Brumating a gravid female?

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Vegasarah
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Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:07 am

Hello all, I had a thread going a few months ago about the new female northern I got from the reptile show. I finally was contacted back by the man I bought her from, and it turns out that he had only had her for a month before he sold her to me. The guy he bought her from said that she had been bred before and that was about it. So I have no real way of knowing if she is gravid or not because of this. I have been weighing her, and she has gained a bit since I got her, but that could be due to her new diet with me.
I wanted to breed her in the spring, so I was going to start burmation soon because it just got cold here. My question is would it harm her if I burmated her if she was gravid? Would it force her to abort her babies or would they be still born if she carried then full term? I have no real way of knowing if she is gravid or not other than bringing her to a very for a pricey ultrasound.
Should I just skip burmation all together this season and wait for next year to breed? Should I take her to the vet to make sure? I really need some advice!
Last edited by Lea on Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Sp. title for brumation.
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Linnea » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:31 am

*brumation.

if you suspect pregnancy, do not force her to brumate. if she still does it there is nothing you can do. my skink will brumate regardless of what i do to the temps.

let the other more experienced skink breeders get back to you on how harmful it might be. i have no idea.

i think waiting to breed her until you know more about her general health is much safer. if she has been bred last year and this too, and changed owners and diet, another breeding might be quite a lot for her to go through this quick. thats just my opinion though.

as for the vet visit that will be up to you entirely since it is not a life and death situation. but remember that the babies might not show up on the x rays even if she is pregnant.
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:38 am

Sorry about the spelling, I was guessing at out because my spell check didn't even have the word lol.

Thanks for the help, I'm trying to hold off as long as I can and keep her warm till I can get some advice from some experts on here. I figured it wouldn't be good for get so we will wait and see what some of the wise breeders on here have to say :)
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Richard.C » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:20 am

How long have u had her for,usually you will see signs when they are gravid,sometimes though they can hide them well,northerns are generally a dry season breeder,so if yours is gravid its very very very late to be dropping this time of year,more almost the time they drop in the southern hemisphere

You can keep days warm year round to cycle them,thats how i cycle mine,which if she was gravid she would likely stay close to heat instead of curling yp down cool end,a full on shut diwn would be risky if gravid

Id lean towards the weight gain being mire her preparing for a brumation than a sign of being gravid,though it is possable to breed them at anytime of year if you can control the heat/cooling
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Jeff » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:12 am

Is the skink a northern? In my experience, the gestation period for northerns is normally 95 - 115 days. If you have had her for a couple months, and the guy you got her from had her for a month, she would have to be pretty close to full-term even if she mated right before he got her. I would just keep her warm for another couple weeks, then cool her if you want to.

If it is a northern, it is VERY unlikely that it would be gravid at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. It would probably take some intentional effort to make that happen, and if someone had done that, they wouldn't have gotten rid of the skink right afterwards.
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:30 am

I have only had her for 70 days. My male northern is showing signs of wanting to brumate. He is hanging out on the cool end even though it is cold in my house. The female is the opposite, she spends all day and night under her heat lamp.
Jeff, that is a very good point about why would someone sell her right after breeding her? But I think it could be possible because he had no money and used her in a trade for supplies for his other animals.
I do know that she was kept in a rubbermaid bin her whole life and bred. I think it could be possible that she has been in a temperature controlled environment and possibly bred late so that the guy would have a new litter of babies right around the holidays to sell.
She also looks really plump around her back legs. Is there some way that I could tell she is gravid without taking her to the vet?
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Re: Burmating a gravid female?

Postby Richard.C » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Hows her breathing look,if the male decides to xome out and bask and get active its good to compare her breathing to his,gravid females often have laboured breathing,which is alot deeper than non gravid and male skinks,some show it better then others

That shes still basking staying near heat and male isnt could also be a sign shes gravid,but also could just not want to yet,try and keep her active for a while as if gravid the time u have had her pkus time with previous owner is getting close to there gestation period so if gravid should be close to dropping,if she doesnt drop soon you know shes not gravid so can cool her
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Lea » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:35 pm

I just moved this to the advanced discussion area. I think it's a great topic for those experienced breeders to give their experiences and advice.

