When Do Squirrels Have Babies?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on August 17th, 2022

Spring is the season of fresh beginnings that includes new lives for squirrel litters. When do squirrels have kids, though? And when does the mating season start, and how long does it last?


When does a squirrel start mating?

Although not all squirrels share the same mating season, tree squirrels such as the gray squirrel, red squirrel, and fox squirrel have two mating seasons yearly. North American tree squirrels mate twice a year, once in the winter (from January to February) and once in the summer (from June to July).

brown squirrel on brown sand during daytime

The male squirrel will try to mate with the female squirrel because they don’t mate for life. The male squirrel will not help the female squirrel when pregnant or after giving birth.

Gestational period

A mother squirrel has a short gestation period, ranging from 38 to 46 days. She usually has two to four babies at a time.

Tree squirrels can have as few as two babies or eight during a mating phase.

If a female squirrel mates in January or February, she will have a little squirrel in March or early April. She will have babies in August or early September if she mates in June or July.

Where do squirrels deliver their babies?

Squirrels will lay their eggs in the nests they’ve built. These nests can be discovered in a dense cluster of branches (leaf nests), within tree holes and crevices, and occasionally in the attic or other places of a home. 

A squirrel nest in the trees is built with twigs and leaves at very high elevations, with just one entrance to protect the mother and her young from the weather and predators. Female squirrels are more likely to give birth in their nests than they have built-in trees over the summer. 

During the winter, some homeowners may worry about mother squirrels giving birth and nursing their young in peaceful, hidden corners of their homes.

How long must Baby Squirrels rely on their mothers?

Baby squirrels are entirely defenseless without their mother’s care after they are born. They’re hairless, blind, and deaf and need their mother’s constant attention to be warm and safe from predators.

A baby squirrel’s best chance for survival is to stay close to its mother. The mother will protect her young from danger and keep them warm with her fur. She will also teach them how to hunt and survive in the wild once they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Without their mothers, baby squirrel would not stand a chance against the world’s many dangers.

Mother squirrels are fiercely protective of their young and will attack predators, humans, or even other squirrels if they get too close. At 7 to 10 weeks of age, a baby squirrel is weaned off of its mother’s milk, although as a young squirrel, it will remain reliant on its mother for a few weeks after leaving the nest to acquire survival skills essential for maturity.

If you find a baby squirrel, what should you do?

When the mother transfers her litter from their nest to a new site, a baby squirrel may fall from the nest or be mistakenly left behind. You may need to intervene if you encounter a baby squirrel at the foot of a tree or grass without its mother. 

However, when approaching the baby squirrel, you should listen carefully to your surroundings before constructing a cozy little shoebox for your new squirrel pal. Leave the baby squirrel alone if you hear the mother chatting or “barking” as you get closer to her infant. 

Once you’ve left, the mother will come for it. If you don’t hear the mother’s chattering, though, it’s time to take the baby squirrel into your own hands.

How many babies can a squirrel birth?

Female squirrels typically have two to four young. However, they may have more. Until they are weaned at roughly 10 weeks, the newborns are kept protected by their mother. They’ll stay with their mother for a few more weeks to learn from her and get a feel for the foreign surroundings.

Knowing how to aid the youngsters while they’re still too little to care for themselves and if one is found outside of its nest is crucial. If it’s a youngster and it’s not hurt, the mother will usually return to find it, although she may not be able to bring it back to the nest.

What do squirrel babies eat?

If a baby is reared with their mother, they will suckle and survive on their mother’s milk until they are ready to consume solid meals around the age of 6-7 weeks. The mother will wean them off her milk around 10-11 weeks. 

The mother will now begin feeding them solid meals she has saved. Some may even start going out in search of food on their own. They will, however, return to the nest at night to sleep.

Squirrels eat various foods depending on where they live and what they can find in the wild. They will bring nuts and seeds back to the nest for their offspring if you put them out on a feeder.

People who rescue puppies and nurse them back to health so they may be released into the wild or kept as pets should feed them powdered milk replacers like Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer, which can be found at your local pet store or on Amazon.

Their dietary demands are delicate in the early stages of development, and they can perish if they do not receive the essential nutrients.

Final thoughts

So, when do squirrels give birth to their young? Squirrels have a short gestation period compared to other animals, mate twice a year, and give birth from two to 8 liters a day. A young squirrel will stay with their mother until they are weaned between the ages of 7 and 10 months and will stay near its mother’s nest as they develop to acquire important life skills.

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Editorial Staff

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