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Breeding Tip...

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Posted by: wetceal at Tue Mar 7 00:26:40 2006   [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by wetceal ]  

Hey Everyone!

Things have been pretty busy lately (trying to keep up with the new pup and working on getting a new female Dobe too - YEA I can't WAIT! so I haven't had a chance to post much on the forums lately. I do try to read everyone's threads and I saw that Mike Taylor had posted about a boa breeding "tip" I had given him.

I saw that a couple of people were inquiring about this tip and it is definitely not a secret. However, I'm not 100% sure what Mike is referencing because we've chatted a bit over the last couple of months but I think he is referring to something I told him to do with females that had small follicles. If I have a female that has small follicles (anything under 10mm) and they don't seem to be growing at all, what I'll do sometimes is throw a male in with her but maybe something like one of my male Hypos that's just a super enthusiastic breeder who'll breed anything.

My males are stretched somewhat thin this year so I don't want to waste their time and energy on females with small follicles. I can't spare them when I have females that have follicle sizes that are 20 to 30+mm. So, what I'll do is put a lower end male in with the female. We have noticed that sometimes, just having a male in with them can get a female's follicles to grow. The stimulation from courting and copulation with a male seems to have a direct effect on follicle growth and size.

We'll continue to monitor this female's follicles and if we see them start to grow to anything of sizable significance (I'll usually consider anything with follicles that are 15mm or above as a decent chance for the season), I'll pull the "less valuable" male and throw in one of my higher end males. The higher end male will then court and copulate with the female because her follicles are now bigger and she is probably putting out some pretty good pheromones.

A snake can retain sperm but we were thinking of it and it seems to make sense that given the choice, a female will use the "freshest" sperm available to fertilize her eggs because that would give her the highest chance of successful fertilization. So if a female has retained sperm from the "less valuable" male and fresh sperm from the higher end male, it seems more likely that she would use the newer sperm. This is just a hypothesis and things may not necessarily work out this way every time. You definitely have a chance of having a litter with multiple sires by using two (or more) different males.

I also don't mix morph genetics meaning, I will use a dominant or co-dominant morph male (like a Hypo) to stimulate a normal female and replace him with another co-dominant or dominant male like a Jungle or a Motley. I would NOT use a Hypo male and then replace him with something simple-recessive like an Albino or a Sunglow (or vice versa) because if you do that, then you can not be sure what the normal babies are. The chances are the last male to copulate with the female will sire the babies (i.e. the Sunglow in this example) but you can't be absolutely sure of this. The Sunglow might have only sired a percentage of the litter and then you'll have the problem of not knowing if the normal babies are het. Albino or not.

We have done this in the past several times with Ball Pythons. Last season, Sean "backed up" a couple of our breeder females with our Super Pastel Jungle Ball Python. What I mean by this is that any female that he bred a Pastel Jungle to, he bred again to our Super Pastel Jungle male. On one clutch in particular, it was clearly evident that the Super Pastel was the one who sired the babies. The clutch consisted of 8 or 9 eggs which all turned out to be Pastels and they all took after the Super Pastel male in both coloration and temperament (he is especially nippy).

We also did it with our male Pinstripe Ball Python. We had a few females that were bred to a Pastel Jungle male early in the season when they still had relatively small follicles. Towards the end, right before their ovulation, Sean put in our male Pinstripe who copulated with the females. He did this with four females and three out of the four ended up as Pinstripe clutches instead of Pastels.

We also did something similar with a pair of 100% Het. Caramel Albino Ball Pythons. The female had incredibly small follicles so we didn't think she would go for us. She was also young so we weren't counting on anything. However, we had the male 100% Het. Caramel and since he's a het. we didn't have anything else to pair him up with. Previously, she had been in "limbo" where her follicles were not developing at all. So, we threw him in with her, he courted and copulated, and a couple of weeks later, her follicles began to develop. She ended up laying a very small clutch for us - three eggs. One went bad so we were left with two. Out of the two, we hatched one female Carmel Albino and one female 66% possible Het. Caramel Albino. Not bad for a young female with really small follicles!

So the tip above will really only help if you are working with an ultrasound machine and you are able to monitor follicular development in your females.

Let me know if anyone has any questions. And Mike - let me know if this was not what you were referring to LOL!

Celia Chien

2006 Boa Constrictor Morphs Calendar
2006 Ball Python Morphs Calendar


[ Show Entire Thread ]

>> Next Message:  Thanks Celia... - michaelburton, Tue Mar 7 01:40:25 2006
>> Next Message:  RE: Breeding Tip... - kasper22, Tue Mar 7 08:08:29 2006
>> Next Message:  You should really publish a book Celia ! - Locolizard, Tue Mar 7 09:06:28 2006
>> Next Message:  Hey Celia, something for you to try. - LeeBarrie, Tue Mar 7 09:25:28 2006
>> Next Message:  Great information. Thanks. np - PGoss, Tue Mar 7 16:04:08 2006