I just sent out May's newsletter. This month we are covering educational info on the importance of gradually sizing up enclosures for Western Hognoses, why bigger is not better, and include some awesome promotions!
March 29, 2019
It is with a very heavy heart that I have some devastating news to share
First, let me say me and my partner have put everything we have into our animals. They are pets first, we can tell them all apart at a glance - even normal hatchlings. We name all of our animals. Most of what we make goes back into ensuring our animals have the highest care and quality of life.
We have always been extremely selective with who we purchase from, (only reputable, respected breeders.) Our animals are all quarantined, for 3 – 6 months. Inspected regularly, their enclosures are kept immaculate, vet visits happen when we suspect anything. I can only work part-time due to medical reasons, but I have never let this interfere with any of our animals. We sanitize everything with bleach and F10, careful with any chance of cross-contamination. At expos we always have clients sanitize before touching any of our animals, the same goes for house visitors. We don’t board animals, for fear of even the chance of cross-contamination.
We are paranoid to the tenth degree over quality, and the fear of contamination, as we have seen over the years how easy it is to contract deadly reptile diseases and have them spread through a collection like wildfire.
We Hold back babies far longer than most breeders, just to be extra sure they are eating fantastic, and are as healthy as possible.
When I am not working with our animals, I am drawing them, writing care sheets and spending countless hours helping folks who have not even bought from us. We both live for our animals. It is my passion inside and out.
What with the Cryptosporidium scares and all the new info about it coming to light, plus finally a clear way of testing, we wanted to play it safe and send a bunch of tests away just to put our minds at ease. We never expected to get anything dire back.
Much like any breeder, we have experienced losses over time, we have always been forthright and never hidden this. We have talked about these loses with the public, and other breeders, far more knowledgeable than ourselves, and have heard time and time again how common it is to lose hogs for seemingly no reason. Most of our losses have been pretty cut and dry. AKA things like egg binding.
We pride ourselves in keeping healthy animals that eat very regularly (even for hogs) keep consistent weight, and do all the things a snake is supposed to do. That is why I was so shocked that during the time of collecting enough faecal matter to send away for the Crypto tests, one of our breeding males suddenly dropped a ton of weight, we quarantined immediately, pulling him from breeding. He had fishy smelling diarrhea. Which I have never run into. (No regurging, or swelling) but also had no appetite either. Within two weeks, (the start of when he showed any changes) he went downhill the fastest I have ever seen, and promptly died.
We were not able to get a decent faecal sample from him within that time, so as advised by RAL labs, we did two swabs post mortem. This snake was never a strong eater, but never looked or acted sickly, if anything, he had been gaining weight nicely shortly prior.
We sent away 7 samples to RAL as soon as we could. Monday, March 25, 2019, at very late at night we got the results in. 3/7 samples we sent away tested positive for Crypto.
We are beyond devasted. The male who suddenly died tested positive for Crypto. The female he was bread to, showing no signs of Crypto, tested positive as well. The third had never been bred to that male, being from a different morph list, and has added to the devastation due to having shown no signs of Crypto either, but also tested positive.
We have had three males in quarantine this year, each for their own reason.
1, was in quarantine only for a very short 2 weeks before he died. He was placed in quarantine the moment he seemed off. (That is the snake that has been mentioned and tested.)
2, had lost some weight but has remained a great eater. He has had some diarrhea, with no other symptoms. This male is almost fully back to full health, and has gained almost all his lost weight back., and has tested fully negative for Crypto. Along with a few other common problems we also tested for. He will need two more tests, to be sure he does not have Crypto. Due to Cryptos’ life cycle, sometimes tests show negative, hence why it is suggested to do 3 tests over 3 months time, for each animal.
