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Old 10-02-2014, 05:30 PM   #81
Helenthereef
Chris this is great, and very helpful. I shall be trying it next time my Fiji Boas get round to breeding.

I have an addition: With slightly larger snakes I have used chicken hearts as a substitute for geckos (where I am supermarkets sell frozen packs of chicken hearts and gizzards, good for gravy-making, not sure if you can get these in the USA).

I think these may make a useful supplement to limbs, and when I have had to use them over extended periods of time I literally stuffed them with reptile vitamin supplement powder.
 
Old 10-02-2014, 07:24 PM   #82
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post
Chris this is great, and very helpful. I shall be trying it next time my Fiji Boas get round to breeding.

I have an addition: With slightly larger snakes I have used chicken hearts as a substitute for geckos (where I am supermarkets sell frozen packs of chicken hearts and gizzards, good for gravy-making, not sure if you can get these in the USA).

I think these may make a useful supplement to limbs, and when I have had to use them over extended periods of time I literally stuffed them with reptile vitamin supplement powder.
Definitely information worth noting. I'm hoping to start moving some of them to pinkies and quail chicks soon (gave 2 a pinky plus a thigh today as an experiment, so fingers crossed) but I will definitely remember that tip if I end up pushing bird parts for an extended period. Thanks.
 
Old 10-02-2014, 11:39 PM   #83
Snakesitter
Another great post.

And a possible bright future in surgery. :-)
 
Old 10-03-2014, 12:24 AM   #84
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Another great post.

And a possible bright future in surgery. :-)
Haha. Thanks. With skills like this, I'm sure I would have made a top of the line civil war doctor.
 
Old 10-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #85
cguarino30
Update for feeding #5. I have good news and bad news (as always). The bad news first:

All three of the non-feeders have declined to eat their meals again. This is the 5th straight refusal, and at 7 weeks old, I am starting to get concerned. I have decided that I will attempt acquire some live anoles, which can be placed into the screen cages with them and hopefully will induce feeding. My hope is that once they start feeding, they will easily switch over to chick thighs or something else that is more readily available. This is somewhat frustrating, but since I was originally concerned that I would have to do this with the majority (if not the entirety) of the clutch, I feel it's best to count blessing and just be happy that I only have three troublemakers.

Now, on to the good news. Firstly, 24 out of the 25 good eaters ate this week, and the one that declined to eat was NOT one of the three that declined last week, so all three of the babies who skipped last week are back on feed. As for the one who skipped this week, I believe the refusal stems from a change that I made on Tuesday. This particular snake made a complete mess of his tub by spilling water all over the bedding, which was starting to turn moldy. Because of this, I switched him over to a new, clean tub on Tuesday. My best guess is that the stress of the move is what put him off feed. These guys are proving themselves to be quite temperamental, but at the same time, quite resilient. I plan to make more of an effort to do anything that might contribute to the stress of the babies as far away from feeding days as possible, as even a space of a few days does not appear to be enough for them to fully recover their confidence. I am optimistic that this guy will be back on feed next week.

Now for the REALLY good news. As an experiment, I placed a pinky mouse in with two random babies at the same time as I placed the chick thigh. One of these two snakes turned out to be the one who did not eat at all, so it's hard to say what would have happened if he had been hungry. The other, however, ate both food items. When I noticed this (hours later), I made eight more pinkies and placed them with eight more babies (all of whom had already consumed their thigh, presumably a few hours before). None of the eight additionals ate the pinky, but I believe the fact that they had already consumed their food significantly before being offered the pinky may have contributed to the failure rate.

Next week, I intend to feed a larger group a thigh and a pinky simultaneously, to see if I can drive up the numbers. The plan here is to take advantage of the feed response induced by the chick to encourage them to eat the pinky as well, thus getting them potentially missing nutrition, and also causing them to associate the smell and taste of the pinky with food. Over time, I hope to gradually move them on to a diet of primarily pinky mice, which will make them more likely to succeed in their new homes (and make me more likely to succeed at selling them, haha).

I will be attempting this only with the animals that I intend to sell, as there is no real benefit to me to switch my holdbacks onto pinkies at this time. The babies are growing well, and will be ready for quail chicks soon enough, so I will try to convert my holdbacks to quail chicks and my non-holdbacks to pinkies. If I am successful, people who purchase babies will be able to feed pinkies, and I will have the luxury of keeping my animals on birds.

One more note- many of these guys are developing at a remarkable rate. They are much larger and are starting to lose their juvenile, dark red color. I will try to get some updated pictures of some of the recent sheds for you guys in the next couple of days, but I am trying to balance things out with regard to stressing the babies, so I will be choosing the time frame carefully.
 
Old 10-03-2014, 11:42 PM   #86
Snakesitter
Wooot, great report -- again!
 
Old 10-04-2014, 10:00 AM   #87
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Wooot, great report -- again!
Thanks. I'll be updating again either today or tomorrow with some pictures.
 
Old 10-05-2014, 02:40 PM   #88
cguarino30
One more update. On Friday, I purchased three live anoles. One was a green anole and two were Bahaman anoles. All three were fully grown, though the green is a little larger than the two bahamans. They were placed in the screen cages with the non-eating snakes, and at some point on Friday night, one of the snakes ate his/her anole. The other two have not yet eaten theirs, despite having had two separate nights in which to do it. I am glad the one has now eaten, but live anoles are supposedly the be-all-end-all food for these guys, so the fact that the other two are not eating is a little disconcerting. I am hoping that over time, they will also eat their anoles, and am wondering if perhaps a smaller anole would be better. I will continue to update.

Aside from that, I have taken a few more random pictures of some of the healthy eaters, in order to show the growth and development over the past couple of weeks. The colors on some of these guys is really starting to come out, as they are losing a lot of their darker, neonate cast. They are also starting to lose their all-or-nothing coloration, and beginning to develop the more variegated range of colors and shades of adulthood. All three of these guys ate on Thursday, and you can see that the bulge is considerably digested even at this point. Enjoy.
Attached Images
   
 
Old 10-05-2014, 11:36 PM   #89
Helenthereef


Good news on the pinkies, and great photos, they are such a stunning deep red!

Re the anoles: with my Fiji boas I have not always had enough geckos of the correct size, but I have had success with feeding them tails or even hind limbs of larger geckos, so maybe it's back to surgery for the little non-eaters????

Good luck and please do keep posting.
 
Old 10-06-2014, 08:46 AM   #90
cguarino30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post


Good news on the pinkies, and great photos, they are such a stunning deep red!

Re the anoles: with my Fiji boas I have not always had enough geckos of the correct size, but I have had success with feeding them tails or even hind limbs of larger geckos, so maybe it's back to surgery for the little non-eaters????

Good luck and please do keep posting.
Thanks. The one who ate didn't seem to have much trouble with the anole that I gave him/her, so I don't think I'll have to do any butchering. The other Bahaman anole is the same size as the one that got eaten, and the green is only slightly larger than that. The anoles in general are a little smaller than the chick thighs, so I'm sure they could all manage to get them down if they tried. However, it may just be a preference issue. Plus, I'd want to avoid killing an animal just in the hopes that it MIGHT help the little one eat, especially if I have the option of finding a half-grown anole somewhere instead.

I think I'm going to give them the rest of the week to make up their minds (for all I know, they've been trying to get them all night and been unsuccessful) and then go shopping for half-grown anoles. Since we're only dealing with two more non-feeders, it's not too much trouble for them to be super picky. If I had to find 28 half-grown anoles, you bet I'd be a lot less willing to go shopping around Goldilocks style.
 

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