Houston, We Have Babies!

Babies so far in 2017 (with example photos):

15 Classic Northerns from two unrelated litters!

14 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 I will also be working on updating the website – I’m told it’s a bit out of date.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!

Posted in ME Births, ME News | Comments Off on Houston, We Have Babies!

2017 Breedings – Indo Species

I’m happy to announce that ME has had a fantastic breeding season this year, which will hopefully lead to the best baby season we’ve ever seen. Overall we had 11 females breed. Today’s update will focus on the non-Aussie pairings, with an update on the Northern pairings to follow in another update.

Note: No matter how good a female looks, there is never a guarantee of babies. Cross your fingers!

We’ll start with my Irian Jayas. Three IJ girls bred this year, unfortunately all to the same male (anyone want to send some boys my way?).

IJ Female #1: Izuru
Izuru is definitely looking large, but she’s been known to fake pregnancies in the past, so I can only wait and hope.

IJ Female #2: Toriyama
Tori is just stunningly huge right now! I would be shocked if she wasn’t pregnant.

IJ Female #3: Tsukasa
Tsukasa is a tiny girl, and it’s hard to say whether she’s full of babies or not. Her behaviour is leaning towards being pregnant, so I’m hopeful.

IJ Male: Musashi

Next up is the Meraukes. This year I had two separate pairs breed: Canasta with Nevada and Jaxi with Rollie.

Merauke Female #1: Canasta
Canasta has always been a bulky girl, but her size and behaviour have me very hopeful to finally see some baby Meraukes here.

Merauke Female #2: Jaxi
Jaxi is a pancake skink – flat as can be. Her pregnancy signs have been on and off all season, so it’s just a wait and see situation now.

Merauke Male #1: Nevada

Merauke Male #2: Rollie

Next update will be a run down of the northerns who bred this year. Check back soon 🙂

Many thanks,
Mel

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on 2017 Breedings – Indo Species

Quick Update

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry I’ve been away for a while, but I promise I’m still kicking over here. As a quick update:
– Yes, I still exist. Probably.
– Yes, I still have some “babies” from 2016, and yes, some will be made available for purchase.
– Yes, I am still breeding blue tongues. If the luck gods smile upon me 2017 could be an amazing year for baby blue tongues (11+ bred females, many looking good, due anytime now, fingers crossed).

I’ll try to get a couple more updates done this week to really catch up on everything that’s been happening at ME.

Thank you for sticking with ME so far.

Many thanks,
Mel

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Quick Update

Different Skinks

Good evening ME visitors. I’m here to announce some new skink additions to the ME family.

Before I do I’m sure everyone is wondering what’s happening with the 2016 baby season. All I’m going to say right now is that you probably want to be on the ME Mailing List in the next few days… Hint hint.

Anyways, as some may recall, last year around this time I picked up a couple of interesting tiny skinks – Chinese Swamp Skinks. Amazingly, these two adorable critters have managed to do well all year and have just been upgraded to a fancy new tank with a big water feature.
New tank (pre-water):
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Tiny skink! They’re so small:
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Now this year, at the same expo, I found another new species of skink to take home. This time the skinks are much larger, though again they are basically unknown in the reptile hobby. There’s different common names used, but I’m currently calling them Banded Sheen Skinks.

About the Banded Sheen Skink:
Their scientific name (if I’ve guessed the subspecies correctly) is Eugongylus albofasciolatus. They originate from around the Solomon Islands, and are quite long but very slender. They seem to have no natural fear of humans and have shown a voracious appetite for insects so far. They like to dig tunnels and burrow through the dirt, but I’ve also caught them climbing the branches of the tank a few times.

I picked up two (possible) pairs of these new skink – a smaller juvenile pair and a larger adult pair. Because I do not know how social this species is the pairs have been split up, with the larger pair on one side of a tank, and the smaller pair on the other side.

And of course I come bearing pictures of the new additions.
Split tank with deep substrate and climbing branches (hammocks added after):
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One of the juveniles. Check out the rainbow sheen on it’s tail:
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The juveniles checking out their new home:
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Adult (assumed) female:
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They’re very long!
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Adult (assumed) male:
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They are good climbers, but amazing diggers:
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The adults conferring about the crazy lady they now have to deal with:
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That’s all for right now. It’s only been two weeks with these guys so far, so we’ll see how it goes. I promised them if they live more than a month (they’re WC – it’s never a sure thing) I’ll give them awesome new names.

I hope you enjoyed this quick update. And again, but sure to join the ME Mailing List if you want to know about the 2016 babies and be the first to find out when they’re available for purchase.

Many thanks,
Melanie

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Different Skinks

2016 So Far

Greetings and salutations.

And apologies that this update was so long in coming.

The 2016 breeding and baby season has not gone precisely as planned. There have definitely been ups and downs, but it’s not over quite yet (I think). I’ll try to summarize all the 2016 happenings here at ME so far. This post is a bit of a downer; I promise the next post will have adorable baby pictures.

