How Old Are Raccoons When They Leave The Nest

Living in Harmony With Raccoons

About Raccoons

Raccoons share a common ancestry with bears, and they originally lived in forests close to waterways. Like their cousins, raccoons are true omnivores who eat a wide variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, eggs, insects, frogs, and crayfish. They will eat whatever is available, using their dexterous paws to pluck morsels from small hiding places.

Raccoons possess acute senses of sight and hearing and a highly developed sense of touch. A raccoon’s forefeet are extremely agile and resemble human hands with their five slender fingers. Highly independent and somewhat solitary creatures, raccoons are nocturnal. They hunt at night camouflaged by their distinctive coats and rest by day in the hollows of high trees.

Though humans have occupied the vast majority of their traditional habitat, raccoons are opportunistic and curious animals and have learned to coexist with people. For these reasons, close encounters between raccoons and humans are extremely common in urban and suburban areas.

These clever, gregarious animals with the characteristic black mask surrounding their eyes have been known to pry the lids off sealed garbage cans, raid campsites and coolers, and even turn on the tap for a drink of water. While some people take great delight in watching raccoons’ nightly antics, others consider the animals’ high jinks a nuisance. Thankfully, there are plenty of humane, common-sense solutions to perceived conflicts with these wild animals.

Did You Know?

Raccoons are widely known for their unusual habit of “washing” their food or hands in water. In fact, the scientific name for the raccoon is Procyon lotor, the Latin word “lotor” meaning “washer.” Many theories have been proposed to explain why raccoons engage in this interesting ritual, but most scientists believe that it is related to raccoons’ innate tendency to forage for food near water sources.

Solving Conflicts Compassionately

Because raccoons are opportunistic feeders, the key to resolving conflicts with them is to contain available food sources. Once food is contained, raccoons will move on. Seal garbage cans (use bungee cords on lids), cover compost bins, and place netting over fish ponds. Putting out garbage on the day that it will be picked up will discourage raccoons from frequenting the area. Feed companion animals inside or be sure to remove any food placed outside when the animals are finished eating. Most importantly, never feed wildlife! Also, keep an outdoor light or radio on at night or use motion-detector lights or sprinklers to deter raccoons.

Raccoons give birth from January through June and often use attics and chimneys as dens to raise their young. If you discover a family of raccoons nesting in or around your home, the animals should not be removed until fall (when nesting season has ended) in order to avoid separating young raccoons from their parents. It is inhumane to let the little ones starve to death, and the mother will also try frantically to reach her young and could damage your property in the process. Young raccoons do not venture out of the nest until they are 8 to 9 weeks of age. Trapping and moving the family is not recommended because it will almost certainly separate the mother from her young. Furthermore, relocating solitary raccoons or small raccoon families is illegal in most places and will likely result in their being mauled and killed by resident raccoons.

When you’re certain that the young raccoons have left the nest, frightening devices, such as a portable radio or a mechanic’s light, can be used to evict the animals. Making the area as smelly as possible by placing a few ammonia-soaked rags is a very useful deterrent. Because raccoons are nocturnal animals, evicting them is easiest around dusk when they begin their nightly routines. Storms, dogs barking, or other atypical outdoor disturbances can delay eviction. If raccoons must be evicted during nesting season for safety reasons, it can take several days for a mother to move babies to a new nest once humane deterrents are in place.

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Once you are certain that the raccoons have left, carefully inspect the area for animals before installing exclusion devices. Install a chimney cap and repair and seal openings. Never use smoke or fire to drive animals out of chimneys. This will almost certainly kill young animals who are not physically able to leave on their own—whether they be raccoons, squirrels, opossums, or birds. Once areas are sealed, watch and listen for signs that young animals have been trapped inside, including young animals crying out or moving inside walls or fixtures, mothers pacing in the vicinity, or mothers scratching, chewing, or pawing at the area. If you discover that young animals have been sealed inside, reopen the sealed area immediately so that the mother can attend to her young.

If for some reason you find an adult raccoon in your home after you seal off points of entry, remain calm. If left alone, raccoons will not cause any harm. The best thing to do is to close openings providing access to other parts of the house, open windows and doors through which the raccoon can exit, and then wait quietly for the animal to escape.

