Last year in February I was walking down the park path when I came across a chinchilla. It was a very small chinchilla. But I could not determine the age of that chinchilla.
Skipping to the good part!
Today that chinchilla is my pet which is approximately one year and approximately 2 months old! I LOVE IT!
As my chinchillas grew up I tried to keep a record of how they aged.
So in this article, I have tried to discuss the details about chinchillas’ bodies and behaviors that hint at their age.
Guessing the Age of Baby, Adult, and Old Chinchillas
If you have come across baby chinchillas, they are easily recognizable. How so? Let’s see.
Well, the gestation period of average chinchillas is around 110 days. Young Chinchillas are called kits.
Okay, so chinchillas are born with fur covering their entire body. Newborn almost 30 minutes old chinchillas are around ¼ of their mother’s size and have a full fur coat covering their entire body. They open their eyes within minutes of their birth.
Initially, as they are born they must be found under their mother’s torso huddling together. But later on within hours, they will be seen running around the cage.
Newborn chinchillas have very delicate and thin legs which eventually gain some mass.
Also, the ends of the legs meet the feet ahead, there the fur covering is not that much and you might be able to look for those. These limbs are so short that they can be easily recognizable as baby chinchillas.
Also, the tails of Newborn chinchillas are very thin and their fur is also somewhat coarse texture. So this too is a factor that says what age the chinchilla is.
Young adult Chinchillas might be recognized for the fact they are quite self-sufficient and their size will almost match their mother’s. Also, adult Chinchillas might not be living with their mother anymore.
They will look like average Chinchillas with luxurious fur covering their bodies. In most cases, they grow a bushy tail with the same almost shiny fur.
They will also have sturdier and more muscular limbs. The hind limbs are a bit longer than the forelimbs, which helps them jump and run around. Like other species of rodents, chinchillas grow long teeth. And thus they engage in constant biting and nibbling on stuff.
Compared to other ages of chinchillas, recognizing an old chinchilla requires you to consider quite a number of factors.
Before anything, you must understand that Chinchillas are happy-go-lucky creatures. They will jump around and run around all today long if they can. Chinchilla’s standstill moments are very few and in-between.
But what happens in old age is that their demeanor starts changing. They become a little calm. Old chinchillas do not move around so much. If cage bred they might sit in the corner of a cage and nibble on food.
Now with respect to the first point let’s look at why this change in behavior is seen in old chinchillas. The reason is their bones. Yes, in cages chinchillas can live up to 15-20 years. But in the last few years, they might lose their agility and flexibility.
Their old bones might not be able to sustain them anymore and thus the chinchillas become comparatively quiet, reserved, and placeable creatures sitting in corners of cages.
If they were in the wild like this then it would have been quite difficult for them to run away. They might have fallen victim to predators and this sort of explains the chinchillas shortened life in the wild.
Another thing to look at to understand the age of chinchillas is the texture of their fur. In old age, chinchillas might suffer from bald spots on their skins. Bald spots are where chunks have fallen off the chinchillas’ bodies due to some underlying disease or just because of age, the furs lose strength.
The luxurious lecture is also hard to come by in cold chinchillas. You might notice a dull appearance of their coats which could be a dead giveaway of chinchillas’ age.
So these are the common ways to determine a chinchilla’s age. The average lifespan of a chinchilla in captivity is around 15-20 years. If your chinchilla is very old, take better care of it. Proper care and diet will keep the chinchillas healthy and happy for a long. And thus prevent old age symptoms.
Hope this article was helpful in answering some of your queries!