Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair?

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Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair?

Postby Spindown » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:05 pm

Ok, so I know what to look out for when breeding the skinks, but do I feed them before I try and pair them, or after I see lock-ups? If so, how soon after they wake up? I didnt expect them to wake up this soon but we've been having the most amazing mild (crazy mild even for where I live) winter I can remember, and they decided to wake up a month early :D
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Jeff » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:23 pm

I offer mine food as soon as they are back to normal temperatures. I also start pairing them pretty much right away too. Most eat right away, but some won't until the second or third time I offer food. I just feed them normally (once a week) through everything. Only difference is adding a little extra calcium for the gravid females.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby kl » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:52 am

Jeff, how long do you take to get the skinks back up to normal temperatures? Every yr I struggle with that as I worry about providing too much of a jolt to the internal organs if I raise it up too quickly after cooling them for a couple months.

KL
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Jeff » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:41 am

Kim, I would love to take two weeks to warm them up to normal, and that is always my intention, but I always get too impatient, and it generally ends up being 7-10 days. That has never been a problem with the Northerns because they don't get that cold to begin with.

With the skinks that I have cooled more drastically, I have done it in the garage because that is the only way for me to get temperatures cool enough. They always start warming naturally due to the outside temperatures warming up, so they are half way warmed up before they come inside, so a week to bring them up from there is not too extreme.

Everything I have warmed this way has bred successfully at least once, and I have never had any health issues at all.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby kl » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:52 am

I also have intentions of doing it more slowly but then I get impatient as I am right now. I took males out a few days ago and already I've put heat lamps on the cages as I'm anxious to get the metabolisms up so they go into the blue and that generally takes another 2 1/2 weeks or so. It's just that you worry about keeping something in the upper 40's to low 50's for 8 weeks and then within days have the cage set at 85.

Kim
Last edited by kl on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Ellie_A » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:23 pm

My guys have just started waking up also and it will be my first breeding attempt too. Hopefully the op doesn't mind me asking a few more questions here. Can someone just clarify this for me please?

-It should take between a week and 2 weeks to get back up to normal temperatures
-Feed right away once at normal temperatures; I assume that it should be a smaller meal?
-Put male and female together right away once at normal temperatures; should this be before or after the first feeding?
-Do they have to go into blue before putting them together?
-If they don't breed the first time they are put together how long do you usually waiting before putting them together again?
-If they do breed the first time do you put them together again to increase the chances of fertility?

I have read lots of care sheets but it is nice to hear it from people that I "know"
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Jeff » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:09 pm

Ellie_A wrote:My guys have just started waking up also and it will be my first breeding attempt too. Hopefully the op doesn't mind me asking a few more questions here. Can someone just clarify this for me please?

-It should take between a week and 2 weeks to get back up to normal temperatures
-Feed right away once at normal temperatures; I assume that it should be a smaller meal?
-Put male and female together right away once at normal temperatures; should this be before or after the first feeding?
-Do they have to go into blue before putting them together?
-If they don't breed the first time they are put together how long do you usually waiting before putting them together again?
-If they do breed the first time do you put them together again to increase the chances of fertility?

I have read lots of care sheets but it is nice to hear it from people that I "know"


Those are all good questions, and the kind of questions that will get you different answers from different people. There is no one exact way that things have to be done. It is best to remember that the answers you get will usually be "this is what I do" answers, not "this is what you HAVE to do" answers.

The answers to some of your questions will also vary from species to species. I breed 3 different types of BTS, and am adding a 4th right now. The methods I use are different for each. The info I mentioned in this thread is what I do with my northerns.

- I take 1-2 weeks to warm them up.
- I feed them the day after I set the final temp increase.
- I give them a normal meal. They may eat all, part, or none of it.
- I usually start pairing them the next day.
- Northern breeding has been unrelated to shedding for me.
- I judge how close the female is to being ready by her behavior. Sometimes they breed the first time, but if they don't, I have to decide if she is almost ready, or not close. I have a lot of skinks to pair, so if she does not seem close, I might not try her again for 4-5 days.
- I like to see a minimum of 4-5 copulations, but more is even better if they will do it for you.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby dsteamn » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:03 pm

Ok, so I have a question. My northerns have been awake and breeding for a couple of weeks. However, none of them have begun to eat. One of my males partially brumated but never fully went down. He stopped eating in November but has been expending energy almost daily. He has lost a noticeable amount of weight during the last couple of months. He seems healthy in all other respects. I have never had my pairs breed for such a long time without taking a bite. I have also not had any lose enough weight that you could look at them and tell. Normally I have the whole brumating thing figured out, but this behavior is a little different than what I'm used to. Is there anything I need to be concerned about or be doing differently?
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Richard.C » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:30 am

