Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Had someone ask the other day about breeding.  Well, actually, happens all the time, but the other day was notable, because they actually asked reasonable questions that would help determine if they wanted to breed.

I believe they decided against it.

But let me share with you just one kind of interesting tidbit on why it's not your get-rich-quick scheme, and it actually is work.

One of my runs is a mosaic male, and he has three standard females.  I got them back sometime in the summer, and they've been in breeding.  Maybe a week or two ago, one of his females littered.  Two babies.  All standard grey. 

For those that don't know, a mosaic x grey pairing should result in about 50% white / 50% grey babies.  Pay attention, this will be important later.

So she has her two babies.  Maybe a week later, another of his females has babies.  Three of them, all standard grey.  So out of 5 babies... all grey... at least two should have been white.  But nope, all five, standard grey.

Now here's where the money part comes in... guess what color flies off the shelves?  I'll give you a hint, it's not grey.  So all those people who would think, ok they stuck these pairings together, going to get lots of white babies to sell for lots of $$$, the world works against you sometimes.

So, the chin that has three babies, one of hers gets out.  The feeder was empty, and the baby literally crawled up the inside of the feeder and out of the cage.  Caught him and put him back.  Filled the feeder up so this can't happen again.  Few days later, I have people here, and they tell me something small ran across the floor, maybe a baby chinchilla.  Sure as shit, same one.  We catch him, put him back.  Turns out, that cage they're in has one small section of wire that's missing a crossbar... yep, the turd got out from there.  So I put more wire on top of that and now he's secure. 

And then a day or so later, one of the three babies die.  Which of course, is sad, but statistically, chinchilla mortality is right around 20-25%, so that's about right, for 1 in 5 to die. 

So even for the person considering that they were going to have 5 standard babies to sell, now it's down to four.  And mind you, again, they're standards.  I love me some standard greys, and one of my customers the other day said something I really liked -- that the standard grey is the "classic" color (haha), I like how he put it -- but pet people often want something unusual.  I'm actually surprised how many violets and whites I've found homes for this year.... but not nearly so many standards.

Some people want the standards because, in general, they tend to be less expensive.  But the grand majority of phone calls I get start out something like, "I want a chinchilla... but do you have something other than grey... I'd like to get an unusual one..."  Just saying, those standards will have a hard time moving.

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