To the inexperienced eye, it is not always possible to detect whether a female Chinchilla is pregnant or not. Unless you were actually there at the time of mating, then it is difficult to detect and to work out when she will be due to litter. Hopefully, the following information will help to give you a clue as to whether she is definitely pregnant or not.
Possible Signs of Mating
If you have more than one male Chinchilla, you will find it fairly easy to ascertain whether a female is in heat or not. Of course, if you have more than one female, you will need to try to find out which female it is! Each male will appear excited and quite possible will start ‘chirping,’ while trying to mate with his prospective partner, even though she may not be in heat! Sometimes it is a lot easier if you just have one pair, to note that a mating has just taken place. It is always useful to count 111 days after you have seen your Chinchillas mating, as this will be the date that is she due to litter. If however, you note the pair mating again the following month, then it is safe to assume that she did not get pregnant the previous month and once again count on 111 days and mark it on your calendar. If you do not see mating again within a month or so, after the initial mating it is then very possible that your female is already one month into her pregnancy. After the mating, the telltale signs are, as follows…
- Small pieces of fluff and fur on the floor of and under the cage.
- The copulation plug or ‘ stopper’ as it is sometimes called may be found, but not always. This is a small waxy, white looking plug that after a successful mating the female will release, but sometimes this can get lost in debris under the cage. Or even eaten by the female.
- If you are lucky enough to be nearby at the time of mating, when the male has finished, you will hear him let off a ‘hiccuping’ cry that you may never have heard before. After mating, is the only time that you will hear this unusual cry being emitted by the male.
Signs of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is normally difficult to detect before the female has reached 60 days. Then it is still not always that easy when you are not sure what you are looking for and if it is the first time that you have tried to check! Remember when checking your female, whom you believe to be pregnant, that she should be handled carefully, given good support to her whole body and be careful that she does not become stressed by the whole procedure. Listed below are some of the signs of pregnancy to look out for …
1. The nipples may appear pinker in color than usual and after approximately 60 days will become enlarged and longer in appearance. This should be noticeable by blowing the fur around the nipple area. After around 90 days or so into the pregnancy the nipples will change to red in color and will have doubled in length.
2. On or after around the first 60 days of your Chinchillas pregnancy, the abdomen will feel full and curved.
3. After 90 days or so, it is also possible, upon careful handling to feel the babies moving inside her. This is not always easy, especially if your female happens only to be having one baby. However, sometimes you can distinctly feel a ‘kick’ from one of her babies. Some experienced breeders can even detect how many babies a female is carrying. But I would not suggest that you feel around her stomach too much, as it could cause distress to the female and if handled incorrectly could even cause problems with the pregnancy.
4. You can also weigh your female monthly. The first month of the pregnancy you will not notice hardly any weight gain. But after the initial 30 days or so, you should start to notice a steady weight gain. Normally she will have gained approximately 50 grams or so by the time she reaches 60 days into her pregnancy. Obviously, her weight will keep on increasing until she finally litters. The amount of weight she puts on will obviously depend on how many babies she has grown inside of her. A good weight gain of perhaps 150 to 200 grams will possibly mean multiple litters.
Good luck with the little ones when they arrive!