Chinchilla Farming for Fun and Profit!

Chinchilla Pelt and Herd ImprovementChinchilla Pelt and Herd Improvement
Clement J. DeChant
1956, revised 1959

Submitter: This was the only book on chinchillas in the pet section of the [Public] Library. It has been checked out twice, both in 1970. I’m pretty confident that no one in [suburban California city] owns a chinchilla fur farm! Instead, this volume lies waiting to traumatize elementary school children doing reports about pets.

If your library is in a more agrarian area where chinchilla farming is a possible topic of interest, get a newer book; chinchilla genetics have advanced a great deal over the past 50 years and there are many colors and mutations available now that didn’t exist when this book was written.

Holly: Really? I didn’t know that! This book is old. As we all know, in a public library, that is the kiss of death. It is extra important in school libraries, where kids are looking for book report material, as well as fun things to read and learn about. I agree with submitter: weed and replace where necessary.

Pelt and herd improvement

instruments used

working with a pelt


  1. Ohkay… that removing of the fur part just creeps that sh*t out of me… sorry, did I just say that? Couldn’t be any worst than the “How to: Raise Pigeons” my school library had and I was convinced that I could do it.. Thank goodness my parents knew better.

  2. Why would anyone put that in the pet section?

    At least the cover should give kids sufficient warning that it contains skinning instructions, which puts it ahead of older versions of Joy of Cooking.

  3. Wow. The first thing I looked down and saw was “Personally I use hand ejaculation…” I didn’t look any further… Shudder. Handling chinchillas is one thing – handling them for ejaculation is another…

  4. Emma: That was my first thought, too! Unfortunately the pet section is a subsection of the agriculture section (where this book presumably would belong), so they’d end up right next to each other anyway.

  5. I seem to recall an episode of Leave it to Beaver where Wally and the Beave tried to start their own chinchilla business. Was this a popular get-rich scheme of the 1950s?

  6. Oh, my gawd, what a trippy flashback!

    I actually remember advertisements promoting “chinchilla farming” in comic books (I think) and newspapers, with a chirpy “I’M a CHINCHILLA!!! And YOU can RAISE ME for FUN and PROFIT!” tag line, which my sister and I would openly mock in a falsetto voice. I don’t remember adding the rather obvious “Just wait until I’m grown, then rip my skin off!”,67757,1235334

    And yes, it was, indeed, a precursor of later animal-raising ventures where “get-rich-quick” scammers mingled with legitimate ranchers/breeders. I mean, how many chinchilla coats, or any fur coats, have you seen of late? Anyone remember how ostrich and buffalo were supposed to replace beef as a lower-cholesterol meat? These days, I’m inclined to think the current “craze” is alpaca farming……

  7. This is valuable in giving context to an SNL commercial parody featuring Dan Aykroyd, circa 1977.

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