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מָאתַיִם עִזִּים צְרִיכוֹת עֶשְׂרִים תְּיָשִׁים, וְכֵן כֻּלָּם, הַזְּכָרִים כְּדֵי צֹרֶךְ הַנְּקֵבוֹת;
... לְפִי שֶׁהֵם פְּנוּיִים מִמְּלָאכָה דַּרְכָּם לְהַרְבּוֹת תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּלְעַבֵּר עֶשֶׂר נְקֵבוֹת, וּבְהֵמָה מִשֶּׁנִּתְעַבְּרָה אֵינָהּ מְקַבֶּלֶת זָכָר, וּפָרִים שֶׁעוֹסְקִין בִּמְלָאכָה, לֹא מָסַר לְזָכָר אֶלָּא אַרְבַּע נְקֵבוֹת, וְלַחֲמוֹר שֶׁהוֹלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ רְחוֹקָה שְׁתֵּי נְקֵבוֹת לְזָכָר, וְלַגְּמַלִּים שֶׁהוֹלְכִים דֶּרֶךְ יוֹתֵר רְחוֹקָה נְקֵבָה אַחַת לְזָכָר:

Two hundred she-goats have need of twenty he-goats, and so too in the case of all the various species, the males were in number according to the need of the females. ... ten she-goats were given to each he-goat, and so [too] to each ram; [as] since they are free from work, their way is to be frequently involved in sexual relations and to impregnate ten females - and once an animal becomes pregnant, it does not accept a male. And [concerning] the bulls that engage in work, it only gave four females to the male; and to the donkey who goes on long journeys, [it gave] two females to the male, and to the camels that go on [even] longer journeys, [it gave] one female to the male. (Gen 32.15)

IMHO, if only one mating is needed to impregnate a female, one male is sufficient for any number of females, given enough time, but nobody mentions the עונה requirement for the animals (like once every x days). Also, I don't know of any empirical support that working animals (bulls) have lesser mating patterns than non-working (rams).

What is Rashi's logic here?

  • Didn't you answer your own question here? "one male is sufficient for any number of females, given enough time" - Some don't have the time, they work in the field\go on a journey. – Alaychem Diamond Monica back Dec 15 '19 at 8:22
  • Even if animels have עונה, I don't think we must put considerations to this. – Alaychem Diamond Monica back Dec 15 '19 at 8:25
  • Do you have a typo in the last word of your question? "Patterns", maybe? – Danny Schoemann Dec 15 '19 at 10:00
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Note that the Rashi is separated by the pesukim.

Vayishlach 32:16

Thirty nursing camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty she donkeys and ten he donkeys.

Rashi

Thirty nursing camels with their young: Heb. וּבְנֵיהֶם. And their young with them. According to the Midrash Aggadah, the word וּבְנֵיהֶם means בַּנָאֵיהֶם, their builders [those who impregnate them], a male corresponding to a female, but since it (the camel) is discreet in mating, Scripture did not publicize it (Gen. Rabbah 76:7).

According to other meforshim Vayishlach 31:16 this was the normal way of setting up a flock of the various animals so that the herds and flocks would be correctly handled. While one bull over a long period of time might be enough, this differentiation would allow Eisav to properly handle the animals.

Ibn Ezra explains that this showed that Yaakov was an expert herdsman on all of these animals. That is, he showed that he was sending a flock or herd of each animal with the appropriate mix of males and females.

עזים מאתים** – בצאן שם הנקבות עשר לזכר, ולפרים ארבע, ולעירים שנים, כי** ידע תולדותם, [שהיה רועה.]א

Two Hundred - With sheep there were 10 female for each male, for cows four, for donkeys two, because he knew how to breed them [that he was an expert herdsman].

The R'Y Bchor Shor says that the language used for camels does not differentiate between male and female. Thus, it says nursing camels to show the females and the young were the males.

גמלים מניקות – אין דרך העברי לתת חילוק בגמלים בין זכרים בין נקיבות ולומר גמלות ולא גמלה כמו בשאר בהמות,א כמו שאמר: ״עזים״ נקיבות, ״תיישים״ זכרים, וכן כולם. אבל בגמלים, אין העברי חולק. וכן בין הקטנים לגדולים, אלא שהקטן קורא בן גמל בתלמוד (בבלי חולין נ״ט.): וכנגדו ניכר בבן גמל. ולכך, גמלים מניקות – כלומר: נקיבות וראויות להניק.

ובניהם – כלומר: בחורים זכרים.

I have read other meforshim (this is from memory of some modern divrei Torah) that this actually refers to the fact that it was very difficult to breed camels in that part of the world. Thus, Yaakov sent nursing camels to show that he was such an expert that he could breed camels himself. This is similar to his sending the appropriate number of animals in each herd so that Eisav would be able to breed them properly.

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