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Posted by Rob Carmichael on March 18, 2003 at 07:43:08:
In Reply to: interesting stuff Terry... posted by DeanAlessandrini on March 14, 2003 at 12:11:34:
These are all very interesting comments/observations (makes me realize just how little we all really know!). The egg I massaged was, ironically, a good egg for which I was very suprised (the last time she had difficulty, there were two slugs). Obviously, something isn't quite right but she did lay nine good eggs which is much better than in year's past. DT mentioned that keeping indigos well hydrated (both orally and in the actual nest box) is a very important factor in egg laying success. There does appear to be many factors involved and one that I think it pertinent in this case, is that this female was bred at too early an age (my fault). I am going to give her at least a year or two off and see what happens next time. I am also incorporating more full spectrum lighting (and exposure to indirect sunlight) and more natural denning areas in the enclosures.
::I've collected some gravid females (only a few) over the years...
:A bullsnake, a couple black rats, a black king or 2...as I remember, all the eggs were always fertile. Same goes with a few gravid turtles I've collected and hatched the eggs out.
:I think it's fair to say it's impossible to create EXACT environmental conditions in captivity...unless you keep them out side within the range of the animals!
:So...I would bet that the closer you get to the natural climate conditions with seasonal fluctuations in light, heat, humdity, etc the better your chances with fertility.
:Of course diet variation and other factors may also come into play.
:We may never be able to get it 100% perfect.