T. Jacksoni Xantholophus Baby Adventure!

Tihshho

Established Member
Let's just start out with a day 1 pic:



No matter how much planning you can do, you can never be prepared for a clutch of babies. Specifically when selecting my female Xanth I chose a smaller one (5" nose to vent) in hopes of if she was pregnant the clutch size would be small. Since I picked her up two months ago she's gone through a few changes when it came to her housing.

1 - She was housed in alone
2 - Went from a 16x16x30 to 18x18x36
3 - UVB had been swapped from a CFL bulb to T5
4 - She was probably starting to get more nutrient food than where she was from

Since day 1 of having her I knew what I was getting myself into and had to prepare for the possibility of babies so I needed to make sure two things were fixed, first being that Mama Jax had everything she needed to be happy and healthy. So I went through with the help of everyone here and made sure that my husbandry was up to par. As I said above that started out with getting her out of her kit enclosure into a DIY screened enclosure and to get her on the right lighting. After that it was as simple as making sure her food and intake of minerals were right.

From there I set off to dig deeper into the whole "what to do when babies arrive" and started to tinker with different rearing enclosures. I built a few small DIY screened enclosures, but per what I read it seemed that these baby chams do best with being reared in glass enclosures. What's the next best thing to glass? Well, plastic! Being that I breed ball pythons, I'm a bin guy, so if bin's can be used they will darn well be used. I tinkered with cutting some bins to affix screen to one side and a top to provide adequate cross flow, but I couldn't get the humidity and the temps right per what I was playing with. Initially, I planned on housing the chams in a bin with an LED strip light for heat/daylight and a T5 UVB strip across all the bins for calcium management. Being that I was still testing, I didn't have everything laid out 100% so there was room for change.

Now let's talk about today, December 6th, 2019. Being that it's a Friday it's a day off for me, stumbled around in the morning and decided to start my day off with refreshing myself with some Chameleon Breeder Podcast! Started with the "yay, yikes" episode just to make sure I had everything that was my mental checklist in place expecting that I would see baby dragons running around in the beginning of the new year. Figured since the gestation was unknown and I had been checking every morning for babies that today wouldn't be the day to go downstairs to just get my hope knocked again. Started to get half way through the podcast and something in my mind was itching that I needed to go down to the basement and check on the cham's. Not sure why or what, but I needed to do it. I meander my way down and open the door to their room and from across the room it was clear...



I should have guessed this yesterday as her body went into full shed. You live and you learn, but now I'm going to plan on body shed being the pre-'lay' shed.

Ok, so now at this point I had been tinkering with bins, I even had a row on a rack sitting with a base layer of damp sphagnum and a top layer of ABG with some bamboo setup for perching and a few sprigs of pothos and hibiscus. Then panic ensued, first thing that came to mind was impaction... So I ended up pulling another empty bin and getting my sprigs of hibiscus potted in some sandy soil from the mother plant and then covered the top of the pot with filter floss as to keep the babies out to not eat the substrate and to not drown in any collected water. Ended up moving over some leaf litter and some of the bamboo climbing posts and then started on the phase of collecting babies.

One.. Two... Three... Ten... Eleven... Twenty... Twenty-six... Thirty! This 5" mama kicked out 30 babies! Whoa! Has me thinking more about what would have happened if I selected a bigger one. Now with the babies moved out of tired Mama's enclosure they are at this phase:



Now to figure out the actual plan since my initial set were blown out the water. Figured I could keep these guys under LED lighting for 24 hours just to keep an eye on them and let them settle. Meanwhile work on getting some other bins in order to split up the 30 into more manageable groups of say 5 or 10. Would UVB 5.0 be ok with these guys? How about dripping vs. misting when it comes to water?
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Let's just start out with a day 1 pic:



No matter how much planning you can do, you can never be prepared for a clutch of babies. Specifically when selecting my female Xanth I chose a smaller one (5" nose to vent) in hopes of if she was pregnant the clutch size would be small. Since I picked her up two months ago she's gone through a few changes when it came to her housing.

1 - She was housed in alone
2 - Went from a 16x16x30 to 18x18x36
3 - UVB had been swapped from a CFL bulb to T5
4 - She was probably starting to get more nutrient food than where she was from

Since day 1 of having her I knew what I was getting myself into and had to prepare for the possibility of babies so I needed to make sure two things were fixed, first being that Mama Jax had everything she needed to be happy and healthy. So I went through with the help of everyone here and made sure that my husbandry was up to par. As I said above that started out with getting her out of her kit enclosure into a DIY screened enclosure and to get her on the right lighting. After that it was as simple as making sure her food and intake of minerals were right.