3, We imported him during brumation time, he continued his brumation after arrival and refused food once out of brumation. Not so strange for a breeding weight male looking for a female. He came from a trusted breeder, and when we were told he was a fantastic eater, we believed him (and still do!) due to the size and weight and condition of him. However, his first poop which was tiny and barely noticeable was too watery, closer to diarrhea than stool, so we pulled him from breeding and put him in quarantine until he would eat more. Since then, he has started to take live food and his stool has firmed up. Never has had regurged at all in our care. I sooner think the mild diarrhea was my fault for brumating him for not long enough, at a cool enough temperature. (We were trying a different approach to brumating this year.)
We wanted to test him with the small batch we did, but due to his hunger strike, we had no poop to test. Now that he is eating, his sample will be sent along with the rest of the collection.
Aside from the three males mentioned, the rest of our animals have been acting fantastic.
We have always tried our best to keep as little as possible chance of cross contamination between any of our animals, but somehow, I guess it happened, that or they have been silently carrying.
Over the course of this year, We will be testing every single animal here at least 3 times and then doing random monthly tests as a regular part of our care. We still have no clue how this happened. We have gone above and beyond to keep this nightmare from happening and it still did.
We are still very much trying to process it all. Both the scientific side, where we could have gone wrong, and the grief of it all.
Aside from the first snake mentioned that had such an insane decline, none of our animals has met the common outline of what to expect for signs and symptoms of Crypto. I need you all to know this, because I know like us, there is a TON of dedicated keepers and breeders who love their animals more than life itself, and like us, have gone above and beyond to ensure their animal’s well-being, but also like us likely don’t/didn’t have the slightest expectation that this could be present in healthy presenting animals.
I want to use this hard lesson to urge everyone to test regularly, and not just breeders, but keepers, and wholesalers too. If we caught this, regardless of how picky we are, I can only imagine what is in collections that are all too commonly bought by whim, and from unknown sources, with minimal precautions taken.
I will not point fingers at anyone or speculate who I think we got Crypto from. We honestly have no clue. We have carefully picked our animals from respected breeders across the world to ensure genetic diversity and health.
Our hearts are truly broken. I feel like we failed our animals, and now will be putting our past clients through turmoil. We are truly sorry.
We will be trying our best to clean up this mess and to remain ever honest and forthright with how we plan to go forward, for ourselves, our animals, our clients, and the hobby itself.
As it stands, this is our current to-do list. As we learn more from dealing with this, I expect to make adaptations to this list.
- Notify clients who have deposits for animals at the upcoming expos. (Done)
- Fully – refund all down deposits for the two upcoming expos. (Done)
- Alert our clients on our fb pg., and our website that we have this, as well as highly encouraging them, and everyone else to get their animals tested, three times, over three months. (Done)
- Cancel this year’s expos (Done)
- Getting all of our animals tested, which includes more tests for the ones who have already been tested.
- I may try re-testing the ones that tested positive from a diff company before I cull, just in case.
- Everywhere has been showing that eggs cannot carry Crypto, so we will be fully quarantining the hatchlings away from existing animals, these future babies will also be tested.
- We will not be having ANY reptiles come in, or leave here, until we have back all results from at least 3 tests of each animal, even then, we will likely wait for further tests. Or a year of clean tests coming consistently back.
- If we continue breeding, we may be looking at implementing crypto certification of health with each baby sale.
We are open and seeking advice from the community. We have never dealt with anything like this before. Hell, I swear on my grandmother’s grave - we have not even had a single case of mites here.
We need advice on how to ensure our racks, and reptile room can be deemed clean and clear. I have started the process of taking all of the animals off their bedding and swapping them onto paper towel.
I am not sure if this is needed but, we will be tearing out the carpet in our living room, which is where our hogs are.
A lot of my prior research had shown F10 to be effective against Crypto, but as the info with Joe Schmit came about folks were saying that even F10 is now considered not to be enough. JJ and I have been doing extra research and are reading that peroxide or Ammonia soaked for 20 minutes kills 90% crypto. Some folks had suggested hand steamers, but there seems to not be any scientific info on how long a steamer would need to be used, what temp etc. There is far too much speculation surrounding this topic.
