A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:00 pm

The Bluey Bible even states it is best to house them together year-round.. written by the most respected Tiliqua keepers in the world.. they wouldn't just throw that in there for the fun of it. They see that they do better in groups, but only if introduced right.. where no skink has a set territory to defend.. and realizes the he is sharing a territory with another mate.

They are getting imported by the thousands every year from Papua, and it is to my knowledge, PNG does not allow export of any animals. So, they just rely on West Papua. West Papua is a very small "half" island..

All I'm saying, we need to be more open-minded. If someone has found a way, and has bred them like that multiple times.. I don't see any reason to go further than that, if it has the same results.

They aren't as solitary as everyone lets on... I have talked to a bunch of Indonesians and Aussie's, and they say the exact thing.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby donkeybuff » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:50 pm

Dakota Nivens wrote:They aren't as solitary as everyone lets on... I have talked to a bunch of Indonesians and Aussie's, and they say the exact thing.

By solitary, I mean that they see each other as competition for food, shelter, basking spots, and in the case of males, mates. Apart from mating season, there is really no need for multiple blueys to be together, since they will be competing for the aforementioned resources (again, shingles are an exception). Although are not inherently aggressive towards each other, any imperfection in their environment/husbandry will turn them against one another. The reason so many people in Australia and Indonesia house them together is that they can provide ample space with perfect environmental conditions for blueys to thrive. As long as they stay well cared for, the blueys will not hurt one another in these conditions. However, if something is not right and one bluey feels that the other animal is a burden on the resources that it needs, bad things happen.

Sorry if I'm coming off as being narrow-minded, I just do not like the idea of animals that have been known to maim and kill each other being put in an enclosed space. I feel that this could only be accomplished in their natural range, or in an extremely well thought out enclosure with frequent checks on each skink.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:36 pm

keeping outdoors with in there range or a similar climate makes them easier to breed,indoors out of there climate in groups or not they are more of a challenge

group keeping in some respects can help,but also can hinder,some males never show interest in a group situation for example,also if only a female or 2 cycles ive seen as many as 5 males at once trying to secure a female,not really in a females best interests

the one main benefit is it removes the timing issue,but really thats not a biggy,if u house singley u just keep introducing until you see signs

if u dont cycle them properly u could keep 100 together and not have success

the reason you see aussie and indo keepers keep them in groups is we have ready access to them,i can tell you theres alot of aussies that dont keep in groups,they are quite successful to

but the blueys dont do well together comment is even in australia,but most expect to just chuck adults together willy nilly and think it will be hunky dory,that often results in negative outcomes

theres lots of ways to do things and some ways work better in differing climate compared to others

as an example,most people wake male blotchies ten to 14 days before females to allow males to shed first as they need to before mating starts,if they woke together females would cycle before males had shed and no go,thats because they are warmed faster and for some reason people think males wake earlier in nature,thats not what ive seen in captivity or with wild ones

when i kept them indoors in groups i woke them early,july,both sexes together,they still had cold back ground temps and most would stay away from the heat and mating didnt happen till usually at least october,similar to when outdoor ones breed,nature doest give them high temps at wake up time,some cool springs have delayed mating season to the start of summer,captivity doesnt usually allow such a dispause before mating

whilst blueys arent a colony occuring species,around here all year round u often find numbers of them in very close proximity,easterns in particular,ive sern as many as ten of varying size and sex for instance choose to brumate in a compost heap in our back yard for last decade,they hang close by when its still warm,when temos drop they move in,at spring warming time they again hang close till conditions are more consistant then some move on ,others hang about,but roughly for 6 months there in close proximity,which is odd for a solitary animal

males dont wake earlier,in nature they are mostly found earlier as they travel seeking females,just like later in the season more females are found,doesnt mean they start brumation earlier,if anything they stay out longer trying to regain condition after having late season litters

theres pros and cons on each side and alot of common sense is needed if group keeping

cycling them is important,group keeping doesnt make things easier at all,so shouldnt be looked at for a path to success,saying that theres obviously more tin arse litters when kept in groups,in australia for example often they get bred indoors by folk trying to actually keep them active year round,go figure,lol
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Susann » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:53 pm

