- General description of chinchillas
- Breeding Chinchillas
- Chinchilla colors
Many people breed chinchillas as a pet, while others breed them en masse, when crossing, they get either the color of one of the main breeds or a unique color. This article provides information on the appearance of chinchillas, the main breeds and rules for breeding rodents.
General description of chinchillas
In chinchillas, only two species stand out: small long-tailed and large, they differ from each other in the size of body parts. Long-tailed chinchillas are the most common species, so the further external description will relate to it. The historical range of their habitat is the Andes.
- Due to prolonged living in harsh climates, they got thick and warm fur. Its density is more than 25,000 hairs per square centimeter.
- These herbivores have a small, round head. In length, individuals are up to 37 cm, with a tail length of up to 18 cm, it has outer hair.
- Rounded ears up to 5 cm, vibrissa (mustache) up to 10 cm.
- Vision in chinchillas is monocular and weak.
- The skeleton is able to decrease in the vertical plane, which allows rodents to crawl into small cracks.
- There are 4 toes on the hind legs, and five on the forepaws. Black eyes with vertically arranged pupils help them lead a nocturnal lifestyle. A well-developed cerebellum helps them perfectly coordinate their movements.
- There are 20 teeth, including 4 incisors and 16 molars. The gums are well developed; molars are firmly and deeply fixed in them. Just born animals have 8 root and 4 incisors, respectively. The incisors protrude strongly and invariably grow, are covered with reddish-yellow enamel and are narrowish. Their back side is completely devoid of enamel, there is dentin.
Typical gray chinchilla
Rodent incisors have the function of biting off food particles. Indigenous, as in humans, it is customary to divide into molars and premolars. Their sizes can reach 12 mm. The first are large teeth, and they are located on the back of the jaw. Perform the function of mechanical processing of food, grinding. There is also a special gap between incisors and premolars – a diastema. Chinchillas have only one set of teeth for life.
AT our publication You will find out where to put the chinchilla, how to choose and equip a cage for it, clean it up behind the animal, some interesting recommendations on how to feed the chinchilla (dry food, greens, etc.).
Chinchillas have sexual dimorphism, so you are unlikely to confuse adults. On average, males weigh from 350 to 600 g, and females from 370 to 800 g. From four months of age, males begin to show secondary sexual characteristics, and from seven months the genitals are clearly visible. It is also possible to distinguish between a female and a male in relation to the owner. Males are more affectionate and tame.
Chinchillas are bred in artificial habitats because of their valuable fur. In the second month of pregnancy, the female’s abdomen noticeably increases in size, and the weight gain by this point is usually already 300-400 g. Newborns weigh 40-75 g. The next day after birth, sex is determined.
The number of chinchillas in the litter depends on the age of the female, young usually bring 1-2, while adults 5-6. Pregnancy lasts up to four months. In the absence of milk from the mother, chinchillas are watered once a week every 3 hours with a mixture to feed the kittens. The period of feeding lasts up to 60 days, but usually the mother and the cubs will be separated after the first month. The young generation is kept in separate cells, previously divided by gender. Young growth grows quite quickly and already with a weight of 200 g it can be planted from mother.
The week before delivery, the female is placed in a separate cage. You can determine the approach of childbirth by low activity and refusal of food. A day after the birth, the male will be able to fertilize the female again, but this should not be allowed. In the postpartum period, she needs rest and an increased amount of vitamins.
AT our publication You will learn what the early signs of pregnancy are in chinchilla, the rules for feeding females during this period, how to prepare the cage for the birth of babies and help the chinchilla herself during childbirth.
The color of an ordinary individual is gray-blue with white spots in the abdomen. Moreover, the long-tailed representatives of this family are naturally saturated in color and the length of the colored part may vary. The main colors of chinchilla fur are only 9, and as a result of selection, this number grows to 150 different new shades. The usual gray color can vary from a darkish to light shade. Naturally, crossing gray individuals among themselves will not give you a new, unique shade, but this hybrid is no less important and valuable than the rest. Ordinary grayish chinchillas can bring to a new level the properties of the fur and body dimensions of other individuals. Good breeders have about 10% of them.
Plain Gray Chinchilla
Hair color black (dark) velvet was bred back in the sixties of the last century. The main color of these animals is black. In addition, there are distinguishable lines on the paws. The darker the color of the fur, the better it is.
Chinchilla color "black velvet" "
Also, when selecting for the selection of an animal of this subspecies, special attention should be paid to the shape of the muzzle and ears. For the first, it is better to choose a semicircular shape, for the second – small, round. This does not affect the quality of the fur, but will add the aesthetic beauty of this individual and its breeding offspring.
Wilson’s white (Wilson’s snow-white) was originally a coffee-cream color, but over time it acquired various colors from snow-white to silver. Yellowness reduces the demand for products made from this fur.
Color white velvet obtained by crossing a pair of representatives of the above colors. This type of dull spots on the head, white back.
White Velvet Chinchilla
Beige color saw the world thanks to an accidental mutation. A skilled breeder was able not only to save the resulting individual, but also to distribute it among chinchilla lovers. A distinctive feature for them is the ears of a coral color and reddish irises.
For homosexual color only beige genes are characteristic. From hetero-beige they stand out with a very brilliant color of the back with a light coral shade, with cream-purple ears and pale purple eyes. Both subspecies have a white abdomen.
Color brown (brown) velvet seems to be a hybrid product of beige and black velvet. The presence of a pair of dominant genes belonging to parents is characteristic. The color of eyes and ears is from a beige representative, the line of paws is black. The shade of fur varies from woody to chocolate.
