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Posted by dvl on November 19, 2002 at 18:37:26:
I am starting to work on (what I hope to be) my new Gila pen. I am near Houston Tx . I have had success breeding chucks , desert iguanas and various other desert lizards in my pen. It is 30 ft X 30ft and covered from rain with a clear roof. My main questions now are how to build the underground structure. I am thinking of using concrete culverts( 12" round)for the main chambers (plural) with cinder blocks for the tunnel system connecting them to each other and ther outside world. I would put some "access doors" in the top of the pipe so I could take a look from time to time. One ( of many) big question is about egg laying and hatching---I intend to let nature run its course, risky to say the least! Should I keep the culverts solid or should I knock holes in the walls for the females to burrow into to surrounding soils to lay eggs? Do Gilas in habitat lay eggs from inside of rocky dens or do they lay them by digging from the surface? This underground phase is going to be more important than the "finished product" on the surface. Attached is a link to some pics of the pen--most of the cactus pics are also from inside the pen. The posted pic you see is my existing chuck pen.
Regards- and sorry for the ramblin'