When Do Raccoons Have Their Babies

When do raccoons have babies ?

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December 10, 2015 10:27AM

Raccoons breed in the month of January and sometimes even as

late as May or June. The time of year that they have their babies

can depend on what region of the country that they live in. Their

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How Do Raccoons Protect Their Young Babies?

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Raccoons invest months in raising their young, and the females do their best to make sure their babies are protected. While there are no guarantees that they can keep them safe, mother raccoons hide their babies in safe spots, teach them how to survive on their own and fight off would-be predators looking for an easy meal.

Raccoon Baby Basics

Raccoons mate in the spring and then the father abandons the family and returns to a solitary lifestyle. The mother will usually have two to five babies, called kits, about 65 days after mating. Raccoon babies are born blind and helpless, so it’s up to the mother to find a safe place for them to live. She will look after them and care for them until they are able to take care of themselves, usually when they are 9 months to a year old.

Making a Secure Nest

A mother raccoon makes a den in a tree or she may move into a burrow that has been deserted by a woodchuck or another animal. Raccoons that live around humans will take advantage of other housing options and find quiet nesting spots in barns, attics, basements and outbuildings. The raccoon family typically remains safely in the den for about seven weeks, and then they’ll move house, finding a new den every few days to keep predators from discovering them.

Keeping Babies in Isolation

When a mother raccoon chooses her nesting site, she selects an area away from potential threats to her kits. This not only includes predatory animals, such as bobcats, owls and coyotes, but also other raccoons. Female raccoons tend to be territorial and may not tolerate sharing their area with other raccoon families. Only when her babies are agile enough to run and climb will the mother take them outside of the den to begin teaching them to fend for themselves.

Fighting and Biting

Although the male raccoons can get aggressive during the breeding season and may fight with other males, they don’t play a part in raising their babies. Females with young can also be quite aggressive and will stand up for their families if they feel their kits are threatened. They will fight to protect their young from any and all invaders, even well-meaning humans that stumble upon the nest. Though predators may grab kits if they’re left unguarded, when the mother raccoon is around hungry animals are likely to look elsewhere for a meal.

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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:

See also:  How Do Raccoons Get In Your House

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.

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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.

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Racoon Poop

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.

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.

See also:  What Biome Do Raccoons Live In

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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Raccoon Facts

Raccoons are highly intelligent and curious creatures, but they can also be a nuisance to any homeowner. These nocturnal mammals can destroy gardens, make a mess by tipping over garbage cans, and can cause structural damage in search of food. On this page, you will learn general raccoon facts and how to identify raccoon damage.

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General Raccoon Facts

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Average Size: 12″ tall; 24-38″ long; 14-23 lbs.

Average Lifespan in the Wild: 2-3 years

Identifying Features: Gray fur with a black mask and 4-7 black rings around its tail; pointy snout with a black nose; dexterous front paws.

Raccoon Geography

Raccoons are natively found throughout most of North America. Recently, raccoons have emerged in parts of Europe and Japan.

Raccoon Habitat

Traditionally, raccoons prefer heavily wooded areas with access to trees, water and abundant vegetation. There, they make their dens in the hollow parts of trees as well as abandoned burrows, traveling up to 18 miles to forage for food.

Raccoons are extremely adaptable. They are often found in suburban and urban areas, making their homes in man-made structures like attics, sewers, barns and sheds. In urban areas, raccoons tend to stay closer to their dens with a range of only about 1 mile, depending on their age and sex.

Raccoon Diet

Raccoons are omnivores with an opportunistic diet; eating almost anything they can get their paws on. In urban areas, where wildlife and fresh vegetation are limited, raccoons will be more likely to eat human food and invade trashcans. The majority of their diet consists of sweet foods like fruits and invertebrates.

Some favorite foods include:

Raccoon Behavior

Activity: Nocturnal in nature, raccoons are mostly active at nighttime. They are most active in spring, summer and fall, and will sleep in their dens for most of the winter.

Reproduction: Reproduction begins in late winter. Females, or sows, usually give birth to 1-6 baby kits in April or May. Mothers are very protective of their young until they separate after about a year.

Social Interaction: Raccoons are independent after 12-14 months of age. Adults live in loose knit communities of 4 — 5 raccoons for better protection against predators.

Communication: Raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12-15 different calls.

Skills: Raccoons possess amazing dexterity that gives them the ability to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They are also great climbers, which allows them to better access food and shelter.

Identify Raccoon Damage

Raccoons can be extremely destructive due to their curiosity, intelligence, dexterity and climbing skills.

Here are some signs to help identify a raccoon problem:

  • tipped trash cans
  • raided bird feeders
  • pilfered gardens
  • damaged crops (ex. chewed sweet corn, hollowed out watermelons)
  • uncapped chimneys
  • torn shingles
  • raccoon tracks: five long toes and fingers resembling human hands

Raccoon Diseases

Raccoons can carry several bacterial diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans and pets through a bite or the ingestion of raccoon waste.

Some diseases that can affect humans and pets include:

  • leptospirosis
  • salmonella
  • roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis)
  • rabies

Although raccoons are notorious for carrying rabies, there has only been one recorded human death from raccoon rabies in the United States. Some signs that a raccoon may have rabies include aggressiveness, unusual vocalization, and excessive drool or foam from the mouth. If you think you may have identified a rabid raccoon, call your local animal control authority immediately.

Fun Facts

A raccoon will rinse its food in water prior to eating it. When there is no water close by, a raccoon will still rub its food to remove debris.

Some hypothesize that the purpose of a raccoon’s black mask is to reduce glare, helping it to see better in the dark.

A group of raccoons is called a nursery.

Although raccoons only live 2-3 years in the wild, a raccoon can live up to 20 years in captivity.

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