Baby Chinchilla Questions

We got a note from one our readers with some questions, but the issues with the baby chinchilla are unfortunately out of our league. If anyone has suggestions for this reader, please comment at the bottom.

We bought two chinchillas 2 weeks ago and were quite surprised when we came down on Saturday morning to find we had got 3 for the price of two! But the baby seems to not be quite right.

He has been going round in circles ever since we first saw him. He looks like he has either got a broken leg (left side), something wrong with his neck or maybe spine. He dose not seem to be able to stand on the left front leg and can not hold his head up straight when he is walking, kind of pushed to the left and on the side. It looks terrible to watch. But he is feeding well and seems to be putting weight on and getting bigger.

Do you have any advice for us? Also please can you tell us if it is OK to let mom have a sand bath? I keep reading conflicting things.

We have split mom and dad up at the moment. Will it be OK to put them back together soon. They have had a daily run around together, but seem pretty upset with one another.

Also should we be worried as it looks as though dad is crushing up his pellets. I thought I read something somewhere about this, but now can't find it again.

Sorry so many questions, please can you help. Thanks

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69 Comments

  1. Hi! My chinchilla Tiki seems normal he's eating, playing, and exercising, but he doesn't seem to be pooping. I first noticed it during playtime, because after finding out about constant chinchilla poop I was preparing for it but the entire hour he played, no poop. I then searched his bedding but couldn't seem to find any. He's also 16 days old so I was wondering if they don't poop until they reach like a certain point like puppies do. And if not is there any type of treat that will help? Please answer quickly.

  2. well the chinchillas dad and mom will get back together cause ive had 6 babies they got back together

  3. To everyone asking if they should/when they can put the parents back together, firstly the most simple answer is the parents don't need to be separated for any reason. But first you should ask why are you breeding more chins, if you knowingly have a male and a female together you are a breeder. Are these chinchillas free of health issues? Are they of good breeding quality or are they lower quality animals? If you don't have pedigrees for them they might be brother and sister, daughter and father, etc. To the original poster, it sounds like there were birthing issues, a great reason not to let these chinchillas breed again. It seems as if two separate things are going one, one is probably an injured or infected inner ear ( the head tilt ) and possibly a broken leg. The baby should see a vet for both of these issues.

    • Hi, True chinchillas dont need to be separated after the birth of kits, but did you know that mum comes into season as soon as a kit has been born and can get pregnant straight away? Baby chinchillas start sexual activity as young as 2 mnths and can become pregnant very young. This is why unfortunately interbreeding is rife and this is due to ignorant and uncaring owners/breeders. Always choose your chinchilla from a reputable breeder, I always insist that you go to a rescue centre rather than breeder, especially if your buying two chins, that way they can ensure the chinchillas didnt come from same area and owner etc giving it much less chance that they are related.It must be carefully considered when breeding chinchillas because they do and can live a long life .. upto 15 sometimes 20 years or more, if your new and starting to breed them, please be aware that there are thousands of chinchillas in rescue centres just because someone thought the same as you... then got bored, fed up or too over run with chins.....They are truly gorgeous animals, lets be responsible , dont take on more than you can handle..please ...

  4. I have 2 chinchillas and they just had a baby about a week ago. Lady lets me take the baby and make sure hes ok with everything. I was wondering how long I have to keep the baby away from his dad? He doesnt act funny around the baby or anything. I have a smaller cage inside a huge cage just because the partents dont like being apart. Any help on this would be great..

    • You should introduce the baby to the dad. First, bring the baby near his cage and let him sniff it. If he smells the baby and doesn't really react, then let the daddy out to run and, having the baby in your hands, when you get the chance bring the baby in daddy's face so he smells it. Doing that a few times, he will get used to it and you'll be able to let the baby run around when his dad is also around.

  5. i got my chinchilla about a month ago and she bred with my mle that i got for christmas and they have all the signs for my chinchilla to soon be pregnant and i dont think iam at all prepared but i know i have lots of time so i wasjust wondering if people have tips and some advice for me its my first time hving chinchillas.thankyou.

