I’ve been wondering about how often breeding females is okay? Every year if they are in great body weight? Or every other year regardless of body condition? Or maybe breed 2-3 years then give her a year off? I have a female who laid in April last year, I didn’t pair her that year because I didn’t feel she was fat enough, I was going to pair her this year however, since her weight is back up. Just want some insight from more experienced breeders.
It all depends on the female, I have some that start showing signs of building that I was going to give the year off, but went ahead and bred because of their body composition and their behavior. On the other hand if the female doesn’t seem to be eating as much as I would like or showing me any signs, I don’t breed them 2 seasons in a row. I try never to do more then 2 seasons, but have done 3 with said special females that are great body wise and obviously want to by their behavior. No I don’t overbreed I have several 6 year old females that have only been bred 2 times, and a couple of 4 year old virgins still. Observation and experience, will help you decide on a per female basis, they are all different.
Two in a row on a mature female isn’t bad but I always try to alternate them anyway. I had an Enchi female lay 4 times in 5 years because she would go on retained sperm. A couple months after the last clutch she started showing signs of a respiratory and within a week she rolled over. It’s a lot of stress on their system to go over and over again so always best to stagger it when possible.
I do a 2/3 rule. If a female breeds two years consecutively, that last “third” year she gets the year off from pairing. If she goes the first year and is paired the second year but reabsorbs, then I’ll pair her again the following year since she didn’t produce a clutch. Basically, 2 out of every 3 years is breeding and the other is a year off.
Forget to answer sometimes Ok, very good info, appreciate the input!