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Growth potential

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:31 pm
by Scotts1au
Hi all, I'm interested in what people think might be the best predictors of ultimate genetic growth potential of a baby bluey. Of course an obvious one is the size of the parents but......

I haven't actually taken detailed measurements but I have noticed that the biggest and heaviest babies in Alpine Blotchies tend to turn into the biggest adults. Features such as a larger head tend to be carried into adulthood, like Milton - Richard :-)

Wondering if anyone has any other indicators such as early nutrition, enclosure size etc have anything to do with how they turn out? I'm not encouraging forced, or overfeeding, but interested in casual observation or whether someone can back up my observations.

Scott

Re: Growth potential

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:16 pm
by pisces20
Hi All,
Interesting topic. It would to me be a similar inheritance issue as any other inheritable genetic feature. Keep breeding the larger ones and you will end up with larger skinks I would think. Definately good nutrition would help. I also find that continuous feeding (distinct from overfeeding) and not brumating them in their first year definately grows larger skinks.

Re: Growth potential

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:33 pm
by hurricanejen
I held back two of my largest offspring from my clutch this year, and they are definitely distinctly larger than any of their siblings from that same clutch. I also had food available to them fairly constantly, with Mazuri insectivore diet available from day one (they were eating it the day after being born!) in combination with a relatively protein-heavy diet. Compared to the one female from last year's clutch that I gave to a friend, my babies from this year (born July 1st) are about the same size at this point.

Here is a pic of momma skink and her baby from this year as of October 8th. Again, these babies were born July 1st, and I kept back two of the biggest. This baby was the flat-out biggest baby in the clutch and continues to be quite large as she grows!

Image

Like I said I also tend to feed my skinks a bit more meat-heavy kind of a diet. These guys got rodents about once a week in the form of hopper mice, as I was starting a couple clutches of baby ball pythons and always had a couple extra. They got a can of ZooMed reptile diet, either box turtle, omnivorous lizard, iguana, or tegu and monitor food. I also gave them Repashy Savory Stew, occasionally beef heart, chicken liver, chicken hearts and gizzards, as well as the usual insects - superworms, giant mealworms, crickets, dubia roaches, and hissing roaches. Once a week they were offered a mix of berries, bananas, chopped spring mix and repashy crested gecko diet mixed in.

So they ate QUITE a bit of food, but so far have turned it all into growth. They started brumating on their own a couple weeks ago, so they haven't been eating lately, but I'm excited to see just how big they get.

So timeline:

Just born, July 1st - this was average baby size. Tweedledum, the biggest baby, was a LITTLE bit bigger than this.
Image

July 14th, tweedledee (my other holdback) and the male I gave to my mom, Geoffrey. Geoffrey is small than either of my holdbacks, but he has not been kept as warm as I keep mine, nor fed as much in the way of protein.
Image

September 8th, Tweedledee (again, the smaller of the two holdbacks) at this point, they were pretty much identical in size.
Image

Next time I have them out I'll snap a more recent pic. I'm fortunate enough to see a few of the other offspring I've produced on a regular basis, and by far the babies I have held back and kept myself are significantly larger. I am sure diet has a significant part of it, as does heat (higher heat = bigger appetite), plus these were the biggest babies in the clutch to start with. Fun to watch their progress!

-Jen

Re: Growth potential

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:05 pm
by Vegasarah
Part of the reason I wanted my male Northern, Rocket, was because he was the biggest of his brothers and sisters. Larger head, longer body, and biggest appetite. I have spoken to someone else on here who has his sibling and Rocket is still much bigger. He's a little on the lean side, but he is very bulky and long. I've always kept him with a high basking spot and I did not brumate him his first winter. He's always been a fantastic eater. I feed mostly dog food/ spring mix with occasional fruit/ veggies. I saw a big growth spurt when I finally got my dubia roach colony up and running and started feeding him those as snacks. I should try and contact the other member who has his sibling to see if she does anything different or if Rocket has just always been predisposed to being big!

Re: Growth potential

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:34 pm
by StaceyLeigh
Vegasarah wrote:Part of the reason I wanted my male Northern, Rocket, was because he was the biggest of his brothers and sisters. Larger head, longer body, and biggest appetite. I have spoken to someone else on here who has his sibling and Rocket is still much bigger. He's a little on the lean side, but he is very bulky and long. I've always kept him with a high basking spot and I did not brumate him his first winter. He's always been a fantastic eater. I feed mostly dog food/ spring mix with occasional fruit/ veggies. I saw a big growth spurt when I finally got my dubia roach colony up and running and started feeding him those as snacks. I should try and contact the other member who has his sibling to see if she does anything different or if Rocket has just always been predisposed to being big!


I know I have one of the siblings from Rockets litter. Ember has become a big girl. She is 17 months now, just weighed measured her 2 days ago, length- 20", weight 771g. She is solid! I call Ember a she, still not 100% sure on that. I fed every day for 1st month I had her, then every other day until 6-7 months, then 2x a week. Once she reached a year cut back to 1x a week. She has always been a good eater. I feed mainly dog food(blue buff., wellness, etc.) with a good mix of veggies & greens. Occassional treats of meal worms, and in the summer she get snails often, loves those!

Re: Growth potential

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:39 pm
by Vegasarah
I need to get a measure/ weight on Rocket so we can compare! Maybe I'll get that new scale for Christmas lol. And fingers crossed for a new IR temp gun! ;)