Just when u think u have them sussed they change things on you,depending on how you brumate,some stay quite active,mine were pretty active this season,some years they even eat reasonably well during cool periods,other years they dont eat at all,i dont change anything with mine,but room temp varies depending on whats going on outside

This season the northers bred over a month earlier than last year,plus for 4 weeks longer,6 weeks versus 2 weeks last season

Even with heat provided they can pick up on whats going on outside if not in climate controlled type rooms

I dont have to slow heat mine,bang lights go back on,but they hold off mating as background temps are still low,theres lots of variables depending on how they are kept
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Vegasarah » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:23 pm

My male Northern is up and moving around, feisty and flighty when I'm around (he's a cranky guy when he wakes up) but I haven't even turned his lights on yet. I'm thinking I will keep his light off in the hopes that he will calm down so my female has some time to wake up. She's down and out still, but I started cooling in late October so we're about ready for waking anyway. Is there a chance that I will miss a 'window' with my male if I can't get the female up and going soon enough? He's in 'breeder mode' right now as far as his behavior. But I want to slowly warm up my female which is going to take like 2 weeks. I'll turn his lights on now I guess? Then start my female a few days after? I know usually the males will wake up about a week earlier than females.
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Jeff » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:58 pm

If your male is already up, I would warm both of them up now if they have been cooled since October. Northerns don't require a staggered warm up. I have had great success warming males and females up at the same time.

There is always a chance that you will not get their breeding windows lined up, but if the male's window is open now, you should try to get the female ready as soon as possible, because he won't be interested forever. I have found that male northerns will sometimes breed for a month. Females tend to have much shorter windows for me. I never expect more than 2 weeks for a female. Sometimes I get even less than that.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
http://www.btskinks.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bluetong ... 846297977#
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Vegasarah » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:15 pm

Thanks so much for the response, Jeff! I'll turn her light on as soon as I get home :)
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Spindown » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:07 pm

thanks so much guys, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your expertise on this forum, and willingness to help! :)
I seriously wish I had fast forward so I could get them paired! Its killing me to wait to try again!!
~Alyy
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Spindown » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:33 pm

Well, I've been pairing them since last friday, which was about a week after they came up to full temperatures. The female was kinda leery of him the first few days and stared him down, but she was head bobbing and wiggling her tail like crazy. However, the male just seems to want to snuggle. X_X

I put them together for about 30 mins to an hour once a day. I've been putting them both in the males cage as he seems to be fairly timid. Its also an easier cage to get into faster if things go wrong.

How long should I wait/try them before I should start giving up on them making babies this year?
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Vegasarah » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:39 pm

I'm getting a lot of the same thing here. Disappointing, that is for sure.
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Spindown » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:17 pm

lol I just want to yell "make some babies!!!" :D
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby dsteamn » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:18 pm

Ok, so here's another interesting twist. My female woke up two weeks ago. She carried a ten day breeding cycle with eight successful connections. Then she started squaring off with the male and opening her mouth, kind of daring him to come closer to her, so I figured she was done for the season. A day later, she climbed back into her hide. Once a day, she came out and warmed herself for twenty minutes or so, then back to bed. She has yet to eat a bite.

Today she came out and was quite active, very warm, and looking around. I decided to pair again to see what would happen, and sure enough, they connected within a minute or two. The only thing I can figure is that she was still brumating so the first ten days didn't do anything, and maybe now she's more in the window? I know once they are pregnant they generally won't let the male near them.

Just goes to show ya, just when you think you have it all figured out, they remind you they really are on charge of it all
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Jeff » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:00 pm

It is common for a female to mate, then refuse, then allow mating again. I believe the only time they absolutely won't allow any more mating is after they ovulate. Up until that point, they may resume breeding again even if they stopped previously. Usually by the time a female resists strongly, I have already had time to get plenty of copulations so I have no reason to make any more attempts.

For me, if a female is very defensive/aggressive 3-4 times (in a row) after already breeding well, I consider her done even though I know there is a chance that she would allow more if I just keep trying.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks are coming out of brumation...when do I feed/pair

Postby Spindown » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:01 pm

My female gaped yesterday at my male, and a few days ago she made a mock bite at him, so I took that as she was done with him and separated. She wasnt really very serious about it, and I dont blame her for being annoyed with him :D
They locked up today, so I guess she's over it now :)

Nothing like the squaring up like mentioned previously though...thankfully for the male, since when she was gaping at him he decided to stick almost his whole head in her mouth LOL
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