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Old 10-10-2014, 09:59 PM   #91
Feeding #6 was today.

My nine designated holdbacks were each given a quail chick. They look to be about ready to me, but in the morning we will see how they feel about it. Anyone who doesn't eat their quail chick will be offered a chick thigh tomorrow. Hopefully, this way, nobody will miss a feeding, but we will have to see if anyone refuses the chick thigh out of spite.

The 16 other good eaters were all given a chick thigh and a pinky. I'm hoping to see a lot of disappeared pinkies in the morning, but I'm not too concerned about it. I mostly just want to see fat, little snakes. haha

The non-feeder that ate an anole last week was given a chick thigh, in the hopes that now that he/she has started eating, a conversion can be made onto chick thigh. If that does not work out, I will move one of the two remaining anoles into that cage tomorrow.

The two who still have yet to eat anything were given a chick thigh, a quail chick, and still have their live anoles, because at this point, I'm pretty much just taking shots in the dark in the hope that something gets them to eat. I'd cook them spaghetti if I thought that would help. Fingers crossed on these guys.

I'll update again in the morning to share the results of these various experiments. I have been debating whether or not these guys are ready for sale, as the Hamburg Reptile Show is coming up next Saturday, but I'm uneasy about it with the degree to which these guys have been getting stressed. If changing the bedding will make them go off feed for a week, I have to think that getting put into a deli cup, driven to a show, sitting on a table all day, and then being brought to a new home might be a bit much for them. Right now, I'm thinking it may be best to hold on to them for a little while longer. As much as I'd like to free up the time and space (and put a little money into the feeder fund, haha), there is definitely an additional responsibility here with the ecological status of the species, not to mention the rareness of the species in this state.

Anyway, just in case I've started boring everyone, here's a sneak preview of next year's attempt at breeding. Introducing my other female, Lucea.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:26 PM   #92
Well, it looks like I jumped the gun on the quail chicks. Of the nine holdbacks that were offered one, only one managed to eat it. Many of the other quail chicks appear to have been moved around a bit, so the babies may have made some attempt to feed, but given up due to the size/awkwardness of the new food item. Because of this, I'm hoping that it will be an easy transition, when they are ready for it. Looking at the one that did feed (escapee #3 aka baby #27), the bulge is significantly larger than that of a chick thigh, so I'm thinking I should hold off on quail chicks for at least a few more weeks. I will offer a chick thigh in a couple of days to the 8 that passed on the quail chick.

All 16 of the other good feeders ate their chick thigh. Three of these also ate their pinky mouse. The one that ate the pinky mouse last week did not eat the pinky this week, though. Either way, I have separated out the 4 that have eaten a pinky in addition to a thigh, and will continue to work toward getting them to eat pinkies. The others will be offered pinkies periodically, though I am not especially concerned with getting them onto pinkies.

None of the three problem feeders ate anything offered last night. I have removed the f/t items from all cages, and have moved the other bahaman anole to the cage with the one that ate the anole last week. We shall see if he/she eats the new anole tonight. Fingers crossed

As for the other two that have yet to eat anything, I will be going to Hamburg on Saturday, and hopefully I will find a large number of smaller, green anoles or similar lizards to attempt to use as feeders. If that does not work, I am pretty much out of ideas.
Old 10-11-2014, 03:14 PM   #93
Another great report. Glad to see a strong methodology documented for future breeders of this species. Good luck on finding a solution for those last two.

And your adult female looks great!


Originally Posted by cguarino30 View Post
I'd cook them spaghetti if I thought that would help. Fingers crossed....
So all we have to do is refuse chicken thighs, pinkie rats, and an anole for a plate of free spaghetti? Score!
Old 10-11-2014, 04:17 PM   #94
Thanks, and no, I'll only cook you spaghetti if you have the potential to produce me more Jamaican boas. Haha.
Old 10-11-2014, 07:48 PM   #95
Great detailed documentation, and gratz on the successful breeding and with the babies. Maybe they'll be ready for the December show in Hamburg. How old are the breeders?
Old 10-11-2014, 10:08 PM   #96
Have you considered forced feedong as a last resort?
Old 10-11-2014, 10:15 PM   #97
Originally Posted by toddnbecka View Post
Great detailed documentation, and gratz on the successful breeding and with the babies. Maybe they'll be ready for the December show in Hamburg. How old are the breeders?
Thanks. Honestly, I think they would probably be fine to be renamed now, but only a short distance (not shipped) and to experienced and/or dedicated keepers who were willing to prepare them chick thighs. I just don't think they'd be able to handle the stress of being bounced around and left on a table all day. I'm also being fairly cautious due to feelings of responsibility regarding the raresness of the species.

I'm not sure how old the parents are. They were both proven breeders when I got them, so they are likely 10 or more years old.
Old 10-11-2014, 10:33 PM   #98
Originally Posted by bigjej View Post
Have you considered forced feedong as a last resort?
I have considered it, but I do not think I will be going that route. There are a couple of factors at play here. Firstly, even the more robust neonates have proven themselves to be quite sensitive to stress, and force feeding is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a snake. I believe that any force feeding would likely do more harm than good to appetite and overall security of the individual snakes. It could send a snake that was on the verge of beginning to feed back into anorexia, and could even cause physical damage to an otherwise healthy, though reluctant, snake.

Secondly, I am reluctant to force feed for reasons of genetic viability. It is one thing to give in to picky eaters. Picky eaters will not be held back for my own breeding purposes, but natural instincts are natural instincts, and I won't cull an animal for being inconvenient. However, an animal that doesn't have the drive necessary to eat ANY kind of food, I generally consider not to be genetically viable. Since there are so few of these guys in the world, and none that I am aware of being produced in the state, I feel I have a duty to the species and to future pa breeders of maintaining the genetic strength and viability of any animals that I add to the gene pool.

Non-feeders could have drive or instinct issues, that may or may not be passed on to future offspring, or could have internal defects that may or may not be heritable. Either way, with 26 viable babies, I feel that force feeding would likely be a disservice to the species, the hobby, and to the individual non-feeders themselves. Plus, I'm still hoping they come around on their own. Time will tell.
Old 10-12-2014, 02:10 AM   #99
Very good points.
Old 10-12-2014, 03:46 AM   #100
There's no real "natural selection" process in captive breeding, so animals that would never survive in the wild are raised and passed along. I agree that it's better to allow the young to sort themselves out than to go to extremes to keep them alive.

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