I also need to know what is the best way of in general saving what we can of our animals.
We have done no sales internationally for those of you who may be concerned that way.
Again, we profoundly apologize for the turmoil this has caused and will be doing everything possible to make it right. I have been extremely ill from all of this, and it is taking time going back and forth with professionals to figure out what is fact or fiction. We wanted to get enough base information so that we were not culling or causing fear over potential false positives. We are bringing this to everyone’s attention as fast as possible.
The 7 animals we sent for testing are all adults.
We tested for these types of Crypto:
Cryptosporidium saurophilum (Lizard) All came back negative for this one.
Cryptosporidium serpentis (Snake)
The animals that we tested for have been in our care for years, and as already mentioned were not showing crypto signs up until that male suddenly dropped on us.
We have never once heard from any of our clients of their animals becoming ill and or dying.
From talking to people about this, it is becoming more and more evident that this can hide without signs in animals for longer than a year, possibly two years.
Info I have learned since last night (March 28, 2019)
- It has been suggested by a vet to send one of the positive animal’s samples to a different Lab to extra check. To my knowledge it is not possible to have a false positive, regardless, we will be doing a second opinion just in case.
- It has been suggested by someone who has been dealing with Crypto to do the following in terms of trying to deep sanitize everything.
- Gloves - put on fresh gloves for each rack and between species.
- NEVER move bins/tubs within the rack into a different spot. If I've had a snake euthanized, nothing goes into that spot until the rack has been thoroughly steam cleaned. That seems to be the best way to sanitize.
A Hand steamer that reaches 205 degrees and the required temperature is minimum of 165. I'm well above that and go over the whole "ceiling" 3 times on each level. Tubs are sprayed with 12% hydrogen peroxide, left to sit for 30 minutes, then washed in dawn dish soap. 15 qt and smaller then go into my dishwasher, on steam/sanitize cycle. That's a 3-hour cycle, I don't think anything survives that. Bigger tubs get hit with the steamer after hydrogen peroxide/dawn.
Steamer - https://smile.amazon.com/HS-20R-Handheld-Steam-Cleaner-Attachments/dp/B006MCMSW8/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=haan+steamer&qid=1553823119&s=gateway&sr=8-8
It does not turn the room into a sauna, like some worry. But you would want to have the rack completely empty - or at least 3 shelves above the one you're steaming.
This is the Lab that I initially did tests with RAL, but I think I will also be doing tests with the one under it.
As always, if anyone has information to help with this it is more than appreciated.
March 17, 2020
RRC Abbotsford Reptile Expo Update
Hey everyone, were given the green light by the BCRC reptile board to vend at the upcoming spring Abbotsford Reptile expo. (April 25/26) Unfortunately, we just received confirmation that due to the Corona virus that at this time the expo will be cancelled.
JJ and I have discussed making our expo exclusive sales available online for the whole month of April. We will post the sales info, along with the available animals in the next week or so. We are working hard on getting everything up on the website. Please be patient. We will post on our FB page once the availability list is up.
- Our sales will stack with those buying multiple animals and for repeat customers.
- $35 BC Mainland shipping (unless flight is needed) Canada Wide Shipping available April 30th via Air Canada.
As always, if you ever have questions or concerns please reach out to us.
March 06, 2020
Hi everyone, I know it has been a while since we have made any updates. We have been focusing on our animals.
We have awesome news to share: our most recent set of tests came back with 0 positives!
It has taken a LOT of work to get to this point. Many said it was impossible, it wasn’t. It’s just not easy by any means. It has upped our workload by 3X at least and has cost a lot of extra money in testing, in supplies, and the lack of sales, which normally covers the snakes living expenses.
It took us a little extra time to get to this point, as I live with severe Fibromyalgia. At the initial time of testing positive, my work laid everyone off. Finding work in a small Canadian town with a disability is not easy. I used up all of my savings, and then some, to do the first initial rounds of testing. We were able to catch the majority of positives during that time.
