- Prenatal period in chinchilla
- How to determine the approach of childbirth
- Chinchilla delivery process
- Complications during childbirth
- Postpartum period
Chinchilla usually gives birth without complications. However, the task of each owner is to ensure the female a calm prenatal period, balanced feeding before and after childbirth, as well as the necessary care after childbirth. The health of both females and offspring depends on this.
Prenatal period in chinchilla
On average, chinchillas are pregnant for about 120 days. The exact period depends on the breed, age and physiological characteristics of the body of the female. Most often in a litter up to four cubs.
In a year, a chinchilla can bring up to three litters, provided that the estrus comes at a normal interval – once a month and a half.
Some females are ready for breeding twice a year or even one. However, many breeders advise not to get more than two litters from a female, as frequent birth depletes the body.
In order for the birth to be successful and not cause complications, late pregnancy should be done by fluoroscopy or ultrasound. By this time, the cubs have already formed and have taken their position in the uterus. You can determine not only their size and quantity, but also the correct location. Based on the data obtained, each breeder can understand whether the help of a veterinarian will be needed or if the female will manage it herself.
Preparation for childbirth consists in following the following rules:
- If the female lives with the male, two weeks before the birth she is transferred to a separate cage,
- If the female is kept alone, a week before the birth, the bottom of the house in the cage is covered with a thick layer of clean and fresh hay,
- In the cage, you need to remove all the extra shelves, remove the mazes and ladders,
- The temperature in the room with the cage should not fall below 20 and rise above 24 degrees,
- Two weeks before birth, concentrated feeds gradually begin to be excluded from the diet,
- With the exception of concentrates, they increase the portion of hay and succulent feed.
How to determine the approach of childbirth
It is unrealistic to calculate the exact date of birth, however, the preliminary date of birth is calculated by adding 115 days to the date of the last mating. The approach of labor can be seen by a significant increase in the sexual gap and swelling of the mammary glands. A few days before birth, the genital gap begins to open. At the same time, females relax and stretch the ligaments of the pelvis and abdominal muscles. All this can be seen by sagging abdomen.
It is recommended to measure the temperature of the animal daily using an anal thermometer. The day before birth, the temperature in the rectum decreases markedly.
By the behavior of the female it is not always possible to determine the approach of childbirth. Some females are anxious, refuse food, and often breathe intermittently. Others carelessly study objects in a cage, try to play, equip a nest and do not show readiness for childbirth.
Chinchilla delivery process
Most often, chinchillas give birth early in the morning. However, females who feel safe and have already brought offspring can give birth both day and night. Immediately before giving birth, the female’s behavior changes dramatically: she becomes restless, can show aggression, constantly looks back at her sides, moans or whistles. The prenatal period can last from several hours to a day.
When these symptoms occur, it is better to close the cage with dark tissue so as not to irritate the animal with light, sounds, movement.
Contractions indicate that the female begins to give birth to babies. You can notice them by the wave-like contraction of the abdominal muscles. Rare and light contractions, expressed in periodic contractions of smooth muscles, stimulate the movement of the cubs in the right direction. When the babies find themselves in the uterine cavity, contractions become more frequent – the membranes rupture and amniotic fluid emerge. By this time, the genital fissure is already fully open.
After intense contractions, a series of attempts occurs, during which the smooth muscles of the abdomen contract. During attempts, the baby is born. If contractions are an uncontrolled process, then the female can well control the attempts herself. Most often, females give birth, standing, resting their paws on the floor, but some prefer to give birth in a prone position or even on their side.
Attempts can last several hours. In the normal course of childbirth, babies are born with an interval from fifteen minutes to two hours. During this time, the female manages to remove the film from the child, lick it and take a little rest before leaving the afterbirth or the appearance of the next baby. If the intervals between attempts are less than fifteen minutes, then after the birth of one baby, the female will not have time to remove the film, which threatens the death of the cub. In this case, owner assistance is required. Its task is to carefully remove the film from the newborn and rub it with a clean cloth.
The latter most often appears at the end of childbirth and usually the female eats it. This is explained by the content of important hormones in the placenta, which stimulate uterine wall contractions and milk production.
Complications during childbirth
Complications are usually caused by:
- Big cubs
- Early pregnancy
- Injuries received during gestation
- The wrong position of the cubs
What to do if chinchilla has problems during childbirth? If the problem is that the fetus is stuck, it is necessary to lubricate the baby’s body with petroleum jelly and gently pull it out in time with contractions. This will happen only when part of the baby has already appeared from the vagina. If the problem is associated with a long period of time between attempts, weakening of labor, cramps during childbirth, very restless behavior of the female and an abundance of blood, you should immediately consult a doctor. It will independently cope with these problems at home and without the help of a specialist it will not work, and in some cases surgical intervention is necessary.
Females for whom birth was the first often experience postpartum stress. For them, what is happening is not entirely clear. This can be seen by the restless behavior, aggression and rejection of the kids. Usually the maternal instinct is still stronger and the female takes the young after a while.
Therefore, do not panic if immediately after giving birth the chinchilla refuses to feed the babies.
A day after the chinchilla gave birth, she is already ready for a new mating. However, this will lead to a lot of stress. Therefore, if nevertheless the female gave birth in the same cage with the male, it must be put into another cage for two to three days. Three days later, the male can be returned home – he will help the female take care of the cubs.
The nutrition of a nursing chinchilla is not much different from the nutrition before and during pregnancy. It is recommended to feed the female with the most pure and vitamin fodder. It is good to add cottage cheese, milk (you can dry) and fresh eggs to the diet. It is recommended to make an additional feeder for nettles, leaves and rose hips, hawthorn and strawberry leaves, which are placed next to the nest. Also next to the nest hang an additional drinking bowl.
The chinchilla has three pairs of nipples, but not all of them are active. Most often, the first and second pair are dairy. If the babies dissolve the nipples, then even inactive with time, milk appears. The breeder needs to monitor the feeding of the cubs, as sometimes not all puppies have enough milk. Strong cubs often repel weak ones, which leads not only to a slowdown in growth and development, but also to death. If some puppies are stunted, they need to be fed artificially.
For feeding use a mixture of one part of unsweetened condensed milk and two parts of the infusion of ordinary chamomile.
The mixture is heated in a water bath to room temperature and the babies are drunk from the syringe without a needle in small portions several times a day.
10-14 days after giving birth to the female, the shelves and all the toys can be returned to the cage. The young have already grown up enough and do not need constant maternal care – they begin to examine the cell, play, and try adult food.
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