How Many Chinchillas Are In a Litter? Here’s the Answer…

Taking care of a pregnant Chinchilla is an exciting experience and chances are you can’t wait for those cute little bundles of fur to enter into the world.

There is lots to learn about when caring for Chinchillas during pregnancy and so many questions to be answered. How do you know what to expect? How many Chinchillas are likely to be in the litter?

So, how many Chinchillas are there in a Litter? Chinchilla litters are usually between 1-4 chinchilla kits at a time and the average litter size is 2 kits. Chinchilla litters are relatively small compared to other animal species, although mother chinchillas can actually have up to 6 kits in a single litter on rare occasions.

Read On to Find Out…

How Many Chinchillas Are There In a Litter? (More info)

Chinchillas are rodents and many of us will associate these types of species to produce large litters such as mice who can give birth to up to 14 pups at a time. 

This isn’t the case for Chinchillas and they tend to only have a very small litter of kits.

On average you should expect your Chinchilla to give birth to 2 kits during a pregnancy on average, which is a slight relief as a large litter would require lots more work and space to care for them correctly.

With this being said, chinchillas can regularly give birth to anywhere from 1-4 kits at a time and have even been known to give birth to as many as 6 kits in a single litter.

What Are Baby Chinchillas Called?

In the same way, baby dogs are called puppies and baby cats are called kittens, baby Chinchillas are also referred to with a specialised name. 

Baby Chinchillas are known as ‘Kits’ or ‘Baby Kits’. This name originated from the shorthand word for the name ‘kittens’ although no-one generally uses the word ‘kitten’ to refer specifically to baby Chinchillas.

They are also commonly referred to as baby chinchillas, young or juveniles. Baby kits are super adorable. They are fun little balls of fur and we think the name ‘Kit’ is pretty cute.

How Often Do Chinchillas Have a Litter?

Chinchillas that are in the right circumstances for breeding generally have between 1-3 litters per year. 

As mentioned previously the litter usually consists of around 2 baby kits per litter and with all-year-round breeding, you should expect up to 6 new-borns each year.

Healthy Chinchilla kits are born with their eyes wide open, are covered in fur, and take to everyday life pretty quickly. 

It isn’t uncommon for a kit to be up and walking around independently within an hour of birth or even playing. 

Having a smaller litter gives the mother Chinchilla a much better chance of being able to look after her young sufficiently during the early stages.

How Long Is The Gestation Period With Chinchillas?

Chinchilla’s gestation period (the length of time their pregnancy lasts) is a longer one than you may expect. 

On average a mother is pregnant for 111 days but can range between 105-128 days. This is a rather long pregnancy if you compare to say a mouse who generally has a gestation period of around 20 days.

Gestation Period In Chinchillas

PeriodNumber Of Days

The gestation period for Chinchillas can vary slightly breed by breed. For example, a Lanigera breed can be between 105-111 days whilst a Brevicaudata breed has a longer pregnancy between 124-128 days. 

When mixing these two breeds the average gestation period is likely to be 111-128 days.

How Long Does It Take For Chinchillas to Give Birth?

Chinchilla births on the grand scale of things happen pretty darn quickly. The majority of births will happen during the night or early hours of the morning. 

You may find that the mother will show signs of labour being imminent the day before. She will often show signs of aggression towards other male Chinchillas and is likely to go off her food.

During the onset of labour, you may experience the mother Chinchilla, groaning, stretching, and making sounds of pain. Her genitals, nose, and mouth will be wet. 

The most strenuous part of labour will generally only be around 30 mins, however, multiple births can take up to a few hours. 

If you are in a situation where you find the labour is exceeding this time, it is fair to assume something is not quite right and it is wise to seek professional veterinary advice.

Another question we get a lot is…when can baby chinchillas have their first dust bath? We’ve answered this question here…

Do All Babies In The Litter Survive?

Unfortunately, not all baby kits survive in the litter which can be particularly distressing for any owner. 

The situation often seems worse due to the small litter’s Chinchillas have. 

Complications with chinchillas pregnancies are common for a few reasons:


A miscarriage, otherwise known as a spontaneous abortion, can occur at any time during pregnancy. 

A Chinchilla mother that has not been fed the right foods which are high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients may be at a higher risk of miscarriage.

Stressful situations, such as the mother not being held correctly can also bring on spontaneous abortions. In this type of situation, it is not uncommon for the mother to ‘self-abort’ if suddenly scared or threatened. 

This can easily be achieved by fighting, jumping, and falling in and out of the cage. This will ultimately cause her to lose the developing foetus.

Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is an important part of leading a healthy life and your Chinchilla mother is no different. 

It is responsible for the development of healthy bones and teeth and you should ensure your Chinchilla is fed enough feeds that include adequate amounts of calcium. If this is not the case you will probably need to consider calcium supplementation.

