May 7, 2023 by Umair Shahid
Chinchillas are one of the best exotic animals to keep as pets. Whether you want to pet them or use them for breeding purposes, they need special attention & care. Breeding is a domain that might not be as simple as it looks. A healthy mating pair with no genetic abnormalities must be a prime breeding condition you must fulfill.
For effective chinchilla breeding, you need to ensure a complete medical history of the mating pair. There are specific guidelines developed by exotic animal experts you must follow in order for your pets to successfully breed and have kits. These guidelines are not only effective during breeding but also in the nursing phase.
Chinchillas are very sensitive animals that are really delicate to handle in all aspects. Your pet will produce healthy and happy kits when the mating pair is absolutely fit for breeding purposes. Appropriate environment & with thorough dedication and preparation, the chinchillas will have safe and healthy breeding.
Pre-requisites Of Breeding Chinchillas
Before planning to execute the breeding process in chinchillas, you must have a clear understanding of their breeding requirements. This will aid you in breeding your furry friends in an effective manner.
Find the Gender
The first and foremost thing to do is to look for a compatible mating pair. You must understand how to identify the gender of chinchillas before you try to let them close to each other.
Examining the anus of your furry pets will lead you towards the surety of opposite genders. If you notice a bare patch of skin between the anal opening and urethra, your pet is a male.
If there is a slit-like opening with no skin patch between the anal opening and urethra, then you’re surely holding a female chinchilla. The distance between the anus and urethra will itself says a lot about the gender of your pets.
If you see there is a much larger distance, it is highly likely that your chinchilla is male. Otherwise, the female has a smaller distance with the presence of a slit-like opening or the vagina.
Are Your Chinchillas Compatible?
As a veterinarian, I recommend you to look after the temperament of your chinchillas. If they are too aggressive towards each other, they can damage each other during the breeding process.
I’ve seen countless cases of breeding mates getting injured due to the dominance and compatibility issues. For instance, an alpha female won’t let a male chinchilla mount onto her in that respect.
Naturally, chinchillas are quite docile creatures, but they might not like the opposite or similar gender cage mates. It is important to analyze the temperament and behavior before letting them close to each other.
If you’re planning to mate chinchillas, put them in separate cages and place the cages near each other. If you see any aggressiveness or odd behavior, there are chances that they might not like each other.
Don’t abruptly place them with each other as this can trigger sudden aggression and injury chances if they got into a fight. If you see no such signs, you’re good at going to mate them in the future.
Note the Weight & Physical Appearance
It is necessary for your chinchillas to have an optimum weight before they breed. Like most animals, body weight is linked to maturity and puberty. An appropriate weight is not only helpful in successful breeding but also in achieving a healthy gestation.
In the sense of breeding, the body condition and fur quality also play an important role. The clear, dense fur is an indication that your chinchilla is living a healthy and disease-free life.
The ideal breeding weight of chinchillas must be over 650 grams. Experts suggest getting a chinchilla with 800–1000gram weight if you want healthy breeding and kits. Going below the minimum limit may cause breeding and pregnancy issues.
Correct Age & Medical History
You must acknowledge the age of the chinchilla’s sexual maturity for effective mating. As a veterinarian, I suggest you only breed them when they’re at least 9 to 10 months of age. The age factor is very important for the health of female chinchillas in conceiving the kits.
Inquiring about the complete medical history of a chinchilla gives you a deep idea about his and her general wellness. It will also signify that your chinchilla has an origin from good and healthy stock.
Your breeding chinchillas must not carry any lethal genes in their medical histories. The homozygous gene paring is harmful and the suffering offspring will not survive or get aborted during the term.
You must watch out for these genes as they cause a significant negative effect on the mother and fetus during the gestational period and afterward.
Set Up an Appropriate Breeding Environment
Before breeding, you must ensure your new chinchilla pair must get familiarized with each other. Your role is to offer them enough time and a comfortable place for a proper introduction. Make sure to put them in separate cages at the height of 18 inches.
