Squirrel Breeding Facts

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A knowledge of squirrel breeding facts may be both interesting to the naturalist and vital for someone seeking to control this rodent's population. Although breeding and gestation periods may vary depending on the species, there are a few common traits for all squirrels.

Litters Per Year

  • Squirrels reproduce once a year with the exception of the fox and Eastern grey squirrels, which have two litters.

Gestation

  • On average, gestation is 30 days, although this period may fluctuate, from 25 to 45 days, depending on the species.

Number of Young

  • Usually, 1 to 15 babies are born (species specific) but typically only 3 to 7 survive.

Nursing

  • Babies are nursed for 6 to 10 weeks, but this is contingent on when their teeth are fully developed. They leave the drey about a month later to build their own nests.

Mating

  • Females can mate only twice a year, but males may mate at any time.

Courtship Behavior

  • Chattering males chase females across the ground or in trees in late winter. At peak breeding season, there is an equal number of males and females.

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