Four babies

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AmyinHMB

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May 11, 2022
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We got two chinchillas from different places a year ago and were told both of them were girls. When the boy went through puberty we noticed. I know we should have had him neutered but we thought we would let them have a chance to have babies one time.

Well, two days ago Dandelion had 4 kits. What should we do? We understand that’s pretty hard to make sure they all survive. So far she is taking good care of them but there is definitely one that is a runt with eyes still closed. Should we take that one and hand feed it?

Please tell us what to do. We have them in a good space away from dad that is small and safe with water and food for mom and a house they all can hide in. We just don’t know when to know if we should help. We have not wanted to touch them.
 

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Amethyst

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Not having it's eyes open is not a good sign, they are suppose to be born with their eyes open, was it's weight at birth good? They should all be between 30-60 grams at birth. You and either take it to the vet or if you know what you are doing try warm damp compresses on it's eye and gently try to open them. 4 is a large litter (average is 2), so I would make sure you keep a close eye on weights everyday (a kitchen scale that weighs in grams works best) to make sure they are all getting enough milk, they should all be gaining a couple grams per day or more ( and even more as they get bigger). You may need to rotate the kits out and possibly hand feed them if they aren't gaining or you notice them fighting. If you end up needing to hand feed they need to be fed as often as every 2 hours round the clock for the first 4-6 weeks, so set an alarm so you can get up through the night to feed them and if you leave the house make sure you aren't gone for more then 2 hours. The current suggested thing to hand feed with is goats milk (it's the closest thing to chinchilla milk you can get), either the powder that you mix with water or fresh from the dairy case if a store near you sells it. I also assume you have been feeding the mother alfalfa hay in addition to the pellets and timothy hay to help with the pregnancy and milk production? If not you'll want to do that, it's taking a lot out of her to produce the milk for them.

On a side note, I don't know if the pics were from when you were cleaning the cage or something, but if not that fuzzy mat under the cage is not safe. If the chins chew it it can cause a blockage and kill them.
 
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