When a female enters estrus, she is courted by the male who follows her movements and makes vocalizations. The cry of the male stops the female's movement, at which point the male licks her genital area. This pattern is repeated over some time. The male mounts the female by laying his body over hers and copulation takes place.
The gestation period is 6 to 9 months, and females give birth to one young a year. Due to the presence of four mammae in the females of this species, researchers suggest that they are capable of larger litters. Water chevrotains give birth to precocial young, capable of standing within an hour after birth. Females spend most of their day apart from their young and meet only to suckle them. Lactation lasts 3-6 months and the young disperse from the mother's home range when they reach sexual maturity (between 9 and 26 months).
(Nowak 1999, Kingdon 1979)
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
Average gestation period: 175 days.
Average number of offspring: 1.25.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
Sex: male: 403 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 403 days.