With each test, we have seen fewer positives. We believe that by combining the monthly tests, with very strict sanitization and quarantine methods is what has made it all pay off.
I had to wait a couple of months before we could do the collection as a whole, as we just did not have the finances to do the level of testing needed to feel secure that we would be clear of this. During that time, as promised:
- No new animals came in
- None of our animals left.
- We wore a new pair of gloves for each animal for feeding and cleaning.
- All cleaning was done with dish soap, high steam, and high percentage peroxide.
- Steam cleaning became part of the regular household cleaning.
- Any and all positives were put down.
Due to the support of a family friend, we were able to re-start testing on a large scale from scratch. This included testing every neonate with three consecutive tests, each test spanning the samples of a whole month (to better to catch the oocyst in its cycle), as well as four consecutive tests for juveniles and adults.
As of today, the neonates have had their three sets of tests, not a single one has tested positive so we will leave it at that. The older animals have also had their third consecutive test and will go in for a fourth test soon. Our breeders technically have 5 tests already under their belt, but again, because of the cycle, we want four consecutive tests, one per month.
At this date, we have had 10 confirmed positives. All of which have been put down. We opted to put down a couple more animals as we felt they were at too high of a risk due to possible exposure.
As mentioned, not a single neonate from 2019 has tested positive since the very beginning of our tests. Most of the positives were breeding adults who had shared enclosures for the season. Although we were using bleach and F10 to sanitize lay bins and other enclosure equipment, as we now know - that is not enough.
Out of the 10 animals that tested positive only 2 ever showed any kind of signs. The first one was mentioned in our first update and one at a later date who had the tiniest of swelling in the lower midsection (hardly noticeable unless you were searching, and even then). This is very important to note because, since the beginning of this nightmare, I have been trying to educate and warn fellow breeders and keepers. Sadly, most still think they don’t need to test because their animals are not showing signs. This is just not the case, regardless of who you purchased from.
I strongly encourage everyone to read my older posts on this. There is a wealth of hard-earned information in them. It turns out that Cryptosporidium, even by reptile based scientific papers, is regarded by no means rare, it is actually considered common.
You do not need to send tests away for your entire collection IF you are just testing as a precaution. Talking with Chad Lytle at Research Associates Laboratory, he speculates testing about 10% of your collection would give a good indicator. I also want to make it clear I am not being paid etc. for mentioning RAL. They are just the lab we have used; due to the fact they do a very specific type of testing (PCR - Polymerase chain reaction) at a very affordable price.
What is in the future for us at RRC?
- We will continue to follow the same cleaning and sanitization methods.
- As a safety precaution, we have decided to do sporadic testing after the last round of tests as part of our general upkeep.
Due to tables booking up quickly at the Abbotsford Spring Expo we tentatively booked vendor tables. (We will have our extra round of testing completed prior to that expo.) We have had a meeting with some of the BCRC board members, and there will be a vote on whether we can attend this time.
If we do vend –
- All of our display containers and other expo equipment have been fully sterilized.
- No animals will be handled outside their containers.
- We will be wearing gloves for any handling of animals, just to put people’s minds at ease.
- EVERY SINGLE animal sold this year will come with their full proof of testing.
- We will not be bringing a demo animal as we do not want to expose them unnecessarily to anything at the event and also to cover ourselves of any potential accusations.
- If we purchase any animals, they will receive their own set of full tests before leaving their 3-4-month quarantine.
Going forward we will continue to practice honesty and integrity to all. We have been an open book since day one and as always, we highly encouraging anyone who may have any questions or concerns, to reach out to us via email or pm.
March 25, 2020
Our Western Hognose eviction notice list is now up. :) Please pm our FB Business page if you have any questions, we are always happy to help. ~ Radiant Reptiles Canada
Aug. 06, 2019
Hi everyone, I apologize on the lack of over all updates. Cryptosporidium testing has been a slow process due to being off work due to medical reasons. For this reason, there has not been a lot to update with. Regardless, we have been going above and beyond to ensure the containment and continual testing here.