    • Hi Im no big expert but have had chinchillas for over 5 years and Ma Marley has had two litters in the last two years, they dont need any intervention, they are fantastic at keeping themselves sufficiently healthy during pregnancy, dont feed her too many titbits, or treats etc she needs her nutritious feed more than ever in this time, make sure shes drinking plenty ( some chinchillas hardly ever seem to drink or need much water, but you may notice her drinking more while pregnant) I add a watered down solution of unsweetened natural cranberry juice that I giver her as a treat every few days, . the pregnancy period for chinchillas is around 111 days from conception to birth. she may stretch like a cat does more to the end of her pregnancy and lay on her side often, she may either become more moody, not letting you touch her, or spitting and fratching with her partner, or she may become more affectionate, wanting to be stroked, especially very gently on her belly mine did both times lol,. when they are born. she may just have one or upto four or i have known some have five, but usually first births are usually 1 or 2, she will cope well on her own, you probably wont even know shes given birth untill you look in her box (provide her with a wooden bedding box if she hasnt got one) she will let you handle the babys straight away but give her time to clean and feed them , if you think theres a prob shell let you pick them up, make sure they are warm and just gently towel rub them dry, as they can get cold very quickly, I would suggest weighing them on the first day they are born, then weighing them morning and night to make sure they are putting weight on, if no weight is gained on 3rd day i may be tempted to try a little kitten newborn milk with them (you can get this from good petshops or vets) you shouldnt have any probs t all, be aware the kits will be jumping and running about within a day lol. and that mum can get pregnant straight away as she come instantly into season after she gives birth,..... happy days with your chinchillas xx

  6. I suggest you look on google for a local exotic, small animal, or chinchilla vet. Also, to jenifer.nathan: usually it's a personality thing, although it might also be that because he is both a baby and still getting used to his new environment, he could be scared. Some clues to this are whether you can feel him trembling or if he poops or pees when you hold him. The longer he climbs on you and you hold him and pet him, the more he will get used to him. When he is in your cage, try slowly moving towards him to pet him. Also, whenever he climbs on your lap just sit still. Once he's comfortable there, you can start trying to pet him. Never make any sudden movements! Always move slowly and deliberately. Also, if you are feeding him chinchow (the pellets), do NOT feed him alfalfa hay as the pellets already contain alfalfa, which is very fattening. Good alternatives are timothy hay and botanical hay. There is also Orchard Grass, which should only be used occasionally as a treat.

    • Thanks, animalluver. I never knew that pellets have alphalpha in them already- I'll have to start reading the ingredients. I have a question for anybody out there..... Does anybody's young chinchilla tolerate being held and pet at the same time? Most of the internet stuff I've read says that chinchillas aren't the cuddly type. So can anybody give me an example of how chinchillas can warm up to their owners? I used to have a sugar glider and it was very affectionate- she used to lay on her back in my hands & let me pet her tummy; she would even let me open her mouth & inspect her teeth. She lived for 11 yrs. I've had my chinchilla for 2 months now. He doesn't tremble or use the potty on me if I hold him securely, but he's always trying to get away from me if he knows I want to hold him. he doesn't seem to mind if my head is at his level & I touch my nose to his nose, and he likes to crawl on me like I'm a jungle gym, but he just doesn't like to be held. So I just want examples of how other chinchillas can be affectionate or different than mine???

  7. PLEASE HELP SOON! Hi, my two chinchillas, named Fatboy and Princess, just had a baby named Baby, last march and we think she got pregnant again cause she has been nesting and searching all over the cage for something. We are afraid the boy ate the baby. We are so sad. How can we tell???????

    • Can someone please help me???????

    • Usually after they have given birth there is some blood in the cage. Even just a little on the shavings. Princess could have some some blood on her too if you pick her up. She may as well have enlarged nipples still. It is really the only way i can think of to tell. Sorry i know it is not much help but I hope this helps some. Fatboy is an interesting name i am wondering how long ago you got them and if you got them off kijiji. if so i am glad to hear they are doing well.

  8. Jenifer,I see know reason for concern.Your chinchilla is just getting to no its surroundings.As for picking him up your not over doing it and even if you are hell let you know as he gets older.P.S.If your ever wanting to buy another one I recommend not buying from a pet store.That way youll know more about your little friend.Just remember dont be feeding him junk.What I mean is alphalpha hay and pellets and I can guarantee you will have a healthy chin.STAY AWAY FROM THE SO CALLED GOURMAY FOOD OUT THERE. Good luck Jackie.

