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Old 04-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #1
clydesgirl
Fire Skink Breeding

This forum doesn't appear to be very active, but I thought I would post here for some help, just in case.

On Saturday we discovered a hatchling in our adult fire skinks' enclosure. We didn't even know we had a male and female (though we did suspect since one is significantly larger than the other now that they are fully grown), much less that they had begun breeding.

Well, we rushed to move the baby into a gladware container with some eco earth and moss in it and searched around for any more hatchlings. We found one other hatchling as well as seven more eggs. The eggs were in two separate bunches. The first had the two shells from the hatchlings and three more unhatched eggs. They all looked to be "older" as they were yellowish-brown. The other clutch was bright white and there were four eggs together.

On Sunday we got a new 18x18x18 enclosure set up for the babies with a Powersun 100 bulb on a stand (to adjust the temps), Zilla Jungle Mix on the bottom, a layer of Eco Earth on top of that, and a layer of moss on top of that. Substrate is about 1.5-2" deep total. We also have a small half-log and a small fake plant as hides. And we have a misting system to keep the humidity up.

We burried the other three eggs from the first clutch in the substrate, but they have not hatched and at this point are looking pretty sad. I do NOT expect them to hatch, but I am leaving them in there until they start to mold or stink.

The other clutch we put unto a container with some soil and placed that container inside the babies' viv. They are still looking good. I candled them and I *think* they are fertile. Checking temps on them constantly to make sure they are hovering around 83 degrees during the day time. Temps fall to about room temperature (72-75) overnight. Humidity seems good, as the container has holes in the lid, but we are still seeing condensation on the sides.

The two hatchlings are eating small crickets and seem to be thriving. I would love some advice on how to care for them, how old they should be before we re-home them, and how to care for the eggs.

Also, I am not sure we are prepared to be fire skink breeders, so any advice on how to slow/stop the adults from breeding beyond separating them? I'd hate to do that, as they have been together forever. But I also don't want to do anything that is going to make them less comfortable.

Here are some pictures of the babies:















 
Old 07-12-2018, 12:11 AM   #2
Floof
It's been a couple months since you posted this, so hopefully you've already gotten answers, but fwiw.
I care for the babies the same way as I do adults: deep moist soil-type substrate, hot spot in the low 90s, ambient temperature in the 70s. I typically wait until they're at least a few weeks old to sell/re-home. Gives plenty of time to make sure they're healthy, eating, and growing normally.

Eggs incubate in high 70s/low 80s, but be aware that a lot of temperature fluctuation can cause the babies to be weak- many will die in the egg or fail to thrive if there was a lot of temp fluctuation during incubation. Mom tends to lay eggs about every 2 months, which is also about how long they incubate (very frequently, I'll find fresh eggs within a week of the most recent clutch hatching).

Only way to stop them breeding is to separate them, sorry. You can freeze unwanted eggs when you find them to stop them developing if you don't want babies, but breeding and producing those eggs is still a lot of unnecessary stress on the female if you don't want to breed. They will be perfectly happy alone, I promise! They are not social animals. Housing them together is purely for our benefit (convenience, space, breeding).

Hope it helps!
 
Old 07-12-2018, 09:02 AM   #3
clydesgirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floof View Post
It's been a couple months since you posted this, so hopefully you've already gotten answers, but fwiw.
I care for the babies the same way as I do adults: deep moist soil-type substrate, hot spot in the low 90s, ambient temperature in the 70s. I typically wait until they're at least a few weeks old to sell/re-home. Gives plenty of time to make sure they're healthy, eating, and growing normally.

Eggs incubate in high 70s/low 80s, but be aware that a lot of temperature fluctuation can cause the babies to be weak- many will die in the egg or fail to thrive if there was a lot of temp fluctuation during incubation. Mom tends to lay eggs about every 2 months, which is also about how long they incubate (very frequently, I'll find fresh eggs within a week of the most recent clutch hatching).

Only way to stop them breeding is to separate them, sorry. You can freeze unwanted eggs when you find them to stop them developing if you don't want babies, but breeding and producing those eggs is still a lot of unnecessary stress on the female if you don't want to breed. They will be perfectly happy alone, I promise! They are not social animals. Housing them together is purely for our benefit (convenience, space, breeding).

Hope it helps!
Thanks for the follow-up. There have been a lot of developments since our babies hatched. We moved them to a separate enclosure set up just like the adults'. They did great and we re-homed them at just shy of 2 months. The second clutch of eggs we found didn't hatch. I think I failed at incubating them properly.

About a month after our babies hatched, the male adult had a prolapse of one of his hemipenes! It had to be amputated. Plus, when I tried to catch him to take him to the vet, he dropped his tail! While he was recovering and on antibiotics, he couldn't be in his soil substrate, so we moved him to his own enclosure (just a 20 gallon long tank with shelf liner on the bottom) for a couple of weeks. By the time he was allowed to be back in soil, we had re-homed the babies, so we just moved him into the enclosure we had set up for them. So now the male and female are separated. The female actually seems much happier. We see her out more frequently and she is eating more. The male seems very grumpy and shy now, but I don't blame him. It had to be very traumatic for him to undergo surgery and lose his tail in the same day!
 
Old 07-12-2018, 10:11 AM   #4
Floof
Oh wow, a lot of developments indeed! Glad to hear your male is recovering well, even if his attitude isn't the best after all that, lol.
 
Old 07-20-2018, 06:01 PM   #5
jonesaaron84
floof fire skinks

Floof do you have any fire skinks for sale Im located in The HD hesperia ca and I could pick up no need to ship.
 
Old 07-30-2018, 06:22 PM   #6
Floof
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesaaron84 View Post
Floof do you have any fire skinks for sale Im located in The HD hesperia ca and I could pick up no need to ship.
Hey, just responded to your PM! Should have some in a couple months. My pair got a late start this year, just laid the first full size clutch of the summer last week
 

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