June 6, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Native to the mountainous areas of South America. Chinchillas are now widely known and kept as a pet. Many people prefer to handle and keep these cute animals but are still confused about many domains of chinchillas’ life.
One of them is reproduction and breeding, which is still yet to be explored. As a veterinarian, people bring their pregnant chinchillas for a general checkup and do have breeding questions.
If you are planning for breeding or have a pregnant chinchilla, you may want to know how many babies can chinchillas have per litter.
How Many Babies Can a Chinchilla have?
On average, chinchillas give birth to two to four baby kits per litter depending upon the reproduction capabilities of the mother. Additionally, chinchillas have a gestational length of 112 days and usually produce one to three baby litters per year.
Getting the proper information about chinchilla’s breeding and reproduction behavior is the first step if you want to begin breeding. This also helps you if you find your new chinchilla accidentally got pregnant. I will provide you with several useful and expert pieces of advice so you can follow during chinchilla’s pregnancy.
Maturity & Breeding Age in Chinchillas
The majority of the pet shops sell chinchillas as soon as they reach 6 weeks of age. This is quite wrong as the age of physical maturity in chinchillas is 8 months. However, I have also seen some reputed pet sellers that won’t allow chinchillas sales until they are 12 to 16 weeks old.
In my opinion, there is a much greater variation in the age of mature chinchillas. Although their maturity age is 8 months, breeding can occasionally occur at 8 to 12 weeks of age.
An 8-week-old female chinchilla can breed and become pregnant but will face issues related to pregnancy. You may find her struggling with gestation issues and there will be chances of kits’ loss due to premature birth.
Reproduction in Chinchillas
The reproduction and breeding patterns in chinchillas are quite straightforward. Chinchillas are prolific breeders.
They do need time to accustomed to their new partners before mating. That’s why most breeders prefer to imply introduction phases before the first mating attempt. This phase ensures the proper dynamics of both males and females to match so they can breed easily.
If the female remains docile and won’t show any dominance and aggression towards the male, they’re good to go. After they accept the presence of each other, the male starts grooming the female and attempting to mate.
Keep in mind that regular monitoring of the behavior is compulsory and must be done carefully. Many pairs of chinchillas cause significant injuries during mating or due to the aggressiveness of one of them towards the other.
After successful mating, there are very many chances of the female chinchilla getting pregnant. You must keep yourself ready during and at the end of her gestation period as the caring demands will significantly increase.
It is a noteworthy point that chinchillas can get pregnant again 72 hours after the previous delivery. You must remove the male chinchilla as soon as the female gives birth to avoid further pregnancies.
Lactation Importance for Baby Chinchillas
The kits usually stay and bond with the mother for nutritional support and survival until they are 8 to 12 weeks. Chinchillas are mammals and their initial primary feeding source is mother’s milk. Female chinchillas start producing milk at the end of gestation and contain all the essential nutrients for baby chinchillas.
To help kits live and grow well, it is of utmost importance that you should maintain a check on feeding behavior.
Sometimes, mothers refuse to feed their babies as a natural problem or any pathological agalactia. Breeding her at a young age before sexual maturity may lead to underdeveloped mammary glands acting as a contributing factor to compromised kits care.
Bedding requirements for Baby Chinchillas
Baby chinchillas once born, should be taken care of both by their mother and by you. Your beloved pet needs something comfortable to rest on for proper care and warmth. In terms of bedding, I recommend you to choose an inert and specifically made material to choose for the newly-born kits.
Experts recommend adding a layer of bedding that aids in regulating the temperature of baby chinchillas.
Some of the available beddings are poisonous and cause more harm than good. The wood shavings and furniture we commonly used as bedding materials contain certain substances that possess health risks to kits.
Feeding Requirements for Baby Chinchillas
Baby chinchillas need special care and technique if you want to start feeding them solid food. Using an upright platform is always ideal for feeding chinchillas.
However, you must take care of the quality of feed provided. Always try to hold the chinchillas up to prevent the risk of choking in these little social cuties.
Apart from taking nutrition from mother’s milk, you must set a routine of feeding them every three to four hours.
My advice is to maintain this schedule for the first two weeks and then feed them once for the remaining four weeks. In this way, you will effectively enable them to get the right nutrition for their growing bodies.
Being very delicate animals, chinchillas should be bred with care and ample breeding knowledge. They are not just bred by anyone and require proper environment and bedding. Make sure you have a backup enclosure for the newly born kits so they can be moved without hassle after weaning.
Showing negligence during reproduction, mating, and caring for kits may prove detrimental to the health of the mother and young ones. With that being said, I wish you the best of luck in taking a step ahead to bring new cute little guests into your home with sound knowledge and practice.
Is it normal for my chinchilla to give birth to four baby chinchillas?
Yes, chinchillas have an ideal litter size of two to four kits in a single gestation. With proper guidance, you can take care of them for their healthy well-being.
Does my chinchilla need nesting material?
It is always ideal to provide proper nesting space for your chinchillas. I recommend getting Kiln-dried pine wood for housing or a blend of non-toxic and inert materials to provide more comfort.
What is the ideal age for breeding my female chinchilla?
You must consider the age of sexual maturity as a landmark for breeding your chinchilla. The age when there are maximum chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy is from 8 months to 1 year.
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.