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Cheeky Chinchillas - Breeding Chinchillas
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Breeding chinchillas is a great responsibility and must not be taken on lightly.                                       You   may   already   have   a   chinchilla   and   think   it   would   be   lovely   to   get   him/her   a   mate.      Consider   all   the   facts very   carefully   before   you   go   ahead.   It   is   always   wise   to   read   as   much   as   you   can   and   from   as   many   different sources as you can. I am not a breeder and the information below is basic. Please scroll down the page to see photographs of a chinchilla kit from 1 hour old to 100 days old The   parentage   of   the   breeding   pair   is   very   important.   Do   you   know   sufficient   about   them?      Have   they   had   any health   problems   i.e.   with   their   teeth?      Some   problems   are   passed   on   genetically. The   last   thing   you   want   to   do is   breed   from   a   pair   where   one   or   both   of   them   have   had   any   health   issues.   These   could   be   inherited   by   the kits   and   so   would   just   increase   problems   in   the   future.   Sometimes   health   problems   don't   show   until   they   are older, by which time you may have bred more kits. It can be come a vicious circle, so really think about it.                                                                             It can also be very expensive if you need vetinary care. Do   you   have   plenty   of   room?   More   chinchillas,   means   more   cages.      Even   if   you   intend   selling   the   kits,   you   will still need extra cages when it is time to separate the babies out, until they are sold. If   you   intend   just   having   one   litter,   have   you   thought   enough   about   what   will   happen   afterwards?      If   you   leave the   pair   together,   they   will   most   likely   produce   more   litters.   Two   litters   a   year   is   more   than   enough   for   one female.   So   what   do   you   do?   Do   you   separate   them?   Is   this   fair   to   them?      Should   you   think   about   having   dad neutered? These are important questions to ask yourself, before you even think about breeding chinchillas. Unless   you   have   bought   a   pair   of   chinchillas   already   living   together,   it   is   necessary   to   introduce   them gradually. A   female   should   not   be   mated   before   the   age   of   10 +    months.   Even   then,   she   will   only   breed   if   she   feels secure   in   her   surroundings.   Just   before   she   is   ready   to   breed,   you   may   notice   the   male   acting   a   little   more aggressively,   making   sounds   and   wagging   his   tail.   After   an   attempt   at   mating   has   taken   place   the   male   will make   a   loud   hiccupping   noise   and   he   will   eject   a   waxy   substance   into   the   female   to   hold   the   semen   in   place. Finding   this   wax-like   plug,   is   a   sign   that   an   attempt   at   mating   has   taken   place   but   does   not   necessarily   mean that the female is pregnant. The   gestation   period   for   a   chinchilla   is   111   days.   The   female   does   not   usually   look   very   different   until   a   few weeks   before   the   babies   are   due.   She   will   probably   sleep   more   on   her   side,   eat   less   and   drink   more. Chinchillas   have   six   teats   ...   by   about   65   days   the   teats   will   be   pink   and   enlarged   -   after   about   85   days   or   so, you   will   notice   the   nipples   getting   longer   and   redder.   They   will   eventually   be   almost   as   long   as   her   fur.   You may also see the kits move. During   the   last   few   weeks   it   is   best   not   to   handle   her   unless   really   necessary   and   do   not   allow   her   to   bathe   for about   a   week   either   side   of   the   birth.   This   is   to   stop   her   getting   any   infection   and   also   to   stop   sand   clinging   to her   teats   etc   and   causing   problems   for   the   babies.   The   kits   (babies)   are   usually   born   in   the   early   hours   of   the morning.   She   will   give   birth   on   her   own,   clean   the   baby/babies,   clean   herself   and   eat   the   afterbirth.   Keep   her in   a   warm   and   quiet   environment.   You   probably   won't   see   the   birth   but   should   you   suspect   that   she   is   having problems, take her straight to the vets. The litters are small, usually one or two babies, although they can have more.  The kits (babies) are born with teeth and are fully furred. Before   the   babies   are   born,   make   sure   the   cage   is   ‘baby   safe’.   It’s   a   good   idea   to   put   something   down   on   the floor   if   you   have   a   wire   bottom   cage.   Some   breeders   use   newspaper   or   fleece   liners   (these   also   provides   a nice   soft   resting   area).   This   prevents   the   kits   from   getting   their   legs   stuck   in   the   holes. Also,   make   sure   there are   no   parts   in   the   cage   that   would   be   dangerous   for   the   kits   -   it's   a   amazing   how   soon   they   are   moving   and climbing around. It   is   safe   to   keep   both   parents   with   the   new   born   kits,   BUT    it   is   possible   for   the   female   to   become   pregnant soon   after   giving   birth,   so   you   should   remove   the   male   before   the   birth   to   prevent   a   'breed   back'.      Having another litter so soon after is not fair on the female as it is very tiring for her. If   you   are   not   a   breeder,   serious   consideration   should   be   given   as   to   whether   you   should   put   them   back together. Placing mum and dad back together again, will most likely produce more kits. The   kits   will   be   moving   about   within   a   few   hours   and   the   doe   will   have   no   objection   to   the   new   born   babies being   held,   gently   of   course.   The   kits   can   weigh   between   25   -   60   grams   and   should   gain   about   2-4   grams   a day   approx.   It   is   a   good   idea   to   weigh   the   kits   to   make   sure   they   are   gaining   weight.   Sometimes   the   mother cannot produce enough milk for one reason or another and you may need to supplement. Weaning   begins   at   about   8   weeks,   but   the   kits   can   stay   with   mum   until   they   are   10   weeks   old. After   this   time, they   can   be   placed   in   a   separate   cage,   where   they   should   be   monitored   to   make   sure   that   they   are   eating   and drinking ok on their own. They should not be sold until they are at least 12 - 14 weeks old. Neutering You may decide to have your male chinchilla neutered. This is a responsible thing to do, to prevent unwanted kits, but something you must decide for yourself. If you decide to neuter your male, he must be kept away from the female for about 6 weeks afterwards.                                      Pictures of a Chinchilla Kit:  1 hour old to 100 days old

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