To breed animals, you should also know when they are fertile and can mate. When they reach sexual maturity, and when they are in season?
Experience shows that there are many outward signs that indicate this. At least for those who have experience and see it.
The easiest solution is to put a male with the females. Let them go their way. It works flawlessly. Even if you find nothing, he will mention it on time. And do his job. But if that option is not available, and you have to play an away game then it is necessary to do this at the right moment.

Let your animals not mate too young. Wait until the animal is fully grown.

dektijdSome characteristics of being in heat that in many mammals are observable:
lips curl, bite each other, smelling, sniffing and snorting, scraping with hooves on the ground and swollen, redder and slimy vulva, lively behavior, keeping tail aside, jump on each other (even females amongst each other).

First, females are oocyte mature, the production of eggs has begun. Then they are sexually mature, the eggs can be fertilized in principle. But we let it just happen as they are adult (carcass maturity): physically mature enough to give birth (naturally).

Usually there is a fixed annual mating period, which fits so that the birth occurs at a time when there will be enough food to find for mother and young in nature. If the female is not fertilized, often follows another, and the next…, mating period.
The time at which animals are sexual mature or mating ripe also depends on race and species, nutrition, fitness, etc.


Ovum ripe

in months

Sexual mature

Mating ripe in months

Mating period 1

Mating period 2

Max. age in years


8 à 10


15 (350kg+)






(24 à ) 36


to +20







14, 15





every 3 weeks 2x/jr







each month



For different species, the timing of the rut depends on the length of the gestation period (pregnancy), usually determined so that offspring is born in the spring when it is warm and there is enough food for the mother and her milk.


Cattle or bovines is the umbrella term for the animal. Oxen were working animals, cows are females kept solely for their breeding potential and milk or meat production.

A cow is every three weeks fertile or in heat. Ovulation (one or two eggs) takes place at the end of this period (rut or estrus) and usually takes less than a day, sometimes only a few hours.

Cows in heat (estrus) pounce on each other, throwing their heads in the air and curl the upper lip to be able to sniff odors well. They moo a lot and loudly.
They are restless and agile, and they pee a lot. They hold the tail aside so that the vulva is visible. That is red, swollen and slimy.
Bulls roar when they smell a cow in heat.

At the beginning of the estrus cows in heat pounce other cows. A little later they are mainly self often breeded by their company. If cows in heat stand as they are jumped (the standing reflex), the right time has come to breed or inseminate the cow.
Not every cow 's estrus is clearly visible. The highlight is usually at night.

Mares can be throughout the year every three to four weeks in heat, but most clearly between February and August. The foals are born then in the spring and can immediately to the pasture where the mother finds nutritious grass.
The estrous cycle lasts about five days, followed by ovulation. The last two days are the best time for breeding.

The mare is then more volatile. They pounce on their herd members more often than usual and keep their tails often slightly sideways so that the vulva can be seen. That’s going to 'wink' and is more swollen and redder than usual. The urine is cloudier than usual, and the mare lowers the legs more when urinating.

A ewe is every 17 to 20 days during half a day in heat or tupping. They will be more bleating, move restless, wag, remain with the ram, frequently urinate, and the vulva is swollen and red.

If a sow has the standing reflex she is in season. They are every three weeks in heat for 1 to 3 days. Contact with the bear promotes estrus.
Mating in pigs can take half an hour.

Boar taint is called the unpleasant odor that sometimes is released during the heating of pork.
Two substances in the fat of male pigs are responsible for it: androstenone and skatole. They occur in male pigs after sexual maturity and can accumulate.
To prevent the piglets are (were?) castrated when they are 2-3 weeks old.
In some countries, like Australia, pigs are therefore slaughtered at a younger age.

If the rabbit is in heat she will be more territorial and aggressive and more tossing in soil cover or litter fall. Her vulva will be swollen and redder.
The doe has in her own loft a strong territorial behavior. They will fight with a buck that you bring there. So bring the doe to the loft of the buck. They will first hopping around, then follows the mating that lasts only a few seconds. The buck hereby bites in the neck of the doe. Rabbits ovulate only 10 hours after mating.

If you wake up in the morning with the chickens, work during the day as a horse and in the evening are as tired as a dog then chances are that you 're an ass.