Chipmunks are loners. In nature, the animals live in colonies, but each animal claims its own territory, which it defends against conspecifics. Since there is no possibility of escape in captivity, territorial fights can occur when kept in pairs and thus to dangerous biting, which can lead to death. Solitary housing is not an alternative, as it deprives the animal of any opportunity to interact with other animals and is therefore an unnatural form of housing.
A species-appropriate keeping of chipmunks is hardly possible. In the wild, chipmunks live in territories of up to one hectare per animal. The animals, which love to move and climb, need a lot of space in captivity. Only a walk-in outdoor aviary with indoor and outdoor space is justifiable here. An aviary with a floor area of four to five square meters and a height of two meters should be available for one animal.
The aviary should have plenty of thick branches to climb on, perch boards, hiding spots, a bowl of chinchilla sand, and things to do. In nature, chipmunks dig nest cavities in the ground, so the animals should always have digging options such as flower boxes with fertilizer-free soil. In the interior, the animals need a sleeping house with a hinged lid, a loophole and a board, nesting material (e.g. hay or straw) and other hiding places for the food supplies.
There must always be something available to gnaw at to wear down the teeth (e.g. untreated branches from compatible tree species).