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Old 12-10-2014, 06:27 PM   #191
Alright, a new week, and a new round of feedings. Tried a couple of things out this week.

Firstly, all of the pinkie eaters have been offered non-scented pinkies. I have not made much of an attempt at feeding non-scented pinkies, so I'm interested to see what kind of reception rate I get from them.

T1 was offered a f/t anole
T2 was offered a f/t pinkie that had been thawed with and stirred around with anoles
T3 was offered one of each.

Everyone else was offered a chick thigh. I'll update tomorrow with results.
Old 12-11-2014, 08:57 AM   #192
Another good week.

T1 ate his anole
T2 ate his anole-scented pinkie
T3 ate the anole, but not the pinkie

Of the pinkie eaters, 3 of the 6 ate completely unscented pinkies for the first time ever. They will be fed unscented rodents from here on out, barring any complications. The other three declined to eat theirs. I haven't decided whether I will try unscented again next week (maybe being extra hungry will help) or whether I will go back to scented again and then unscented the week after. Either way, I'm quite happy to have 3 animals eating unscented rodents.

Everyone else ate their chick thigh with no issues, and many of these guys are looking to be large enough that I am considering stepping them up to quail chicks.
Old 12-15-2014, 05:28 AM   #193
Woooot! :-)
Old 12-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #194
Great news, thanks for the continuing updates
Old 12-16-2014, 12:15 AM   #195
Thanks, guys. Tomorrow's another feeding day, and I think I've decided to try unscented pinkies again for the three that declined last week. I can always cop out and give them scented in a couple.days if I'm concerned about the extended fasting period. I'll update again tomorrow.
Old 12-16-2014, 11:21 AM   #196
Ok, today's feeding docket:

Holdbacks- usual chick thigh (I'm considering stepping up to quail chicks, but decided against it today)
Pinky Eaters- Unscented Pinkies
Non-Pinky Eaters- All pinkies scented with chick thighs/heads
T1- F/t Anole and Anole-scented pinkie, served inside a bottle cap
T2- F/t Anole-scented pinkie
T3- F/t Anole and Anole-scented pinkie served in shallow dish

I'll update tomorrow with results.
Old 12-17-2014, 10:17 AM   #197
Ok, today was an interesting day. All of the holdbacks ate with no issues (no surprise there). T2 ate his anole-scented pinkie again. I think we can call this consistent. T3 ate both the anole and the pinkie, which is a first. Next week, I will offer T3 just the scented pinkie and see what happens. T1 quite specifically eschewed the pinkie, as it was removed from the bottle cap and discarded to the side, but did eat the anole, so there's that.

Of the six "pinkie eaters," 2 of the 3 that ate unscented last week ate their unscented pinkie this week, but one did not. I will offer this one another unscented next week in the hopes that this week was just a fluke, but can always go back to scenting for this one. The other 3 "pinkie eaters" did not eat their unscented pinkies, and will be put back on scented.

Here's where it gets really interesting. Because I counted my pinkies poorly, I thawed more than I originally planned, so rather than refreeze or discard, I figured I would just feed the entire non-holdback group scented pinkies. SIX of the eight ate their scented pinkies. This is a drastic increase, and only one of these had ever eaten a pinkie before, and had been so unreliable with it that he had been moved back to the non-pinkie eating group. All of these guys had been offered pinkies every few weeks to see if they would take them, and five of the six never did before. I have to assume, for this reason, that something I did differently this week helped the acceptance ratio, as all six just deciding at the same moment to take pinkies is a bit unlikely. The only thing that I can think of is that instead of scenting the pinkies with chick thighs, I also (mostly out of laziness) threw a bunch of chick heads that I feed to various yearling corns into the same cup before stirring it all up for scenting. I know that braining a pinkie can often induce a feeding response in an otherwise unreceptive snake, so I'm wondering if the fluids/scent from the chick heads was a more effective scenting method for the more stubborn non-holdbacks. I will continue to use chick heads as a scenting method and see if this acceptance rate continues. The really great news here is that while the numbers for the groups have been largely steady over time, with the occasional one or two changing up to a different group, they have changed over the past couple of weeks as such:

Previous Current
Holdbacks 9 9
Unscented Pinkie Eaters 0 3
Scented Pinkie Eaters 6 13
Anole eaters 3 1
Non-Holdback thigh-eaters 8 2

Obviously, I'm assuming that these numbers will hold, but there has clearly been a drastic increase in pinkie eating from both the bird-eaters and anole-eaters in the last few weeks. I'm not sure if there is some sort of behavioral shift that occurs around this point (roughly the 3-4 month mark) or if I'm just getting better at scenting and feeding, but either way, this is good news.

Also, as a bonus, one of the two non-holdbacks that refused the scented pinkie was looking particularly good due to a recent shed, so I snapped a few pictures and figured I'd share them. He musked me pretty good, but there were no attempts at strikes, so it wasn't too bad of an ordeal. Notice the black facial markings that are starting to come in, as well as the continued differentiation of the scale colors further down the body. I'm really pleased with how these guys are progressing.
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:50 PM   #198
Happy to report that T2 has gone to live at a new home, so updates for him will likely be much less. If I get any significant reports from his new owner, I'll pass them along.
Old 12-21-2014, 03:28 AM   #199
Great to see photos, such interesting faces!

I do wonder if they reach a development age where they might turn to new food items in the wild, but the chick brains theory is good too. I'm thinking you may have boa zombies on your hands (braaaiiiins...)
Old 12-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #200
haha, yeah, I guess so. Whatever gets them eating, right?

As an additional experiment, I have placed T1 back into a screen cage, and will be offering unlimited, live anoles for a short period. I want to see how many are eaten and how often. T1 was selected for this experiment largely because he has consistently refused to eat pinkies, while T3 has eaten a pinkie in conjunction with an anole, and I feel might be close to being switched onto scented pinkies. I will update with results.

Night 1- T1 ate one anole.

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