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Old 03-23-2015, 02:49 PM   #341
Fingers crossed!
Old 03-24-2015, 02:11 PM   #342
Feeding day again today. This is a big one, here's hoping for a little luck.

All holdbacks were each fed a chick thigh and a quail chick head. This will certainly determine once and for all if the quail chicks are too large, or if the boas are just refusing them for scent reasons. The quail chick heads are about the size of the middle of the chick thigh, so they should pose no issue.

The pinkie eating group was each fed a large, f/t pinkie. They seemed to be in fairly normal condition, so I'm hoping this weekend's sexing ordeal didn't put them off feed. We shall see.

T1 was fed the usual f/t anole. T1 was also sexed this weekend, so I've also got my fingers crossed for this one.

T3 was fed an unscented pinkie. This will be T3's second unscented pinkie, and if he takes this one and the other sexed snakes eat, I may try to probe this weekend.

T4 and the rest of the non-holdback group were each fed a chick thigh and a decapitated pinkie. I happened to have a bunch of decapitated pinkies left over from feeding the heads to hatchling house snakes, so I thought it would be worth a shot to see if any of them eat both. If not, they still have the usual thigh to eat. T4 was also sexed this weekend, so I'm also hoping she is not off feed.

I will update tomorrow with results. Here's hoping for a good night of feeding.
Old 03-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #343
Good news and bad news.

Firstly, the holdback group refused the quail chick heads almost entirely. With the exception of H6, they were steadfastly ignored. In addition, E2 completely refused to eat at all. This could be a fluke due to an incoming shed or some other unrelated issue, but since E2 has now missed three meals in a row, I will have to keep an eye on him. I had assumed that any animal that was eating chick thighs would just as easily switch over to quail chicks, but apparently, I was mistaken. Since most of these snakes were already consuming multiple thighs, I find it hard to believe that none of them were hungry enough to consume the additional head. Since the heads were easily as manageable as the thighs, I have to assume that size is not the issue, either. They must simply be refusing for scent issues. This brings up an interesting situation. I have no real need to convert them to quail chicks, but had assumed that it would be in their best nutritional interest to do so, as it is a whole prey item. So the question is, do I start trying to convert them to quail chicks, or do I simply allow them to continue eating chick thighs for the time being? Lots of thinking to do here.

The good news is that most of the animals that I sexed over the weekend had no issues eating this week. T4 was the only one that did not eat, and that could be due to the addition of the decapitated pinkie, which we know from previous experience is not something T4 finds the least bit appetizing. However, the stress of this weekend's probing likely did not help. T1, P1, P2, and P3 all ate with no issues, however. For this reason, I will likely try to sex the holdback group and T3 this weekend, though I may skip E3 due to this week's refusal.

The pinkie eater group is most likely ready for sale. I'd like to get one more meal in them before I let them go, but will probably be able to post them now as a sexed 1.2 eating unscented pinkies.

The previous "scented pinkie eater" ate both the chick thigh and the decapitated pinkie, so I think I will offer dual food items for a couple of weeks before trying to convert over to pinkies alone. All other non-holdbacks ate the thigh but refused the pinkie.

I'll update with sexing results when I have them.
Old 03-26-2015, 09:54 AM   #344
Aside from E2, positive news overall! Good luck on sexing, part two!
Old 03-27-2015, 09:16 AM   #345
Originally Posted by Snakesitter View Post
Aside from E2, positive news overall! Good luck on sexing, part two!
Thanks, Cliff. Here's hoping for lots of girls, as that is what I mostly intend to hold back permanently. I want to give them a couple of years' head start in growth before I breed them, so I plan to hold back mostly females from this clutch and males from the next one.
Old 03-27-2015, 10:34 PM   #346
Smart move!
Old 03-29-2015, 01:43 PM   #347
Sexing Day Part II

I probed almost all of the holdbacks, as well as T3 and, for the second time, T1. I also took the opportunity to get weights for everyone who was probed today. It was a fairly simple procedure. I just weighed the entire tube with the snake inside and subtracted the weight of the tube after the fact. I wish I had thought of that last week. I skipped E2 because he appears to be having some shedding issues, and I did not want to exacerbate them. I also did T1 for the second time to double check my count from before, now that I have more experience with them. The numbers are as follows.

T1 weighed in at 28 grams and probed to 7 scales this time, making him a clear male. I think the combination of not having my technique down and T1's tensed up muscles is what caused the misprobing at 4 last time. I have noticed that if I get three or more, I can usually adjust the angle and try again and get more. None of the animals thus far have probed more than 3 consistently without eventually probing higher. Generally, they are very clearly bottoming out at 2-3 or going beyond that, and the more ambiguous ones tend to be at least 6 or more when another attempt is made by adjusting the angle or allowing the snake to relax a little. It is also worth pointing out that despite being one of the "troublemaker" group and getting a late start, T1 has caught up to most of his siblings in size.

