Least Weasels have very similar reproduction patterns compared to other mammals. Mating begins when the females are ready to give birth and vocally announce it to the males by "cooeing".  This startles a response from the male who then begins chasing the female so that physical intercourse can occur.  As the male rapidly chases the female, he chirps loudly. When he finally catches up to his mate, the male grabs a firm hold of the female.  The male ensures his grip by grabbing her flanks with his forepaws.  They then are able to successfully copulate which usually takes approximately 1-3 hours. 

   The female is now carrying a litter, averaging 4-7 young.  Female gestation last 34-36 days. This is a considered a very short gestation time, allowing weasel populations to grow quite rapidly.

    After the gestation period is completed, it is time to give birth. Baby weasels are born blind, deaf, and with minimal amounts of hair.  The new  young are extremely dependent on their mother's body heat following birth.  The mother plays a significant role in the development of her newborn weasels, where as the father does not actively participate in weaning. 

     Around 3 months following birth, the young weasels are ready to depart from their parents.  After training to hunt and survive in the wild, the young separate to individual territories.  Weasels are prone to separation versus social packs. These young weasels are capable of their own reproduction after 115 days, but weasels that are born during spring and summer months need to wait until the following summer to reproduce. This is because breeding season are Spring and late Summer. 

                      Let's step through the Weasel's Life History