5 Year Member
- Jul 14, 2015
- Location (City and/or State)
- Central Texas, Austin area
In June/July of 2013 I bought 10 babies from 3 different sellers. They were all 27-39 grams. For the first 6-9 months they didn't grow much and I was terrified that I was doing something wrong and that there was something about this species I didn't know or understand. In time they all started sprouting and by mid-2017 all 5 of the females had reached breeding size of 3000 or more grams. In August of 2017 I recorded weights of 3375, 3896, 3612, 3369 and 3789 for the females. Males were significantly smaller at 1559, 1454, 1065, 2283, and 1186.
As soon as they were all large enough to sex, I've had the females living separate from the males in different enclosures, indoors and out. I like to let females of every species grow up without being harassed by the maturing males. Males of this species aren't as aggressive/assertive as some other species, but they still did some occasional mounting and pushing and shoving of each other. The females never did any of that. Back in August of last year, once I saw the size my females had attained, I started putting all 10 of them together sometimes in the afternoon and evenings after soaking days. They really weren't together all that often. I had one female digging test holes soon after I started this practice. A different female was the first to lay on October 1st. She laid 8 eggs. Soon after, the test hole digger laid her first 7 eggs, then another, and another. I ended up getting multiple clutches from each female for a total of 84 eggs for the season. More than I could dreamed of for their first season and very limited contact with the males. To be honest, I really didn't expect any to hatch. First year moms, not much time with the males… I was hoping for at least a few babies from all the different clutches, but I really didn't expect any babies at all this first year.
Every morning I check the incubator. I make sure temp and humidity is correct, make sure there is enough water in my water tubs, check to see that the fans are running, make sure I don't smell any stinky rotten eggs, and, of course, I take a quick glance at all the eggs. These eggs sit there doing nothing for months. I check daily, but the eggs are just sitting there like usual day after day after day. Last night, Friday night, I worked a night job with my two malinois. We wrapped around 1am. I had to drive home, feed and potty the dogs, shower, clean tortoise waters for the next day and a few other chores before getting to bed. Then today, Saturday morning, I had to leave the house at 5am for a different job with a different dog. With so little sleep and so much to do, I didn't bother with checking the eggs this morning. When my job was over, I rushed home in time to make it to my daughter's first "fashion show" for Macy's. Then we came home and I crashed on the couch for a couple of hours. When I woke up, it was time for another round of letting the all dogs out for potty breaks. I looked over at the incubator and remembered that I hadn't checked it this morning. I dragged my feet over and pulled the door open…
Imagine my surprise! Everything was in order but there was something out of place in one egg box… Things looked a mess… I popped the top and all of these babies had made a disaster of my neatly organized, symmetrical egg box:
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Everything was disheveled and in disarray!!!
Recapping: This was the first clutch ever laid by this female. There were 8 eggs. I now have 7 babies. I candled the last egg and it has the reddish color of a fertile egg, but it appears to be empty.
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I quickly cleaned up all the mess and re-organized the egg box, but now what am I going to do with all these babies???
They are the cutest things ever!!! Congratulations Papa!