Chinchillas and Pregnancy
So you are considering breeding your chinchilla. Well there are some do's
and don't that you should know before getting started.
Chinchillas are capable of reproduction from the ages of 4 to 6 months and
can become pregnant as early as 5 1/2 months. Most chinchilla owners agree that
this is to young to begin breeding your chinchilla and can cause complications
to the pregnancy and risks to the young mother and kits. Some chinchillas do not reach full size until they are 10-12 months old. Waiting until they are a year old is safer for your chinchilla and the kits that will be growing
inside of her.
It is best to separate male and female chinchillas at a young age (by 3 months) to prevent unexpected pregnancy. This includes separating siblings from
one another that are male and female and mother and son. They cannot live together in the same cage once they have reached sexual maturity. It is a common question and seems to be a common misunderstanding that the chinchillas will "know better" than to mate father to daughter or son to mother. They do not know any
better, there is no pecial scent that keeps them from imbreeding. It's up to you, their owner to ensure prevent imbreeding and unwanted pregnancy. It is also unsafe to inline breed. A chinchilla should not be allowed to breed with its immediate family.
Before you consider breeding your chinchilla, you should make sure that you
are breeding a quality chinchilla that is close to breed standard (size, furr
quality shape), has no health issues, is of a good size and a good temperament
and has no signs of malocclusion (bad fit of the teeth).
A general guideline for good breeding
weight for high quality standards is 1 pound 7 ounces to 1 pound 12
ounces, with more leniency for high quality males lacking this particular
attribute. Dominant mutations tend to be slightly smaller, and recessive
and hybrid mutations tend to be smaller still.
Try pairing your chinchillas with a mate that will equal out the personality
strengths and flaws. For example, if one chinchilla is a bit on the timid side,
pair that chin with a mate that is a bit more adventurous and outgoing. There are certain pairing that are lethal when you get into cross breeding color mutations. Breed color mutation chinchillas to standards helps insure that the chinchillas will be born healthy and of a good size and weight. Below is a link to an excellent site to check your breeding possibilities with different color combinations of chinchillas.They have a breeding calculator that shows pictures of potential outcomes from different pairings and liklihood of each. Very neat.
Also before breeding your chinchilla you should be aware of a few basics
Chinchillas are pregnant a little over 3 months. It is often difficult
to know whether or not your chin is indeed pregnant. Mating usually occurs at
night. You might notice a mating plug somewhere in the cage. There may be a
little bit of fur around the cage as well. Change in behavior or temperament
might be an indication that your female is pregnant. Her sides may start to
look a bit wider as well, but you should not feel around for kits as it may
damage the babies or cause the soon to be mother to become frightened. You may also notice yoour chin laying on her side and stretching out.
my chinchillas, Belle is a good breeder, but whenever she is near the final
stages of pregnancy she starts to rip out the fur around her sides. The most
recent time she looked very ratty and was barking at her two older daughters
and chasing everyone away during play time. She wanted her space and we gave it
to her! I gave her treats and spoke calmly to her, but let her have the space
she needed. I didn't try to hold her. I just put my hand in to pet her when I
would give her a treat. Less than a week later we had another furr ball running
around the cage!
The birthing process is very natural for your chinchilla. You should not need to help or interfere. If there seem to be complications you will want to touch base with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Once your chinchilla gives birth the mother and the baby should be removed
from the cage and placed into a cage with smaller bars (see chinchilla cages
article for sizes). If the new mother chinchilla is left in with the male, they
will likely breed again within 72 hours. Directly after giving birth your
chinchilla will be most fertile and it is advice not to breed back. It proves to be hard on a chinchilla’s health to be nursing one litter while another is
growing inside of her. Usually a chinchilla will have 1-3 kits, 1 being the most common, but there have been rare cases of as many as 7 being born.
The baby chinchilla will be born with fur and it's eyes will be open very
shortly after it is born. The fur is wet and the mother cleans the baby off and
will eat the afterbirth. Many chinchilla breeders agree that since it is rich in
protein it is ok for them to eat some of it, but it is not advised for them to eat the entire placenta if they have
had more than one kit. Chinchillas are not meat eaters. The new baby will be jumping around within hours and look like a minature chinchilla.
A good site to see what your baby chin looks like through the stages of pregnancy