Chinchilla Sounds During Mating, Pregnancy, and Birth

It’s usually a pleasant surprise to most that chinchillas can actually make noise. They have special sounds to draw attention to their owners and other chinchillas, alarm sounds when alarmed or threatened, and fun sounds when doing their daily activities. A common thing you might hear from these animals is a series of small, gentle “barks”.

Some owners prefer to have many chinchillas. If there is more than one, expect the cage to be extra noisy, especially in the evening. Chinchillas are nocturnal, so most of their activity takes place in low light, a habit they have acquired in the wild to avoid predators. It’s funny because these furry creatures remain sensitive to other sounds no matter how loud they are when put together and require their cages to be placed in an area where there isn’t too much clutter. Other sounds, especially loud and sudden, make them nervous.

Besides the swell of sounds you may hear when you have more than one chinchilla, you can expect pregnancy later on. Obviously, a male and female tandem is required for this to happen in a cage. Chinchillas do not have a set time to mate, so the male is usually ready to do so once a female has reached her sexual peak and is interested in her advances. The mating call is usually a series of gargling sounds, followed by a mating dance that involves rubbing its chin on the ground and wagging its tail. He will eventually try to get on top of her and eventually cause more voices to be heard. If the female rejects him, she either fights by running away from him or takes a defensive position by standing on her hind legs. The sounds heard when disturbed include grinding of teeth and a series of aggressive grinding. When the male is turned away, he emits small, solitary sobs that actually sound like little hiccups.

If the act of mating is successful, the male will make strange sounds to signify success. Although they sound like hiccups, they are made further apart from each other.

There are no distinctly different sounds made by the female during pregnancy. He usually continues his normal routine, gnawing and rushing, but at a slower pace. If being harassed by a male, possible sounds could include hostile squeaks or the common “barking” sound. When it finally starts to get cramped that you can hear something like a DJ scratching at a record. The noise becomes more constant and faster when he has to throw his kits out.

Mother chinchillas will clean and eat the placenta from their offspring after birth. While doing this, you can observe him gnawing at the kits until they squeak. She doesn’t harm them in any way. In fact, he has to bite them until he peeks them out to clear the fluid from his lungs.

Expect baby chinchillas to make small but higher-pitched squeaks to indicate their need for feeding or warming by their mother. He too accepts his kit with a slow grunt, gnawing at his ears. This growl continues even while the kit is feeding from its udder. During feeding, the kit makes a noise like a rag while cleaning your window. There are also moments when the squeaks sound like tiny bubbles exploding.

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