's be honest, the possibility of bloat should be enough to keep you away from the quick-cook oats and looking for the old fashioned oats.
So remember, when you're looking to buy oats for your chins, remember to keep it simple, do things the old fashioned way :)