Thank you donkeybuff, I couldn't have said it better.
And Dakota, you can do whatever it is you feel is best. It doesn't have anything to do with open or closed mindedness, it has to do with wanting what's best for our animals.
Just because dogs breed more when kept in small confined areas doesn't meant that that's an OK way to keep them in my opinion, but lots of people still keep their breeders (dogs, birds, skinks, etc.) together in enclosed spaces.
It is not up to me, or anyone else, to tell you what you can or can't do, or what's right or wrong.

And, what does the size of West Papua have to do with housing together or separate?
Last edited by Susann on Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Bird_Brain » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:19 pm

There is no benefit to the skink in housing them together. The only benefit is for the owners. There are many more risks to the skinks health when housed together, so why recommend it?
And this is coming from someone who seriously considered housing keis together to try and figure out their breeding habits but ultimately decided it wasn't worth it.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:00 pm

a few points if i may

shinglebacks dont live in groups any different than other blueys,they have home ranges,if a dominant male has a reproductively active female he gets to choose ,he goes that way,usually picking one of the most consistent cycling females ,in captivity they happily cover more than one female

tests show they often choose same female year after year,but what happens if that female isnt cycling in a particular year,i can bet they dont curse and wait for the following season,tests dont show things like that

if one gets killed do they shut up shop and become priests,nope the choose the next best one

bluetongues often do the same thing,are often found following females,mating ect

group housing offers that in essence,if compattible they get accustomed to one another,often with same pairings going on over years,if the dominant male wants a particular female the others back off in general,unless they slip one in when males pre occupied,usually when theres a few females to choose from

theres alot of misconceptions out there and some things that science reports dont delve deep enough,or cover only one aspect, so best not to take everything you read as gospel as often its not even close to what happens or worse folk think its 100 percent correct in all circumstances

if only it was so simple

hmmmm,according to this site im irresponsible
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Susann » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:46 pm

Richard.C wrote:hmmmm,according to this site im irresponsible

Not what I'm saying at all!
Remember Phaemas? I'm talking about members like that. Who would chuck two, three, four, five skinks together regardless of quarantines, age, species, because they've read about people who house theirs together.
I just always try to express my comments thinking of the least responsible, intelligent readers out there. For the sake of their poor skinks.
You obviously don't get what I was trying to say, so I will remove my comment to not make any other, very responsible people think I'm calling them irresponsible.

I will stop commenting in general terms on this thread since it is the advanced discussion forum, especially since I don't have anything advanced to say.
I don't know why this 8+ months old thread was allowed to be resurrected anyway.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:44 pm

was just a joke susann,not directed at you

i do understand where your coming from and why i like to mention your success with housing alone,as people think group housing makes things easier,when in fact it doesnt really,as it adds all sorts of issues good and bad otherwise not there if housed seperatly

you also learn alot more housing seperatly about the species and most importantly you cut out alot of risks and your more in control
dakota seems to think the secret is group housing them,as it brings more success,but your last 2 seasons shows thats not true,i find it odd that people ignore that success,and concentrate on trying things oppasite to that

for example,the important part of this thread is how jos cycles them,yet thats being ignored for the group housing aspect,which is what i was trying to explain

when species are classed as difficult to breed,people instead of working on the basics for some odd reason get crazy ideas in there heads and try things that dont really put things in there favour

eg the gigas breeding thread,theres talk of ion bulbs and wet season breeding,hows that supposed to help a predominantly dryseason breeder

its little wonder folk struggle to breed them

susann please dont stop putting your thoughts in,you make alot of sense and have a proven system going,definatly one that should be listened to,as its hard to argue with success
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Scincoides » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:23 pm

