Breeding Your Chinchilla
As you look at your chinchilla, you may feel the world needs more chinchillas just as beautiful and amiable as yours. In other words, you may be thinking about breeding your pet.
Make this decision carefully and only after a lot of research and talking with experienced breeders. Breeding chinchillas is not as simple as it sounds. To safeguard the health of your pet and his or her offspring, you need to be able to handle any situation you encounter. Some questions to answer include:
- Do you have the time to dedicate to breeding? The time you will need to spend with your new babies will increase dramatically.
- Will you be able to afford the costs involved if a veterinarian is necessary?
- Is an exotic veterinarian available?
- If you can't find new homes for the new babies, are you willing to keep them? This means more cages, more feeding, and more cleaning. Remember you started with one chinchilla, then you acquired a second one and now you may have a total of four – or even more.
Chinchillas can breed all year long, but deliver their young most frequently between November and May. They reach sexual maturity at around 8 months of age.
For breeding purposes, chinchillas may be housed as pairs or in polygamous units. Breeders set up the cages so that females have separate cages and males can run freely between the cages in a common runway; they can go into an open door to a female at will. Since the female can becomes very aggressive during breeding season, she wears a collar that prevents her from exiting the cage. This way, the male can escape without being injured. Other concerns when breeding chinchillas is the size of the prospective parents and color.
Gestation is about 111 days and the female usually gives birth to two young. Birthing usually occurs during the morning, and problems rarely occur. Chinchillas eat the placenta of their young. The young are born with open eyes and ears, are fully furred and have teeth. The young will begin eating solid foods by two weeks of age.
If you decided in favor of breeding your pet, be a responsible breeder and give them the best care. They are counting on you.