To start with 2016 looked extremely promising. I have a large number of blue tongue skinks and fat tail geckos at this point, and almost all were finally of breeding age. I also have quite a number of additional blue tongues here on breeding loan. Unfortunately this years weather didn’t seem to agree with the skinks, and the brumation/breeding seasons were a bit wonky. Most of my females never seemed to come into season, and the majority of the males were more aggressive than interested in making babies. Still, we managed several lockups: a merauke, an IJ, a caramel northern, and 3 classic northerns. But with the wonky weather and behaviours I wasn’t holding my breath. And the fat tails were even worse – there was basically no action during pairings and not a single egg has been laid so far this year.

After breeding season things looked promising with several of the girls. Maybe it wouldn’t be a massive influx of babies, but having a few litters seemed probable.

Unfortunately on June 10 my baby season started out with heartbreak – my beautiful caramel northern mama, Trouble, had passed away from a prolapse after giving birth. To make matters worth she’d only had 2 babies, and neither seemed really healthy. Sure enough one of the two passed away after about a week. If there is any silver lining it is that her other baby managed to pull through. He will never be a breeding blue tongue (for healthy reasons), but he’s come a long way and is basically a normal baby blue tongue now. His recovery and adorable feisty attitude have brought me many smiles.

Five days later, on June 15, my big classic girl Evita gave birth to 15 adorable babies. Thankfully this time mama was in good health and most of her litter were perfect little babies. But again, there were 2 weak babies I was worried about. And to make matters worse a third baby, which had seemed healthy to start, suddenly fell ill and passed away the next day. And again, one of the two weak babies sadly passed away as well. Thankfully the less weak baby bounced back quickly and seems to be no different from it’s healthy siblings. The healthy siblings which are trying to eat me out of house and home and constantly begging for more food and attention (and food), lol.

So as of right now there are 14 beautiful baby blue tongues here who will soon be looking for their forever homes. And baby season (probably) isn’t over here at ME yet. There are still a few females (1 IJ, 2 classic northerns) who seem promising. I admit I’m getting a bit impatient though – they may go for xrays next week to give me a proper answer on whether they’re expecting or just loading up on the extra food that preggos have access to. If I take them in I will try to get pictures of the xrays to post – it’s always fun to try to count the babies.

As for me personally, I graduated college and started a new job, which is going stupendously. Life is extremely busy, so it has been a struggle to provide the weak babies with constant care while still looking after all the healthy babies. Not to mention the dozens of adult animals who don’t care that I’m busy – they still want food. I am extremely thankful that my family has stepped up to help me out with the babies. And now that all the babies are healthy and happy they’ll be heading out to new homes soon, and I will hopefully regain a few more brain cells (at least until more babies appear).

I hope this post wasn’t too depressing to read; again, I promise the next one will pictures of all the cute new babies here who will soon be looking for their forever homes.

And if you haven’t done so already please consider joining my mailing list: CLICK HERE. I’m not able to get to most individual emails yet, but the mailing list is where I will be announcing births and, more importantly, announcing when the babies are available for purchase.

More information on the babies will come next post along with the pictures. Thank you for your patience so far.

Many thanks,
Mel

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on 2016 So Far

Introducing the Burn Babies

In October I received a call from a local reptile friend asking if I was interested in providing a home for a skink. He works at a chain petstore and they had received a baby blue tongue from their supplier with some ugly burns on his head. My friend had already started treating it, but the skink was deemed unsellable.

I agreed and the little guy came home with me (along with mite spray). In addition to his burnt head the poor baby had multiple scars and damaged scales on his neck, back, legs, and tail. We decided to call him Flambé (or Flambaby since he was so tiny compared to everyone else at ME). I took some pictures of his first day in his quarantine bin:

Flambaby 1
Flambaby 2Flambaby 3

Fast forward a week or so and I receive another call. The pet store had received a replacement blue tongue… with all the same problems. He came home with me too and was named Sauté. Now I had a matched set of burn babies.

Thankfully the two have done great since arriving, and while they will always have some scarring their injuries have healed very well. They love food of any kind, and are both quite outgoing and curious. Just look at their adorable faces now 🙂

Flambé:
Flambe 1Flambe 2
Flambe 3
Flambe 4Flambe 5
Flambe 6

Sauté:
Saute 2
Saute 3Saute 1
Saute 7
Saute 6Saute 8

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Introducing the Burn Babies

Breeding Season Approaches!

It’s just about time to start trying to pair up the fall-breeding species here at ME, and brumation is starting for most of the other animals. We had no babies here in 2015, but could be overrun this year if all goes well. Fingers are crossed!

