This was an exciting day as finally the motley albino female had her babies! She did an awesome job, and delivered 14 babies: 4 super motleys, 5 motleys and 5 normals, all babies 100% het for albino! I'll be putting the specific data up tomorrow on the important dates that the female bred, ovulated, shed, so you get an idea of her gestation period. The great news is she had a perfect delivery and ate a rat soon afterwords, and that is always my main concern: that the mom is in great shape after the delivery of the babies.
Normally I raise every boa from a baby and do not cut any corners. Historically getting bigger female boas from someone else vs. raising them yourself has resulted in little success breeding them. For some reason , bigger females have a difficult time adjusting to new surroundings and may either never reproduce or die prematurely. This has been documented by a myriad of examples from a variety of sources. Previous to aquiring this female as a subadult, I had two experiences buying bigger animals that had resulted in total failuer to breed them. My rule after those failed attempt was I only bought babies and raised them myself for breeding.
I think the key in this case was that the female was not an adult, but a subadult, about 4 1/2 ft. and 2 1/2 years old. She was also in immaculate condition and perfectly raised by Chris. After seeing the first albino super motley at Jeremy Stone's table at the Florida expo in August 2007, I just set my sights on making one! Jeremy is the originator of the motley boa line, and I had purchased several motleys from him 5 years ago. Last May I had my first successful breeding of the motleys, pairing motley to motley and producing an amazing litter with 8 super motleys and 6 motleys! I was really patient waiting 4 years plus to raise the female, but boy was it worth it! Details of this litter are written in the VPI diary of 12/3 /07 - 12/09/07.
Once I saw the albino motleys and the only and first albino super motley, I had to get the ingredients and make my own! I purchased several albino motley babies from Chris Nicholas last June when he got some VPI caramel albinos from us. After Daytona, he casually mentioned that he may sell one of the first albino motley females he produced (he produced the first albino motleys in 2005). I was not really interested because I didn't want to get a bigger animal and I had just gotten the baby albinos, so I was started on the project. As time went by and we were going to the Chicago NARBC show, I just got that bug and started thinking about what if I could get that female and breed her to my male motley and produce super motleys het for albino! Then I could pair a male up with the female albino motley babies I had gotten from Chris and really have a better chance at producing albino super motleys! Whoa-that is just classic over the top thinking that I absolutely warn people about-no short-cuts!!
I could wait another 4 years to do this...or I could get that bigger female from Chris and maybe do it in a year or two! At this point I knew I was treading into territory that I just don't go into. I normally am very patient and not in any race to do any of these projects. The main thing with me is I just want to do them, I am not even necessarily concerned with "getting something" back to justify my purchasing them in the first place! I realize this isn't the best business model, but in fact because being patient when it comes to reptiles is critical, it turns out to be a very good business practice.
After numerous discussions with Chris I decided to purchase the albino female along with a subadult male motley 100% het for albino. Suffice to say, I laid out some hard earned money for the pair and brought them home with me in October 2007, 8 months ago.
From the beginning I had a plan of what I was going to do to acclimate these animals and hopefully the methodology would pay off and result in me being able to successfully breed her. More importantly, I needed to maintain her for a long time, so even if I didn't breed her right away she had good prospects of breeding in the future.