Pregnancy Chinchillas Signs And Preparation For Childbirth


Chinchillas are rodents that are bred both on special farms and at home. The average life span of the animal is about 18-20 years, while the female can give offspring up to 13-15 years. Mating rodents does not depend on the time of year, and pregnancy lasts an average of about 110-115 days. Therefore, chinchilla can give offspring from one to three times within 12 months.

Female with a newborn puppy

General recommendations

Sexual maturity in the female occurs at about 6-7 months, in the male somewhat later – at about 9 months. In some chinchillas, estrus occurs quite early, in 3-4 months, however, it is recommended to mate animals only after reaching a year. By this moment, the female reaches the sizes necessary for normal gestation. Early childbirth can cause physical damage to the health of the chinchilla and make it aggressive towards the male and young.

It should be noted that for the birth of a healthy and strong offspring, both the male and the female must be healthy and strong. Mating depleted or weak animals is fraught with death of chinchilla during childbirth or obtaining sick and non-viable puppies.

To breed rodents, pairing is necessary. It is necessary to plant a healthy female at the age of 12 months or older and weighing at least 0.5 kg into a male cage. It is recommended to select a male who is 2-5 months older. At the same time, chinchillas can exist both in monogamous pairs, which consist of one female and a male, and polygamous groups formed by a male and several females. In the second case, each animal must live in its own aviary.

Healthy, large, mature individuals are allowed to breed.

Female and male can live together or separately. If you plan to plant rodents only for the mating period, you should choose the most suitable moment. The sexual cycle of a chinchilla lasts approximately 28-29 days. At the same time, estrus continues for about 3-4 days, during which the female secrets a special secret.

A few days before this period, animals should be placed in one enclosure. When rodents are ready for breeding, their behavior changes: the male becomes playful and chases the female through the cage, making sounds like cooing. At the same time, the female behaves uneasily, moves a lot, scatters feed and sand in the aviary. A characteristic sign of readiness for mating is an increase and hyperemia of the genitals of the chinchilla.

Seated female and male

After rodent planting, it is recommended to have a diary or calendar, in which it is necessary to note the estrus periods of the female and the expected dates of mating of the animals. This will suggest the approximate date of the birth of offspring and prepare in advance for childbirth.

Early signs of chinchilla pregnancy

In the early stages, it is rather difficult to establish the presence or absence of pregnancy in a chinchilla. Until about 8 weeks of gestation, that is, pregnancy, you can rely only on indirect signs:

  1. Detection of cork in the aviary;
  2. Lack of estrus 28-30 days after mating;
  3. A slight increase in the abdomen of the female;
  4. If you carefully palpate the female’s stomach, it seems more dense and elastic to the touch;
  5. Persistent weight gain chinchilla. However, it is worth noting that in some individuals in the first 2-4 weeks of gestation, body weight decreases by several grams;
  6. Increased rodent appetite;
  7. Already at 5-6 weeks, the nipples of the female become more noticeable. Before pregnancy, they have a light, almost white tint. In the early stages they acquire a light pink color, and after the second month of gestation, they begin to clearly protrude above the surface of the skin.

The appetite of a pregnant female increases

How to Determine Chinchilla Pregnancy

It is possible to accurately determine the presence of pregnancy in a rodent if you carefully monitor the animal and systematically monitor its condition. It is recommended that you prepare an electronic kitchen scale in advance to control the body weight of the female and a notebook or notebook to record the measurement results.

Step 1

After the animals are seated, carry out a daily cleaning check in the aviary. Chinchillas are more likely to lead a nocturnal lifestyle and mate in the dark. Therefore, the probability of noticing the process of sexual intercourse is quite small. But in the cell you can find a cork – a small white or whitish-yellow color rod, consisting of the seminal fluid of the male. The presence of a cork is not evidence of the pregnancy of the female, however, it indicates the mating that has occurred.

Read more:  Home Chinchilla Care

Step 2

Weigh the rodent regularly. In the first weeks of pregnancy, the female may gain little weight or even lose a few grams, but from 4-5 weeks her weight begins to increase rapidly. Pregnancy is evidenced by a weekly increase of 10-30 grams.

Be careful. Usually, when examining or weighing animals, they take them by the tail, but it is not recommended to keep the female during gestation, this can lead to trauma to the adult and embryos.

Step 3

Monitor the condition of rodents. Pregnant chinchilla gradually loses the activity characteristic of her during the mating period, becoming less and less mobile. Rodent puppies are very mobile even during embryonic development. Therefore, approximately one and a half to two months after fertilization, the chinchilla spends most of the day lying on its side or stomach.

During gestation, the female usually sleeps a lot, jumps little in the aviary and eats more. Her behavior may also change: most rodents become more affectionate and calm, however, some chinchillas begin to react aggressively to the presence of a male in the cage.

