Do you have a female chinchilla?
Then it only makes sense to wonder if chinchillas have periods.
I have a female myself and had this exact same question.
And if you have multiple chinchillas sharing a cage, or you plan on breeding chinchillas, the answer becomes even more important.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chinchillas and periods.
- 1 Do Chinchillas Have Periods?
- 2 Chinchillas And Periods: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas Have Periods?
I have been raising my female chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you.
No, chinchillas do not have periods. Chinchillas do go into heat when they are more likely to mate and have the capabilities of reproducing.
This is known as the oestrus cycle and lasts 28 days but a female chinchilla will only be in heat for 2 days.
I know, trust me.
When I adopted my 1-year old chinchilla, I got home and realized that was a question I completely forgot to ask. With the rest of this article, I hope to spare you having to do the same research I did.
Female Chinchillas In Heat
Alright, like I said before: breathe easy. Your chinchilla will not bleed or have a typical period that may come to mind.
Chinchillas are unique in the sense that they can breed any time of the year, but they are more prone to breed during certain months and seasons. Typically, they breed from November until March.
Female chinchillas also have the unique abilities to throw you for a loop when it comes to being in heat.
They don’t display any physical or behavior signals that they are in heat which can easily throw you off.
But there are a few signs. When a chinchilla enters heat, you will typically notice her acting more cranky than usual or she may be easily agitated during this phase.
However, since many chinchillas are timid a majority of the time, this can be tough to notice, as mentioned previously. Especially if you are a breeder or looking into becoming one.
You Won’t Recognize Chinchillas Are In Heat Most Of The Time
Let me re-emphasize where I was at in this post a moment ago. It’s going to be very difficult for you to recognize your chinchilla is in heat.
Most chinchilla owners, including myself, state that the only behavior change they notice is increased energy or a chinchilla that is slightly more irritated than usual.
Your chinchilla will not display any other physical signs during this time. If you have two chinchillas, it’s much easier to recognize this behavior.
Most of the time, if your chinchilla is in heat, it will enjoy a nice game of “cat and mouse” with the other chinchilla.
Female chinchillas like to play hard to get when they are in heat and allow the male chinchilla to chase them around endlessly.
These darn chinchillas are much more human-like than we like to admit!
Probably one of the reasons I think they are such fantastic and unique pets to own and care for.
If you don’t have two chinchillas, you will have to plan on looking for visual signs that your female has more energy.
However, the chase game is usually a sure-fire way to know that some baby chinchillas may be in your immediate future.
Male Chinchillas Will Discharge A Waxy Substance During Breeding
Another easy indicator to know if your chinchilla is in heat is to look for a waxy substance inside of the cage.
This will be discharged by the male chinchilla and helps him keep semen inside the female chinchilla.
Simply noticing some of this waxy substance inside of the cage is a definitive answer for you and a quick way for you to realize if your chinchilla is in heat or not.
Some of the observation methods mentioned above are going to be your number 1 indicator to recognize if you have a female chinchilla that’s in heat or not.
You can also try and watch for your male and female chinchilla having intercourse.
If this is taking place, your female chinchilla is 100% in heat, and the potential for some chinchilla off-spring is right around the corner for you.
This leads us into the next important part of this post, which will cover what you can expect after this has taken place and your female chinchilla is pregnant.
How Many Babies Do Chinchillas Have?
If your female chinchilla is at least 8 months old, she is capable of becoming pregnant and is now considered sexually active.
The most likely mating season for your chinchillas depends on where you are located.
In most circumstances, the mating season for a chinchilla is between November and May of each year.
Male chinchillas will attempt to perform intercourse over different periods, which can either result in a receptive female chinchilla, or the female chinchilla may show some aggression if she is not in heat or ready to mate.
Once your chinchilla is pregnant, you have a long gestation period ahead of you. Chinchillas have a gestation period of 110 days.
When this gestation period is over, the baby chinchillas are born 1 at a time and usually only a few minutes apart.
Chinchillas generally have two babies for each pregnancy. However, it is possible that they give birth to up to 6 babies during one pregnancy.
This is more rare than typical. Two baby chinchillas are by far the most common.
What To Expect When The Baby Chinchillas Arrive
At this point, we are already aware that your chinchilla is going to have 2 to 6 babies with the most likely scenario being two.
When the baby chinchillas are born, they will weigh roughly 2 ounces each and are fully active right after birth.
Something to keep in mind during this phase of the life cycle is to ensure you separate the mother chinchilla and have her isolated in her own adequate size cage with just her babies.
You can see my post about the best chinchilla cages here for further information. You don’t want or need the male chinchilla present during this time.
The female chinchilla is going to be protective of her new offspring and she is the primary caregiver. She helps the babies stay warm.
She also supplies the babies with milk and protects them until they can handle themselves, which takes about a week.
After this one week has passed, your baby chinchillas will be able to consume regular hard food and won’t be so dependent on the mother for protection and milk.
Although the need for protection and the dependency decrease considerably after the 7-day mark, you should still expect your baby chinchillas to depend on their mother for up to 8 weeks, until they are fully ready to fend for themselves.
Chinchillas And Periods: Final Thoughts
As mentioned throughout this post, a chinchilla does technically have a heat cycle, but it is short-lived and hard to notice a majority of the time.
If you currently only own one chinchilla or house your chinchillas in separate cages, this isn’t nearly as much of a concern for you.
However, if you do have a male and female chinchilla together, it’s very likely your female chinchilla will become pregnant sooner or later.
The tips laid out in this post should help you be prepared and understand what’s to come.
Breeding chinchillas can be fantastic, if you know what to expect and can do so in an ethical manner.
I’d love to hear all your feedback on this topic as well.
Do you have a female chinchilla currently in heat or pregnant?
Do you use any methods or techniques to quickly identify if a female chinchilla is in heat or not?
Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.
As always, “Chili” and I appreciate you stopping by, and we will see you next time.