I've wanted to chime in on this thread all day and I just haven't had the time. Now I do. I haven't housed anything together, so I can't say anything about how well it works, but I have put a ton of thought into it. First when I was trying to get the keis to breed, again with the meraukes, and off and on with halmahera type Indos. I decided against it with the keis due to the fact that I barely trusted them together even in five minute pairing sessions, I decided against it with the meraukes because they are captive bred already which should make them easier to breed and I would prefer to do it separately to minimize any risks. As for the halmahera, I am still considering putting a pair in my 8x4x4 vision cage with a ton of visual barriers. Time will tell as to whether I talk myself out of it. As far as Australians getting away with housing skinks communally, I have a theory. This is just a theory with absolutely nothing to back it up but in my head it sounds reasonable. I think that there is a good possibility that U.S Northerns could be more aggressive than Northerns in Aussie collections, and I believe that it has to do with selective breeding. Selective breeding is great at isolating desirable traits, but very frequently less desirable traits get reproduced as well. Some in the form of physical defects, others in neurological issues, and some behavioral problems. Over here our Intermedia are dozens of generations removed from wild skinks, in Aussie collections, I would assume that allot of them are far closer to wild skinks simply due to that fact that Aussie keepers are graced with access to new bloodlines relatively frequently. If I were to selectively breed only skinks that were voracious breeders, strong/energetic/vigorous etc... which most breeders should be doing, who's to say that the bloodline would not become more territorial when not in the breeding season towards skinks of either gender? I see pictures of Richards beautiful Northerns that are housed together and marvel at how much it would terrify me to try that with my Intermedia. Obviously allot of other factor go into his successful cohabitation, for example allot of his enclosures are massive outdoor pens, he lives in an area as I understand it, very similar to their wild environment etc, but still. Has anyone else thought about that? I'm sorry if I'm rambling, I've been at work for fourteen hours and honestly I'm barely awake right now, but still I wanted to see if someone more educated than I had an opinion on my little theory. As far as housing Gigas together, I know that its done allot, and clearly some keepers aren't having any issues with it, but still it worries me. I'd love to do it, don't get me wrong, and I'm sure its fine in massive enclosures, but I agree that realistically it would probably cause quite a few problems. I think that long term stress would probably be the biggest issue in Gigas, as opposed to the obvious bodily damage that would come from housing Northerns together. Again sorry for rambling.

As for the meraukes, this year I'm going to follow what Susann did EXACTLY and hope for success.
I think that the way Dakota plans to his is probably about as safe as it gets when housing skinks together, deep substrate, similar climate outdoors, large enclosure, with lots of visual barriers. Its a risk, but I give him credit for trying to do it in the safest way possible.

And Susann please don't stop posting, we all respect your opinion and without advice and input from people like you, none of us are going to have an easy time figuring this gigas breeding stuff out.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Scincoides » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:29 pm

Richard, after rereading my last post, I think It sounded mildly critical of you housing Northerns together. Haha please don't take it that way, that's not at all how I meant it.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:27 pm

haha,naah i dont see it as being critical,a good post,i also hope susann doesnt stop posting,as she consistantly posts great info,and in a posative way to

valley australian kept northerns are just as nutty,some of mine dont play well and are by them selves,so far ive been lucky with others,most of the pr or trio housed ones grew up with cage mates, and apart from making smaller group sizes as they grow,so far not one holdback has had to live on its own,experiementing,the oldest are just over 18 months old

adults ive never tried grouping as they generally dont do well,tjough i nought a trio that were housed together and 4 years with me they are still together,no missing tails or limbs,the other adults are by them selves as the risk far out weighs the benefit,i actually enjoy that those ones are kept by them selves,as it leaves u in control and u know about any matings ect
apart from blotchies and easterns,everything else is indoors,blotchies and easterns used to be as well
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:39 pm

and valley,copying what susann does and jos,s cycling of them to sounds like the smartest way to go,its a tried and proven way no matter if u house them alone or in groups,thats the important thing to look at if breeding is your goal
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Susann » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:23 am