    • Thanks, Jackie for your response :) After 2 months, I think my chinchilla is finally comfortable to "act himself" around me. My routine is to let him out of the cage at least once a day to play in my son's room (it is safety-proofed). He gets so excited to run around; he runs & does this happy hop/twist. He likes to climb on me too, but only if I don't act like I want to pick him up. As in, I have to keep my hands still for him to come up to me. Will this ever change, or is this the way that all chinchillas are? He'll only let me pet him if he's eating his food or if he's already in his cage & Im reaching my finger in to pet his chinchilla or something. Will he ever warm up to me more? Also, were you saying that I SHOULD feed him alphalpha hay & pellets? And occasionally I give him a plain cheerio or a single raisin. Seriously, I appreciate your input bc I don't know anyone with a chinchilla. --- Jenifer

  9. I got my chinchilla two days ago; he is 4 months old. Im trying to tame him, so I hold him & pet him a lot. He stays still & helpless like he is petrified, or is this their personality? Also, he stays still in his cage & just stares- for like hours. If I let him on the floor, he runs around. Right now, he's hiding under my legs on the couch. Will he know if he overheats & then move to a cooler place? Is it okay if a chinchilla falls asleep on his owner's lap? I feel like I should take him back to the petstore if I am scaring him to death by holding him too much. Or is this normal baby chinchilla behavior at first?

  10. my chinchilla had 2 babies last night, and i held them a few times, but my friend told me not to or the mom will kill, them, i dont think its true but i just want to make sure. and i dont want my chinchilla to get pregnant right after agian, and i didnt seperate the mom and dad, but the mom is always just sitting there feeding the babies, they dont really do anything together. should i still seperate them?

    • It will be fine to handle the babies. She will not kill them. We have had many and they were all handled earily. But I would for sure seperate the father.

  11. hi i have a baby chinchilla that i have been hnd raising it is 2 weeks old and today i noyiced it is sometimes arching its back pushing its belly down, i do not know if it is constapated i do rub the belly after i feed it, could someone please tell me what i should do asap thanks

  12. When a female has gone into labor, she can get pregant as soon as she is done giving birth. It sounds like the little one got trampled when the male was trying to mount her again. You have to seperate them, and put the female and baby in a cage close to the male so he can smell them. Wait 6 weeks, when the baby is older and then you can put everyone together again. I would take the Mom and Baby in for a check up with a Chinchilla Vet, this way you know for sure if the baby is ok. I hope this helps.

  13. i have 2 chinchillas male and female. the female had babies 5 days ago. i came home from work tonight and one baby was dead and the other was barely alive so i tried to revive it but wasnt sucessful. why would this happen? would the mother kill her babies? or not feed them?

    • We have had that happen too. the mother had a blocked milk duct not sure if this is what happened to yours just an ides.

    • I dont know about chinchillas, but female hamsters often kill their young if under stress or if they think the young are in danger. Also, the babies may just not be able to nurse, like some human babies. Their mouths may have just been too small...

  14. what do i do if my baby chinchilla thts is about 4-5 months gets pregnat

    • Get a good exotic vet and be ready for a $800 c-section

  15. i have two cute babby chinnchillas. The names Jordyn and Taylor. One is a boy ane one is a girl. I love them very much.

  16. Ive never had this issue so i cant tell you what it is, but i can give you the obvious advice, call a vet, that does not sound right at all. As far as the sand baths go its two weeks for mom and baby. And two months before you put dad back in however let them have some play time together outside the cage. And as long as dad is eating hes okay, just misses mom. Other then that enjoy, they are amazing pets, open yourself to them and they will do the same, they are very smart animals.

  17. My two "males" just had babies. Was I surprised this morning. I bought a male to replace my other male in July and this morning Eddie became Edwina. Now what do I do? Thanks. The 2 babies are on the bottom level. Do I need to put water down there?

  18. my chinchilla won't move can somebody please tell me why she's 3 months old and was eating and fine this morning?

  19. My momma chinchilla just died and I have 4 babies they about 4 or 5 weeks old. I didn't make on the calender the day she had them because I thought I didn't have to worry bout her passing away. My friend told me to wiegh them every cupble of hours and see if they are eating if not i have to hand feed them. My questionh is does anyone know if they6 will eat on thier own or what kind of food do i have get for them?

