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Old 09-12-2014, 11:11 AM   #51
cguarino30
Yesterday was their second feeding, and I have good news to report. 19 of the 28 ate f/t chick thighs with no prompting (left overnight). It would have been 20, but I spooked one when I went to take a picture mid-swallow. I'm upset with myself for making such a rookie mistake, but I'll offer another one today and hopefully that one will also eat.

This leaves me with only 8 hatchlings that have yet to eat a single meal. None of these 8 were any of the escapees (and therefore, have had less exercise), and oddly enough, 7 of the 8 are all placed on the same level of my hatchling rack, so some temp checking may also be in order. However, due to the high increase of feeding from last week's 9 to this weeks 19 (or really 20, since the other one had opted to eat), I'm fairly confident that over time, they will all be easy feeders. I've snapped a couple random pics of the dam and the one (lousy) shot I got of the little one eating, right before it spit out the food. (still so mad at myself for that) Enjoy.
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:50 PM   #52
Snakesitter
Awww cute! Sorry he (she?) turned out to be camera shy...but a promising start nonetheless!
 
Old 09-12-2014, 11:23 PM   #53
Reptile Frenzy
Glad most seem to be eating for ya Chris!
 
Old 09-12-2014, 11:30 PM   #54
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Awww cute! Sorry he (she?) turned out to be camera shy...but a promising start nonetheless!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptile Frenzy View Post
Glad most seem to be eating for ya Chris!
Thanks. I'm definitely please with the numbers. 20/28 feeding easily at 3 weeks is a lot better than I expected, so I think chick thighs is definitely the way to go. I'll keep updating on progress.
 
Old 09-19-2014, 09:43 AM   #55
cguarino30
Feeding update for week 3:

25 of 28 have eaten. The number of babies who eat is steadily growing. I have three left who have not yet eaten once, and am debating whether moving them to a larger, arboreal cage might help to push them over the edge.

So far, I have not tried feeding anything other than a frozen/thawed, day-old-chick thigh, placed in the tub and left overnight. The overnight part seems to be an important aspect of feeding, as even after an hour or two, I would say that only about 1/3 of the ones that eat do so right away (most within the first 10 minutes or so). An obvious majority wait until nightfall to eat. I have even checked on them all at dusk, 6-8 hours post feeding, and only one or two more will have eaten theirs. Then, first thing in the morning, I check again, and the other 2/3 of the eaters have consumed their meal. Feeding later in the day could possibly help reluctant feeders, as the food would be fresher and the snakes more active, but this does not appear to be necessary. Even by the next morning, chick thighs are still fairly fresh, whereas pinkies are clearly putrid by the 12 hour mark.

In addition, every baby who started eating has continued eating. I take this as a good sign with regard to the reliability of future feeding, general health, and my own husbandry techniques. The only exception to this is Escapee #1, who spit out its meal last week due to my interrupting the process (post #51). I tried to feed Escapee #1 the next day, but that meal was refused. However, upon feeding normally this week, Escapee #1 is back on feed. I should note, though, that Escapee #1 was one of the snakes that WAS eating in the first 20 minutes, but this week waited until nightfall. I take the lessons here as being:

1) Leave them alone when they're eating
2) If one is stressed out, the stress can have a lasting effect
3) They will, however, recover over time

I would also like to describe one other anomaly that I have noticed. Escapee #4 has done something unusual two separate times now. Both Week 1 and Week 3, I have come downstairs to find a chick bone with skin attached on the floor of Escapee #4's cage. Thorough inspection shows that there is nothing but the bone and skin left, and inspection of Escapee #4 shows a clear bulge in the middle, where presumably, the meat alone lies. I'm not sure if this is something that is being done intentionally, or if there is something about Escapee #4's feeding process that is causing it as an accident, but it is definitely something too keep an eye out for when checking to see who has eaten the next morning, as my first thought is always that the food has been rejected. I have included a picture to show what I mean.

All in all, I have to say that this litter is progressing beyond my hopes. I was quite concerned at the onset that it was going to take months of scenting, lizard feeding, etc to get the majority to start eating, and was prepared to end up with several that had to be fed anoles until they were large enough for quail chicks, which looks like it will be around the 6 month mark. Instead, I have 25/28 so far that are easily feeding on a convenient, readily available, and quite cheap food source.

I am also confident that the 3 stragglers will come along. I'm going to take a day to think about whether moving them to an arboreal cage will help or hurt their development, and will post what I decide to do. On the one hand, I don't want to stress them out, and each week we've been seeing a significant increase in the number of eaters, with virtually no steps taken by me. On the other hand, all four of the snakes that originally escaped were among the first nine feeders. When only about 30% of the overall group was eating, 100% of escapees (who were then placed in screen cages due to space needs) were eating. This can't be a coincidence, so moving the non-feeders to screen cages could encourage them to begin eating. I'll mull it over for a day or two and post what I decide, but any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:13 PM   #56
Snakesitter
Bravo, great summary for future breeders!

Maybe if you paired the wings with a nice beer? ;-)
 
Old 09-19-2014, 10:44 PM   #57
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Bravo, great summary for future breeders!

Maybe if you paired the wings with a nice beer? ;-)
Haha. If I still have non feeders in a few weeks, maybe I'll try that.
 
Old 09-20-2014, 10:23 AM   #58
cguarino30
I decided to move the three non-feeders to screen cages. All three are looking a little thin and lethargic compared to their siblings, so I don't think their refusal to eat is an issue of simply using up remaining yolk reserves. Hopefully, this exercise (and possibly the residual smell of nearby geckos) will help encourage them to start eating. I have also moved the escapees that were in screen cages to tubs (mostly for space reasons) and will monitor their progression as well.
 
Old 09-24-2014, 02:10 AM   #59
Helenthereef
This is very interesting, thanks for such great details.
 
Old 09-24-2014, 10:26 AM   #60
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post
This is very interesting, thanks for such great details.
Quite welcome. Thanks for reading. Feeding #4 will be tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have good news about the last three. Fingers crossed.
 

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