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female's behavior

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Posted by: amarilrose at Thu May 1 02:00:13 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by amarilrose ]  
   

Paul, about your female courting other females while she is developing follicles... unfortunately I do not have the experience I wish I had in reptile reproduction management, (I think I told you before, but it has been forever-and-a-day since I have posted in here...) I am a senior in college, majoring in Food Animal Science (livestock species), and I'm really way too interested in all of the repro courses....

That being said, it is a fairly common marker of estrus in cattle for a female that is in estrus to mount other females... and for other females in estrus to allow themselves to be mounted. One reason for this is that physiologically, at estrus, female mammals actually exhibit a few behaviors that are usually associated with testosterone - and chemically, cholesterol is made into progesterone, which is made into testosterone, which is made into estrogen... so females in estrus (point of high estrogen in the cycle) will have to be making significant amounts of testosterone in order to make the necessary amounts of estrogen. This is all off the top of my head, so I can't cite any amounts of anything, or time involved. These behaviors are also seen in cattle in association with COD (cystic ovarian disease) - where more testosterone is made and retained than made into estrogen.

Very interesting that you put one male with multiple females at the same time! What made you decide to use that arrangement? From the behavior standpoint, one female courting another might just stimulate some actual breeding activity (as in with a male). *shrug* I don't know.

I would think that reptiles' hormones involved in reproduction should be very similar if not completely identical to mammals'. At the stage where your female is producing follicles but has not yet ovulated, I would think she would be having a huge increase in estrogen until she does ovulate. I would not automatically think that she would be cystic. I would be really interested in seeing if she ends up having a huge litter this year! Be sure to put her with a male you have faith in. Would this be an older female, or a younger female in her first breeding season? Let us know how this goes!

~Rebecca
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