During gestation, chinchillas often rest lying on their backs

Step 3

Pay attention to the condition of the nipples of the female. The first changes usually appear at 5-6 weeks in giving birth to chinchillas and at 6-7 at nulliparous. Take the rodent in your arms or wait for it to lie on its back. Gently blow the animal on the stomach or spread the fur with your finger. The nipples of the pregnant female are pinkish, protruding 1-2 mm above the skin surface. Shortly before birth, the female may begin to excrete colostrum, in which case the nipples are covered with a whitish or transparent coating. It should be noted that rodents have 3 pairs of nipples, however, only one is usually active.

Female nipples become more noticeable during gestation

Step 3

Monitor the frequency of bowel movements and urination of the female. An enlarged uterus presses on the intestines and bladder, so a pregnant chinchilla urinates and defecates more often.

Step 4

As the gestation period increases, the female’s stomach becomes more voluminous. Check your condition shortly before your expected delivery date. You can often notice how embryos move under the skin of the chinchilla.

The abdomen and sides of the pregnant female become more voluminous and tight to the touch

Step 5

Follow the status of the loop in the female. Before birth, it becomes large, swollen and hyperemic. If the male during this period is still in the same enclosure with the pregnant chinchilla, then he may try to mate with her again. Therefore, it is worth resetting the male or female in a separate cage in advance. Intercourse shortly before birth can injure the female or fetus.

Please note that it is also not recommended to plant the male back in the aviary shortly after the appearance of the cubs. Chinchilla eggs mature even during gestation, that is, after childbirth, she is again ready for mating. Rapid re-pregnancy can be severe stress for the animal.

Pregnant Chinchilla Care Rules

Chinchilla during gestation must be protected from possible stress and potential dangers. In the later stages, it is recommended to do an x-ray to determine the number of puppies and determine the presentation, but you should abandon this procedure if the female is too shy and restless. It is necessary for the animal to provide the most favorable conditions, as sharp sounds, bright light or unfamiliar surroundings can cause inappropriate behavior and even miscarriage in the chinchilla. For the same reason, you should not take the rodent in your hands too often, especially if the female wasware of the person before pregnancy.

It is necessary to take measures aimed at the safety of the female. To do this, they and the male are seated in different enclosures, and in the female’s cage there should be no additional shelves and ladders. Some chinchillas remain very mobile during pregnancy. Excessive structures inside the enclosure can lead to falls and injuries.

It is recommended to use hay as a litter for the female. It retains heat well and is easily replaced by a clean one if necessary. In this case, the female’s cage needs to be cleaned daily.

The male should be placed in an aviary located outside the field of view of the female. Otherwise, she may be nervous and behave aggressively. This behavior of the chinchilla is caused by the desire to scare away the male and prevent the possibility of mating before childbirth.

Read more:  How To Feed Chinchilla At Home

If the aviary is large enough, then you can divide it into two halves with an opaque partition, separating the male from the female.

The gestational period of a rodent lasts from 105 to 120 days. However, with multiple pregnancy, that is, the appearance of four puppies or more, childbirth occurs somewhat earlier. In this case, the cubs may be somewhat premature. In this case, they are distinguished by low body weight, lack of fur on the abdomen, closed eyes. Usually puppies gain the necessary weight in a few weeks.

Particular care must be taken with pregnant teenage females. This group includes chinchillas under 10-12 months. Most rodents reach puberty in 6-7 months, but mating them so early is not recommended. Due to hormonal changes, the growth of the skeleton of the chinchilla stops and weight loss stops. This condition can extremely negatively affect the female’s health. Therefore, in the case of early pregnancy, it is necessary to provide the animal with enhanced nutrition and complete rest. It should be noted that cubs born from such a female are more likely to have to be artificially fed.

Pregnant Chinchilla Nutrition

Animal nutrition during gestation is slightly different from the standard diet of rodents. It is recommended to increase the protein content, since chinchilla spends a large amount of protein to maintain the life of the embryos. A pregnant female consumes more food and water, so there should always be a full feeding bowl and drinker in the enclosure. In addition to the products familiar to the rodent, it is necessary to include nettle leaves, dogrose, a mixture of cereal and milk powder in the daily diet. Additionally, calcium gluconate tablets are also prescribed to maintain female bones strength.

The following products should be included in the chinchilla diet during gestation:

In the last days of pregnancy and the postpartum period, it is not recommended to feed the chinchilla with thyme and mint, as these herbs adversely affect the quality of milk.

During gestation, the female should receive a sufficient amount of nutrients

The amount of roughage, i.e. corn cobs, hay and straw, should be reduced by about 25%, increasing the percentage of fresh vegetables and fruits and protein-based feed.

