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.