When Do Raccoons Have Litters

Breeding Cycle of Raccoons

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Raccoons are carnivorous mammals with omnivore tendencies. While they prefer meat, raccoons have a wide diet that includes berries, grasses, grains and crawfish. Nursing mothers, in particular, have a voracious appetite, often spending nights and days gathering food. For this reason, although raccoons are generally nocturnal, it isn’t unusual to see healthy raccoons during the day.

Life Cycle

Breeding generally occurs in late winter. If the female is not bred during this time, she will come into estrus again in four months and can be bred at that time, giving birth to babies later in the summer. Most cubs, however, are born in April and May.

The average length of pregnancy for a female raccoon is 63 days. The mother typically has between one and seven cubs at a time, with an average litter of four. The cubs are born with fur and are mobile, although their legs cannot support them, so they scoot along on their stomachs for the first few weeks.

Males

Males are capable of breeding with females in the first spring after they are born — however, due to the presence of older, more mature males, they typically do not participate in this first breeding season. After breeding with females, the male raccoon typically returns to his den for the remainder of the cold weather. While raccoons do not hibernate, they can spend long periods of time in their den without eating during the winter. Male raccoons do not couple with females thoughout the gestation period, and they have nothing to do with raising the cubs.

Females

Females are typically ready to breed when they are about 10 months old. After breeding, they, like male raccoons, typically return to their dens for the remainder of winter. After giving birth, the mother spends most of her time gathering food for herself to keep her offspring nourished. She will keep the cubs in one spot for the first eight weeks. After eight to nine weeks, the cubs are mobile enough to travel with their mother.

Young

At birth, raccoons are between 3 and 5 ounces, their ears are tightly folded against their head and their eyes are closed. After about three weeks, they begin to open their eyes and their ears become erect. By the time the cubs are six weeks old they can typically run and climb proficiently. At eight weeks, they leave the nest with their mother and are eating solid food. By the time they are four months old, the raccoon cubs are typically weaned from their mother, although the family typically stays together well into the fall, and in many cases until the following breeding season.

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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.

Mating

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.

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Infancy

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.

Adolescence

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.

Maturity

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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Raccoon Nest In Attic — Nesting Season

Raccoons very frequently create a nest inside attics and trees. The females usually have 3-5 young per litter. The nesting season is usually in spring, with peak time for birth in March, and the babies are often noticeable in April. However, nesting season varies depending on what part of the country the raccoon lives in. Down south, they might give birth any time of the year, even though spring is still the most common time.

If you have a nest of baby raccoons in your house, such as in the attic or ceiling, they must usually be removed by hand. You can’t set traps for such little animals — they will just stay in the nest, nursing from the mother raccoon, until they are at least 3 months old, at which point they might start to exit the nest to start foraging. You can’t just trap the mom raccoon and leave the babies in the nest to starve and suffer to death. You’ve got to remove them by hand, such as in the below photo:

Raccoons and nests — A raccoon will build a bed just like most creatures, and a raccoon inside of a home is probably looking to have a family. A raccoon is not picky about what it uses for a nest. Outside, the most common material used are long grasses and hay, though the creature is smart enough to cart fabric remnants back to a den location. Raccoon inside of a home are far more at ease. Insulation provides amazing comfort and warmth, and a raccoon will shred the material until it generates enough of a pile to burrow within. When it comes time to give birth, a mother raccoon in a home will be far more at ease than one outside. This is why most invading raccoons are female. If you’re going to remove the adult, you need to do a thorough search for young. There is almost always a cluster of kits somewhere in the home. If you’re uncertain of their whereabouts, wait until nighttime and listen for squeals and soft sounds. It’s difficult to tell a raccoon nest from other animals’ if you don’t have a trained eye. A squirrel nest might be just as large; however, a squirrel nest tends to be more intricate than that of a raccoon.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Raccoons From Your Residence

NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

How do I know if the raccoon in my attic has had babies — If you can’t find out for certain, it’s always best to assume the raccoon in your attic had babies somewhere in the building. Most of the adult raccoons that enter a building are females with the idea in their head to have a family. That’s not to say you won’t occasionally encounter a male raccoon in the attic, but females offer their own challenges when it comes to removal. If you’re able to get close enough to the raccoon to see it clearly, try to discern protruding nipples on its belly. This is a sure sign the animal has young. Beyond that, unless you’re a professional who can tell a female raccoon just by looking at it, you’re going to have to guess. Trapping a raccoon in your home is often illegal depending on where you live. Because of the potential complication of babies in the attic, calling in a wildlife removal company isn’t unreasonable. Not only will the professional be able to trap the adult, if there are any babies in the space, the expert will be able to find and remove them, too.