Susann wrote:I will stop commenting in general terms on this thread since it is the advanced discussion forum.
I appreciate all the kind comments. I wasn't going to stop posting altogether, :) just that my comments had been rather "general" and I have nothing advanced to add, to this thread.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:14 am

your one of the few whom have luck with this species merauke mama,so your thoughts are definatly important in this section ,hard to argue when u have results on the board

there the type of oppinions this section has been designed for,it would be a loss not getting your oppinion on such subjects
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:54 am

The Kei Island comes from an assortment of different islands, rather than just the Kei. It is to my understanding that they have a very low population in the wild from being dispersed and reason why they aren't available like the other species of Indo.. reason why I have some suspicions that don't do to well with each other.

What I don't get, is I've been trying to find different ways of different ways of breeding, asking on the forum, and no one talk about about this thread.. like it was completely irrelevant.

I agree with Richard, no one should downgrade something, when it is proven effective.. other than the odd 2-3 here in the states (Cheers to Susann!)

And, thanks Valley, for understanding what I'm trying to do, not just an "irresponsible and ignorant" thing to do, in which it seems many people here are trying to put it in that category.

They are the shinglebacks of the T. gigas world! :lol:

Okay, I'm done with this thread now, now that I have a better understanding of how he breeds his Meraukes. :) I'm going to combine what he does and what Susann does, and see how this goes.

Susann: The size of West Papua and the population of T. gigas does run in together, it helps support that they aren't as "solitary" as people here let on.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:44 am

the keis i believe are found on kei and aru islands,not sure why u think they are dispersed compared to other gigas types,id say they are less common as where they are collected from is out of usual collection zones

northerns certainly arent in low numbers in the wild and they are probably the most aggressive to there own kind of the tiliquas with both sexes capable of agression to either sex

dakota i dont see why u think group keeping is the magic way to success,its not,if u look at what jos does and susann and put 2 and 2 together you will see where there success lies,and its with how they cycle there animals,thats the common thing you should be focusing on,groups or single housing doesnt matter if you dont follow the basics

i also think you over estimate floridas climate being similar to indonesia,s,there winters are nothing alike so u have to be wary of that if outdoors keeping them year round

you will learn all this in time
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:49 am

I plan on keeping them outside in the summer, where the temperatures are exactly the same, as well as humidity.. but bringing them in in the winter, in which it will be dry, and around in the 60's-70's.. that's what I mean by combining.

Florida's weather is exactly the same in the summer, I'm not sure why you doubt that, it's the winter that is different. It gets a tad bit colder here.. around the 40's-50's at night at the coldest.. reason why I will bring them inside during the winter.. or just supply them a heating box like Tom Crutchfield does with his iguanas.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:38 am

if u re read what i said cotrrct me if im wrong but last post i actually said its there winters that are not alike
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Bird_Brain » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:53 am

Dakota, tell me how the skink benefits from communial housing? We all know that it can be done. We also know that more times than not it only causes injured skinks. Im honestly not sure why you expect everyone to remember every thread ever created on the forum and feel that we failed for not bringing this thread to your attention. Im sorry that you are unable to use the search feature on the forum to find infornation on your own rather than demanding everyone to hand you the information on a silver platter.

What I dont get is why young kids come to the forum acting like they know everything about everything. May I suggest you stop and think before you post and loose this "im superior to everyone else" mindset before you are forced to loose it!
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:20 am

You guys are taking this the wrong way..

Shinglebacks do just as well as in groups as well as individuals, and Richard stated they aren't together 247 like everyone wants to believe.

There is no benefit, as well as no negative either.. IF done right. Fed seperately, large water bowl, wide basking area, deep substrate, many hides, ect. But there is little effort into getting them to breed.

Sorry, Richard.. I was in a hurry to meet up with my fathers trainer, my apologies.
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