Small wire mesh cages are very ideal for the initial intro so that they can properly observe each other and get comfortable before getting ready to mate. If you see no temperament issues, you may try to place them in one larger cage.
In terms of choosing what to do for a more cozy and comfortable mating, first, decide on an area with a quiet and undisturbed atmosphere. Make sure there is no noise and the room temperature must be ideal at 52-to-68-degree Fahrenheit.
Try to get an area that is isolated from the outside sounds and noise pollution. The sensitive ears of chinchillas can pick up abrupt noises and that will make the mating harder for them.
It’s Time to Mate
As I’ve mentioned the importance of initial introduction before mating, the breeding process must also be carried out slowly. You should also maintain a distance between them by placing them in separate cages on a mating day.
Monitor their reaction toward each other and how they show curiousness by sniffing and staring at each other. If all the behavioral aspects are favorable, you can let them out of cages to play for a while.
Your furry pet pair may show hostility towards each other in case they don’t like the other’s presence. In these circumstances, but the aggressive one in a smaller cage and place it in the larger cage with the docile one.
There are more chances that chinchillas will treat each other fairly and get accustomed to each other in a short time. If they start playing together in a friendly manner, place them together for some time and they’ll be surely ready to mate.
Take Extra Care of Female Chinchilla
Like other animals, female chinchillas also have a specified time to come into the breeding season. They have a mating receptivity every 30 to 40 days after releasing the estrus plug in their vagina.
Once she is in heat, the male chinchilla will automatically start sensing it and get excited when she is near him. At first, you may see the female making loud noises and spraying the male with her urine.
This is natural in females at the start of mating as they may show aggressiveness towards the male chinchilla. Your cage must be large enough for the male to pull himself back in case of unfavorable conditions and an angry female chinchilla.
The Mating Process
If you observe your chinchillas are ready to mate, you still need to supervise them in case of something goes out of hand. The male initiates the mating by mounting on the female and pulling her fur.
As he mounts the female, the female may get aggressive during the mating. The mating won’t take a long time and will happen totally in a natural way. You should keep monitoring for possible signs of a female turning and attacking the male chinchilla.
When the copulation is happening, the female excretes a waxy copulation plug of about one inch in size right on the vaginal wall. This is a confirmation that the copulation process is carried out properly and successfully.
In my opinion, you must also look for other signs of optimum mating, such as the development of hair rings in male chinchillas. The penile sheath gets retracted during the mating process and may catch hairs around it.
It is important to gently cut the hair ring with scissors and apply petroleum jelly on the penile sheath for comfort and lubrication.
Have Any Difficulty in Breeding? Consult a Vet
Sometimes, the mating process isn’t carried out the way we are supposed. There might be any health and behavioral issues that don’t let your chinchilla mate properly. In such cases, you may observe an unsuccessful mating attempt repeatedly.
Your chinchilla may have infertility problems that must be promptly checked by a veterinarian. Certain nutritional deficiencies and reproductive issues can lead to a failed mating and conception.
The veterinarian will perform a thorough clinical examination of your chinchilla and may also make use of other diagnostic techniques such as radiography. He then prescribes you the appropriate treatment plan to recover your chinchilla and have a fruitful mating again.
Breeding chinchillas is a technical task that needs proper care, monitoring, and analysis. With the right knowledge, you’ll be able to successfully mate and have a healthy set of beautiful kits. Not only mating but taking care of a pregnant chinchilla is also crucial in every aspect.
You should follow the mentioned steps designed and created by exotic animal veterinarians. It is good to get new chinchillas for new breeding lines to develop carrying more new lineages and less-lethal genes. With that being said, I wish you the best of luck in achieving your next successful chinchilla breeding.
How to know if my chinchillas have mated successfully?
The presence of a hair ring around the male genitalia and a waxy plug inside the female’s vagina is the indication that the mating between your chinchillas is a success.
How to tell if a female chinchilla is pregnant or not?
After successful mating, you have to wait for some time to know if your chinchilla is pregnant. Some visible indications are the nipple growth on the 85th day of pregnancy and kits movements inside the womb during the last few weeks.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.