Posts Tagged ‘estrous’

A Yard Possibility

I get excited over the some of the strangest things. Here’s a good example.

Buffy and I took the kitchen scraps to the compost pile this morning.


I walked up to this first. It was completely dry, which was odd because it rained all day yesterday and until almost 10 p.m. last night.


A second “bundle” was next. It contained fibers, hair, synthetic batting and other “stuff.”


And the third contained more of the same. Then I noticed Buffy smelling along the side of the barn that’s above the ground.

We went in, and I started studying in my Mammals of Illinois book. To shorten the story:

Our habitat isn’t right for raccoons.

 It’s too early for groundhogs. They don’t breed until late February or in March. I only saw a fox in the yard twice last year. A groundhog lived under the barn for 2 months, at least. It would stick its head out in the evening and watch me working in my flower gardens.

This leaves foxes. They are monestrous — meaning they have only a single estrous cycle per year. They breed late January and February. Gestation lasts about 51 days. So the young are born late March or in April here in southern Illinois. Today is January 12.

I figured the hair and fibers etc. in the pictures were remnants of when the groundhog was under the barn, and a fox removed them.

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Here’s two pictures of when they had their den under the barn in 2012. There were 4 kits.

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So, now I wait and hope they’re going to raise their young under the barn again.