If you’re interested in taking on the complicated task of breeding chinchillas, there is a lot of information you need to know, like the fact that chinchillas are typically pregnant for 111 days, just under 4 months. Breeding, pregnancy, labor, and kid rearing are all risky business for chinchillas, and without an educated breeder, the risks are significantly increased. Without proper knowledge of the breeding and pregnancy periods, you may unintentionally be putting your chinchillas in a dangerous position that can lead to illness, injury, or even death.
Here’s what you should know about how long you can expect your chinchilla to be pregnant, as well as some other important considerations.
How Long Are Chinchillas Pregnant?
The typical gestation period for a chinchilla is 111 days, or just shy of 4 months. It’s necessary for you to know what to expect when it comes to the gestation of chinchillas. You’ll need to be able to quickly identify if your chinchilla is experiencing early labor symptoms, and you will also need to be able to know if your chinchilla has passed her due date and may require veterinary intervention.
Why Do Some Chinchillas Pass Their Due Date?
Just like in people, some chinchillas may pass their due date. It’s not common for chinchillas to go much beyond the expected 111 days, though. If your chinchilla passes her due date, then there are a couple of likely possibilities.
There is a chance that your chinchilla isn’t pregnant. If she has shown no nesting signs and no weight gain, then she may not have had a successful mating. An exotic vet should be able to help you determine if your chinchilla is pregnant after she has been pregnant for a few weeks. The good news is that you are more likely to experience an unexpected litter if your female has been exposed to a male, rather than having a false pregnancy.
There is also a possibility that your chinchilla is experiencing dystocia, or difficult labor. This isn’t common in chinchillas, but it can be extremely dangerous. Some females may not have a wide enough pelvis to pass their kits safely and properly, leading to an inability to birth one or all of the kits. This often results in a c-section to get the kits out with the least risk to the female’s life.
Dystocia is often easy to notice, though, because your female will likely show extreme discomfort, including grunting, writhing, frequent repositioning, and lack of appetite. If your chinchilla has been showing signs of labor for more than about 30 minutes, then she may be experiencing dystocia and a call to the vet is warranted.
How Many Kits Do Chinchillas Have?
The length of gestation doesn’t impact the number of kits a chinchilla may have, although early labor does increase the risk of fetal death for all or some of the kits. Most chinchillas will have twins with their litters, but they can have up to four kits per litter.
Female chinchillas can get pregnant within hours of giving birth, but the breeding, labor, and kit raising process is extremely dangerous, draining, and stressful. It’s necessary for the health and well-being of your female chinchilla to ensure she has a long recovery period between pregnancies, which will require you keeping her away from adult males and separating out her male kits by 3–4 months of age.
Featured Image Credit: benjamingross83, Pixabay