THE VPI DIARY

12/25/07

 Let's talk about leucistics-yes it might be the craziest thing that ever happened in the snake world-the rarest snake, the most sought after, the "I have to have one."  I'm not going to tell the whole story today, I'm just going to put up three photos of three different leucistics to look at.

 

From a lesser x lesser breeding

 

 

 

 

 

12/23/07

There are lots of fabulous captive raised and captive bred and raised females to start your breeding projects with! I sure don't like it when I see ads for adult WC females on KS. The whole point of the last almost 20 years has proven without a doubt that it is way easier to breed captive hatched and raised animals than WC adults. Why you would want to spend good money relearning that lesson is curious to me. If you support the ball python industry it makes good sense to support captive raised animals at the minimum, and preferentially captive bred and raised animals from breeders.

12/19/07

Congratulations! That is what I say to the ball python breeders of the world! Do we need any adult imported animals (unless it is some new morph) to continue the building of our captive, self sustaining population of this species? I believe the production of captive ball pythons in combination with a yearly influx of an as of yet unknown number of captive hatched African babies, will continue to support the captive population and aid in exposing more people to this wonderful hobby via the pet trade.

12/15/07

Changing directions today onto Ball pythons. We have had great luck on a myriad of projects over the years getting various color and pattern morphs established, but we have failed on one project which we have really wanted to get going: the Burgandy albino. Featured in the lower right hand quadrant on page 78 of our ball python book, this snake is really a unique and beautiful morph. She has two predominant colors, one a soft reddish and the other a straw yellow.

12/14/07

One of the questions we get asked a lot is should you feed a snake during the breeding period. We absolutely feed snakes when they are breeding. The number one thing we always advise is that your conditions while breeding don't expose the snakes to temperature extremes. This of course goes hand in hand with the proper environment for feeding a snake. If you are exposing your animals to cool temperatures (less than 75 F) I do not recommend feeding them. There are many schools of thought regarding feeding during the reproductive period.

12/10/07

Today is a big day because I hit the big "50"! Hard to believe, I certainly don't feel like I'm that old! My take is I'm now on day one of my next 50 years, I'm hopefully a lot smarter than when I was the first day of my first 50 years!

The weather is foggy with light rain, but a nice 66F. The rest of the country is blanketed by a huge ice storm from Oklahoma to the midwest. I sure am glad I live in Texas!!

12/09/07 part 2

If you start with the first measured follicle date of 10/29/06 the follicle size roughly triples from 13mm to 38mm measured on 12/29/06. That time period including the day of measurement is roughly 3 days in October, 30 days in November, and 29 days in December, for a total of 62 days. Essentially the whole process of follicle growth needed to get viable babies in just two months! The two sheds encompassing that growth 11/13/06-01/29/07 includes 18 days in November, 31 days in December and 29 days in January, for  a total of 78 days between the two sheds.

12/09/07

Even one data set can give you a ton of information. Once you get an idea of what is going on even one data point can be used to build a story around it. One of the fun things I like to do is have someone ask me when his/her boas is going to have babies. With as little as a single shed date it is possible with a little background history of breeding activity to guess when the due date is. I like to put my female's due dates on a calender before they have babies and see how close I can come to being accurate in my predictions.

12/08/07

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!

12/06/07

Three times is the charm, and finally this year my third attempt to produce motleys worked! In round 3 my plan was simple. Put the pair of motleys together, leave them together, and either hit on it or not. I will say that that approach is one I use a lot, and I think it goes under "no guts, no glory." What this means is I go for what I want and there is no turning back.

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