Possible babies in 2016 include:
-Northern & Caramel Northern blue tongue skinks
-Merauke blue tongue skinks
-Irian Jaya blue tongue skinks
-Silver & Yellow Tanimbar blue tongue skinks
-Classic, amelanistic, caramel albino, patternless, whiteout, zero/stinger, & super zero/stinger African fat tail geckos
-California kingsnakes
-Chinese water skinks (not actually expected this year)

As an additional note, I am changes back the contact e-mail to my person e-mail (MelanieJPratt@gmail.com) for now. The alternate e-mail unfortunately did not work out as planned, but I’m thankful for the break it gave me and I’m ready to jump back in 🙂

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Breeding Season Approaches!

New Additions for October 2015

We recently added a few new critters to the menagerie here at ME!

The first is a rather large lizard – a Columbian Gold Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin). He’s about three years old, has been with me for two weeks, and has so far been incredibly sweet, if a bit shy. I have always wanted to work with monitors and am so excited to be able to give him a new home!

Columbian Gold Tegu Oct 2015

Columbian Gold Tegu Oct 2015

And the most recent additions are tiny lizards – a pair of Chinese Water Skinks (Tropidophorus sinicus). They came home with me from the Manitoba Reptile Breeders Expo the past weekend. These guys are live-bearers, just like the Blue Tongues!

Chinese Water Skinks Oct 2015

Chinese Water Skinks Oct 2015

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on New Additions for October 2015

Website Update

There’s been a few changes here at ME and that’s been reflected in an update to the ME website.

The biggest change here is that I’ve hired someone to assist me with customer e-mails!
For the past several years I have been using my personal e-mail and phone number for ME business. However ME has become more popular and it’s gotten to the point where I often get 6+ e-mails and phone calls a day. ME is a hobby to me (I’m a full time student right now), so I’ve been struggling to keep up with all these messages.
Thankfully the cavalry has arrived in the form of my younger sister, Kortny, who’s already ME’s resident gecko-expert. She has agreed to take on the majority of the e-mails 😀
We’re currently working on migrating everything over for the e-mails, but please start using our new e-mail – Contact@MelsExotics.ca – for all ME business.

The next most important update is there is now a list of some fantastic US blue tongue skink breeders available on the ME Links page.
For anyone looking for a blue tongue in the USA here are the people to contact:
Andrew Seike in California: http://seikereptiles.com/
Donna in Nevada: http://captivebred.com/
James in California: pch101@cox.net
Jeff in Arizona: http://www.btskinks.com/
Ray in Florida: http://www.thunderbayherps.com/
Zach in Oregon: http://bluetongueskinks.net/
Susann in Utah: susann@sfcn.org

Breeding season is almost here, both for the blue tongue skinks and fat tail geckos. For summer 2015 we’re hoping to get babies from:
Blue Tongue Skinks:
Classic Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Irian Jayas, Silver & Yellow Tanimbars, & Meraukes.
Fat Tail Geckos:
Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Classic, Pattternless, Stripe, Whiteout, Zero/Stinger, & combinations of those.
As always we’ll be ecstatic with whatever babies we manage to get 🙂

Many pages on the website have received updates now. The collection pages and the ME Facebook page are still in desperate need of updates, so once we’ve migrated the e-mails fully that will be the next project 🙂

Thank you for your continued support!

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Website Update

First Photos of 2015

Hello all. I know I’ve been quiet for a while, but I’m back today with a few new photos of the babies still living here at ME. I’ll also add the old Halloween photos that didn’t get posted.

Some of the babies pictured are staying with me as future breeders, some are on hold for customers, and one or two might be available (I’ll shoot out an e-mail to those who’ve already inquired about babies).

In addition to the photos, I’ll also say that ME is hoping for several litters of classic and caramel northern BTS next summer 🙂 The adult skinks are all still pretty alert, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the cool down in the building is enough that they’ll be breeding this spring. It’s also possible I could have litters of other subspecies (merauke, irian jaya, & tanimbar), but we’ll have to wait and see.

There’s some other changes coming for 2015, including a new e-mail for ME, a re-vamped Facebook page, and no more waiting lists. More information on all that to follow.

And on to the pictures!

IJ02 – Possibly Available (To experienced home only – he’s a grump)
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IJ02 11/09

IJ03 – Staying at ME
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IJ03 11/09

IJ04 – Staying at ME
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IJ04 11/09

IJ05 – On Hold
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IJ05 11/09
IJ05 11/09

IJ07 – Staying at ME (just coming out of a shed)
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IJ07 11/09

IJ08 – Staying at ME (just going into a shed)
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IJ08

Wade – Staying at ME (birth defects)
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Wade 11/09
Wade 11/09

Wilbur – On Hold
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Wilbur 11/09

Jaeger – Possibly Available (just going into a shed)
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Jaeger 11/09

Jasper – Already in His New Home 🙂
Jasper 11/09

Jean – Possibly Available
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Jean 11/09

Jett – Possibly Available
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Jett 11/09

Jonah – On Hold
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Jonah 11/09

Jumanji – Already in His New Home 🙂
Jumanji 11/09
Jumanji 11/09

And if anyone recalls that fluffy little puppy I posted a while back – he’s grown:
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Posted in ME News | Comments Off on First Photos of 2015