How to Breed Chinchillas for you with Easy and Profitable
Dedicate yourself to them before you even think about acquiring a breeding pair. Most chinchillas are re-homed within their first year of ownership. Make sure you REALLY can commit to them. Think about your future plans. Many people re-home chinchillas to 'make room for the new baby', they are going away to college or their parents/roommates/partners don't like them.
This is not acceptable. If you take these animals on you are committing to them for the duration of their lifespan. This is 15-20 YEARS for each new life, not whenever you get tired of them. Are you willing to move with them? Change your career around them? Cancel vacation plans? This is not something that you just up and do one day. Please read the following article and think it through!
So, You Want to Be a Breeder?
You've Browsed the Pet Forums
You've walked through the kittens and puppies at the pet stores. You love baby animals because they're so cute and you think, hey I'd like to try that! I love baby animals; it'd be great to have some around. However, do you really have any idea what you're getting yourself into? All you need is one walk through your local shelter to see many unwanted pets that have come from litter, planned or not; of people thinking the exact same thing, baby animals are cute!
Breeding Is Not Something to Be Taken Lightly
It is not something you just decide to do one day, then run out and acquire a breeding pair. There are countless aspects that must be studied and understood before one undertakes such a responsibility. I hope that with this article, some of these things will be brought to light and help you make an informed decision.
Before Any Other Aspect Is Even Thought About
the first issue to consider is financial. Breeding costs A LOT of money. Don't be fooled by those high pedigree prices, breeding costs, it does not earn. Breeders are lucky if they break even at years end. However, more often than not they don't. You need money for the initial purchase of the animals, their vet fees, building/buying the proper accommodations, high-quality diet, registry fees, birthing and weaning/whelping supplies…and the list goes on.
You also need a reserve fund for emergency services (C -sections, injuries, unforeseen ailments). If you do not have the reserve funds, you should not even start to think about pairing up your animals. Calling someone up saying "can you help, something's wrong but I can't afford the vet" is a sure sign you should not be breeding.
The Animals Must Come First and Foremost
So you can't afford that steak dinner on Friday night; your pet could die instead. If you aren't willing to make sacrifices for your pet, again you should not be breeding.
So you've decided that financially you are stable and are willing to put the animals before yourself. Ask yourself, why is it that I want to breed? If the first thing that comes to mind is that you love puppies (or kitties, or kits…) then this should be a huge red flag. There are plenty of baby animals waiting for the adoption, go rescue one of them. You say you have fallen in love with a breed/species of animal and you want to have them in your life.
You've decided to devote yourself to learning all you can and want to help share your love with others. Again ask yourself, is rescue an option? So you've looked in your local shelter and there's none of 'x' there. Have you looked further? There are often many 'x' specific rescue organizations and just because there are none in your shelter, doesn't mean there's not 10 in the next city over. If you are not willing to put a little effort into looking, how will you be able to put the effort needed into researching and breeding 'x'?
There is also the option of starting your own 'x' specific rescue, offering your services to 'x's' whose owners can no longer care for them. There is no true 'right' answer, but if you have considered all the above and are still wanting to devote yourself to the breeding of 'x' consider this next aspect.
What Are Your Plans for All the Baby x's?
Sure you think, I'll give one to my neighbor, my mom wants one, the guy down the street and so on. But is that really in the best interest of the baby x's? Reputable breeders screen long and hard the potential homes for their babies. They don't want them to be the x's at the shelter you passed over in favor of creating more.
What about the newspaper? Surely, you could unload them through there. Wait, did you just say unload? Now you're trying to dump them? Clearly another red flag. If you don't have the desire or time to properly screen potential homes then stop! Don't breed. The baby x's should not have to suffer because they have become an inconvenience to you.
Nothing is worse than seeing an ad "x's on sale, must move quick need room for even more baby 'x's'" If you can't place the ones you have, why on earth are you trying to make more? Do you want to see the shelters full? You must be prepared to offer these x's a lifelong home with you in the event that there are no suitable owners in your area. Keep in mind too, how many babies your animal can have.
Some may only have 1, 2, or 3, but others may have 10, 20 even hundreds. Are you really prepared for housing all the babies that may come?
Oh, That's Right, Do You Have Space?
Not just a spare corner, but true room to allow these animals to live the quality of life they deserve. Just because something fits there doesn't mean it has enough space. Do your research; find out what reputable breeders and owners recommend for each individual animal to live comfortably.
Then look at the space you have and see if it really does 'fit' the animal. Is the space animal proof? A lot of animals, especially babies can be very destructed through the growing phases. If it's a space full of antiques you may want to reconsider. Babies are also extremely active and are constantly exploring. Have you made sure that there is plenty of room for them to grow into? Remember that having room for 2 x's is one thing, having room for 2 x's and 13 babies is another.
This brings us to another very important question, do you have the time? Time for the research, time for the vet, time for hand feeding, time for socializing, time for training, and the list goes on. There may very well be times when the animal's need for 'time' overtakes time for many other existing parts of your life, such as your current job. Many workplaces will not allow you to bring your pets to work. So, what will you do if you need to hand-rear the litter?
The Young Will Also Need to Be Fed Through the Night
This can be very exhausting. Are you really prepared to do this every 2-4hrs for 6-12 weeks (depending on the animal)? Socializing is another very important aspect of raising your litter. If you are away 8-10hrs a day, how will you properly socialize these new lives? Expecting the mom to do everything by herself is quite unfair. Also, especially if this is a first-time mom, leaving her alone for such a long period of time can be very risky.
Births can very easily have complications. Nervous moms can abandon or even kill their young. If you aren't around, there is no one to step in and save the litter. For most, breeding becomes a full-time job, especially when litters are born. Are you prepared to commit yourself to make them the priority in your life? Again, consider as well the financial aspect. You may have the cash flow now. But if you need to take 3-4 months off work, a couple times a year, do you still have the finances you thought you had?
Breeding can be very rewarding, but it is also full of heart ach. Nothing is worse than spending months and years doing research, then spending hours and days fighting for life only to lose it in the end. Loosing an individual, a litter, a mother is incredibly heart-wrenching. Even if you do everything right, losses are still going to happen. Are you emotionally stable enough to handle these losses that can and will occur?
Nothing Here Is to Be Taken Lightly
Simply reading this and saying 'yes I can do all this is not enough. A weekend of research is not enough. Anyone can put a male and female together, it's not rocket science. Saying yes here is the first step. If you are still eager, then I wish you the best of luck. But please, do your research and do it well.
Email breeders of your animal of choice and learn from their experiences. Visit shows, read books as many as you can. Even the experienced are still learning so never think you know it all. And remember, never close your door to an animal in need. If you are breeding x's and someone contacts you needing to find a home for their x, help them. Turning them away only works against you.
Be honest, ask questions, and be patient. All good things come with time. They can't be rushed. Good luck.