Raccoon nesting habits — The main criteria is a safe place, safe from predators and the elements. Trees are great, as are attics. The mother will scout around in its territory, looking for a good spot in which to give birth. During this phase, they will often tear open holes in roofs of houses. Once inside, or in any safe place, they will just find a suitable spot. Raccoons don’t build nests, like birds and squirrels do. They don’t really bring in nesting debris like sticks or leaves. They do, however, leave their waste near the nesting area, and all around the attic. If you want to see photographs, click here for raccoon droppings and feces identification.

Raccoons and their young — Most people who have a problem with a raccoon in the home have a raccoon that is female. That’s not to say a particularly bad winter won’t drive male raccoons into an attic, but most of the time the pest up there is a mother-to-be, and she’s getting ready for nesting season. In nature, male raccoons kill litters that are not theirs. This throws the female into another heat cycle and allows that male to breed her. It’s a sad cycle, and female raccoons are all too aware of the danger males mean to their babies. Because of this, a female raccoon will often leave her normal territory to find a place safe. There are few places as protected from the weather and predators as is a human house. Once the female bullies her way inside she’ll set out to make a nest. This nest is going to be made of insulation and anything else she can tear off the walls of your home. Usually, though not all the time, the nest will be inaccessible to you, down inside of a wall or tucked into an eave. Getting the babies out is just as important as getting out the adult. Often, you can use the babies to lure the mother into a cage trap if you can get the litter nest of baby raccoons out of the attic first.

If you find a baby raccoon nest in a tree, it’s no cause for alarm. I say, just let ’em be! Unless they are causing you any specific damage or problem you don’t want, leave them alone. If you do want to remove them, be sure you catch and remove them all together, the mother plus the juvenile racccoons, so that the mother can care for the young after you relocate them. You can set a trap at the base of the tree for the adult, and them remove the nest from the tree by hand, and put them in an animal carrier, and bring them all to the same place when it’s time to let them go. Hopefully, the mother will find a new tree.

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Raccoon nesting box — you can help out by building a nest box for raccoons. Any wooden box, at least two feet wide, with an opening of at least 6 inches, will do. It must be off the ground, preferably in a tree. That’ll help out raccoons a great deal. However, to be honest, and this is coming from a raccoon lover, I’m not sure they need the help. There are so many raccoons in cities now, it’s crazy! One more good nesting area will only increase the population. Click here to learn everything about how to get rid of raccoons in the attic, from the web’s best guide. guy listed in Cleveland on my directory of professionals. He’ll do a good job.

www.raccoonatticguide.com

When Do Raccoons Have Babies? How Many Babies Do They Have?

These bandit-masked animals are known for their dexterous front paws, bushy ringed tail and of course, their mischievous-looking face. They are excellent climbers and can easily scramble up trees, fences, brick walls and almost anything with uneven surface. Because they are nocturnal mammals, they do not usually come out during the day as they go to sleep in daytime. They may go into a sort of deep-sleep during winter, which is not true hibernation. Now the question arises when do raccoons have babies and also, how many babies do raccoons have?

As for baby raccoons, they are cuddly and fuzzy little creatures. They are known as kits or cubs and are born blind and deaf. However, after about 12-14 days, they may open their eyes and see the world for the very first time. Similarly, after few days from getting their eyes open, the kits start hearing. At birth, the kits are about 4 inches in length and weigh around 60 to 75 grams.

When Do Raccoons Have Babies?

Mating season of raccoons begins in January and continues until March. After a wait of about two months, a female raccoon gives birth to her babies. As the season arrives, the male raccoon seeks females in its surroundings and it roams around constantly. As soon as males are able to find females, copulation begins. This copulation can go on for about an hour and this activity continues for several nights.

Image Copyright NANCY BROWN-SCHEMBRI

In a social grouping, there are some weak male raccoons as well. When a number of female raccoons arrive for mating, these weak members also take advantage of this occasion. This is because stronger male raccoons are unable to mate with every female. In fact during one study, the scientists revealed that more than half of all female raccoons usually mate with more than one male raccoon.

If a female raccoon fails to become pregnant or for some reason loses her kits, she will be able to conceive young again after about 80 to 140 days.

  • Where Do Raccoons Sleep?
  • Where Do Raccoons Live?
  • A Raccoon Out During the Day?

How Many Babies Do Raccoons Have?

As mating ends, a female raccoon gets pregnant for about two months. After this period, she bears four to six young. Depending upon the particular type of habitat, a litter size may vary and it can consists of 2 to 4 young. Within a period of four to six weeks, a baby raccoon can stand on its feet. After about 70 days, the kits are weaned. They will be able to hunt on their own after 9-12 weeks. By this time, they weigh around 2 pounds and are going to taste solid food for the very first time.

In their first few days after getting out of den, mother raccoon gives hunting and climbing lessons to her cubs. She would grab them by her neck, carry them around and looks after the predators that may pose danger for her young. The young raccoons would not leave their mother for about one year.

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