First of all, congratulations on the new addition
I'm pro letting the dad help out, but if you do not want any more kits, you really need to remove him from the cage, and place him in an other cage for about 3-5 days.
Just keep the two cages lose together, so the adults can see and smell each other. This makes it very easy to re-introduce them.
You might also want to consider getting him castrated. There is a risk, but it's minimal.
Aside from Star’s outbursts, the family unit seems strong & they seem to be very close knit. If Star’s not running the cage, or chewing like a cribbing horse, she’s doting on baby. I’m very worried about her.
Baby seems very healthy. He’s active, he climbs the ramps already, he seems to react to us well, he seems really normal, as far as I can tell, but how can I be sure? I’ve never had any experience with kits before.
If he's moving around, making sounds and mom and dad accept him, there's little chance of there being anything wrong with him.
You should weigh him once a day though.
1-2 days after birth, the kits can loose a couple of grams, or stay on the same weight.
After this period, they should begin to gain 1-2 grams a day, for about a week, and then the weight gain slowly increases.
I feel like such an irresponsible pet owner. Now, I don’t know what to do! Our little Christmas miracle is so sweet, & very cute, but I’m afraid we’re doing something wrong!
If you still don't know how to check gender, now might be the time to look into it, other than that, it sounds like you are doing fine
Any advice is greatly appreciated! I feel like I’m walking in the dark here & it seems that every website I find with info on raising kits has conflicting information. We only have 1 vet in our area that accepts Chins & she’s the one who told us that Star was a boy, so I’m not jumping at the chance to see her again.
This is very sad but true: As a general rule of thumb, you need to have some idea about what's wrong with your animal, before you visit the vet.
As far as I can understand, it's quite common for "educated" people not being able to tell the gender of rodents. With chinchillas this is a bit sad, because it's very easy if you've just seen 1 male and 1 female (and you know you've seen one of each
). You can tell the gender right after they are born.
And you do not need to worry about mom. It's hard to give birth and nurse a baby. She just want's some alone time, and when she has dad to help her out, that not a problem because he will take care of the kit.
If you put him into another cage the chance is that she'll just spend more time with the kit.
If you want to, you can also put the kit in with dad a couple of times a day.
Should I seek out a new vet? Is a vet necessary in this situation? I know they can mate right after delivery, how can I tell if Star is expecting again? Is it safe for her to conceive right after having her first baby?
Nah, no need for a vet.
She might be pregnant again, because she's ready just after birth and a few days forward. It's not the best thing in the world, but it shouldn't be a problem either.
You just need to give her a lot of calcium so you are sure she has enough for her, milk for the kit, and i she's expecting again, calcium for the new kit/kits bones.
What type of feed do you use?
Females used for breeding need a higher content of protein than a pet chinchilla does.
Most standard chinchilla pellets should contain this though.
So weigh the kit once a day.
Give mom some extra calcium (cuttle bone is a good thing)
Make sure you hold the kit every day, so it get used to humans.
Think about getting dad fixed.