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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Breeding Journal, Clutch three.

Today Rocky laid her third clutch!


At around 2pm I placed the laybox in her enclosure, I came back 15 mins later to find her digging.

after 1 hour and 40 mins of digging, she started to lay at 3:40

At 5pm i looked into her enclosure to see her covering up the eggs (making it very difficult to find)

All together she laid 23 healthy eggs, and one Slug, Her first slug ever.

I placed 19 eggs into one container, and the remaining four into a second container.

I then dissected the slug to see what the inside was like, all tham came out was a yellow Yolk.

That is a total of 75 eggs so far.

The first clutch are due on the 17th November, Second clutch on the 7th December, and this third clutch is due on the 4th January. (give or take a week)

If you are interested in some of the hatchlings, I am located in Sydney, and I am taking orders. The parents are Rocky and Balboa (you can see them in other blogs)

Contact me at cam.laing@hotmail.com

Monday, November 3, 2008

Snake Ranch - First Python.

After reading some of my blogs, you all probably realize I don't own any snakes, Only dragons.

Next year my reptile collection should be expanding, and I have already began this by putting down my deposit for my first Python. Some other reptiles I plan on getting are Ackie Monitors, Rick walker beardies, thick tailed geckos, and possible more pythons!

I have decided to go with the Centralian Carpet Python, (Morelia spilota bredli)
A few reasons why i chose this python is because I heard they aren't too picky with feeding, they are good handlers, and I think they have some great colours.

I have chosen the classic instead of Hypo, as I like the black outlines on the patterning.

I decided to go with Snake Ranch for the Bredli, as they are highly reputable, and I know I will be getting a healthy quality python. The only downside, is that it is my 18th present, Which is in 3 days, so I have to wait until March!
I took advantage of their 20/20 offer, which gets you 20% off. We sent off the order forum last Thursday, So now it is time to do some more research on Bredli's and set up a click clack!

Breeding Journal, Clutch two.

What an awesome day it was, I thought that rocky laying 26 the first time was a fluke, but she did it again!

Rocky looking to be gravid again, can feel some eggs, and once again, she is digging like crazy

Rocky started to dig in the laybox I gave her again today, I had to dig a starter hole like last time, but it did the trick! Exactly 20 days after laying her first clutch, and she has laid her second. There is 26 eggs also in this clutch, Not one slug. It took her approximately 2 hours to lay these ones. I thought Rocky had finished laying, so I moved the laybox out, then I saw her lay an egg on the floor of her enclosure (which was bare at the time). Now I have read that if a Bearded dragon lays an egg some where that it is not comfortable with, or it is not the right environment, they eat the egg. At this time, I saw Rocky quickly spin around, lick the egg and then try to bite it, luckily I grabbed her in time.

I have decided I will keep that beardie, Named him Lucky already.

I decided to candle the second clutch, Every egg is fertile once again, can see veins and little air sacks. All the eggs are fattening up and looking nice and white.

The incubator is now completely full, I had to make a shelf just for the second clutch, my drama now is that Rocky looks like she will lay again any day now, and with the first clutch still 15 days away from hatching, I am unsure of what to do.
I will sort something out.

Breeding Journal, Clutch one *UPDATES*

Hey guys,

The eggs from the first clutch are going great, they are looking nice and plump now.
Just a few updates:


All eggs looking good, degrees at 30. All are nice, white and big.


I am getting a fair amount of moisture in two of the containers, I have heard that too much moisture can lead to getting mold on the eggs, in end killing them, so I have switched to containers with dryer vermiculite.


I candled the eggs on this day, Candling eggs is when you hold a torch to the bottom of the egg, carefully to prevent rolling, and then you can see what is going on inside of it. At this point, every single egg has veins and an air sack, meaning ALL ARE FERTILE!!!

Dropped small torch into the eggs container, rolling 5 eggs, the eggs were marked so I could see which ones they were if they died. -- Rolling Dragon eggs is a big NO NO, as the embryo attaches itself to one side of the egg and creates an air sack, if an egg rolls, even once, it can kill the embryo.


The 5 eggs that were rolled are fine, no affect on them at all. All of the eggs are now looking nearly double the size, nice and fat.


I candled the first clutch for a second time, at this point I can actually make out the bearded dragons tails and a bit of their body, some of them were reacting to the light, wiggling and moving about, extremely fun to watch.


With approx 2 weeks to go on this clutch and no death, this could not go smoother, it is her first clutch, no slugs. Perfect!

Breeding Journal, Clutch one.

I will have a series of blogs, documenting the Breeding season this year.

The two Bearded dragons I have bred this year are Rocky and Balboa, For pictures of them, please refer to previous Blogs.