If a deficiency is present during pregnancy, the female Chinchilla will be drained of Calcium which can have a serious knock-on effect on their unborn kits. 

You must make sure you check the female’s tooth enamel colour regularly as this will give you a very clear idea of the calcium and iron levels present in the body.

Back Breeding

Back breeding is a term used for a female Chinchilla who has started breeding immediately after having a litter where she is still nursing a litter. 

Back breeding can occur anywhere up to 36 hours after giving birth and this should be highly discouraged.

Mothers who are nursing tend to be on the weaker side and have lower levels of calcium and iron in their system. 

This is partly due to nursing the litter which can really take it out of them. Becoming pregnant again at this time can cause complications for them which will transfer to the unborn litter.


Chinchillas do not generally eat their babies, unlike some species. Although it is much rarer to see this than with other animals, it is completely possible and Chinchillas have been known to eat their new-born.

There are several reasons for this. If the mother sees that one of the kits is seriously ill, they will likely eat them. The same goes for those kits that may have been stillborn.

If a female Chinchilla is suffering through starvation or is ill and thinks it may die, survival instincts kick in and she will more than likely eat her baby kits.

Right now you might be wondering if chinchilla mothers actually do eat their babies? well, take a look at our new post where we researched this very topic and share now likely this is to happen…

What Size And Weight Are Kits?

One of the first things you want to consider with baby kits is their weight and size. 

Baby Chinchillas that are underweight are not likely to survive. Some Chinchillas grow much faster than others do, however, there are some guidelines you can follow that will be a good indicator of how well your baby kit is progressing with their development.

An ideal weight for a new-born kit is around 30g – 60g which translates to 1kg-2.1kg. 

The general rule of thumb is, the larger the kit is at birth, the more likely they are to survive or experience fewer complications.

Kits reach adulthood at around the 8-month mark. It is then you can consider your Chinchillas is fully grow. 

It is fair to say that adult weights vary and are largely based on the Chinchilla breed. For example;

  • Long-Tailed Chinchillas weigh approx. 370g – 490g (0.37kg – 0.49kg)
  • Short-Tailed Chinchillas are much heavier and weigh approx. 1000g – 1400g (1.1kg – 1.4kg)
  • Females are considered much heavier than males in general

Weighing your Chinchilla kits regularly is important to check on their growth and development. This can be easily carried out by using a set of kitchen scales. Make sure you weigh your kits one at a time and log their progress.

What Age Are Kits Weaned?

Chinchilla kits are weaned at quite a young age. You must ensure weaning takes place no earlier than 8 weeks or it is likely your kit may not be ready to leave its mother. It will also help eliminate any health and behaviour problems.

Experts believe that the ideal age is 12 weeks old to begin weaning, however, it is important they have reached an ideal weight of 200g before commencing. 

If the kit is of age, but still a little underweight, you will need to leave this process a little longer.

This is actually a really important question and because of this we have created an article that answers all your questions regarding weaning chinchillas

You can access the easy to follow guide right here…

There is, however, such a thing as weaning too late and this can cause its problems. The consequences of weaning too late are likely to consist of severe fighting between siblings and inbreeding is also highly possible. 

Chinchillas, along with many other animal species, are oblivious to the fact they are related to their siblings. Once sexual maturity has been reached, all bets are off.

Can You House Chinchillas of the Same Litter Together?

Chinchillas from the same litter can absolutely be housed together providing there is enough room and hiding places for them all to happily live as one. Providing adequate company is always preferred with this species.

It is always best to keep male and female apart unless you plan on breeding. Once kits have been weaned and reached sexual maturity, it is at this stage you want to start splitting up males and females or start the neutering process.

Male and female breeding partners can successfully cohabit together although Chinchillas are renowned for being somewhat aggressive towards one another, particularly during the breeding season.

Make sure you have enough individual rest boxes and also a communal box for when they wish to be together.

Have you ever wondered if chinchillas need to be housed together? Or if they do better in pairs?

We head over to our new guide that explains all you need to about housing your chinchillas together…


  • Expect around 2 kits to be born in a litter (but be prepared for unusual circumstances i.e up to 6 on rare occasions)
  • Chinchillas can breed up to 3 times a year and back breeding can occur almost straight away
  • Be prepared that some kits may not survive (look at this as nature taking its course)
  • An ideal weight for kits is 30g – 60g. Weigh regularly to track progress
  • Weaning should occur when kits are 12 weeks old or thereabouts. No weaning should begin until your kits have reached 8 weeks old and solid weight to 200g
  • Chinchillas of the same litter can successfully be housed together, but you must ensure that if you do not want males and females to mate you either house them separately or go down the neutering route.

Adam Woods

Hi, My name is Adam. I'm the main author of Pocket Pets Forever. I'm a pocket pet enthusiast and I love sharing my knowledge and passion for these amazing animals. Thank you for supporting us on our journey as we continue to publish content with the aim of helping owners care for their pets in the best way possible!

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