You may have noticed that your breeder will not sell any chinchillas below a certain age.
At least not if they are a reputable breeder.
That’s because baby chinchillas need to spend a certain amount of time with their mothers.
During this time, they learn from their mom and mimic her behaviors.
This is important for their development.
So how long do baby chinchillas stay with their mother, before they are ready to be on their own?
Keep reading to find out. We will cover everything you need to know about this topic.
How Long Do Baby Chinchillas Stay With Their Mother?
Baby chinchillas usually stay with their mothers until they are eight to twelve weeks old. It depends on several factors, like their gender and the breeder.
Baby chinchillas are known as kits. Breeders often leave them with their mother until they reach the age of eight to twelve weeks.
It is common for a male kit to be separated from its mother after eight weeks, while females stay with their mothers for up to twelve weeks, as long as they are still getting along with their mother.
At the time of birth, a chinchilla can weigh anything from 25 to 80 grams. It is born with a full coat of hair and is able to open its eyes straight after birth.
It’s important not to separate a kit and its mother too early, because this early period is when a baby chinchilla learns behavioral and socialization skills.
It will pick up on its mother’s ways and copy what she does. That teaches the baby how to be on its own when it is ready to be picked up by new owners.
After a baby chinchilla reaches the six to eight-week mark, it is known as a weanling. This is when the chinchilla will be separated from its mother and put into a separate cage.
It will usually be alone in its new cage, or with other weanlings of the same sex.
This is an important step for a chinchilla. It means they will have to learn to do things on their own. This can become a stressful time for them.
Sometimes it is even a hyper time. Young chinchillas have a lot of energy to burn off.
A chinchilla is commonly considered an adult when it reaches one year old. When they reach this age, they should be able to function on their own without any problems and be less energetic than a weanling. Females can even be ready for breeding.
Do Chinchillas Take Care Of Their Babies?
Chinchilla mothers are well known for taking good care of their young. A mother will make sure her newborns stay warm by keeping them under her fur. She will also clean and dry them.
Mothers are very defensive over their kits, so never try to come in between a mother and her babies. If a mother senses danger from you, she may start spitting at you. Or at whomever or whatever she considers a threat.
At What Age Can A Chinchilla Get Pregnant?
Chinchillas reach maturity quite quickly and can become pregnant as young as four months old. However, most breeders do not recommend breeding a female chinchilla until she reaches at least a year old.
Pregnancy can really take its toll on female chinchillas, so it’s important to not only make sure that they are physically ready to reproduce, but also mentally.
They will also require a great deal of time after birth to fully recover. If they are younger, this could take longer.
How Long Are Chinchillas Pregnant?
On average, gestation for a chinchilla will last around 112 days. A chinchilla will usually have around 4 kits per litter and can even have up to three litters per year.
During pregnancy, handle the female chinchilla carefully. She may start to become lethargic, aggressive and even lose her appetite.
You can help a female during her pregnancy by building a nesting box. A nesting box can help to prevent deaths in her litter. Drafts or cold stress can cause baby chinchillas to die and a nesting box helps keep the babies warm to prevent these types of deaths.
How Long Baby Chinchillas Stay With Their Mom: Final Thoughts
Baby chinchillas need to stay with their mothers for the first 8 to 12 weeks of their lives. They need this time with mom to learn from her.
Once they are old enough to be out on their own, breeders can sell them to prospective chinchilla owners. From that point on, the new chinchilla will have to learn new things on its own. It will no longer have its mother to learn from.