Cherryhead: Territorial/Bullying...? Breeding...? Advice Please!

Evereigh Mann

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
32
Location (City and/or State)
FL
Hello--

This young Brazilian "Cherryhead" (3 years old? 4?) arrived recently, and I introduced it to my creep of 1 male/4 females (one of the females is 8 years old; the others are 5, and I have had the latter since they were hatchlings). As soon as I put the new one in the pen--sex is undetermined--the male went right for it and started aggressively pushing it from behind and chasing it around the pen; see video clip. Is this bullying/fighting? It wasn't so much a fight as it was my 5-year-old male acting like the schoolyard bully, and the smaller new one running for its life. Was it trying to mate? To this point, the male hasn't exhibited nearly this type of behavior ever before with the more mature females...but all of a sudden he is trying to mount a small juvenile within a minute of it being introduced? I removed the new one pretty quickly, and I tried again this morning at feeding time; same result. I once again took it out of the pen.

About 6 months ago I obtained the 8-year-old female that I dropped in there, and there were absolutely no issues at all.

What say those of you with experience? Can I assume this new Brazilian--who is a very sweet, very mellow creature--is a male, and that my 5-year-old wants no part of another rooster in his henhouse? I have always thought the Redfoot was a very laid-back species, though I have read that the Cherryheads can be aggressive. There is a very, very faint concavity to the plastron, and determining the sex by virtue of the tail is inconclusive to my relatively novice eye.

I would love to know if it's a breeding thing, or if some Cherryhead males simply cannot co-exist with another male.

Thank you!

Ra3EeMF.mp4


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Tiil6ZH.jpg
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,641
Hello--

This young Brazilian "Cherryhead" (3 years old? 4?) arrived recently, and I introduced it to my creep of 1 male/4 females (one of the females is 8 years old; the others are 5, and I have had the latter since they were hatchlings). As soon as I put the new one in the pen--sex is undetermined--the male went right for it and started aggressively pushing it from behind and chasing it around the pen; see video clip. Is this bullying/fighting? It wasn't so much a fight as it was my 5-year-old male acting like the schoolyard bully, and the smaller new one running for its life. Was it trying to mate? To this point, the male hasn't exhibited nearly this type of behavior ever before with the more mature females...but all of a sudden he is trying to mount a small juvenile within a minute of it being introduced? I removed the new one pretty quickly, and I tried again this morning at feeding time; same result. I once again took it out of the pen.

About 6 months ago I obtained the 8-year-old female that I dropped in there, and there were absolutely no issues at all.

What say those of you with experience? Can I assume this new Brazilian--who is a very sweet, very mellow creature--is a male, and that my 5-year-old wants no part of another rooster in his henhouse? I have always thought the Redfoot was a very laid-back species, though I have read that the Cherryheads can be aggressive. There is a very, very faint concavity to the plastron, and determining the sex by virtue of the tail is inconclusive to my relatively novice eye.

I would love to know if it's a breeding thing, or if some Cherryhead males simply cannot co-exist with another male.

Thank you!

Ra3EeMF.mp4


fVVKJeC.jpg


Tiil6ZH.jpg
The new one looks like a male to me. Your original male is probably exerting his dominance. You might want to separate the six animals into two groups of 1.2 each.

To encourage breeding (if that is your goal), you can rotate the females from one male's "territory" in to the other every so often.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
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Jul 16, 2014
Messages
23,845
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I keep a group also. And I can tell you that there is never any guarantee that adding another Redfoot, male or female, will work as planned.
Each time you ad one, you're changing the order of the group. By nature, each tortoise will instinctively want it's own territory. No matter how large it is. And adding another stranger to share with the establishment can be problematic.
Yet, as you've also seen. Sometimes not.
That new tort is probably an immature Male. He should at least be quarantined for a few months. That'd get the group used to him being around. And get him used to the group safely.
But make plans on building a new bachelor enclosure just for him, or to rehome him or the other male.
It sucks, but sometimes you'll find a RF that you just can't ad to the group.
 
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