Preparing the cell for childbirth

A few weeks before giving birth, it is necessary to prepare an aviary. In most cases, the male is planted 15-20 days before the expected date so that the chinchilla calmly carries the pregnancy. In some cases, the female is removed into a separate cage. This must be done in advance so as not to provoke severe stress and miscarriage in the chinchilla. Often, a cage intended for hamsters is used as a box for childbirth and the postpartum period. The small distance between its rods will not allow the cubs to get out of the cage.

It is necessary to plant a male for a born female, taking into account the individual characteristics of the characters of rodents. On average, chinchilla is alone with cubs for at least 3-5 days. Otherwise, she can aggressively react to the appearance of the male and begin to drive him away from the puppies.
The cage intended for the female should be clean and safe. A tray, feeder and drinker are left on the hayed floor. The sand bath should be removed approximately 5-6 days before delivery. This is a necessary measure, since sand can enter the birth canal of the female and cause the development of infection. You can put the bath back 10-14 days after the birth of the puppies.

Pregnancy Chinchillas Signs And Preparation For Childbirth

The cage for childbirth should be small, but convenient and safe. If necessary, you can use a cage for hamsters or guinea pigs

How is the birth?

Normally, chinchillas give birth very quickly. The female usually gives birth to from 1 to 4 puppies, and the entire period of labor lasts from several minutes to 2-2.5 hours. After the appearance of the afterbirth, the chinchilla eats it. In the absence of any deviations during the process, the animal does not need help. Excessive touches, examinations, or attempts to stimulate the movement of puppies through the birth canal can cause stress in the female, as a result of which the production of oxytocin is blocked and contractions stop.

Disorders of labor occur in too young or injured chinchillas, as well as in individuals with an abnormal presentation of one or more fruits. Often, labor is difficult for the females, which were previously used for breeding and were forced to produce offspring more than twice a year. If you suspect the development of any abnormalities, you must contact your veterinarian.

Read more:  Home Chinchilla Care

If the chinchilla already had a violation of labor, you should agree in advance with the veterinarian about his departure home.

Signs of approaching childbirth

The fact that a female is preparing for childbirth can be understood by her behavior. The chinchilla begins to twist the nest: she chews the litter to make it softer, and folds in the most closed corner. Some animals pluck down on their stomach and sides, also lining their nest. Preparation of a place for childbirth usually lasts 2-4 days. The female gradually becomes less active, most of the day lies on her back, stops eating and practically does not move. This behavior is normal and should not be a concern. It is worth considering that with a control weighing immediately before childbirth, the body weight of the chinchilla may decrease by 15-25 grams.

Pregnancy Chinchillas Signs And Preparation For Childbirth

A few days before birth, the female begins to stretch or bend. This contributes to the advancement of cubs towards the birth canal.

Not only the behavior changes, but also the appearance of the female. Due to the puppies moving towards the exit from the pelvis, the belly of the chinchilla drops, the sides fall, the genitals become more pronounced and swollen. When measuring rectal body temperature, a decrease of 1-1.2 ° C is noted.

How to prepare for childbirth at a chinchilla?

After pairing chinchillas, it is necessary to mark the date in the calendar and count from it 105-115 days in order to prepare in advance for the expected date of birth. In a specially wound notebook, one should record the measurement data of the body weight of the female, the features of her behavior during gestation, some important points or disturbing questions. If the animal is anxious, eats poorly or is gaining weight, you should consult your veterinarian in advance. His number must be stored on the phone or recorded in a notebook observing a pregnant female.

By the day of birth, it is recommended to prepare clean diapers, hydrogen peroxide, sterile syringes, saline and milk replacer. In the female’s cage, there should be enough clean water.

During childbirth, you need to keep on hand disposable diapers or soft napkins. With a multiple pregnancy, you can help the female by gently wiping them with newborn babies.

How to help chinchilla during childbirth?

Most often, chinchillas give birth in the morning, around 5-7 in the morning. In the normal course of the process at 9-10 hours puppies will already be born. About a day after the birth, the female will begin lactation. Prior to this, colostrum is secreted from the nipples. It is whitish in color and nutritious enough to provide cubs with the necessary substances in the first 24 hours.

Helping the female during childbirth should be if there is a suspicion of a pathological course of the process. At the same time, the chinchilla behaves uneasily, beeps or, on the contrary, sluggishly reacts to external stimuli due to loss of strength. It is necessary to consult a doctor if childbirth lasts more than 5-6 hours, copious spotting from the genital tract or cessation of contractions are noted. In this case, surgery is necessary, that is, a cesarean section.

If the birth goes well, then you should not interfere with the process

Rules for the handling of newborn puppies

A newborn puppy is fully prepared for life. His eyes are open and his body is covered with fur. Usually, immediately after birth, the cubs crawl under the female’s stomach and stay there for some time until their skin is completely dry.

If the puppies are active and do not fight at the nipples of the mother, then they do not need to be fed. Also an indicator of the condition of newborn chinchillas is an increase in weight, which must be regularly monitored.

Table 1. The ratio of age and weight of chinchilla puppies

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