Foxaway Rabbits Home Chinchilla Home About Chinchillas History of My Chinchillas My Chinchillas
Velvet Lions Home Chinchilla Nursery Chinchillas For Sale Cages, Supplies, & Services General Information
Recommended Resources Food Handling Housing Grooming
Maintenance Health Behavior Links e-mail me

I'm just starting to breed chinchillas so this is very general. It will be expanded as I gain more experience.

Chinchillas are able to breed at about 4 months of age but you should wait until they are older to start breeding them. It's not as important for the male to be full grown but females should be at least 10 months old before being breed. It's really better to wait until they are 12 months just to make sure they are full grown. A female that is too young and not yet full grown can have difficulty delivering her kits and the pregnancy also can stunt her growth. Let her get her full size before putting her through a pregnancy. Another thing to consider before breeding your female chin is the size of her pelvic opening. Please don't breed a female chin who's pelvic opening is not bigger than your thumb. If the pelvic opening is too small she could have a very hard time delivering her kits, which could lead the the death of the kits and/or even her own death.
Male and female chinchillas can live in happy bonded pairs, which is a very common way of breeding chins. I currently have 2 bonded pairs that live together all of the time. The female goes into heat every 28-35 days but many chins seem to be able to regulate their heat cycles and often miss heats. If you're lucky you will see the pair breed and be able to count 111 days, close to 4 months (the length of a chinchilla gestation), to see when the litter is due. However; it is fairly rare to actually witness the mating. There are some signs to show that a chin is indeed pregnant but they vary from chin to chin. An increased appetite and weight gain is one way to tell. My 1st pregnant chin gained close to 200 grams with her 1st litter but they can gain anywhere from 80-200 or so grams. Young mothers often have smaller litters as well as 1st time litters often being smaller. Chins produce between 1-6 babies, but 2-3 is average. Pregnant chins often show changes in behavior and temperment. My Butternut got more affectionate but also became more greedy about her food and would often chase her mate away from the food. If he refused to move she'd stand up tall on her hind legs and spray him with urine! She started barking more, too. She tends to be fairly vocal but nothing like her last couple months of gestation! During the last half to last quarter of gestation the mother's nipples will start protruding. They are usually very hard to find but become elongated during the end of the pregnancy. I've seen it written that this can happen anywhere from 60-90 days. Butternut's 1st became obvious at 79 days. Pregnant chins will often lie on their sides during the last weeks before delivery but this is not a sure sign one way or the other of your chin being pregnant since some chins just like to sleep on their sides normally. Butternut only slept on her side for 1 day before delivering her 1st kits.
Dad can stay with mom during pregnancy, for the delivery, and while she raises her litter. He will actually help with the babies while mom is delivering. This is really nice when there is more than one kit since the 1st baby is often left to wander the cage while still wet if mom is having more than one kit. Dad will help dry the baby and keep it warm while mom is occupied. The mom can go into heat again as soon as babies arrive. There seems to be mixed opinions as to what to do with dad at this point. Some breeders say to remove dad for the 1st 3 days to 2 weeks after the litter arrives to prevent a breed-back (mom getting pregnant right away again). Others say it's better to leave dad with his family because this is less stressful for everyone than the risk of a breed-back, which can be very draining on mom. I personally decided to try leaving dad with his family. He has been a wonderful dad and has mostly not been trying to breed with mom. She avoids his advances when he tries, though. I did separate them for the 1st night to give mom some rest since he was being a bit of a pill that 1st evening. I put him back the next day and they have been doing very well. It's really fun to see the whole family unit living together! If mom does however; happen to get pregnant again I will need to take dad out after the next litter arrives to ensure mom gets a well deserved rest.

Chinchilla Home Foxaway Rabbits Home