Living Gems Breeding Update (September 2015)
It’s time for the monthly update on Living Gems’ 2015 breeding season.
There was not much in the way of activity to report this month, so instead of focusing on pairs, I will just mention a few items in passing...and then discuss babies. :-)
Ramses and Pearl, our hypo to het hypo pairing, continued to display signs of a possible litter. Pearl refused her September meal -- a good sign! -- however, I was able to convince her to take an adult mouse a few weeks later. She also refused her October rat, but again accepted a pair of live mice. Despite the minimal food, she has increased her weight by over 100 grams each of the last two months -- a second good sign! I will be ending their pairing for the year in expectation of a litter.
Caesarion and Onyx, one of our two high orange pairings, had no activity this month after an active August. However, Onyx looks to be entering shed. If she took following last month’s wrap, this will be per pre-ovulation shed and the baby countdown will begin.
I slipped several late-breeding females an extra meal this month, just in case they took, to give them extra resources to draw on. Malachite (high red pairing), Sodalite (deep red pairing), Tigers Eye (high contrast pairing), and Citrine (golden orange pairing) were among them.
As you have probably heard, Scarface and Almandine, our orange-red pairing, already delivered their litter, giving us a whopping 26 babies. Mom has shed and eaten twice, and Dad is on his third cigar.
The babies themselves are doing great. They have all shed once, eaten once or twice (all except one), and gained an average of five grams their first month of life. They have also started to tolerate handling and show their first personality signs. A few early highlights:
Baby #01 was the shy one. This baby learned early that she could “burrow” under her cage liner to hide from the world. Oddly, she stopped doing so after her first shed, and is now hanging out just like everyone else.
Baby #06 apparently feels rat pinks are not “good enough” for her, and wants mouse hoppers instead. It may be baby phobia: when offered a live rat pink, she hid on the edge of her water bowl from this strange, squirming threat to her well-being. ;-)
Baby #09 is a dorsal star of the group, with huge long chains…and pretty good color to boot! He struts it well.
Baby #12 was the first to trust me enough to crane up out of his baby drawer and stick his tiny snout in my face.
Baby #15 is the tough one. The first two weeks it was all huff and bluff -- open mouth, nipping, the works. She has since learned to trust the hand, but still watches with a wary eye. She also has one of the most unique appearances in the litter.
Preliminary sexing implied an unusually heavy female litter, with 9 boys and 17 girls. As the split is so uneven, and the animals so young, I will double check before any actual sales.
I plan to bring the babies up to three meals and a second shed before taking profile picts, which will place them at six to eight weeks of age when they are posted for sale.
As always, thank you for reading,
Living Gems Reptiles
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