April 4, 2006
Well itís been a long couple of weeks to say the least! Iím not totally over my cold just yet; however, Iím about 95% better. I hardly ever get sick but when I do I either get it very badly or for a very long time. Luckily I was only on the T2ís for 4 days so that was good. I definitely donít like taking medication let alone pain killers. Now I only have a cough if I get all worked up which is manageable compared to what it used to be like.

Clutch #1 was laid on March 26. 6 Perfect eggs from my 2001 Pied Male bred to a Normal female. The female is 3 years old and this is her first year breeding. I produced this female and gave her to Darren Hamill along with another normal female back when they were just young. About a year later when Darren got out of reptiles I bought all of his Ball Pythons which included the 2 females originally from me. Iíd have to look closely through my hatchling photos from 2003 to determine which female is which as one was a 50% possible het Albino and one was a Sibling Pastel (Normal). Right now I consider both of them ďNormalsĒ and that is why I didnít run an Albino male to both females. I have quite a few ďpossible het CaramelsĒ that are possible het Albinos that Iíve run my Albino males tooÖÖ.8 of those females are already gravid so I should have a good group of Albinos and 100% hets this year.

Iím expecting 6 clutches of Balls to be laid this week. This is what Iím currently waiting on;

Genetic Stripe x Pastel
Lesser Platinum x F2 Banded
SPOG x Pastel 100% het Orange Ghost
Lesser Platinum x Red Axanthic
SPOG x 100% het Orange Ghost
Super Pastel & Lesser Platinum x Normal

So, it should be an interesting week this week. Iím really excited to see what the Lesser x Red Axanthic is going to produce! Iím not sure how many good eggs Iím going to get from the Genetic Stripe x Pastel clutch this year (She produced 6 eggs last year). She is a big female but isnít as big as what she should be if she were to be full of good eggs. Maybe she is going to give me a small good clutch; however, Iím thinking that she is going to give me a high number of slugs. Hopefully itís just a small clutch of good eggs!

Iím going to do very well with Ghost stock this year which Iím very excited about! This includes 100% hets, Pastel Hets, Pastel Orange Ghosts (POG) and Super Pastel Orange Ghosts (SPOG). My 2004 SPOG male is a great breeder for being just a little guy (650 grams). Iím not a big fan of breeding tiny males and 650 grams is my limit for a breeder size male. In my experience the strongest breeder males are in around the 1200-1500 gram mark. Iíve lost a couple younger males in the breeding season mostly due to what I believe is stress brought on by not eating and breeding. I cringe when I see people breeding a 250-500 gram male. That definitely wouldnít be happening hereÖÖÖI value the lives of my breeder stock. If I didnít feel comfortable with breeding SPOG this year I would have put it off a year. Itís better to put off breeding a male for a year than to have him die in the breeding season!

This is also the first year that Iíve purposely backed up clutches with different males. Iíve done it in the past but with females that eventually didnít produce (built up follicles and re-absorbed). My Super Pastel male is a great breeder; however, I didnít want to produce a ton of regular Pastels as Iím going to have a good group of Pastels 100% het Orange Ghost produced this year from both my SPOG and POG males. So, this year, most of the females that were bred by my Super Pastel male have been backed up by my Lesser Platinum male. Iíd rather produce a couple more Lesser Platinumís (hopefully females so I can keep them back) than a bunch more Pastels. So, itís going to be interesting to see what is produced from having a Super Pastel male breed a female over a couple months and then have a Lesser put in with her a couple weeks before ovulation. Iím interested to see if itís the first male, second male, or an even split that fathers the clutch.

Iíve also had to back up a couple clutches that the males stopped breeding part way through the breeding season and I didnít feel comfortable with the female going 2 months without being bred. So, itíll also be interesting to see what the split of offspring is going to be on those clutches as well.

The incubator has been up and running for about 6 weeks now. The walk in room incubator worked great last year and it's working just as good so far this year. Iíll take pics and post them here shortly. I have 55 Rubbermaidís filled 2/3 with damp vermiculite all ready to go. The first clutches will be hatched out before I fill up the 55 bins so I can rotate the bins to make sure I have enough room this year. Iím expecting over 70 clutches this year so Iím going to have a ton of babies this year! The most Iíve ever done is 28 clutches in a season (2004). So, I have lots more hatchling racks on order to accommodate all the hatchlings this year.

The Journal entires will be Archived. You can get to the Journal Archive using the link at the top, right hand corner of the Journal Page.

Anyways, Iím out for now. I could write here for hours but this is enough for now.

Have a great night everyone!


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