I could only guess at the above answers, it's not something I have experienced, so this is good learning!
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Scotts1au » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:15 pm

Wonder if you could use a human HCG test to determine whether a vivaporous reptile is pregnant? mmmm
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:16 pm

Alright, I think I've waited long enough. I'm at around 145 days of for sure no breeding! I think she's just a fat little lump that wants to stay warm and eat food lol! She's still very active as long as the heat's on her. She had her last meal on October 31, as did my male, so I've started the cooling process this week. It's now getting cold in my house, so I figured better now, right? Rocket, my male, is staying on the cool end of the tank exclusively now. He still comes out and pokes around a bit, but he's not trying to bask at all.

I might start a new thread for this- but what are the ideal temps for brumation? And what is everyone's thoughts on moving them into a more quiet, smaller container during this time? I remember reading somewhere that some keepers put them in shoe boxes for the winter? I don't know about all that, but my plan is this:

Take them out of their massive 180 gallon tanks (because I don't want to lug those into the garage), put them in some rubbermaid bins (maybe 30 gallon?) that have heaps of aspen shavings/ carefresh for them to burrow down into, put them in my garage where it's dark and quiet and cool, and just leave them be. I can't say for sure how cold is too cold, though. So how cold is too cold? Do they still need light? Do they need heat/ water at all? Forgive me, this is my first time brumating so I'm not really sure. I don't think that their 180 gallon tanks will get cool enough because they are in the bedroom, plus it's very noisy and the lights go off an on in my room all day and night.
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Jeff » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:03 pm

Northerns don't need to get very cool at all. I keep mine inside for brumation, and due to the fact that I live with a wimpy group of children and wife, the house never falls below 65f. I have been breeding them for a number of year now without ever exposing them to temperatures below that. I do have them in a completely dark room so that they only have a 4 hour photo-period during their cooling, but other than that, I just turn off their heat completely, and they do fine.

You have definitely waited long enough to know that her "thickness" is not due to pregnancy. I am fairly convinced that BTS can store sperm, but babies don't start to develop until approximately 100 days before they are born.

You will be fine putting her in the smaller tub you described, but you may not need to if her current tank cools even slightly.
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:18 pm

Oh, this answered my questions totally, thanks Jeff! It's probably already in the upper 60's in my room, but without the heat lamps on at all I'm sure that will make all the difference and will get to 65 pretty easily, I'm sure. The only thing is that my house tends to be noisy. Would that affect them at all? Or would it be actually better than keeping them in total silence for months on end? If I where to use the rubbermaid bins, I wouldn't have a problem with the light, because I could just drill a hole for the lamp to go on and turn that on for 2 hours a day or so. Does that sound okay?

Do they need a large water dish for soaking avaliable to them with brumating? Would one just big enough to hold a cup or two of water be okay?

What kind of bedding would be be better: Carefresh or Aspen shavings? Both are around the same price this weekend and PETCO due to sale, so I could go with either.

What about humidity? I keep them now at only a level of about 30%, which I know is low, but It's usually in the single digits in humidity here anyway. I would imagine keeping them in a closed container like that would keep it right around 30% as well. Is this okay or is that too dry/ will I need to maybe mist in there?

Sorry about all the questions, I just want to make sure I'm doing this right! :)
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Jeff » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:36 pm

LOL! You are stressing WAY too much! I understand though. A small water bowl that she can drink from is fine. The substrate is probably not too important. My northerns are all on cypress mulch though.

Your climate is very similar to mine. I don't do anything for the 8 weeks that they are cooled. I just check their water a couple of times to make sure they haven't pooped in it or something, but that's it.

I can't answer your question about noise. I just don't know. I think the best scenario is for them to be in a quiet dark place, but I have absolutely no evidence to show that this is necessary. I personally don't think that a little noise is going to screw things up.
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Vegasarah » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:41 pm

You're probably right haha, I just want to make sure everything is perfect and that I can get some adorable babies this summer!

Okay, well I think that is going to be my plan then. Going to start a new thread for it so that I can get some opinions on the noise factor.

Thanks so much for all your help, Jeff!
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby dsteamn » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:14 pm

I have been breeding for three or four years now (can't remember). We have our 75 gallon tanks in our den. The TV is on every day and the temp stays around 70 degrees. It never seems to bother them. The go down for weeks to months and wake up and sleep as they see fit.
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Re: Brumating a gravid female?

Postby Richard.C » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:18 am

I cucle mine differently,they have day heating year round but no night heating year round,gets very cool here that even day temps would be slightly cooler over winter,especially away from basking spot,nights drop lower than 65 over winter,that seems to work best here,and kind of mimicks the wet dry season they cop where they are from in nature,they brumate when they want,sometimes not much,other times a bit and there stull dropping bubs,all i really have to do is put females with males at correct time,mother nature controls my temps for me

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