Once the raccoons have been evicted, you should not attempt to trap and remove raccoons from the property. Trapping and removing them will do nothing for long-term control, as the newly vacant niche will quickly be filled by raccoons from surrounding areas. Relocating raccoons—even to wild or wooded areas—is illegal in many places and will likely result in their death.

How Long Do Adolescent Raccoons Stay With Their Mother?

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With the exception of mothers and their young, raccoons live solitary existences. The mostly nocturnal raccoon is an opportunistic omnivore native to North America. Young raccoons typically stay with their mothers for about a year after their birth to learn how to find food. During this time, mothers are extremely protective and will attack anything that comes too close to their young.


The months of January, February and March are mating season for raccoons. Most mating occurs during March, although raccoons living in the more northerly portions of the animal’s geographic range tend to breed earlier than those to the south. During the mating season, males expand their usual geographic range, presumably to increase the possibility of encounters with females. Although females and males may den with each other temporarily during this time, they do not associate with each other after mating; females raise the young on their own.


Female raccoons are pregnant for around two months before giving birth to a litter of between four and six young. Raccoons are born blind and completely helpless. Their eyes do not open until they are approximately 3 weeks old. They will be between 4 weeks and 6 weeks old before they are able to stand on their own. The mother weans her young when they are between 2 months and 3 months old, and they will leave the nest with her and start to hunt for food with their mother’s guidance and assistance. During these first forays out of the den, the mother may carry the babies individually in her mouth.


As the young raccoon continues to grow, his mother will teach him how to hunt on his own and how to climb trees to escape predators. By the time raccoons are around 5 months of age, they regularly forage on their own as well as with their mothers, but they continue to den with their mother and their siblings. This family unit remains intact throughout the adolescent raccoon’s first winter. Although raccoons do not hibernate, families stay together in the same dens, sleeping through the most severe winter periods.


In early spring following the year they were born, young raccoons typically leave their mother’s den. The average adolescent raccoon becomes independent at 10 months of age, some leave home as early as 8 months and some as late as 12. Females are sexually mature at this point, although males do not reach sexual maturity until their second year. Even after they’ve reached maturity, young raccoons may choose to den near their mother or somewhere on their natal home range. Young male raccoons are more independent, however, and may move several miles away from their mother before establishing their own dens and home ranges.

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When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Nest?

When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Nest?

The birthing process is one of the best blessings of Mother Nature. It is the very foundation of life. Every living organism on this earth is born and everyone dies.

Like humans, animals also reproduce by giving birth or through eggs. They are either born in some nests, holes or underwater.

Rabbits give birth to their younger ones in holes called nests. The whole pregnancy period lasts from 31 to 34 days.

A female rabbit makes its own nest and give birth inside them and takes care of them until they are strong enough to live on their own.

Baby bunnies after the age of 8 weeks can leave the nest. An 8 weeks old rabbit can move around freely and wants to jump out of the nest.

So one of the most frequently asked questions by our readers is how long do the baby bunnies stay inside their nest and what is their growth rate?

In this article, we will tell you about a week to week procedure and growth of baby rabbits. But let’s take a look at how the nests are made and birthing happens.

When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Nest?

Wild rabbits tend to make holes in the grounds, they prefer the open leafy ground. The mother rabbit digs a shallow hole for the nest.

She then buries the hole with some leaves, sticks or grass. She then puts her furs atop to keep the little ones warm.

You will not see a wild doe near the nest before nightfall. She does not want wild animals to draw attention to that nest.

Just like the wild rabbits, your pet rabbit will do the same procedure to make the nest. She will dig a hole in your ground or yard; cover it with the grass and her fur.

You can provide an alternate handmade nest to your doe. This will protect both the animals and your beautiful ground.

The nesting process most often starts on the 28 th day of pregnancy. The delivery of the kits is mostly done on the 31 st day of the pregnancy.

In some cases, the pregnancy can go long for 33-35 days. You may contact your local vet for assistance if the pregnancy exceeds 35 days.

The delivery of the kits is most probably expected in the midnight to 5 in the morning. The litter is probably 4 to 5 rabbit babies.

Delivery of a baby rabbit

After the birth of kits, the mother rabbit goes away from them, so if you see her not feeding them do not worry as rabbit mothers feed their babies once at the nightfall.

