Short and Sweet
It takes nine months for a human baby to be ready to come into the world. Have you ever wondered how long pregnancies can last for animals?
Do you have a little brother, sister or maybe a baby cousin on the way? You might be waiting a little while before you’ll get to meet them. It takes nine whole months for a baby to develop and be ready to greet the world. Have you ever wondered how long it takes for animals? Let’s find out!
Some species give birth to their young really quickly!
Big Horn Sheep
After about six months of pregnancy, female Big Horn Sheep will leave their flock to settle on a spot to give birth. They’ll usually choose a private location like a canyon or a gully to have their lamb. They usually give birth to just one lamb, but in some cases, they will have twins. After two or three days, they will rejoin the flock.
At three months pregnant, a female beaver will kick her mate out of their lodge so she can give birth to a litter of kits. Males will move to an old lodge or even a burrow in the riverbank while they wait for the young to be born. In May or June, the litter will finally arrive, with three to four tiny beavers weighing in at 450 grams. The kits are born ready for action — their teeth are already cut, they have fur on their bodies, they can see perfectly well, and they can even swim! However, females keep their little ones close to home for at least a month before venturing out of the lodge.
Red Foxes have to wait only about 50 to 60 days before giving birth. They can have as few as one and as many as 10 pups per litter. These little pups are born blind, and the female, called a vixen, is pretty protective of them at this vulnerable stage — many females keep males from entering the den until their pups’ eyes open (usually around the second week).
Female chipmunks are pregnant for only about 30 days! They’ll give birth to four to six young (isn’t that a handful?!) and take care of them all on their own without any help from males. Usually, chipmunks in Canada will have only one litter a year between April and May, but some will have a second litter in the fall. These lovely little chipmunks are born completely helpless at just three grams. Their fur will start to show at the ripe old age of 10 days, their ears perk up at around 28 days, and they’ll see the world for the first time at
31 to 33 days of age.