Lots have been written about the different colour mutations that we see nowadays. All these mutations have their origin from the Standard form, which is grey with a white belly. They are by far the most common chinchillas available and are also the cheapest.
Another colour that is becoming more common is Beige. There are 2 forms of Beige, Homozygous and Heterozygous. Both have white bellies. The Homozygous are much lighter in colour and have bright red eyes. The Heterozygous normally have dark red eyes that almost look brown. I’ll try to explain the main difference without writing a doctorate on genes. You can pair up a Standard and a Beige chinchilla. If the Beige is Heterozygous the babies will either be Standard or Hetero Beige. On average it will be 50% of each. Very seldom will you get a Homo Beige. In 5 years we only had one case where this happened.
If you pair up a Standard and a Homo Beige all the babies will be Beige, normally Hetero Beige but with a better chance of Homo Beige kits being born. The cheapest way to get Beige babies is to pair up a Homo Beige male with a Standard female or visa versa. This will guarantee Beige kits. The reason this is cheaper is because Standards are cheaper to purchase than Beige. To guarantee Homo Beige kits you need both a Homo Beige male and female. If one parent is Homo Beige and the other Hetero Beige the kits will normally go 50% either way.
Currently there are not a big variety of different colours in South Africa and breeders do not readily share information. We have 2 friends who also breed chinchillas and we share information on the colours we have and the kits being born. We also keep record of the bloodlines to prevent inbreeding as we swop amongst ourselves for different colours and bloodlines. They will also advertise available kits on our website and keeping record will prevent customers from buying related chinchillas.
The colours we currently have are Standard, Homo Beige, Hetero Beige, Tan, Ebony, Mosaic, Violet and Pink White. It is crucial never to allow 2 White chinchillas to mate. If the kits survive they will normally be weak and not suitable for breeding. It is not fair to the chinchillas to breed inferior animals.
Tan is a brown chinchilla and the colour can differ from light Tan to extra dark Tan. The difference between Beige and Light Tan is that a Light Tan will not have a white belly. It will look Beige but will have the same colour all over.
Ebony is a black chinchilla and is also classed from light to extra dark. The same difference applies between a light Ebony and a Standard. The Light Ebony will be gray all over. You also get Ebony carriers which results from one parent being Ebony. When crossed with a darker Ebony it improves the chances of darker offspring. When crossed with Tan it improves the chances of a darker Tan or Ebony. Crossing Ebony with Beige can produce Tan kits.
Mosaic is the term used for a cross between a White and almost any other colour. Our Mosaics are a cross between White and Standard. Crossing them with Standard can produce Mosaic, Silver White or Stand