Male and female coyotes start courting each other in January. Most do not breed until they are two years of age. Although many lone male coyotes may gather around the female, she will only make a relationship with one of them. They will be together for life. In April or May when there is plenty of food, the female gives birth from three to nine puppies a year. The pups are blind when they first emerge from their mother, but their eyes open after about fourteen days, and they leave the darkness of the den a few days later. They drink their mother's milk for about five to seven weeks and start to eat more solid food after three weeks. While the father supports the family on regurgitated food, the mother never lets him come completely into the den.
The puppies play and live in the den with their mother until they are six to ten weeks of age. After that period, they go on a hunting trip with the female. Gradually (usually in October and November), the family grows apart and the pups start to hunt for themselves. Within one year, the young coyotes go their way, making their own territory by marking it with their urine. Although the pups are ready to go out alone, 50-70% of the coyotes die before they reach adulthood. 80% of those are killed by trapping, shooting, poisoning, and other controlling options. The lifespan is approximately fifteen years in the wild.
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