My Chin's Behavior is Confusing Me

AkayH27

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Joined
Oct 3, 2018
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Hello everyone! I am new to the forum so nice to meet ya'll.

My name is Alicia and I currently have four chinchillas. Here's some important backstory for my chinchilla family. A little under a year ago I adopted two chinchillas from a friend who could not care for them anymore. Their names are Alfa and Rosa. We were under the belief that Rosa was infertile. She is approx. four years old and during that time shes had two owners besides me: a breeder and my friend. With the breeder, she never conceived any kits and that is why the breeder sold her. My friend adopted her and a male chinchilla (Alfa) under this impression. Fast forward a year or so and I adopted them. Fast forward two months ago and there was a huge surprise in the cage. Rosa had given birth to two kits!

With my very limited knowledge, I sexed them as boys. They both have a definite gap between the cone and such. Some recent events are worrying me. I have mom & kits in a separate cage than Alfa at the moment to prevent any more surprises. While cleaning Alfa's cage today I thought it would be OK for them to hang out for a little bit. Well, I witnessed Alfa mounting the kits multiple times (They are nearly 8 weeks old now).

As they are near weaning age (I think), this worries me because I had plans on keeping the kits with Alfa when fully grown. I don't want them fighting.

Could anyone offer some advice?
 

Amethyst

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I would double check that they are in fact males, it can be hard to tell on young kits. If they are males, mounting is a normal dominance thing, Alfa is simply letting the kits know he is boss. It normally stops pretty quickly, but watch for signs of the kits not being ok with it, chasing, nipping, fur slips, barking, etc.

Also keep in mind that males housed together in the same room as a female can cause the males to fight when she goes into heat. It doesn't happen all they time, some are fine, but others will fight over her even though they can't get to her. The fact that the female is the mother to the kits is irrelevant. So it is something to watch for, if they do fight you may need to move the female to another room.

Just for future reference, chinchillas only breed if they feel the conditions are right. They can go years living together and never have any kits, then a simple move, sometimes something as simple as moving to the other side of the room, can make them decide the time is right. Other times they might not be on the preferred food, they might not like the male they are matched with (at the breeder), they could be stressed, they might not like the temp or lighting, etc. I once had a pair that we got as a male/male pair, one wasn't too friendly and hated being handled, so we just took the person's word for it that it was a boy. They had been together for a few years, then one morning I woke up to two kits scurrying around the bottom of the cage.
 

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