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Old 11-14-2014, 08:20 AM   #151
Alright, some good news this morning.

The anole-eater ate with no issues. In retrospect, that adult male anole was probably a little larger than is to be recommended. The snake is too fat right now to climb up into the branches, so he's just curled up on the ground looking like a reticulated python that just finished off an adult pig. Future feedings will need to be a little more moderate until he gets up to size. I will make it a point to freeze most, if not all, of the extra large male anoles.

The really good news is that one of the non-feeders ate an anole last night. It is the one that was given the "small" anole. The one that was offered the medium anole declined to eat. There are three notable differences here. First, let me give some quick background on the housing situation for the troublemakers, in case it is unclear.

All three of the troublemakers are housed in arboreal, screen cages that I normally use for small geckos (mourning geckos, lygodactylus, hemidactylus, etc.) The cages are furnished with hanging, fake plants and numerous branches. They are also misted several times per day (automatically) and heated with 50 watt halogen lamps (temp range 75-85 with a 100 degree hotspot). The original theory behind putting the non-feeders into these cages was that the "escapees", who were originally in screen cages out of space necessity, all ate at statistically higher and faster rates than the average, which led me to believe that the extra exercise of roaming the reptile room and climbing the branches led to a stronger appetite. I have since learned that this was likely not true. I believe that I was assuming a reversed causation. Instead of assuming that escape promoted appetite, I should have considered that both escape and appetite would be linked, due to both being caused by higher energy, strength, alertness, etc. Bottom line, the Escapees were always destined to be good eaters, regardless of whether they managed to find their way out of the birthing cage and go walkabout.

Anyway, back to the troublemaker group. At this time, the reliable feeder and the former non-feeder are currently in a cage that is divided in half with a divider, so their space is approximately 9x12x20h. The remaining non-feeder is in a whole cage, which is 18x12x20h. This makes the differences between the former and current non-feeders as such:

1) the former non-feeder was offered a smaller anole, so offering a smaller anole to the other non-feeder could prove productive

2) the current non-feeder is in a larger cage than the other. This could prove to make seeking and catching the anole at night more difficult for the snake.

3) yesterday, when I was sorting out the anoles, an extra large adult anole got loose and ran into the cage with the former non-feeder. Knowing that I had already struck out with adult anoles on this guy, I opted to simply switch him over to the cage with the reliable anole eater (which had no anoles in it yet) and move the reliable one to the cage that already had an adult anole in it. I believed this would be less stressful to everyone than tearing the cage up trying to catch the adult anole. The possible theory here is that being placed into a new environment may have encouraged exploration, which in turn may have encouraged the seeking out and consumption of food.

The best way I can think of to test this theory is by first adding a smaller anole to the cage with the non-feeder and seeing if that does the trick. If it does, we know it was just a food size issue. If, after several days, this smaller anole has still not been eaten, I will move the non-feeder to one of the smaller cages (most likely the one that houses the reliable anole-eater) and see if that helps. If this prompts a feeding, it will be hard to determine if it is the cage size or simply the cage change that helps, but the important thing is to get them eating.

The other nice thing about all of this is that it goes back to the earlier discussion we had regarding picky eaters vs non-eaters. This shows that at least 2 of the 3 that would not take chick thighs were in fact "picky" and not somehow lacking in the ability to eat. The former non-feeder, it turns out, was just even more picky than the reliable anole-eater. Not only did he insist on live anoles, but they had to be small ones to boot. I'm hoping the last remaining non-eater feels the same way. I will add a small anole to the non-feeder's cage and update if it disappears.
Old 11-14-2014, 08:16 PM   #152
Excellent update (as always!). Fingers crossed that the last one eats for you.

On a related note, what kind of survival instinct drives you to "escape" to the only place in the house that holds an animal who regards you as its favorite meal? I say that was just weeding the gene pool.... ;-)
Old 11-14-2014, 09:57 PM   #153
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Excellent update (as always!). Fingers crossed that the last one eats for you.

On a related note, what kind of survival instinct drives you to "escape" to the only place in the house that holds an animal who regards you as its favorite meal? I say that was just weeding the gene pool.... ;-)
To be fair, he was running from me. The baby boa probably wasn't noticeable next to what an anole must perceive as Godzilla. Plus, he did have the sense to hide in the cage with the snake that wouldn't have eaten him, I just managed to foil his plan with the ol' switcharoo.
Old 11-15-2014, 03:21 PM   #154
lol OK good points. ;-)
Old 11-16-2014, 03:27 PM   #155
Checking on everybody today yielded the information that almost everyone is in blue. Hopefully this will warrant update photos in the near future. Stay Tuned.
Old 11-18-2014, 02:14 PM   #156
Quick update- The reliable anole feeder has been moved to a tub in the hatchling rack. I will attempt to feed a frozen anole next week at regular feeding time. The Former non-feeder has been given a medium anole, and the non-feeder has been moved to a half cage and offered the small anole again. Fingers crossed

Otherwise, it's business as usual. Chick thighs for the holdbacks and most others, scented pinkies for the "pinkie eaters" and randomly selected others. I will follow up tomorrow with results.
Old 11-19-2014, 07:43 AM   #157
Today was a good day. Everyone who was offered a chick thigh ate it with no issues. Most of these guys have shed in the last day or two, so they're looking pretty great. I'll try to get some updated pictures soon (when they're not so full and the risk of stress is a little lower).

3 of the 4 remaining "pinky eaters" ate their scented pinkies, as did 1 of the 4 randomly selected others, meaning there are now 5 "pinky eaters" and 8 "others" (non holdbacks that are still eating chick thighs).

Now for the REALLY good news. The non-feeder has eaten the small anole. This was the same small anole that had spent the last few days in the large cage with him, but I had moved them both over to the half cage that was previously holding the reliable anole feeder. The switch to the half cage apparently did the trick. Now, I can't be sure if it was the move itself that sparked the feeding, or if it was the fact that the snake was now in a smaller cage, which may have made it feel more secure, and made catching its prey an easier task. Possibly, it was a combination of the two. However, the important thing is that he has now eaten.

In addition, the snake that ate the small anole last week ate a medium anole this week, so hopefully, the need for small anoles will only be to get these two started, as I do not have many. I am hoping they will both at least transition into medium anoles, now that they have started eating.
Old 11-20-2014, 01:07 AM   #158
Wow GREAT news! Sounds like you've urned the corner on feeding -- congrats on a job well done!
Old 11-20-2014, 01:15 AM   #159
Awesome, the last tough nut finally cracked.
Old 11-20-2014, 05:49 AM   #160
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Wow GREAT news! Sounds like you've urned the corner on feeding -- congrats on a job well done!
Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
Awesome, the last tough nut finally cracked.
Thanks, guys. It's areal weight off my shoulders to have everyone eating. Now I can focus on growing them out and getting them switched onto easier food items.

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