As we celebrate Canada Day it is fun to know that the most iconic Canadian animal also breastfeeds its young.
Beavers are mammals. The adult females give birth to one litter of 1-6 kits each spring. The mother feeds her babies milk when they are very young however the period of exclusive breastfeeding is very short. By two to three weeks the kits begin nibbling on the soft inner bark of branches, as well as leaves, cattails, ferns and mushrooms that the parents bring into the dam. By six weeks the kits will have weaned. The young Beavers will be out in the pond and on land with the adults and capable of feeding themselves very quickly. By six weeks the kits will have weaned. Young Beavers remain as part of the family lodge for about two years.
If that all sounds very quick remember that the average lifespan of a Beaver in the wild is only 10-15 years.
Because Beavers are generally in their lodges when nursing their kits there are very few pictures available. We thank the anonymous photographer for the use of the photo below.
To view a video of a Beaver nursing her kits check out this YouTube link. It isn’t cinema quality but it is fun to have a peek at a very Canadian nursing experience.
Happy Canada Day!
PS: Remember LLLC Leaders may be busy with their families today but they will return your call or answer your e-mail as soon as possible. You can find a local Leader by checking out the LLLC website.