The doe’s milk is full of energy and proteins that can fill the baby’s tummy up to 24 hours.

So let us tell the week to week progress of the babies’ growth.

Week 1:

On the first week, you will see some pinkish fur-less kits. They will be seen moving a bit and sleeping most of the time.

Till day 3, the kits will be a bit grown and their movement will increase.

On day 5, you will see the kits growing some fur. They will make noises and move more swiftly.

Week 2:

On the second week, you will see some good fur on the baby bunnies and more growth.

On day 9, the babies are about to open their eyes. They can be seen playing with each other.

On day 13, the kits will open their eyes. They will try to come out of the nest box. If the weather is suitable let them out if it’s too cold or hot, put them back.

Week 3:

On day 15, you will see baby rabbits grown bigger with thick fur. Let them play outside in the grass for a bit.

On day 19, the baby rabbits will be nibbling on the hay present around their nest box. They will still continue their mother’s milk.

Week 4:

On day 23, the baby bunnies will be nibbling on pellets of alfalfa and hay. They are more strong and bigger in size now.

Alfalfa pellets are higher in proteins and much tasty. You can add them up with some milk or water if you like.

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On day 27, the babies have grown to eat more pellets and milk.

Week 5:

On day 30, start feeding the rabbits with some timothy or meadow hay added up with some pellets.

On day 35, the grown rabbits will spend more time playing with their siblings.

Week 6 to 8:

The time from week 6 to 8 is the time for rabbits to wean.

This period is the transition of babies from mother’s milk to some solid food. It is recommended to let the kits stay with their mother till the 8 th week.

If you put the babies away before the 8 th week it is most likely for a baby to be less immune to diseases without their mother’s feed. For today’s question, When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Nest?

The 8 th week is the time the rabbits will finally say goodbye to their nest. They are ready to be live on their own.

So what precautions do we have to follow to take care of the kits during this 8 week time?

Precautions when dealing with a newborn baby rabbit

Right after birth, do check if there is any placenta left in the nest. Remove it before it infects the babies.

Make sure that the nest box of your kits is dry and well cleaned. A dirty box can spread smell and bacterial disease to the babies.

Properly feed the mother rabbit, her diet must be good and she should have a decent 2 time eat. But it doesn’t mean that you make her over eat.

Sometimes, babies are not fed properly. Do check their tummies first time in the morning.

If the tummy is round and filled, it means they are fed. If they look weak and dehydrated and tummy attached to the body, then it isn’t fed properly.

As mentioned earlier, the mother only feeds the young ones at nightfall and it will be a one-time thing in 24 hours.

Thanks to her protein-enriched milk, the babies will not require any feeding till 24 hours.

In the case of pet rabbits, make sure they are put in a normal temperature room. Their nest must be safe from insects and other house animals.

Make sure to clean the nest box on a daily basis; don’t panic to carry the babies as their mother would not mind you carry them. Clean away their waste properly.

You can also replace the shavings of the nest box if need be.

After 12 days, let the kits out for play. You have to take extra care of things especially the climate.

If it is too cold outside, don’t let them go out as they might die of cold.

You will see some of these babies hopping out of the box; you can replace the nest with a cardboard compartment and surround them with hay and straw so that they won’t fall out.

There can be some infections due to the nest box, try to keep it hygiene or the infection will kill them one by one.

You should take care of the mother’s nails and get them clipped otherwise they can harm the little ones.

The mother rabbit eats a stillborn baby of her; you do not need to panic about that. It is just to save the other ones from any harm or the wild animals to prevent smelling the dead meat.

If the mother is immature (most likely 6 months old or less) it is most likely that sometimes she will not feed her kids.

For this case, you should contact your vet as soon as possible before the kits die out of hunger.

If you want to keep the babies with their parents, it is best if you de-sex both of them.

Spaying or neutering the male and female rabbits will result in no more babies as usually, the mother can get pregnant right after giving birth if not separated by the male.

Neutered rabbits are more friendly and adaptive then un-neutered ones.

So these are the points you must keep in mind while welcoming the new baby bunnies to your home. It is not difficult just takes some care, time and love.

We hope that you spend the best of time with your baby bunnies.

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