What we are doing
We put all of our animals on quarantine as soon as we got the first results of having Cryptosporidium Since we believe in transparency, we want to break it down to show how exactly we are approaching this as well as it may help other’s out there dealing with this.
Our Cryptosporidium quarantine includes:
No animals coming or going until the full set of tests are complete and clear.
Paper towel substrate – makes for collecting samples easier
Gloves - A fresh pair of gloves worn for any and all interactions, such as feeding, cleaning of cages, and handling.
Steam cleaning – This is a huge one as high steam is one of the few things proven to kill crypto. We have been steaming any and all tools, cages, racks, (essentially any surfaces that could carry crypto.) We also purchased a dishwasher as the heavy setting is hot enough to kill crypto. This has helped with water dishes etc.
High % Peroxide. This is one of the other few methods of killing Crypto. We are using a bottle of 29% food grade peroxide diluted down to 12%, which is still higher than what health Canada says is the minimum for killing Cryptosporidium. We have been using this combined with steaming to clean cages, bowls etc. * It is important to note that Bleach and products like F10 do NOT kill crypto.
Testing – We have been running all of our tests via a USA based lab (RAL - http://www.vetdna.com/test-type/reptiles ) We have yet to find a reasonably priced CAN lab that also does not require all samples to go through a vet. We feel this creates a huge barrier issue for Canadians and is very much a part of the issue.
We have been in no rush to get back to selling as our main concern has been clearing this and ensuring the snakes are in good health. Due to needing to space the tests out a little further than what we would like, we have developed the following process.
Each animal has fecal matter collected as often as possible. This is placed in a Ziplock and stored. When it comes time to send away for the tests, we have been combining all samples from that individual animal, mixed with water. A cue tip is inserted into the slurry and then placed in a fresh labelled baggy to be sent off for testing. The existing mix and samples are then discarded. The reason for mixing the samples is that in this way we are getting more fecal matter based over a longer period of time that should have a higher chance of picking up the lifecycle of crypto. We are of course are still running the full number of tests as well.
So far it is looking like crypto has primarily been an issue within our breeding adults. Which makes sense as if one male who has crypto gets paired with 2 females you suddenly have 3 snakes you have to euthanize. We have taken a huge loss from this. We are a small home-based breeder, who views each animal as a pet foremost. Our animals all have names and we know them individually. The financial loss has been hard but the loss of some of our favourite pets has been devastating.
It is important to note that even now we have had no clients contact us saying they have had any sick or dying reptiles. We are hoping that we caught this early on.
Our current goal is to have all of our testing done and re-open our sales by early spring 2020 or sooner.
Future Sales any babies that were for sale while we learned that crypto was in our collection will receive a minimum of 3 consistent negative crypto tests before having their sale prices adjusted to reflect the test costs. Any clients that had been refunded their down deposit when we first learned of having this will be contacted and offered first dibs. We apologize for the slight rise in prices in advance but we feel that having the ease of mind on both sides is well worth the cost.
Hatchlings from the animals that were paired before knowing we had this were quarantined at birth in a separate room, and given their own set of supplies. All of the reliable sources we have found have said that there is no scientific proof that crypto is able to pass directly into the egg. Yes, there is a very small % chance that the nest box substrate, or an oocyst passing from the female’s vent transferred to the outside of the shell, because of this, we are also testing each baby.
Future Babies - Future hatchlings will receive one negative test before being offered for sale.
ALL ANIMALS SOLD will come with a strong suggestion that the buyer should continue testing during their new animals’ quarantine.
It is our hope that by setting these high standards that crypto testing will become commonplace. We hope to inspire both seller and buyer to expect to do regular testing to ensure the future health and well-being of all reptiles.
We apologize for any turmoil this may cause. As always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
How can you prevent Crypto, or the spread of it?
(This is not meant to be a definitive guide)
Treat any purchased second-hand items with 10+% Peroxide and heat/steam that exceeds 113°F for 20 minutes or 122°F for 5 minutes or 162°F for 1 minute.
