Raccoon mating, breeding, and reproduction are pretty standard in terms of mammals. But there are some interesting facts surrounding raccoon breeding that sets them apart from other species. In fact, raccoons are fascinating mammals to learn about because they are so intelligent and curious. They exhibit strange and intelligent mannerisms and behaviors that still have us humans scratching our heads! Learning about raccoons is fun, and will give you a deeper Advanced Wildlife Removal Mills River NC 28759 appreciate for these smart wild animals. As for breeding, there is a lot to know! Continue reading to learn about mother raccoons and their litters.
Raccoons generally breed in early spring, usually around February or March, but also in early fall around September and October. However, mothers only raise one litter per year, so their breeding season depends on the region in which they live. Babies are born in April and Mills River NC 28759 May since mother raccoons have a 65-day gestation period, give or take a few days. When they breed in the fall, babies are born in November or early December, right before they shelter-up for the winter.
Depending on the region and climate, litter sizes will vary. Most mother raccoons give birth to 2 to 5 kits, but sometimes just a single one. Litter sizes are typically larger in areas where raccoon Advanced Wildlife Removal Mills River NC 28759 mortality rates are higher. Raccoon babies are called “kits” or “cubs”, and are actually born blind, deaf, and without teeth! But they are born with their trademark black mask around the eyes. After 3 weeks or so, their eyes and ear canals will start to open. Once they are 2 lbs. or so, they will begin exploring their surroundings on their own. By 6 to 9 weeks, they are eating solid Mills River NC 28759 foods, and by 4 months old, they are completely weaned from their mother’s milk and hunting on their own. At this point juveniles split up for fall and winter since mother raccoons have already shown them to dens and food sources.
Mothers and Fathers
Male raccoons have no part in raising their young. It’s not personal, it’s just nature. Mother raccoons, on the other hand, are very protective of their litters. In fact, Mills River NC 28759 it is common for dogs and humans to be bitten or attacked by a mother raccoon trying to protect her young. For this reason, it is vital to never attempt to touch or instigate a raccoon if you see her with her young! Mother raccoons are great moms too. They show their kits how to hunt, climb trees, and protect themselves.