First put Rocky and Balboa together in Rocky’s enclosure

Separated them, after 11 days.

As I had not seen any mating in the 11 days, I decided to get them both out for 10mins or so and put them in the lounge room, where I witnessed a successful Mating display.

Noticed Rocky is looking a little bigger, at this time she was feeding on meal worms and getting regular sun.

Both Rocky and Balboa ate their first pinkie mice, rocky to fatten up, Balboa to also fatten up as he was off his food.

Rocky looking bigger and bigger, 80% sure she is gravid.

100% sure rocky is gravid, can see and feel eggs through her stomach.

Rocky is digging every where like Crazy, jumping every where. Have not put lay box in enclosure, as the incubator is not ready.

I made a laybox for Rocky, as she was going crazy, it has dirt from a pot plant in it, with water, so that it does not collapse in on her when she is digging.
I also completed the incubator after a quick trip to get a thermometer.
I placed the laybox in the enclosure and put her in it, but she was not very interested in digging, I had read on www.aussiepythons.com that if you dig a diagonal hole and place them in the hole head first, they can start digging. So I did this and it worked.

Rocky started digging at 2:30pm, She reached the bottom of the laybox at 2:35, after over 2 hours of digging, at 4:55, she started laying, finishing at about 6:50, the laying process took around 2 hours.
She laid 26 healthy white eggs, She did not lay one slug, or one off looking egg. The eggs were in the incubator by 8pm, at 30 degrees. This first clutch is due on the 17th of November. (60 days)

Rocky's Stomach the day before laying:


Dirty after digging:


All 26 eggs of the first clutch:

In the incubator at 30 degrees:

Breeding Information

In this blog will be some notes and information on the breeding of bearded dragons, There will be videos and pictures that I have learnt from.

Here are some of the notes I have gone by in the past:

1. First of all, you need two bearded dragons, a male and a female.
2. Keep them in separate cages. Their cages should be 150lt(4ft) or larger.
3. Introduce them to each other, let them get used to each other and make sure they don't try to get too aggressive.
4. Let the male move in with the female (just for a while) until they are done mating.
5. Put the male back into his cage. the female should lay the eggs within one month. Make sure she has lots of sand for digging, and possibly a hiding box to lay them in. Look for lumps in her abdomen.
6. After the eggs are laid, carefully remove them with a spoon. Discard any eggs that are yellow or extremely dented. Bruised eggs are healthy eggs. They are fertile. She should lay any where from 10 to 35 eggs.
7. Keep them in an incubator at 28-31degrees Celsius with humidity around 50 percent. The substrates for the eggs could be vermiculite.
8. The eggs will hatch between 60 and 80 days. Most of the eggs will live, however, some may die or be infertile.
9. After the eggs hatch, put the hatchlings in two separate containers or glass tanks approx 40-75lt(2-3ft). They should be like the big storage boxes.
10. Divide the hatchlings into groups: large and small. This will help prevent them from biting off each others toes or limbs.
11. The babies should not be sold until they are at least 6 inches long.

A few tips:
• You should -NOT- breed until you have researched all you can about space requirements etc. Most hobbyists have "racks" they use for the young beardies. "Racks" mainly consist of Rubbermaid containers filled with the correct substrate etc. on a rack.
• Beardies can have up to 30 babies! Be ready for LOTS of crickets/roaches/worms!
• Watch your bearded dragons closely when mating. The male can get very aggressive.
• Females can also be aggressive toward each other.
• Give the hatchlings lots of food a day. Make sure they have lots of greens and give them powdered vitamin supplements.
• remember to give the babies 10.0 UVB Lamps from Zoomed and a 75 watt basking/heat lamp and basking rock.

This link leads to a video showing the males “head bobbing” behavior, and the whole mating ritual, it is fairly rare to see them mate: Beardie Head Bobbing!

Freshly laid eggs:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gin and Tonic's Stories

Gin and Tonic is what I called two Eastern Blue Tongues, They were purchased off Neville Parkes on the 15/1/08, just a few weeks old. They are clutch mates would now be about 11 months old. I have since sold them.

After choosing the bearded dragon over the bluetongues back in 2006, at the start of 2008 I decided it is time to expand my collection and get a pair of bluetongues. I did not plan on breeding them as I was just seeing what they were like, so I bought a clutch pair. I have always had a think about naming some of my animals after alcohol, so I called them Gin and Tonic.

It was exciting when I first got them, they went into Rocky’s first enclosure. For the first few weeks I remember they were not eating much, if at all. Then it rained and I found a snail in the garden, they went absolutely crazy for it, So for a while this is all they ate. Preparing the snail was gut wrenching, having to hunt them, take the shell off and cut them up with scissors.

