We Have a Pregnant Possum! Meet Tipper and her babies!
We are so lucky to finally have a pregnant possum visiting our yard!
As many of you know from previous posts, we have many possums that visit our yard. With spring upon us, I had hoped it wouldn’t be long before we had a pregnant possum! I’m super excited to announce that one of our outdoor possums named Tipper is pregnant and has a belly full of joeys!
Tipper is one of about 6 or 7 possums that frequent our yard. We have lots of little critters that visit along with Tipper and they all get along quite well. All of the possums have names. There is Rudy (the youngest), Ralphie (just a bit older than Rudy and probably his brother), Bear (he has an injured foot but comes by almost every night), Piglet (he looks like a little piglet, hence his name) and Poinsettia (another pregnant possum). There is possibly one more possum that hasn’t been named yet because I’m not sure if it’s a different one or one of the others.
We don’t have any pets of our own because I’m allergic to most animals. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets- you name it- they all make me sneeze and aggravate my asthma. With that being said, the money we would spend feeding a dog or cat now goes to feed all of our outdoor visitors. Our daily meal plan for our wild critters varies but mostly consists of peanut butter, peanuts, low-protein cat food, red grapes, banana slices, apples and fresh water. Sometimes I like to add hard-boiled eggs in the shell for the possums but the raccoons eat them and most everything else. We often find ourselves out there at midnight refilling the food if it’s a particularly busy night.
I’m not sure how old Tipper is, but possums can become pregnant at the age of 10 months. I’ve been watching so many pregnant possums on Instagram and just falling in love with the babies. Possum babies are called joeys, just like baby kangaroos. While we’re on the subject of names, males are called jacks and females are called jills. And, a group of possums is called a passel. Female possums can give birth to as many as 20 babies, however, they only have 13 teats in which to nurse them, so not all of them will survive. An average litter consists of about 8-9 babies. At birth, baby possums are only about the size of a bumblebee. These tiny little babies then crawl up into the mother’s pouch where they will remain until they are about 2 1/2 months old. Once they are too big to fit in the pouch with all of their brothers and sisters, they climb onto mom’s back. Mom carries them everywhere while she searches for food. If one should fall off, it will make a sneezing sound in hopes that Mom will hear it and come back for it. Babies are weaned at about 3 months old and are able to be on their own at 4 1/2 to 5 months old. By this age, they are about 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) long and just the cutest little things you’ll ever see.
So, back to Tipper… Her babies are getting bigger and she’s very hungry all the time. She’s a very good mom, always making sure to eat enough to provide for her growing joeys. If you look closely at her pouch, you can see little tails peeking out of her pouch. She’s licking peanut butter from a platform feeder in the photo below. We love watching Tipper and all of the animals that visit our yard on our Outdoor Nest Cam. It’s the best gadget we ever bought!
As time has passed, Tipper’s joeys have been growing rapidly. She loves stopping by for the yummy peanut butter and other snacks that we put out for her. I try to keep everything filled, but if those darn raccoons get there first, they eat everything in sight. They are cute as well, but goodness, save some food for the possums and skunks! Two of her babies are getting a bit rambunctious and hanging out of her pouch below.
Here’s a little video clip of Tipper’s babies popping out of her pouch. Aren’t they just the cutest? I just can’t wait until they are big enough to ride on mom’s back. I sure hope she will bring them by for dinner.
Since we last saw Tipper’s babies falling out of her pouch, she hasn’t been around as often. Maybe she is laying low until the little ones are truly big enough to safely ride on her back? I’m not sure, I’m just speculating. In any case, I’m eagerly awaiting the sight of these little possums and welcoming them to our backyard wildlife habitat. <‘(((~ (That’s how you make a possum on the keyboard.) I will update you when and if I’m lucky enough to see the little ones.
Thanks for stopping by and I’d be grateful if you’d share this post with your nature-loving friends, family and co-workers. Bring a smile to someone’s day with possum babies! ~Karen