16-05-2015, 10:57 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Originally Posted by SleepyD
There’s been numerous threads and posts/questions about breeding leo’s ~ how-to, when, what if, etc ~ so thought I’d post a few personal thoughts about this here ~
Time, Patience and Planning ~
All of these are needed ~ not only to choose leo’s carefully but also to research what is needed, what can go wrong, what is best to ensure not only healthy hatchlings but also to keep your leo’s in good health and time to get everything needed ready well in advance.
Q – Can I keep my male with my female all the time?
Males mature earlier then females ~ which is why I always recommend separating them before 4 months of age ~ and I recommend keeping them separated unless they’re the right age/weight and breeding is wanted and planned for ~ just because littl’jonboy hasn’t done anything to mildred yet don’t mean that sooner or later he won’t ~ he’ll eventually be ready but chances are she won’t be and nor will you; and on the same note no littl’jonboy won’t be all lonely because he’s not got a girlfriend or two to cuddle.
Q- How old and big does a female have to be?
As a general guide females should be in good health and a bare minimum of 12 months old (preferably older) and over 50g-55g in weight ~ however I feel that there are also other important points to think about too ~ buying a female hatched the year before doesn’t always guarantee that she is old enough nor does being ‘breeding’ weight mean they can be bred yet, also buying adult females at the start of a year/season doesn’t necessarily mean that they can be bred that same year/season ~ far better to wait a season, practise quarantine and patience and get the females up to optimum condition and health first ~ females don’t just need careful looking after during the breeding season i.e.: extra food, extra calcium requirements etc, but they also need time to build up before the breeding season.
How a female is looked after before breeding can influence how well she does ~ breeding underweight, too young, ill, over-stressed, over-breeding, can all potentially lead to sometimes fatal problems not only with the female’s health but also with any eggs/hatchlings she may have. Depending on age and health a single female can lay in excess of eight clutches and it can and does take a lot out of her ~ be prepared to remove a male leo into a separate viv after he’s done the deed ~ males continually wanting to mate can stress a gravid female.
If you have more then one female again be prepared to keep them in their own vivs/tubs during the season ~ not all females will tolerate others especially when they’re gravid and competing for laying areas.
Q – When do I need to get the stuff ready for breeding?
If you haven’t bred before then take the time to read and research about it first ~ it can save a lot of hassle and problems later on.
Get everything ready in advance ~ incubators (whether home-made or bought), tubs/rubs for hatchlings along with bigger rubs as they grow, heat mats/strips, stats, thermometers, stacks and all the other bits that breeding entails ~ it all needs to be checked and ready beforehand not left till the last minute. Check round for a good livefood supplier who can supply regular orders ~ don’t just rely on a local shop ~ you don’t want to be in the position of running out of livefood during the season.
Q – How much does it cost?
Be prepared to spend ….. a lot ~ and don’t expect to make a profit or even break even. Most I know including myself only just about cover the costs ~ if we’re lucky.
Even cutting costs with home-made incubators, hides, DIY rubs and tubs the costs mount up ~ extra livefood (not just for the adults but all the hatchlings) plus the food for gutloading, supplements, vet fee’s if anything should go wrong as well as the other costs like electricity. Take into account that most leo’s are at least eight weeks old before they’re sold so space is also going to be at a premium; be prepared to keep the hatchlings longer too as selling them is not guaranteed.
There is also a cost in the time needed to spend on them all ~ it isn’t just an hour a day and that’s that; you can’t take time out and leave them for a weekend or so because you’re tired or want to go out with your friends ~ just because you can cut costs/corners in some ways does not mean that you can or should in others least of all with the health and well-being of the leo’s in mind.
Q – I gonna buy and breed leo’s
Anybody can buy a load of leo’s, call themselves a breeder and set themselves up as such ~ but to my mind a good Breeder not only researches first and cares about their leo’s but is someone who works with what is in their leo’s best interest not their own.
Harsh? Maybe yes ~ breeding leo’s responsibly takes time, planning, patience, money along with research and reading ~ it’s not just a case of buying/shoving leo’s together to do the bizz asap nor should it be a case of being used to ‘big’ someone’s ego ~ unfortunately this increasingly seems to be happening.
Hit the nail on the head
As a first time reptile owner this couldn't of sent a more clearer message I hope people understand it's about passion not money