Siberian Chipmunks (Eutamias Sibiricus Lineatus) are native to Korea and some surrounding islands. They are rodents that are active during the day. They can get to be about 6 inches long (not including tail) and 72-120 grams with an average lifespan of five years but have known to live up to 12 years. Siberian Chipmunks come in their wild color Agouti as well as Dilute AKA White which is white with cream stripes and ruby eyes, not to be confused with albino which would be all white with red eyes.
Signs of a healthy Chipmunk include clean soft fur, clear eyes that are not swollen, sunken in, red or crusty, anal area should be free of feces (if there are caked on feces the Flyer probably has diarrhea), stools should be firm and brown in color like hamster feces. No smell should be present on the Chipmunk and the Chipmunk should be active and alert.
I HIGHLY recommend that new, current and potential Chipmunk owners join ) The Squirrel Board (Chipmunks are a type of squirrel). I myself have learned so much from TSB and enjoy interacting with all of the other Squirrel lovers!
Is the Siberian Chipmunk (Chippy) Right For You?
Questions to Ask Yourself
The main reason most pets are given up is from a lack of knowledge, in turn having something unexpected that doesn't fit right into ones life. The following questions to ask yourself about Flyers should lead you in the right direction on whether or not a Flyer is the right pet for you.
-Can you afford a Chipmunk? Getting a Chipmunk can be costly. First you need to buy the accessories and food which can run you well over $100 as well as buying the Chipmunk itself. Also if your Chipmunk gets sick you must think about the vet bills.
-Will you be able to provide a large cage for your Chippie?
-Will you be able to provide high quality food, fruits, veggies & water daily?
-Will you be able to clean the cage regularly (spot clean daily, total clean weekly)?
-Will you be able to handle getting bitten? (All animals can bite)
-Will you be able to "Chipmunk Proof" a room so you can play with your Chippie outside of the cage? Refer to my "Playtime Out of the Cage - Chipmunk Proofing" section to determine this.
-Will you be able to bond with your Chipmunk properly to make him/her a good pet? Refer to my "Bonding" section to determine this.
-Will you be able to play with your Chipmunk daily to provide enrichment and keep it friendly?
-Are you okay with the fact that your Chippy doesn't like to be in one place for long, and doesn't like being grabbed or restrained?
-Can you handle their life expectancy of up to 12 years?
-Can you handle getting pooped/peed on?
-Will you be able to keep handling your Chipmunk even if it gets grumpy to help make it more/keep it friendly?
-Are you okay with the fact that your Chipmunks behavior may change (whether aggressive or anti-social) during breeding season (Spring & Fall)?
-Can you handle any health problems that may arise and take it to the vet (as with any animal)?
Siberian Chipmunks as Pets
Chipmunks are a very interesting and entertaining pet to keep.They can be hand fed at a young age, and form bonds with their people. They enjoy the company of their people and love climbing all over them. They are extremely curious, acrobatic, fearless and lively. They do not like to be grabbed or restrained, and are nothing like a hamster who will constantly sit in your hand or crawl around on your lap, though they will do this for a limited about of time. They are very fun to watch as they scurry around a Chipmunk proof room, climb up your body and jump from place to place. They enjoy a pet or even a scratch on the head or neck every once in awhile and love rides on your shoulder! They can even be trained to come to their name!
In my opinion there is no difference in personality when it comes to the gender of Chippies. It all depends on the individual.
Please click on the links below to find out about the topic:
Nutrition, Feeding & Supplementation - What to feed Siberian Chipmunks and the supplements they need to live a long, happy life!
Habitat & Enrichment - Siberian Chipmunk caging requirements, what bedding, toys and accessories to use & how to "Chipmunk proof" a room for out of the cage time!
Breeding & Raising Babies - How to healthy breeders, breed a certain color, breeding seasons, the cage, mating, pregnancy, raising, taming & weaning babies.
Health Concerns - Catching health problems early, common Chipmunk ailments & signs of when to take Chippy to the vet.
Before You Bring Your Chippy Home & Beyond - Essentials to get before bring a Chipmunk home, care for the first few days and Chippys care schedule.
Resources & Websites
The Pet Owners Guide to the Siberian Chipmunk - Chris Henwood, 1998