From there I set off to dig deeper into the whole "what to do when babies arrive" and started to tinker with different rearing enclosures. I built a few small DIY screened enclosures, but per what I read it seemed that these baby chams do best with being reared in glass enclosures. What's the next best thing to glass? Well, plastic! Being that I breed ball pythons, I'm a bin guy, so if bin's can be used they will darn well be used. I tinkered with cutting some bins to affix screen to one side and a top to provide adequate cross flow, but I couldn't get the humidity and the temps right per what I was playing with. Initially, I planned on housing the chams in a bin with an LED strip light for heat/daylight and a T5 UVB strip across all the bins for calcium management. Being that I was still testing, I didn't have everything laid out 100% so there was room for change.

Now let's talk about today, December 6th, 2019. Being that it's a Friday it's a day off for me, stumbled around in the morning and decided to start my day off with refreshing myself with some Chameleon Breeder Podcast! Started with the "yay, yikes" episode just to make sure I had everything that was my mental checklist in place expecting that I would see baby dragons running around in the beginning of the new year. Figured since the gestation was unknown and I had been checking every morning for babies that today wouldn't be the day to go downstairs to just get my hope knocked again. Started to get half way through the podcast and something in my mind was itching that I needed to go down to the basement and check on the cham's. Not sure why or what, but I needed to do it. I meander my way down and open the door to their room and from across the room it was clear...



I should have guessed this yesterday as her body went into full shed. You live and you learn, but now I'm going to plan on body shed being the pre-'lay' shed.

Ok, so now at this point I had been tinkering with bins, I even had a row on a rack sitting with a base layer of damp sphagnum and a top layer of ABG with some bamboo setup for perching and a few sprigs of pothos and hibiscus. Then panic ensued, first thing that came to mind was impaction... So I ended up pulling another empty bin and getting my sprigs of hibiscus potted in some sandy soil from the mother plant and then covered the top of the pot with filter floss as to keep the babies out to not eat the substrate and to not drown in any collected water. Ended up moving over some leaf litter and some of the bamboo climbing posts and then started on the phase of collecting babies.

One.. Two... Three... Ten... Eleven... Twenty... Twenty-six... Thirty! This 5" mama kicked out 30 babies! Whoa! Has me thinking more about what would have happened if I selected a bigger one. Now with the babies moved out of tired Mama's enclosure they are at this phase:



Now to figure out the actual plan since my initial set were blown out the water. Figured I could keep these guys under LED lighting for 24 hours just to keep an eye on them and let them settle. Meanwhile work on getting some other bins in order to split up the 30 into more manageable groups of say 5 or 10. Would UVB 5.0 be ok with these guys? How about dripping vs. misting when it comes to water?
I think shooting for a uvi of 2-3 is a safe level for the babies, so whatever gets you that. I’ve heard a lot of breeders say handmisting for babies.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
Nothing goes plan A. It's been a life motto at this point. Killer part for me is that I'm going to a wedding out of state on Sunday and won't be back till Tuesday. Going to have to find a sitter QUICK!

As I don't have a local place to get a MistKing to setup for these guys I'm thinking about grabbing a monsoon and setting it to spray every two hours during the lighting cycle for a few seconds to keep up humidity and give them a chance to drink without causing puddles in the enclosure. I also am thinking due to the fact I'm going to be away that I might need to move them into an ExoTerra to keep the conditions more constant. I hate doing things last minute.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
wow, 30 babies is a lot. Congrats, I hope you have tons of pinhead crickets or flightless fruit flies for when they start to get hungry.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nothing goes plan A. It's been a life motto at this point. Killer part for me is that I'm going to a wedding out of state on Sunday and won't be back till Tuesday. Going to have to find a sitter QUICK!

As I don't have a local place to get a MistKing to setup for these guys I'm thinking about grabbing a monsoon and setting it to spray every two hours during the lighting cycle for a few seconds to keep up humidity and give them a chance to drink without causing puddles in the enclosure. I also am thinking due to the fact I'm going to be away that I might need to move them into an ExoTerra to keep the conditions more constant. I hate doing things last minute.
Though I’m probably not qualified, I’m happy to provide you my email/phone# so your babysitter can contact someone if there’s an emergency. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d be surprised if...say...our resident Jackson’s expert wouldn’t offer assistance here too.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
Thanks for all the help everyone! I'll be sure to reach out if I need anything. Right now is just making sure I have everything they need together.

