The purpose of the present study was to determine the onset of breeding season, the occurrence of silent and true heats and the duration of estrus in female Markhoz goats of the Kurdistan province in Iran. Ten, 3 years-old Markhoz does with an average weight of
and with one kidding record, were used. The goats were maintained in an open barn under constant nutritional levels and natural photoperiod. One aproned buck was used twice a day every 12 h to detect estrus from mid August to early January. For the determination of the onset of reproductive activity as well as occurrence of silent heat, blood samples were collected every 10 days, from the beginning of the experiment. After
standing heat, blood samples were obtained twice a week in order to assess luteal activity and the length of estrous cycles. In this study, estrous behavior was observed including sniffing, vocal exchange, following courtship, flehman, standing heat and mounting. The results of the progesterone assay indicated that in this goat silent heats occur mostly in the early breeding season. The first standing heat was observed in mid-October which was considered as the onset of the breeding season. Duration of the estrous cycle and estrus was recorded as being
, respectively. The correlation coefficient between length of daylight and occurrence of estrus was negative (r = -0.470) but not significant (p>0.05). The data showed that there was no significant effect of body weight on estrous cycles (first, second and third) and estrous periods (first, second, third and fourth). Progesterone levels were not significantly different in the first, second and third estrous cycles at days 0, 4, 10, 12, 14 and 19. The results of progesterone assay during the estrous cycle indicate that follicular and luteal phases last 4-5 and 14-15 days, respectively and the concentration of serum progesterone in these phases was
, respectively. The study concluded that Markhoz does could be considered as a breed with a short breeding season and an optimal estrous activity in autumn.