T3, on the other hand, is still one of the smaller animals. Still at a healthy 22 grams, I am not worried about her. She probed to 2 subcaudals, and was about average to deal with.

E1 probed to 2.5 subcaudals, a clear female, and weighed 28 grams. This is slighly over the average weight of 26 grams for the 11 animals weighed today.

E3 probed to 2 subcaudals and weighed in at a whopping 34 grams. She was the largest and one of the more cantankerous of the bunch.

E4 probed to 6 subcaudals and weighed in at 30 grams.

The "H" group was noticeably easier to work with than the "E" or "T" group, presumably because many of these animals were selected for their lower anxiety levels and better handleability. The only exception was H6, which surprised me at first, until I remembered that H6 was added to the holdback group after the fact, and that this was due to color considerations, not tameness. This suggests that a general anxiety level can be expected to remain consistent (at least from the age of 2-3 weeks to the age of 6+months). I will be interested to see if this continues through adulthood and into the next generation, as I would be very interested in producing lines of lower-anxiety animals that were less susceptible to stress and easier to handle. Many of the H group likely could have been probed without the use of the restraint tube (or even the hemostat to put them in it, for that matter), and the three that I tried with were still docile enough AFTER the procedure to perch calmly on my hand for a few photos.

H1 weighed 28 grams and probed to 6 subcaudals. A definite male.

H2 weighed 26 grams and probed to 2 subcaudals. A definite female.

H3 weighed 30 grams and probed to 5 subcaudals. I am confident that H3 is a male, which is somewhat disappointing, as H3 is one of my favorites. I may have to make an exception to the idea of holding back all females. Either way, I intend to hold on to the entire H and E groups for at least the first year before making any final decisions.

H4 weighed in at 26 grams and probed to 2 subcaudals. A definite female.

H5 weighed 32 grams (one of the largest) and probed to 3 subcaudals. I'm fairly confident this one is female, but a second attempt in the future may be warranted.

H6 weighed 30 grams and probed to 7 subcaudals. The definitive male probing and lack of tameness may override the exceptional color quality of H6, but again, none of those decisions will be made any time soon.

So, to sum it up, out of 14 probings, I have a ratio of 6.8. This does not include the non-holdback group or the scented pinkie eater, who I have no real reason to sex at this time. Out of 11 weights, we have a range of 22-34 grams, with an average of 26. You will also notice that there does not appear to be much of a correlation between sex and size at this age, though a cursory look does show a difference between sex and appetite, as E1, E3, H4, and H5 are probably some of the best eaters, though there are clear exceptions to this observation as well.

One final bit of news. At almost the one year anniversary of the start of this thread, which began with a picture of two Jamaican Boas locked up, my other two, Kingston and Lucia have locked up as well. After a few months of half-hearted interest, this last re-introduction of Kingston, the male, to Montego, the other male, has apparently given him a little more of a sense of urgency. I put Kingston back in with Lucia (the female) yesterday, and they have been locked up all day. Hopefully, this means unrelated offspring in August.

Pictured are the newly paired adults, H2, H3, and H4.
Attached Images
Old 04-01-2015, 12:16 AM   #348
Oh man, if you have unrelated neonates this August, I may start bugging you about acquiring one! Harper is doing really really well:

The top image may look a little over-saturated, I'm not really sure why Photobucket decided to do that. At any rate, he shed last week so I decided to take some update photos before I fed him again - still eating f/t pinks like a champ, every 5-7 days.
Old 04-01-2015, 12:20 AM   #349
That's great, Gillian. He looks like he's doing very well. Thanks for the updates. Definitely touch base in august and we'll see if we can't hook him up with a girlfriend (or her with a boyfriend , as the case may be).
Old 04-01-2015, 10:27 AM   #350
Feeding update for this week:

babies were all fed as usual. There does not appear to have been much of an issue with the animals that were probed this weekend, as they all ate normally with the exception of T3, who declined. T3 is also looking very blue today, so the combination of incoming shed and last week's probing probably put her off feed. Hopefully, she'll shed soon and be eating normally by next week.

I'll also be probing the non-holdback group this week, just so I can get a final count of sexes. In addition, I may be making some early cuts to the holdbacks, as I am in contact with someone who is specifically requesting some of the male ones, many of whom I do not intend to keep long term. I'll update with who is still here when that happens.

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