The one thing that is difficult when you are working on these projects is not having some sort of a guide to go to, so you know what is going on and what you should be looking for. That is where what I call "the appreciation factor" comes in. I am grateful for any shred of information I can lay my hands on, and in the case of boas there needs to be a lot more!
I am extremely appreciative that Jeff Ronne of Boaphile wrote an excellent chapter in "The Boa Constictor Manual" pages 61-75 on the reproduction in Boa constrictors. It is a very informative chapter, and unlike many "professional writers" Mr. Ronne has DONE the work. Don't underestimate the amazing amount of work that it took Jeff to come up with this data. These are data sets that in my opinion are spot-on. I like that he throws ideas out there about what actions could cause good/bad results. Ideas are important because it makes you come up with new ideas when your first ones don't work out!
Many times I would come up to Dave and say "honey, now I REALLY know the answer to this problem!" "I realize what I thought was the answer last year is totally the opposite of what I'm saying now, but I've learned something new!"
Fertility issues in my opinion are really open to speculation in terms of causitive factors. I think we have a lot to learn about why there is such a range in results. The most important thing is really just getting huge data sets and then seeing trends and coming up with new ideas.
In light of loving to have data in front of me, I thought I'd write out the data from the motley x motley breeding from this past year.
10/29/06 13mm follicles/OPAQUE
11/13/06 20mm follicles SHED
12/11/06 28mm follicles/FED
12/29/06 38mm follicles
Ate one small rat on: 02/05; 02/18; 02/27; 03/07; 03/14; 04/17; 04/27
05/07/07 delivered 19 huge babies! 0.5 normals; 2.4 motleys; 2.6 super motleys
WOW!!!! Am I dreaming??!! 2002-2007 was it worth the wait?!!!
Tomorrow I'll interpret the data set above and see what we can learn about it to add to our knowledge about breeding boas. Tracy