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Posted by LdyPayne on April 23, 2003 at 19:59:01:
In Reply to: Age for a cresty to breed? posted by EricKlees on April 22, 2003 at 20:03:44:
After reading through the honest opinions and heated debate it makes me wonder, what's more important? The actual answer to the question or people's believe their way is the ONLY way?
Unlike humans, most animals be they reptiles or lower invertibrates, when they are physicaly mature enough to breed, they typically do breed whether it's good for them or not. Most animals taken out of the wild and put into domestication typicaly breed and produce offspring more often. Look at the family dog and cat. Their wild cousins mate and have offspring once a year or less. In captivity, especially ofter several generations or more in captivity animals tend to become capable of reproducing more often. Cats and dogs could breed several times a year and males are quite happy breeding every day of the year if they find enough willing females to copulate with.
I don't know much about crested geckos and as yet I haven't read anything mentioning it specifically but don't females drop eggs regularly (accroding to their biological clock) whether they mated with a male or not? Even if they need the....stimulation of copulation to create eggs what's the difference in waiting a couple months more or less? If the female isn't physically capable of having children, she won't no matter how eager the male is.
It is my opinion that with proper nutrician and care is given the female and she is sexually mature, mating her at 10 months age or 12 months shouldn't have much impact on her overall longetivity. Having ample food and supliments readily at hand throughout their breeding years deffinitely lessens the stress placed on their bodies then if they were in the wild. It's not like pregnant female crested can go to the local pharmacy and ask for some vitimin pills when she's feeling a little run down.
If the lizard is ready to mate she will. As their care takers, it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure they are well fed, given extra suppliments and observe for any signs of stress. A two month cooling period certainly gives them time to recoperate and store energy for the next round of egg laying.
Once last thing, there has been alot said about breeding lizards is harmful or can be harmful at a young age, but so far I haven't heard anything negative in waiting for a few more months to breed them. Personally I rather err on the side of caution than jump into breeding my lizards a little younger. What do you lose by waiting a few months anyway a pair of eggs per crested? A small loss to make sure they are old enough.