To think about: Information and appeal to backyard "breeders"

Info and thoughts for backyard breeders, all who want to have babies one time and to couple owners with a not neutered buck.

"Just having babies" is an irresponsible undertaking! Many things must be considered in advance:


Time required

It can always, also with breeding animals but especially with animals of unknown and bad origin, come to birth and rearing problems (for example, if the birth does not go forward or babies get an intestinal prolapse), where you have to quickly at night and during the day to the vet who knows about such problems. If the mother dies, has not enough milk or is sick, the babies must be fed in the worst case every 2h with rearing milk, one must massage afterwards the belly and if necessary the anus. Keepers who are employed or have small children to care for often reach their limits here.

If one wants to place the offspring, one must spend a lot of time for the search for suitable owners, a placement especially of unsolicited colors like gray or beige can sometimes take years.

Info: A pair of chinchillas can have offspring up to 3 times a year, per litter up to 6 babies are possible, this means that within one year up to 18 new chinchillas can see the light of day, which have to be taken care of!
And: Continuous pregnancies are a strain on the health of the dam, which must never be in continuous gestation (breeding breaks!). On the other hand, the female and the male do not want to live alone during the breeding breaks. This problem must be solved in a species-appropriate way!


Financial expense

The above-mentioned birth and rearing problems take not only a lot of time and nerves, but also a lot of money investment. An emergency operation / Caesarean section on the dam due to pregnancy intoxication and internal poisoning (often because there is still a dead fruit, fetus, embryo, dead baby in the body), birth problems, etc. costs several hundred euros + aftercare, gasoline costs, etc..

Furthermore, castration of bucks, which at best should always remain in the family regardless of sex, costs between 40-70 euros.


Space issue

Only in exceptional cases should you keep more than one female with one male per group if you want offspring. It is not uncommon for problems such as jealousy and aggression to occur between two females during pregnancy and rearing. The females can attack each other, but also their defenseless offspring. Both can lead to enormous stress in the mother, which can then also attack and even kill her own babies.

Furthermore it can happen, even if you keep only one pair, that during pregnancy, but especially during birth and suckling the female and the buck quarrel or the buck attacks the offspring.

In all cases mentioned above, separation is indispensable and requires a lot of space to accommodate all chins in a species-appropriate manner.

If you decide to keep the male offspring, but do not want to castrate them, you will also have to create new groups, which in turn may quarrel during the fledging phase, so that a new group may be necessary.

If the placement of the offspring, which you do not want to keep, does not work out (and this is probably especially with less popular colors like gray and beige and if you want to find a species-appropriate home!), you have to find an adequate solution for all animals, i.e. several large cages.

Info: According to the German regulation for farm animals chinchillas need at least 1 cubic meter per cage (for 2 chins)! A 1mx0,5mx1m or smaller cage is not suitable for chinchillas and is cruelty to animals. 1 cubic meter corresponds to a size of e.g. 1,7 x 0,6m x 1m (W,D,H) and even these dimensions are absolute minimum, better would be a cage with the size of 2m x 0,8m x 1,8m and more.

If you violate the specifications, the veterinary office imposes conditions and in case of non-compliance fines up to the ban threaten!


Promoting the spread of poor quality and sick animals

If you do not use for "breeding" exclusively females and bucks with a pedigree and clarified origin over generations, which are both physically and temperamentally suitable for offspring warfare, you promote on the one hand the spread of diseases and physical and organic malformations (eg. tooth and jaw anomalies, heart defects, fur biting, bad fur, hypersensitivities) and on the other hand you promote the spreading of badly socialized and behaviorally disturbed chinchillas, which later e.g. can be badly socialized, are aggressive towards conspecifics or later reject or even kill their own offspring.

There are animals is not to be marked for laymen clearly as Velvet, however, if one mates two Velvets (or two Chins, which carry genetically "white" in itself like Apricot/ Beige white Schecken, Pink White, Wilson white, Silberschecken...) with each other, it comes to the so-called lethal factor and the babies are born with a probability of 25% dead or handicapped.

If a relationship cannot be excluded, similar problems can occur (inbreeding).


Endangering the health of its (breeding) animals

If you do not select breeding suitable parent animals i.e. those that have adequate size, age, weight, temperament and physical condition, and do not select a sensible group composition, you run a great risk to the dam, babies, sire and other housemates.

Possible then are:

  • Hereditary diseases and deformities (see point before)
  • Stillbirths
  • Production of too little milk
  •  Neglect of the offspring
  •  Night acceptance of the offspring
  • Inflicting wounds and biting the offspring to death
  • Necessity of cesarean section
  • Death of the dam at birth
  • Wounds and deaths among the adult animals

Support chinchilla placement misery

Unfortunately, nowadays animal shelters, care stations and small animal advertisers are already more than overcrowded. Chinchillas are often given away, passed on to pet shops or sold for a few euros below value on mediation sites of private owners (e.g. lack of time, space, breeding dissolution, illness, allergy, relocation, offspring, unemployment, excessive demands, loss of interest...) and dubious hobby breeders. Even good hobby breeders downsize or give up their catteries, because they can't get rid of their Chins, because the market is oversaturated with secondhand Chins and Chins from bad breeders and multipliers. This trend is very alarming and promotes low quality animals with diseases and mental abnormalities.

Info: As a chinchilla lover you have to ask yourself under these circumstances: Why bring more offspring into the world and not help secondhand chinchillas instead? On the other hand, you should not support breeders, because you promote the animal suffering more and more!


Issue of experience

You should only have offspring and take care of them when you already have some experience with chins to be able to judge the breeding quality, the behavior, the health condition, etc. correctly. Otherwise there is a high risk of harming the animals.

Already in advance one must inquire about all possible risks and possible difficulties with breeding in order to be able to act purposefully and at short notice if necessary. Experience with feeding and supplementary feeding should also be available or you should at least have an experienced person nearby where you can get help at short notice.

So first make the driver's license, only then drive and not vice versa, otherwise you expose the family to a high risk!


Conclusion and further info

  • If you absolutely want to have offspring and you meet all the above criteria such as experience, time, money, etc., you can take already pregnant secondhand females, orphaned animals or kittens
  • Same-sex groups are harmonious. Thus, keeping pairs with un-neutered bucks is not necessary
  • Neutering is not dangerous nowadays, many veterinarians know it well. So this must not be a reason to "breed"

There is no sensible reason to reproduce chinchillas! When you breed you endanger the welfare of the animals and that for purely selfish reasons!


A responsible breeder can be recognized by the following characteristics: Characteristics of a serious hobby breeder