Brown Velvet Chinchilla
White and Pink Chinchillas also have two dominant characters and a lethal allele, that is, a recessive deadly gene. Kohler is pinkish or smoky. Eye color from light coral to brick. They are likely to have brown spots, which is very much appreciated.
Adult pink and white female
Velvet White Pink – quite valuable and unique color. The color of the back is white, on the legs there are brown stripes, purple ears, burgundy eyes.
White-pink velvet male
Video – Chinchilla Color Examples
Nuances of crossing chinchillas of the main breeds
In this section, we describe the features of chinchillas crossing. It must be remembered that kinship between chinchillas should be avoided, as this will lead to degeneration of the breed. The results of most known crosses are presented in the table.
The results of crossing chinchillas of different colors
When breeding gray chinchillas, they are used to improve the physical parameters of other individuals: fur density, body weight. Breeders are recommended to contain 7-10% of the entire population of high-quality representatives of this species.
Chinchilla Black Velvet Breakfast
It is worth giving up hybridization of a pair of velvet gene chinchillas, since it is not necessary to cross two representatives of the color black velvet, because there is a high probability of the absence of offspring or its non-viability. Hybridization with Wilson’s snow-white gives a shade of snow-white velvet, with hetero-beige – coffee velvet, with purple in 2 steps – purple velvet, with sapphire, also 2 steps – sapphire velvet.
From Wilson’s snow-white chinchillas with a similar probability receive snow-white, silver, mosaic chinchillas. Representatives of this species, like dark velvet, have a deadly gene, therefore it is not recommended to cross two individuals of the same species. Snow-white velvet is not suitable for further selection because it inherited 2 lethal genes from parents. The best choice for crossbreeding would be a homo- or hetero-beige chinchilla.
Individuals of beige color are successful for selection. They give offspring with 2 dominant genes. Hybridization with black velvet gives brown velvet, and with snow-white Wilson – pink and white. Beige chinchillas can be crossed with any other. Moreover, it is possible to get a chocolate or smoky color, crossing them with representatives endowed with the ebony gene. One of the manifestations of this gene is a stained abdomen. The degree of color of the abdomen is proportional to the degree of dominance of this gene, so that the less colored the abdomen, the weaker the gene in this individual. It also gives shine to the coat. It is better to combine individuals with the ebony gene with carriers of the same gene to preserve the quality of the fur in the offspring (the ebony gene tends to reduce its influence when crossed).
Homo-beige individuals are obtained by crossing two homo-beige, two hetero-beige, or hetero-and homo-beige. This color is very much appreciated by breeders, because it makes it possible to avoid the appearance of ordinary gray cubs. Hybridization of homosexual individuals with ordinary ones results in hetero-beige ones, with black velvet – brown velvet or hetero-beige, with hetero-beige – homo-or hetero-beige.
When hybridized with individuals with an ebony gene, brown velvet makes it possible to obtain velvet pastels. It is noticeable in the color of the fur of the cubs in the form of a coffee or smoky shade with a painted belly. As a result of crossing these subspecies, a rare young generation with the presence of beige and velvet genes can be obtained.
Hue Fur – Velvet Pastel
With a combination of white and pink and beige chinchillas, homozygous white and pink are obtained. Their characteristic feature is soft brown ears and clear eyes. The lethal gene is present. It can be crossed with ordinary or with the color of dark velvet. In the case of hybridization with the second can get up to 8 different combinations!
Velvety white-pink has at once 4 sets of genes from white, beige, gray and velvet counterparts. However, when searching for a pair for crossing, it is worth considering the presence of a pair of lethal genes at once. Homo- and hetero-beige individuals may be a good choice.
Nuances of crossbreeding
Individuals snow white ebony have a white and black color of fur. The degree of saturation of one color or another varies, for example, the main color is white, and black represents only partial blotches on the fur, color of the eyes, ears. Snow-white ebony has a lethal gene. This color is removed by the method of crossing white hetero-and homoebony. Hybridizing it with representatives of white flowers is not recommended.
Representatives of the color velvet pastel the color of the back is bronze-brown, velvety lines on the legs. The eyes are mostly of a brick color or a similar shade. This color is derived by crossing pastels with brown velvet or velvet ebony. When hybridizing velvet pastels and pastels, it is likely to get rare and valuable cubs with a wonderful chocolate-velvet shade of fur.
Peach shade of fur
Homoebony Now considered the most interesting of the breeding colors. Its color is completely black, but ideally black individuals come across very rarely and are very expensive. Homoebony is usually bred with hetero. Cubs are obtained with fine fur. It is also likely to get homosexual, chocolate brown, purple.
Hetero-ebony in turn, breed better than homo. The coat color can vary from light to dark. A light hybrid has extra white hair on its tail. You can get it after crossing homoebony with gray chinchilla.
Violet (lilac) fur color. The back is shimmering with purple tones. Breeders settle standard gray animals that are carriers of the purple gene to these animals. This method allows you to not lose the quality of the fur.
To get the color of purple velvet, you need to go through 2 steps:
- Hybridization of representatives of black velvet and purple.
- After this, the obtained individuals are re-crossed with purple.
The fur of this subspecies is purple, darker than that of ordinary purple chinchilla.
In the end I want to mention sapphire color. Fur in this case is of different shades of blue. The crossing of one or a pair of sapphire representatives gives the young of the same color as a result.
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