Babies so far in 2017 (with example photos):
15 Classic Northerns from two unrelated litters!
12 Irian Jayas from two related litters!
There are still a few large girls here, but who knows if they’re actually pregnant or just being fatties. Unfortunately all of my Meraukes slugged out this year, so this year will only be Northerns and Irian Jayas.
The babies are not yet available for sale, but some are ready to go – as they shed I will take ID photos and post them. The above photos are an example from each litter so far; the babies are mostly dull and in shed, but I was testing my new photo setup. All 2017 babies will start at $400 CAD + shipping (approximately $100?), but I’m working on some discounts for members of blue tongue groups and such again (yes, I am bribing you to do research and join BTS communities so you can post pictures – please do!). I will also be working on updating the website – I’m told it’s a bit out of date.
If you are possibly interested in a baby, or have questions, you can send an email to MelanieJPratt@gmail.com – if you sent one more than a month ago, please send again. If you’ve sent messages to other addresses or on Facebook, please send again to the above email.
That’s it for baby information for now. The rest of this post will just be a simplified ME update to cover some of the major things that have happened here in the past year:
In November of 2016 I moved into a new house along with my SO. The best part of this move was that all of my animals that had been living at a rental unit outside the city got to move back in with me. This is fantastic because I have full control over the conditions again (the rental unit got too hot in summer, humidity was uncontrolled, etc) and the animals are thriving. It did trigger a bit of an odd brumation over the winter, especially in my yearlings, but things have settled now. Some pictures of my basement right now:
Sadly, right around the same time I lost my entire fat tail gecko collection. They were living with a family member since the rental unit conditions weren’t safe for them. I’m told the place was broken into and every reptile was stolen right out of their tanks. There has been no sign of anything being sold or moved, and nothing from the police, so I have had to assume they are all dead. This has been a stunningly crushing event; every one of those geckos was a beloved pet and is sorely missed. At the present time I have no plans to get back into fat tails; the pain is simply still too fresh to consider it.
Moving on to the winter happenings: Because the house move coincided with the start of winter, the skinks brumation this year was a bit wonky, and breeding happened far earlier in the year than is normal for me. Overall 11 females bred – 2 Meraukes, 3 Irian Jayas, and 6 Northerns. Of those 3 have slugged out (produced unfertilized ovum, no babies), 4 have produced live babies (see above), 1 had a medical issue (see below), and 3 are still on baby watch. So it’s definitely been a busy but very strange breeding year here.
TRIGGER WARNING: THIS PART INVOLVES DESCRIPTION OF ANIMAL INJURY
This spring one of my Caramel Northern girls gave us the scare of a lifetime when she decided to attack and chew up her own (supposed to be) internal organs. If you scroll down you’ll see my last post in April 2017 promised pictures of the pregnant Northerns – the day after that post I went to take said pictures and found one girls tank coated in fresh blood. She had apparently prolapsed a large amount of her intestines out of her cloaca, then decided the best way to deal with said prolapse was to attack it. Naturally she did this in the evening so all the vets were closed. I created a makeshift bandage out of feminine pads (absorbent and sterile – a useful first aid trick!) and electrical tape to stop her from doing further damage, and the next morning we were off to the vet (their bandage looked a lot more professional, I admit).
The intestines were badly torn up, and the skink required surgery in an attempt to repair the damage and return them to inside of her body. The list of potential complications was long, and her chances weren’t great, but we decided to try (at least I’d be able to sleep at night knowing we did our best). I’ll even add that we don’t actually know what exactly was prolapsed, we just assume it was intestines, and the vet had to cut away a bunch of damaged tissue then make guesses for what holes were supposed to be closed up and which ones should be connected. Basically I think it is absolutely insane that I get to say this: TIBERIUS LIVED! She is currently eating and pooping exactly like normal, and will be leaving her sterile bin to return to her normal tank. I will never again breed her (though we don’t know that it was related, we just don’t want to cause her to push more than is necessary), but I’m ecstatic that she managed to pull through. Dr. Hickling is a genius 🙂
TRIGGER WARNING OVER
Also this spring, I got a new species of blue tongue skink! I saw a post of someone selling a group of 3 Indonesian blue tongue skinks and I jumped on it. Indonesians are a species I tried to get many years ago, but it didn’t work out. This time everything worked out wonderfully and I am happy to say the Beer Brigade (Barley, Hops, and Yeast) have settled in and made an adorable addition to my blue tongue group. Strangely, I had always assumed Indonesians to very similar to Meraukes, and was expecting them to be a similar size. NOPE. Indonesians are tiny compared to all my other skinks – they’re basically the size of my yearling Northerns. It’s adorable.
I think I have some pictures of when they first moved in. Before I post the pictures I will say that these 3 Indonesians lived together before they came to me, and I have decided to keep them together at this time in an attempted breeding group. I never recommend cohabbing to new owners, and it’s not even safe for experienced owners. There is always a risk of injury and death when you keep animals together, and some species of blue tongues are particularly aggressive. Animals can live peacefully for years then suddenly kill each other. Again, while I have decided to keep these animals together, I do not recommend it for anyone else. Even my baby northerns turned on each other this year (did you notice that the one pictured above is missing most of it’s tail? It’s sibling wasn’t so lucky.) And these are by far the most docile northern babies I’ve ever had here, which is the only reason leaving them together was attempted. So please do not look at these Indonesian photos and decide it’s okay to have skinks live together. Just enjoy the cute pictures of these adorable, shiny skinks:
I think that’s all of the major happenings here for now. Thanks for sticking around and supporting ME!