Chipmunks don’t live forever with their mothers and neither do they live as a family! Though their father never sees them, for a specific period, they stay with their female parent.
This period is of training, grooming, and preparing for the lives of these chipmunk pups. So, how long do baby chipmunks live with their mother and why?
When do they live in the nest and create their burrows? Can they stay together if they come back to their mothers? Trust us- we have it all figured out! Take a look!
How Long Baby Chipmunk Stay with the Mother
Chipmunks usually have live births after they have carried their babies for about 30 days. In a year, a mother chipmunk gives birth to one to two litters. The first time is in the later spring and the other in the fall.
However, most of the chipmunks only give birth once in the late spring. In short, at a time, the mother chipmunks give birth to two to eight babies. When do chipmunks have babies- check it out first!
These babies are hairless and blind. As we all know chipmunks are not social, you might wonder what a mother chipmunk does after this!
No matter whether they are social or not, they do not abandon their children immediately. As the baby chipmunks are very small, they need intensive care just like human babies. The size of the baby chipmunk is close to a jelly bean.
Chipmunks eventually leave their children but not right after the birth. Instead, we can say that they are very careful about the kids. The mothers are protective of the young children. And if she sees that one of her children is missing, the mother searches agitatedly for the infant!
But if the mother is so protective, why do they live with their children? Well, that’s how the rule is for the chipmunks! They do not stay together. The pups of the chipmunk will stay with their motor for a while.
And after that, she will let the children go so that they can build their own burrows and live their own life. So, how long do baby chipmunks stay in the nest? The babies live in their mother’s nest for about two months.
The Growth of Baby Chipmunk in the Nest
We might think that the mother is leaving her children; after all, 60 days are not enough to be an adult! Leaving out own perspective, if you think about the chipmunks- the factor will be easier to understand.
The lifespan of a chipmunk is not like a human. They only live for about 3 years. This is the average lifespan of an eastern chipmunk. On the other hand, the Siberian chipmunks might last 6 years to 10 years depending on their surroundings and the weather.
In short, they live a very short life. And when a chipmunk has a lifespan of only 3 years, 2 months is a whole lot of time! When a chipmunk is born, its weight is only three grams or close. But if you see their growth, they grow really fast.
As they develop quickly, their chances of leaving their mother’s nest come faster. Within a few weeks, they leave the nest. At times, some child chipmunks might leave the nest earlier!
And within four weeks to six weeks, some of them leave their mother and go on living their life as adult chipmunks. Learn more about “where do chipmunks nest” here!
However, they are not adults yet. To gain full maturity and be fully developed, they need seven months to nine months. And only then, do they turn into an adult. By this time, their size will be 7 inches to 10 inches and finally, they will get their bushy tails like the other adult chipmunks.
The Preparation of Baby Chipmunk’s Independence
If the chipmunk is in its early stages, the mother needs to take care of it. Also, the development process and the growth help the chipmunk learn the tactics of living. When it is a week old, the chipmunk will be hairless and its eyes will be closed.
When it will read 2 weeks to 3 weeks, they will start growing hair. However, their eyes will still be closed. At this stage, they will not be ready to leave their mother’s tent. Their eyes and ears will only open when they are 4 weeks old.
And with their opened eyes and ears and slightly hairy body, their mother will start grooming them. The mother chipmunk will teach them how to dig burrows so that they can create their burrows to sleep and live.
Mothers also help the kids to learn how to gather food for their living. Along with this, they warn the kids about the predators so that they can safeguard themselves.
And when the grooming session is complete, the kittens can leave their burrows. How long do chipmunks live with their babies– the easy answer is till two months. But some of them leave their nest early. You know, teenagers have their confidence!
Chipmunks and the Family
So, we have talked about how mother chipmunks take care of their babies and how they train them. After this period, the kids leave their mother’s nest. But can the baby chipmunk come back to their mother?
Do chipmunks stay together as a family? Well, firstly, as we have mentioned above, chipmunks are not social. They are not social with humans and other animals. And they are not social with the other chipmunks too!
They have community and connections to safeguard themselves from predators. But they do not live as a family together. The father leaves right after the mating period. So, you can’t really tell that the father is a part of the family. Instead, the female chipmunk raises the children alone.
And the “family period” the chipmunks have is right after they give birth to the children. The period of growth and preparation for the kid’s independence is the only time the chipmunks live like a family. And after the kids have left, they never come back to the mother. Most probably, the mother won’t allow them to!
Chipmunks are smart and they are smart enough to understand how life works within a few weeks. Also, they are fast learners.
So, they learn how to gather food, create burrows and save their lives within these weeks when they live with their mother. Once they know it, they like to go back to the world to face their challenges!