Chinchillas are mammals.
As such, chinchilla reproduction is not too dissimilar to ours.
And it is very similar to other rodents.
But there are key differences.
Especially when compared to us humans.
If you own chinchillas, and especially if you plan on mating them, you’ll want to know how they reproduce.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chinchilla mating behavior, including what to expect and when to expect it.
- 1 Chinchilla Reproduction
- 1.1 How Long Does It Take For Chinchillas To Mate?
- 1.2 How Does A Chinchilla Reproduce?
- 1.3 How Do Chinchillas Attract A Mate?
- 1.4 How Do You Know When A Chinchilla Is Ready To Mate?
- 1.5 How Long Are Chinchillas Pregnant For?
- 1.6 How Often Do Chinchillas Give Birth?
- 1.7 How Often Do Female Chinchillas Go Into Heat?
- 1.8 Why Do Male Chinchillas Hump Each Other?
- 1.9 Do Female Chinchillas Hump Each Other?
- 2 Chinchilla Mating Behavior: Final Thoughts
If you are planning to breed chinchillas, you need to know all about chinchilla reproduction, including their heat cycles, mating behavior, and duration of pregnancy.
A female chinchilla becomes sexually mature around the age of 7 months. Male chinchillas can also be placed in a breeding program when they are about 7 or 8 months old. Chinchillas can be bred until they are 2 years old. This is the optimum age range for breeding.
The typical chinchilla gestation period (duration of pregnancy) is about 111 days. Surprisingly, a female chinchilla can conceive again within 72 hours after delivering her litter!
How Long Does It Take For Chinchillas To Mate?
To understand mating in chinchillas, you should first know how long the female’s estrus cycle lasts. A female chinchilla has an estrus of 28 days with 2 days of heat.
Thus, she is capable of mating every month, but the likelihood of mating is better during the late winter or early spring months. In the northern hemisphere, this is between the months of November and May. In the southern hemisphere, this is between May and November.
Chinchilla breeding tends to slow down in the summer and early fall. Although you keep your captive chinchillas in a climate-controlled environment, they may sense the change in light and temperature and follow the same breeding patterns.
Make sure to bond your pair of chinchillas properly. Ensure there is compatibility. Once a pair is bonded, it can still take the pair a few months, or even up to a year, to mate successfully. Some signs that mating has occurred include finding tufts of fur in the cage and sometimes a breeding plug.
How Does A Chinchilla Reproduce?
Chinchillas are mammals, and they reproduce after mating. The female chinchilla carries the embryos in her womb for a gestation period of around 4 months.
Breeding usually occurs in the cooler months. Chinchillas tend to mate up to three times a year, and a female chinchilla can produce two litters per year. Each litter can have 1 to 6 babies (called kits).
How Do Chinchillas Attract A Mate?
Once a female is in heat, the male chinchilla will try to attract her by wagging his tail and getting excited. He may also chase the female chinchilla around the cage.
Some female chinchillas tend to get aggressive prior to mating, so make sure you observe your pets to ensure they don’t hurt each other. Provide a large and spacious cage so your male chinchilla can retreat if the girl gets too aggressive.
The female may stand on her hind legs, vocalize, and even try to spray the male chinchilla with her urine. Mating often happens rather quickly and is a violent process. The male chinchilla may rip off the fur of the female’s body during mating.
How Do You Know When A Chinchilla Is Ready To Mate?
Chinchillas are usually ready to mate by the time they are 8 to 9 months old. At this age, they are sexually mature and fully developed.
Breeding chinchillas younger than 8 months can stress their bodies, especially the females. In fact, you might even want to wait until your female chinchilla is 12 months old to breed her.
Please ensure that your female chinchilla’s pelvic area is wide enough to give birth. The opening should be as big as your thumb. Female chinchillas with smaller pelvic openings tend to have difficulty birthing and may even die.
C-sections are complicated and dangerous. To check your girl, hold her by the tail and check underneath it. The little round depression is the bone of her pelvic region.
As stated earlier, a female chinchilla may need some time to ease into breeding. Ideally, she will come into season every 30 to 40 days. But before she can be mated, she needs to eject a plug known as the estrus plug into her vagina. Once she does so, the male will respond by becoming more excited.
How Long Are Chinchillas Pregnant For?
Female chinchillas have a gestation period of 110 days (or around 4 months). Your girl might not look very different than she did before she is due. She might sleep more on her side, eat less, and drink more water.
A pregnant chinchilla will have swollen pink teats by day 65. By day 85, her teats may become larger and redder. You might even see some movement of the babies in her belly.
How Often Do Chinchillas Give Birth?
Chinchillas can have two litters per year from the age of 8 to 12 months up to the age of two years. Each litter could have anywhere between 1 and 6 kits, that are born fully developed.
How Often Do Female Chinchillas Go Into Heat?
The female estrus cycle lasts for 28 days, and females go into heat every 25 to 35 days from the time they are 6 to 7 months old.
Why Do Male Chinchillas Hump Each Other?
When two male chinchillas mount each other and hump each other, it is not sexual behavior. Rather, it is a show of assertion or dominance.
You most commonly see this behavior after there is a new addition to the cage. One male chinchilla might mount the new male chinchilla to show others that he is in charge and the other is the submissive one.
Chinchillas usually hump each other when they believe resources (food, nesting areas, toys) are lacking. Therefore, they follow their instincts and do what they do to survive in the wild: defend their position.
Sometimes, two male chinchillas may also hump each other if there is a female in season and the dominant or alpha chinchilla wants to establish his seniority and prominent role in the enclosure.
In short: two male chinchillas will hump each other to establish a hierarchy so that there are no fights over resources and mates down the road.
Do Female Chinchillas Hump Each Other?
Yes, just as in males, female chinchillas also hump each other. Again, this is not a sexual act. Rather, it is a show of dominance. A dominant female chinchilla will hump the submissive chinchilla from time to time to reassert her authority.
Chinchilla Mating Behavior: Final Thoughts
Chinchilla reproduction is not overly complicated. But there are some key things you need to know, if you plan on mating your pet chinchillas. And even if you don’t, you should know the basics of chinchilla mating behavior.
You’ll also want to check out our other articles on breeding chinchillas and chinchilla pregnancy. You can find links to them above, and also in the menu of this website, under the ‘breeding’ section.