    • From what i have seen they should be eating on their own but 4-5 weeks at least some. If they are losing weight there is a type of food u can pick up from a vet that deals with erotic animals it is called Critical Care for Herbivores. It is a little costly but works well. What ever u were feeding the mother the babies should be starting eat when mom does. From what i have seen from our chinchillas the mother has started to ween them slowly anytime after 5 weeks depending on there size for sure at 6 weeks they start weening them more and more every day. I do know as well babies do well with eating timothy hey as well as pellets. I hope this helped some if there is anything i can try to help with let me know. i do have 2 feeding mothers at the moment.

    • 1 can of goat’s milk (if goat’s milk cannot be found you can use evaporated milk) 1 can of water 1 tablespoon of live active bacteria culture yogurt 1 tablespoon of dried baby rice cereal 2 drops of light corn syrup (I didn’t use this in my mixture because it gave the kit diarrhea) This mixture only stays good for 2 days. You can freeze the rest in ice cube trays Feed the kit every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours during the night. Every week add an hour in between feedings.

    • you can go to a pet story and buy goats milk thats the same stuff at the mothers have if its not working go to a hospitall that specials in chinchillas they will tell you what to do

    • My female just passed away on July 4th, leaving me with a 3 week old to care for. I went to the pet store and got KMR kitten formula (per my vet's instructions). I feed her every 3 hours on the dot, and I put in as much hay as she needs everyday. She is starting to eat a little solid food, not much, I have to watch her intake, but she is growing just fine and doing very well. I got a small bottle with a little nipple and cut a small hole in the top of the nipple. I mix the powder (one ratio) to two ratio of warm water (1:2). Mix it very well get all the lumps out. It is best that you store it in the fridge as well as any that has not been drunk. Mix fresh every 3 feeding. Make sure it is at warm temp, check on your wrist. It needs to be at body temp for them to eat. Also make sure after they feed, you stroke thier tummy for a few minutes in order to help them digest and poop. They should be pooping on thier own by 2 weeks, if not you will need to stimulate them to poop. As far was weighing, I do that every 2 - 3 days to make sure she is doing fine. After 6 weeks start to move them over to solid food and water. I usually feed her every 5 hours after they are 6 weeks, just to help build thier resitance up. I hope this helps and good luck!

  20. thanks Barb

    • u are welcome

  21. How old do baby chinchillas have to be before they can leave their mother?

    • they must be 8 weeks okd

      • why do they have to be 8 weeks? Are they puppies? I never let mine go until 8 weeks.

      • 8 weeks are not mandontory but it is prefered i am seen some let them go at 6 weeks as well depending on size and how well they are eating and drinking on their own. we prefer 8 weeks then they are completly weened by mom and have learned how to bath etc.

  22. can chinchillas climb?

    • Yes they can climb very well

  23. When a moma chin-chilla has a baby should we take it out of the cage and put it in a diffrent one then the other chin-chilla, we have 2 males

    • yes u should put momma and baby in their own cage right away. mother is fertile fast after baby is born.

  24. umm I was wondering if a couple hours after baby chinchillas are born can you hold them??Or will it make the mother not want them like with birds or something?

    • You can hold them. It's the only way they can be tamed, lol. It won't affect the mother-baby relationship at all. My Chinny just had her baby the other day, and I was freaking out cause I didn't know what to do. Luckily my dad knows a breeder, so whatever information I give out is directially from him.

  25. How old should the chinchilla you are about to buy be

    • 6 months old

      • Actually you can buy a chinchilla as early as eight weeks old.

  26. Hey hey I'm Adriana, and quite new to this site. Now, I was reading the baby chinchilla question, and couldn't help but respond. I've been reading up on LOTS of info on breeding, due to my becoming one in the near future. Now.....when you guys say the baby, I'm assuming the father was with the mother and the baby at that time. It is known, that the father attacks the new born. Hearing the baby's condition, this MIGHT be the reason. I don't now A LOT on baby chinchillas, but I do know my share. Some chinchillas make great dads, but then others don't. I would keeop watching them. But for now, I would keep the dad in a separate cage. When it comes play time....its fine when they are together. Also.....IF the baby is a male, if I can remember correctly, when he reaches the age of 8 weeks or so, remove him from the mother. The baby, at this age, IS able to get the mother pregnant, and it is not healthy for inbreeding. Keep monitoring the baby's weight, he is healthy if he keeps gaining weight. Do NOT give the mother any dust baths till AT LEAST 2 - 2 and a half weeks after the birthing of the chinchilla. A dust bath any earlier, will irritate the mothers nipples, and also get into the baby's eyes. After the 2 weeks, I would give the mother a dust bath, yes. But, not a lot. Do, not give the baby any treats when young. I would wait till at least a month old maybe. Due to baby's digestive system, is not yet right for treats. If the baby's condition does not get better, I would advice you to see a vet. Just keep an eye on the mother and the baby. Make sure the mother is getting plenty of hay and water for the baby's milk, and that the baby is getting milk. If you'd like more info on baby's, just google "Breeding chinchillas", and that should help you plenty. I've leaned all I know from that Good luck Adriana

