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When Can a Chinchilla Leave Its Mother?

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If you have the delight of a mother chinchilla and her youngster in your care, it's crucial to not break the rodent duo apart until both of them are totally ready. Thankfully, the weaning process is a very helpful marker in determining the exact point at which a kit is ready to break away from mom and go at it alone.

Chinchilla Basic Information

Chinchillas are wee mammals that are often kept as household pets. For the rodent world, chinchillas have quite impressive longevity, in the range of 12 to 20 years. These energetic and herbivorous gray creatures do well when fed alfalfa hay, orchard grass, Timothy hay, chinchilla pellets and fresh vegetables -- think celery, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

Separating a Young Chinchilla From His Mother

Baby chinchillas, which are referred to as kits, usually begin the transition to solid foods when they're in 8 to 10 weeks in age. However, it's up to the mama chinchilla to make the exact determination. Never take a chinchilla away from his mother until he's completely weaned. By the time a chinchilla is somewhere between 12 and 14 weeks old, he should be ready to say goodbye to mom and leave for his new life in a new home.

Weaning Age Considerations

Not all chinchillas finish weaning at the same exact time. A few key factors, such as overall health and physical development, can determine when a chinchilla is weaned, according to the website SmallAnimalChannel.com. Do not separate a baby chinchilla from his mother if weaning is still in process, even if the kit is past the usual separation age. If you have any questions about your kit or his mother, speak to your veterinarian.

Larger Litters of Chinchillas

The typical size of a chinchilla litter is usually two. However, the litters can be as small as one kit and as large as six. If the litter is large, it might take the mother a little longer to begin weaning. After all, she has more on her hands -- or "paws," to be specific.