Skunk Mating Season: When Is It And How Long Does It Last? | Kidadl

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Skunk Mating Season: When Is It And How Long Does It Last?

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Skunks, who are also called polecats, are usually black and white in color.

Skunks are mostly found inhabiting the western part of the world. Their most well-known trait is the bad-smelling liquid spray that is launched on its victims with the help of very well-developed anal glands.

They are made up of many species. There are 11 known species, from which nine species have peculiar black and white stripes. This striped animal also has clawed feet for digging purposes. They are carnivorous animals and prefer getting out at night!

Did you enjoy reading about polecats and their mating season? You will surely like more such articles like what skunks eat and where do skunks live here at Kidadl.

What month do skunks give birth?

Skunks mate from the middle of February to the middle of April. Hence, their birthing time differs according to when they conceive. The female skunks have a gestation period of about 60 days; the mother gives birth to little pups in April or May. Usually, a female will give birth to four to seven pups. It is possible that a single female is bred by multiple male skunks. During their pregnancy, the female skunks live away from their usual habitat to go live in a maternal den. In this special den, there is a soft spread of grass for the comfort of the mother.

Some older skunks may start breeding earlier in the season during spring so they can give birth a little earlier. The young pups are deaf and blind with fine and short fur. Male adults do not take on the typical father role and are not involved in rearing the offspring. At around two months of age, the pups are weaned off. Eventually, the family breaks apart and moves to different territories.

How Long Is Skunk Mating Season

The striped skunk is a non-aggressive small creature. They use defense in the form of noxious liquid spray, and the attacked have to bear the consequences.

Skunks' mating season only lasts for about two months! This is when the male and female skunks find the perfect time to impregnate and carry their little baby skunks. But be careful not to go around them during this time!

The general mating season lasts from the middle of February through March and the middle of next month. During this time, the area around the skunk territories may be smelly. The male skunks go around the block looking for a female to mate with. If the female is not interested in mating with a male, they get sprayed after refusing the courtship!

What month is skunk mating season?

The skunk is a notorious animal who sprays victims with foul spray! Sometimes, inhaling too much of this liquid can even make people unconscious!

Skunks' mating season usually begins in February and continues through March, except for older skunks who might breed early. The female skunks give birth after a 60-day gestation period. The baby skunks are born in April or May.

Older skunks also have a bigger litter. A litter can be had as early as spring! Female skunks are ready to start breeding by the time they are two years old. So, the majority of them will breed during their second summer, so in a normal population, most of them will have just had a litter or will be pregnant with young ones.

Skunks love living in deserts, mountains, and forests burrow in the ground.

Skunk Birthing Season

The striped animal will usually breed during the summer. During the birthing season, the male skunk will go out looking for courtship with a female. If the female rejects him, he will get sprayed with an odor. Once the guy skunk finds a female, he will impregnate her, and she will eventually give birth to multiple babies. The male will not care for the babies, and the female will completely provide for the young skunks. The mother will take care of the young ones for eight months before they leave the family for good.

The little babies will not have much fur and will look almost pink in color. For the first few weeks, they are deaf and cannot see. They can spray only after they are at least one month old. The mother gathers food and resources when the litter is young. And also provide for dens or sheds for the litter in a safe location. The young babies will mature to start their own brood only after one year of age when they become sexually mature.

Skunk Family Dynamics

Skunks are not very social animals and try to stay in their own worlds. They are hardly ever seen interacting with each other, let alone with other animals. It is only during mating season that they communicate via different means to make their own brood. During this time, the masculine animal will look for a perfect mate and impregnate her. After mating, the sunk won't be much involved in caring for the young babies.

The male skunk might travel a few miles to search for a matching mate. If the females are not keen on mating with that particular suitor, then they will spray them with a faint spray. It is not strong enough to attack them, but it is enough to let them know that the female is not interested. The female will care for the offspring after birth by finding them food like small eggs, tiny animals, or whatever edibles they can find in garbage bins. She will also give them secure locations to stay for the first few months or weeks. After maturing, the young skunks will leave their homes to find their own homes. New homes can be as close as 6 mi (9.6 km), but in some instances, homes farther away have been recorded.

How To Tell A Female From A Male Skunk

From afar, male skunks are not easily distinguishable from females if trying to find them. There are some visible cues, like the males are slightly bigger than the females. The animal is, in general, very small, almost as small as a cat, so the few-inch difference between the males and females may not be identified easily. Moreover, if you don't see two of them together, you won't have anything to compare their sizes to. So, it is not a very efficient method.

Looking at their private parts is the most effective and sure way to identify a male from a female. But their private parts are hidden and only partially visible to the naked eye. Hence, to conform to their gender, you will need to get closer to them. However, being too close to them is not advisable as they may get scared and attack you with their well-known smelly scent.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for skunk mating season, then why not take a look at are skunks nocturnal? Or Skunk facts.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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