If the first chinchilla you adopted is a female chinchilla like me, you likely have some questions about what the future may hold. Especially if you plan to breed or have multiple chinchillas sharing a cage that has bonded. A question I saw the other day was concerning the female mating behaviors. Do chinchillas have periods? I currently own a female chinchilla and have done a lot of research on this topic, and here is what I can tell you.
So, do chinchillas have periods? No, chinchillas do not have periods. Chinchillas do go into heat when they are more likely to mate and have the capabilities of reproducing. Female chinchillas become more energetic when they are in heat, but they do not have periods or show many other visual indicators.
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 so hastily jumped on google and began searching these terms just like you did just a moment ago.
I was relieved, to say the least, and for whatever reason, I also got very excited about my future with my chinchilla. Chinchillas are just pure joy and wonderful pet to own. I plan to adopt another chinchilla in the next few months and have already begun the planning phases.
Anyways, enough about me. It’s time for me to help you out. If you have about 2-3 minutes, I’m going to do a quick brain dump of everything I know about the female chinchilla, how they reproduce and what you can expect from your female chinchilla going forward.
Don’t worry. It’s all relatively good news and something to be relieved about. Let’s dive into those details and get you on your way.
Overview of Chinchilla Breeding Behaviors
Alright, like I said before. Breathe easy. Your chinchilla will not bleed or have a typical period. Chinchillas are unique in the sense that they can breed any time of the year.
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 some.
Especially if you are a breeder or looking into becoming one.
Female Chinchillas Are Stealthy, and You Won’t Recognize They Are in Heat
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. No other physical signs will be present or displayed by your chinchilla during this time.
If you have two chinchillas, it’s much easier to recognize this behavior in a fast fashion. Most of the time, if your chinchilla is in heat, they 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 the male chinchilla keep semen inside of the female chinchilla.
Simply noticing some of this waxy substance inside of the cage is a definitive answer for you and quick way for you to realize if your chinchilla is in heat or not.
Do Chinchillas Go into Heat?
Yes, chinchillas go into heat. Using some of the previously mentioned observation methods is 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, you have a female chinchilla that’s capable of becoming pregnant and is now considered “sexually active.” Depending on where you are located, will determine when the most likely mating season for your chinchillas.
In most circumstances, the mating season for a chinchilla is going to be 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 in fact, pregnant, you have a long gestation period ahead of you. Chinchilla’s have a gestation period of 110 days. When this gestation period is over, the baby chinchillas will be born 1 at a time and usually only a few minutes apart.
Chinchillas have 2 baby chinchillas for each pregnancy most of the time. However, it is possible that your chinchilla gives birth to up to 6 baby chinchillas during one pregnancy. This is more rare than typical, and two baby chinchillas are what most chinchilla breeders will advise you is common.
What to Expect When the Baby Chinchillas Arrive
At this point, we are already aware that your chinchilla is going to have 2-6 baby chinchillas with the most likely scenario being 2 baby chinchillas. When the baby chinchillas are born, they will weigh roughly 2 ounces each and are fully active 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 don’t want or need the male chinchilla present during this time.
The female chinchilla is going to be protective like most animals are of her new offspring and is the primary caregiver to help the baby chinchillas remain warm, supply the baby chinchillas with milk and protect them until they can handle themselves which takes about 7 days or one week.
After this one week has passed, your baby chinchillas will now be able to consume regular hard food and won’t be so dependent on the mother chinchilla for protection and milk.
Although the protection and dependency have decreased after the 7-day mark, you should still expect your baby chinchilla depend on their mother for up to 8 weeks until they are fully ready to fin for themselves.
Final Word, Female Chinchillas Do Go into Heat, and You Need to Be Prepared
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 as other potentially reading this post. However, if you do have a male and female chinchilla together, it’s very likely your female chinchilla will be pregnant sooner or later.
Using the tips laid out in this post should help you to remain prepared and understand what’s to come. Breeding chinchillas can be a fantastic way to go about things 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, me and “Chili” appreciate you stopping by, and we will see you next time.