    • I agree with most of what you said here. I to have read much on chinchilla breading. We have had some babies as well. As far as inbreading goes it is not that bad of a thing from what i have read. Our babies have had timothy hay at 2 weeks old and all have been fine. Although i would not give them any other treats. As far as the condition of the ladies baby chinchilla goes it does not only sound like a broken front leg to me and i would have a vet check it soon. Hope everything works out

  27. We now have 5 chinchillas (started with 2 and I may have another set of babies on the way). Obviously, we didn't get Daddy out of the cage fast enough twice! Or Mama doesn't keep Daddy away when they run together in the room. Daddy seems very sad when he isn't able to be with Mama. Now that there are 2 in one cage (female cage) and 3 in the the male cage everyone seems happier but they do not like it when I make them run separately. I'm not trying to breed chinchillas but they certainly are multiplying in my house :) I think we've found some homes for some of the babies but I think Mama & Papa are very fond of each other and I don't want to split them up. Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with getting their chinchilla fixed? And which gender is the preferred or easiest/less stressful? Thanks for any info.

  28. We have a new baby chinchilla. I wash my hands very thoroughly, but he will not stop biting me. Its hard enough to break the skin. I've tried different soaps. He trusts me enough to climb in my hand and on my arm and he will take treats but the biting is a little too much for me. What can I do?

  29. Chris Celnar

    Mia, Your situation is out of our league. We suggest going to a vet.

  30. I have a day old chinchilla whos mother has abaondoned him an we a currently feeding him cottage cheese juice he appeares very premature especiatally compared to his brother and has a red flesh spot on his head what do i do? contanct me at miamaya6@aol.com

  31. China your baby has prolly gotten sick... you should take it to a vet ASAP.

  32. I have a baby chinchilla that is lethargic eyes closed and does not seem to eat that well what can i do

  33. Chris Celnar

    Fang, Take your chinchilla to a vet ASAP.

  34. I need to know how to cure a chinchilla with broken leg?

  35. A friend gave me a young chinchilla and i would like to know how to determine if it is a male or female.. Can someone please help....Ifound a web-site that gave that info but i can't find it now!... Can someone help me please Thank You n.cal_blonde@netzero.com

  36. all chinchillas are really friendly, males seem to chew more than females, but both genders are friendly generally, some chinchillas dont like to be handled much at all, this has northing to do with gender.

  37. Is a girl or boy chinchilla nicer?

  38. Chris Celnar

    Keep cats away from chinchillas. Cats are predators and even if you have "nice" ones that doesn't mean they won't take a swipe at a chinchilla.

  39. i just got my chinchilla and i want to know how chinchillas act around cats? or if i should keep the cats away from the chinchilla

  40. Hi Just thought I would send you and update on our little baby. He (we think it's a he) was born a week ago today (born 5.8.07). As you can read from my notice above we were really worried about him. But in the last 2 days he has made a massive recovery and not seems to be totally normal. He is no longer having any problems lifting his head, is running around (and in straight lines), climbing and generally causing mischief. It is wonderful to see. Mum and Dad are doing well, and Mum (Marj) is proving to be a really good mother and feeding Blue (babies new name) well. We've had to make some alterations to the cage but all are doing well and we are really loving having them in the family. Thank you for your concern and support.

  41. At least 6 weeks after being born. The baby has to feed off of the mother during this time. After that the baby will start feeding off hay and then pellets.

  42. What is the youngest age you can buy a chinchilla?

  43. Chris Celnar

    Aubrey, A fan will not cool a chinchilla. Fans just make you feel cooler especially when you're sweaty without actually changing the ambient temperature. The best way to keep a chinchilla comfortable is to keep the ambient temperature i.e. the temperature reported by a thermometer below 75 degrees.

  44. Hi, I have a question for either baby or adult chinchillas. If the weather is hot, can you put on a fan for them ? or would they get confused ?

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