Male bullying my females

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tortoisefanatic

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Anybody have an idea how long breeding season lasts? My one male is constantly bothering my two females. I'm not too worried about incubating eggs, but am curious as to how long the male will do this? I hope not forever, otherwise, I'll have to keep them separated. Any thoughts?
 

wellington

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I can't really help with your question. But what might help your females is to make sure their are lots of sight barriers, like rocks, logs, bushes, etc. also be sure they are in a big enough enclosure for the three of them. Keep a close eye on them. Real damage even death can be a result of bullying.
 

tortadise

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My males only do that for a about a month and then they resume back to stacking and eating.
 

Tim/Robin

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My male rarely pesters the females. He is not aggressive at all. He mates them more in the summer months and then lives happily with them. Most would be shocked at the size enclosure I use for them. It is NOT at all what most have in mind as an ideal size enclosure. What I can tell you is it works and works very well.
 

tortoisefanatic

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Their enclosure is 6' by 3' by 14" tall. Should be plenty of room. Several rock hides, rocks, and fake plants in there. The male mounts both females all the time, and when they sleep he is on top of either or both to some extent.
 

Tim/Robin

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Do you see a decline in the females health? Weight loss? Loss of appetite? Is the male agressive to the point of damaging or injuring them? How long have you seen him "constantly bothering" them? I am wondering if he is really bothering them or is it bothering you to see his behavior?
 

tortoisefanatic

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I'm monitoring the females' weight at the moment. I first noticed the behavior a few weeks ago between the male (about 4 years old now) and a young female who is about two years old now. They were in a 40 gallon breeder tank at that time. I've since added an older female (a little larger than the male even) and moved them into the larger tort table. Something tells me I'm just watching nature at work here. I never intended to breed my 'cakes, but you never know what sex they are going to be until they start acting like this. Then you notice the larger and longer tail on the 'male' vice the others, etc. Time will tell here.
 

Tim/Robin

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I think you are doing the right thing by monitoring weights. However, learn from a hard lesson I learned. Don't let the male any where near your smaller female!!!! They WILL breed and she WILL produce eggs. IF she produces an egg before her size will allow safe passage, you will lose her. She will become egg bound!!! I lost a CB female that we had rasied. I was sure she was big enough to breed. In fact she had laid 4 or 5 clutches. Then she produced an egg that was too big to pass through her pelvis. It decended as it should, got caught by her pelvic bones and pushed back up inside her bladder. Needless to say she died. She died because she produced an egg that was too big. She was within 0.5 inches in size of my other females. BUT, she died. Save yourself some heartache, separate the little female!!!
 

markooij82

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Sorry to hear that Tim Damn
How did you find out she was egg bound what were the signs?
How big do you keep your Malacochersus?
 

Tim/Robin

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markooij82 said:
Sorry to hear that Tim Damn
How did you find out she was egg bound what were the signs?

She dug several nests, but never laid. In the end, I saw her attempting to push several times. Her attempting to push is what bothered me. Additionally, she had lost weight. I had an X-ray done to confirm my suspicions. My vet was not able to help her and so I went to Washington State University's teaching hospital, there Vet program. Unfortunately they could not get her in for 4 days after I had the X-ray, by then it was too late!!!
 

tortoisefanatic

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Tim/Robin said:
I think you are doing the right thing by monitoring weights. However, learn from a hard lesson I learned. Don't let the male any where near your smaller female!!!! They WILL breed and she WILL produce eggs. IF she produces an egg before her size will allow safe passage, you will lose her. She will become egg bound!!! I lost a CB female that we had rasied. I was sure she was big enough to breed. In fact she had laid 4 or 5 clutches. Then she produced an egg that was too big to pass through her pelvis. It decended as it should, got caught by her pelvic bones and pushed back up inside her bladder. Needless to say she died. She died because she produced an egg that was too big. She was within 0.5 inches in size of my other females. BUT, she died. Save yourself some heartache, separate the little female!!!

Tim/Robin, thank you for that tidbit of information. I've now separated the male from the two females, and will hope that neither female will produce an egg. I'm now thinking that maybe I'll try to find someone to trade my male with in exchange for a female. As I said earlier, I'm not in the business (nor do I want to be!) of breeding pancakes.

Alan
 

deadheadvet

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Sorry to hear about your female. Keep in mind, males will fight! I had to permanently separate 2 males. 1 would bite a chunk out of the other one. The breeding season would be all summer. Eventually I sold off 1 of the males. It is possible that the female could not find a good nesting spot.
They can be very particular and then she became egg bound. They need to be able to dig. I give mine an area where they can go down at least 16". You would be surprised. They uses it all, then cover it all as if nothing had ever happened. You will have no trouble trading a female for a male.
Good luck.
 

lynnedit

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Trading a male for a female might be harder, but perhaps male + a bit of cash= new female, something like that.

Glad Tim/Robin brought up the size issue, that would have been devastating.
 

Carol S

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My male Russian was the first one awake. He went around looking for all the females. Upon the females awakening he immediately started mating with them all. He was not even eating properly after having been asleep all Winter. However, this lasted for only around a 3-4 weeks. Now he will only mate once in a while and has resumed eating like a little pig. One of my females laid 5 eggs last week so hopefully when he mated with her he fertilized them. At one point I noticed that she did not seem to be resisting him like she usually does, so hopefully the eggs got fertilized. :)
 
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