The Bluey’s were very very slow in comparison to my other reptiles, slow biting, slow walking slow drinking. At one point they seemed to fight over their snails, so I had to separate them for feeding time. They were eating snails meal worms, rocket, carrot, dog food, and Banana mainly.

I decided that breeding Blue tongues wasn’t really for me, as I prefer the more fast paced animal, and bluies just weren’t cutting it for me. So I decided to sell them to a member of www.aussiepythons.com as I know that he was getting his information correct before buying.

I sold them 7 months after purchasing them, and they had doubled in length, both around 30cm’s each.
They were nice placid animals, but just not what I am looking for.


Squirt's Story


Squirt is my most recent addition, A high yellow phase Male Central bearded Dragon. He is around 54cm at full size and is also 2.5 years old.

After getting Balboa, I decided that it would be a good time to Search for a Male beardie with higher colours, for next years breeding. I figured I would look now as it is basically after breeding season, and the demand for Male and female bearded dragons is down, as most people are selling them now, after breeding.
As I was just testing the water when it comes to breeding for this year, I decided that I want to produce some more colour in hatchling bearded dragons for next season, so I found this little guy, and got him at a great price too.

I was talking to the seller, who I also found on www.petlink.com (check favorite links) and she was explaning how she doesn’t have enough time to play with him any more, and is selling him to a good home, She explained that he was treated like family and like a pet, so I thought he would be a good choice.

He has a scar on his lower right jaw, from rubbing his face on the side of an outside enclosure. The yellow really comes out in him when he is under artificial UV lighting, and the sun. I named him squirt as that was his previous name. This guy has no trouble getting down veggies and insects. Next year he will be breeding with Rocky to produce some high orange/yellow hatchlings. I have had no problems with him so far, he was purchased on the 21/9/08

The Pictures do not do this little guy justice.





Balboa's Story


Balboa is one of my male Central Bearded Dragons. He is about 55cm’s from snout to the tip of his tail. He is around 2.5-3 years of age and a grey/cream phase.

I had to travel around a hour and a half to get this guy, I was rushed when I realized I wanted a male, as it was getting closer and closer to breeding season, and I had no male to breed with rocky. So I took the first option I had, as I was looking for around a month before hand. After placing an advertisement searching for a Male central bearded dragon on www.petlink.com (see favorite links) I received an email from Jake Hardy, so I traveled down to Campbeltown on the 28/8/08 and picked up my new dragon.

When I got there I was not very hapy, as he was a little more flighty then I had hoped, but as I had travelled so far, it seemed pointless to turn back, I wont be doing that again. From now on I am going to make sure I only buy quality healthy animals.

When I got Balboa home, I noticed more scars and cuts on him, he was fairly skinny too. He was all I had, so I bred him with my female, and got a fairly high egg count.

After around a week, I noticed a bubble come from his mouth, Normally this means he has a respiratory infection. Now respiratory infections are not uncommon, and you generally will get one through out the life of each reptile, but as always, treating reptiles can be expensive. The infection is also highly contagious so he had to be isolated from my other dragons. Instead of taking him to the vet, I upped his temp and fed him up some more, He didn’t show any more signs of it. Aside from being a bit slow catching food, after some one on one feeding time He is now back on his feet looking as good as ever.





Rocky's Story.

Rocky is the bearded dragon I was telling you about from the previous blog. I have had her since she was 3 months old, she is now just over two and a half years old. Back when I got her, she was around 15cm, she is now about 53 cms. She is a central bearded dragon.

Not sure how I came up with her name, When I first got her I just assumed she was male, so called her Rocky, when she was older I could determine the fact that she was a female, but the name has stuck.

After I had travelled 2 hours to pick a bearded dragon, there was a fishtank with 30 odd beardie hatchlings in it. I put my hand in the tank, so see if any of them would run up to me. That all looked great, but there was one running around a bit, and it had a bent tail, For some reason I chose that one, Her tail was only bent at the tip, and that came off within a week any way.

After around a year I noticed that she was getting some great colour, I had never had any health problems with her, she was eating well, veggies and all. At the start of this year, in March, there was a Reptile show in Sydney, it’s a place you can go and look at people reptiles, buy some off breeders, look at products, enclosures ect. You can also enter a reptile into a competition, I entered Rocky, We didn’t think much of it, as it only cost $20 to enter, and it was all a bit of fun. That after noon I was in hospital getting my apendics out (emergencys suck) and I got a call from Dad saying rocky had won the Best in Category award. So we got a certificate, medal and $100 for that.

Rocky Is what you would call a orange/red phase, but she has also been known to change to a more yellow colour.

This year I am breeding Rocky and have had a lot eggs from her so far, I will go into more detail on that in another thread.

Thanks for reading.