About to go out and grab some plants and another ExoTerra as I have one 18x18x24 sitting, but another to split the group into two 15's makes more sense to me. I just hate having to change plans from bins, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
At this stage they need feeding and misting twice a day. Densly plant what every you keep them in they really don't like to be able to see each other.
I keep my UVB raised of the top of the enclosure when they are very little. They tend to live in the underbrush at this stage and get less exposure. They are also more prone to dehydration.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
No help in this dept but I would like to watch this thread :) congrats on the babies! We don’t see Jackson babies very often.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
It's been a long day...

Got back home about 6pm with a ton of plants, a temp misting setup, some fake vines, a T5 uvb fixture with uvb 5.0, as much pinhead crickets as I was allowed to leave with (seems like I met their daily limit as to make feeders available for others), and two starter cultures of fruitflies that were not listed as hydei or melanagaster...

30 minute drive to go to where I can get supplies gave me some time to think. I decided to go with a solo 18x18x24 until I get back from my trip. This will allow the offspring some time to settle and some time to eat. Once they become more active, I'll split the group.

Got home to get the enclosure ready, but before I went to try feeding the new little ones. Dusted some pinheads with Repashy LoD and threw them in their bin... I've never seen so many tongues shoot out of the brush. It's definitely an experience. Gave them about 10 minutes to hunt and then spritzed down the enclosure with a hand pump sprayer just to give them something to drink.

Now feeding and watering were done, I went through and pulled out a scheflera I got (bought two for when I split the group) and gave it a quick wash in the shower. Shook it to get most of the water off the plant and let it sit to drain any excess water that got into the soil. Luckily I have a great organic nursery in town that has a greenhouse full of tropicals! Went and situated the ExoTerra in the living room so I could keep an eye on things easier and setup the Monsoon misting system. As a Mist King user, I have to say this thing is overpriced plastic, but when you're running low on options near by it will have to do. Routed the line, mounted the nozzle and filled up the reservoir with RO/DI and just did a few manual sprays with it as it was getting late. From there I moved in a fake vine and got the lighting up and then brought the babies upstairs to get them in their new home. Anyone on the previous branches were moved in on the branches, with the stragglers on the stakes moved in one by one and then the leaf crawlers one by one.

Here we are as of tonight. Disregard the Mist King nozzles as they are there from when this used to be setup for a harem of crested geckos.
 

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Tihshho

Established Member
Day #2

As of right now things are going well. Only issue was finding food sources for these little guys. Ended up having to drive to a handful of different petshops to find feeders for these guys. Pinheads are next to non existent, but I was able to find extra small crickets and fruit flies at some chain petstores.

One strong recommendation is have for anyone picking up a female Jackson's that's either a sub adult or an adult, just get fruit fly cultures going the same week you get the cham home. Yeah, you may not use them for months, but when you do you're going to be glad you have them. Why? Right now I'm on day #2 without having feeders already sitting, and I can't order any as I'll be out of town until Tuesday starting tomorrow evening. 2 days of feeding so far have added up to close to $100, where I could have had 6-8 established fruitfly cultures and a box of 500 or 1000 pinheads for half that and they would have been providing food for a week or so.

One issue I'm running into with feeders are that they don't hang onto the shafflera for long before a handful are eaten and some fall to the base of the enclosure where no one is. From there it takes extra time for the flies to climb up a stake, vine or the glass to get in front of a cham for them to be able to even reach it. Another issue I'm having is that the food is drowning in the moist leaves (specifically fruitflies) during a misting and the crickets that end up falling to the bottom end up drowning in a pinhead droplet of water.

Regardless of the feeder issue, babies seem to be healthy and happy. The only thing I'm contemplating is if I need to up their daylight bulb from a 40w to a 60w as the little babies are all dark and not showing any other colors which to me is a sign of being cold.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
BTW: I noticed you posted this in triceros: nice!
Figured I'd start posting in the correct section in hopes that others would do the same ;)

How is the poor momma doing? Poor girl must be exhausted.
She's pretty tired. Day of birth she decided to actually drink during one of the misting times I saw. I've been feeding her superworms and dubias in hopes of getting her full and getting some weight back on her.
 
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