Squirrels are cute animals. If you’ve recently moved to an area that features a lot of squirrels or if suddenly taken an interest in them, we know just why you’re reading this article. As a squirrel lover, it is important to know when new squirrels have babies.
This article will answer that question fully.
Best of all: We’ll delve into other important pieces of information which you also need. Let’s get right into it.
WHEN ARE BABY SQUIRRELS BORN?
Twice every year, the mating season for squirrels occurs. The first litters of baby squirrels are usually born late in February and into March. The second litter is born right in June and July per year. On average, a litter has 3 to 4 squirrels.
In case you might be asking yourself: What leads up to the actual mating?
Here is some more information:
The cycle starts when a female squirrel is around a year old. Once the winter begins to give way to warmth, some changes begin to occur. For starters, the female squirrel’s body begins to send off some peculiar pheromones. Next, she begins to make a chirping noise.
The sounds and pheromones band together to attract male squirrels. The combination transmits a message to the male squirrels. They are now able to know that the female squirrel is now fertile and ready to mate.
Unlike the male squirrels who are fertile all through the year, the females are only fertile one or two times in per year. Since the fertility of the female squirrels isn’t common, the male squirrels pick up on it fast. They become quite excited and begin to search for the females emitting those messages.
The male squirrels will begin to chase the female squirrels in order to begin mating. Often, two males chase the same female. The disagreement is solved by a fight between both male squirrels.
However, here’s something you should know:
The fight between the male squirrels is not a violent one and no squirrel is intimidated. On one hand, it makes a lot of sense. If both males started to fight, they would probably scare the female squirrel.
In the non-violent fight, the males simply act aggressively to each other with the intention of chasing the other squirrel away from the female. The fight is won when one squirrel becomes intimidated and runs away.
HOW LONG DO SQUIRRELS CARRY THEIR BABIES?
This period is called the gestation period. A squirrel’s gestation period lasts about 38 to 46 days. Baby squirrels are called KITS.
When a female squirrel is almost ready to give birth to a baby squirrel, she begins to nest. In simple terms, she begins to look for a safe place to give birth. This place must offer protection from predators.
Usually, mother squirrels will not give birth to their baby squirrel in the same place they used to live in before getting pregnant. This is because squirrels usually live in trees. Sadly, trees expose the babies to more predators than they can handle at that age.
This is why squirrels often choose to give birth in humans’ spaces. This is usually in attics, chimneys, inside roofs, and behind hidden walls.
WHEN DO SQUIRRELS LEAVE THE NEST?
As is natural, when squirrels get to a certain age, they get old enough to leave the nest. Here is a little timeline to help you understand a bit of the life cycle of squirrels.
WEEK ONE AND TWO
The newborn babies, called are pink all over. Their eyes and ears are closed up and they feed from their mother.
WEEK TWO TO THREE
Towards the end of the second week, the kits’ skins begin to darken. Their eyes and ears remain closed and they continue to nurse.
WEEK THREE TO FOUR
During the third week, the kits begin to develop fur. However, it is wispy and fuzzy. On the other hand, there is no change in their eyes or ears; they remain closed. They are still nursing at this stage.
WEEK FOUR TO FIVE
The kits will begin to develop proper fur. Finally, their eyes and ears open for the first time. However, they are still very dependent on their mother for food.
In the sixth week, the kits begin to look like squirrels. They start to grow bushy and cute tails. They are more explorative although still feed from their mother.
Finally, the mother begins to wean her babies. By this, we mean that she will stop them from nursing and move them onto normal solid foods. She will do this by gradually giving them solids to eat. At this stage, the kits will still nurse, albeit less frequently.
During this stage, the little squirrels will begin to venture out of the net. Although, not far.
In the tenth week, the squirrels have stopped nursing fully. They are now almost ready to leave the nest. They grow more explorative. Their diets begin to accommodate various fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Now, the squirrels are mature and grown. However, their front teeth will never stop growing. This is when they will leave the nest. They begin to fend for themselves. At this stage, a squirrel can get to food buried a foot under snow. They will learn how to run in zigzags to get away from predators.
Squirrels are wonderful rodents. If you’ve stumbled upon a nest, be sure to observe from a distance. This is because the mother will act violently if she considers you a threat.
If the nest is without a mother, you might need to step in. try to keep them warm and dry. Next, contact your local veterinary as fast as you can. Trained doctors will have a better shot at keeping them alive than you would.