Clothes that may have come in contact may be washed and heat-dried on the highest dryer heat setting for 30 minutes.
During a new reptiles’ quarantine period, treat it as if it may have crypto. This includes the full 3-4 tests. Yes, even if it came from a friend or reputable source. No one is immune to this. Moving forward with any future purchases we make we will be running a full set of tests before bringing the animal out of quarantine.
Testing – Testing is required regardless of whether the animal is looking/acting sick, or even if you have had the reptile for years, as crypto can be asymptomatic for years at a time. Even during the asymptomatic period tests can and do still show positive. I have verified this.
It is important to note that depending on what style of tests you run that some labs and home test kits will pick up on Crypto that is harmless to reptiles, but can be carried by mice or even in your home water, which could lead to a false positive. So, it is important to either cross-test positives, or test through a lab that is using sequencing to specifically pick up on Varanii (Lizard crypto) and or Serpentis. (Snake crypto.) Again, RAL labs are who we have been sending all of our tests through and we run both the test for Serpentis and Varanii. As of to this date we have had 0 positives for the lizard strain of crypto.
For years everyone was told that unless your animals are showing multiple signs of crypto to not bother with testing. I and many other breeders have even been told this by vets. This info is very wrong, and a part of the spread of this parasite. Due to the nature of Crypto's life cycle, it is important to space your testing out over a month’s time for each test. There need to be 3-4 tests run over a period of 3-4 months. False negatives do happen, but with multiple tests the odds are as close as you can get to guaranteed.
Currently, there are a LOT of breeders and sellers NOT testing for crypto at this time, even if they do test, many are not testing 3 + times per animal. Testing once and calling it good because you got a set of negatives means nothing. It is the responsibility of a good seller to test multiple times, but there is also a responsibility on the buyer’s part to take the time to research the breeder/seller and to ask the right questions as well and to continue testing on their end.
We highly recommend asking about crypto testing for any future purchases you may have, regardless of who the seller is, or how good their reputation is. Remember, we have been beyond picky with who we buy from and practised basic quarantining and still got this.
There is a TON of misconceptions out there regarding reptile Crypto. This is a parasite that is predominantly passed via cross-contamination of fecal matter and water sources. A lot of people imagine this to be something airborne, that spreads like a cold. Or something that will haunt you unless you burn everything to the ground. This stems from out-of-date information. So long as it is caught early on, and that all measures are being taken to properly sanitize and contain the situation, it is quite possible to rid it from a collection. I am in no way trying to downplay how infectious this parasite is. We have spent countless hours reading on this topic as well as talking with others who have/had this as well as people working at labs who deal with this on a day-to-day basis.
Aug. 23, 2020
Big Ellie X Captain DBL Clutch Hatching
I went to check the incubator on what I thought was failing eggs to find a bunch of beautiful healthy babies fully out of their eggs. It honestly made my day.
The eggs were so tiny, and with this heatwave, I thought the incubator spiked so this good news is extra fortunate.
We also were able to prove which dad took thanks to this double clutch.
Oh, and for size reference, the biggest baby is 4.49 grams. A real man-eater lol.
Pics don't do these guys justice. The two in the back are lavenders. All will look better after a couple sheds.
big Ellie" Hypo, 100% Het Lavender (100% Het Purple Haze) 50% Pos Het Axanthic, 25% Pos Het Caramel, Albino
"Captain" Normal 100% Het Lavender, 50%5 Pos Het Sable, 50% Pos het Albino.
March 24, 2020
RRC Testing Update
Fantastic news, we just received our last full set of cryptosporidium tests back and absolutely everyone was negative on them!
We are confident to start selling again and looking forward to the future. With getting this news back sooner than we expected, I hope to have the availability test finished within the next couple of days.
A big thank you, and much love to everyone who stood by us through this.
Here you will find upcoming news relating to us, this includes events, expos, hatches, est.
Updated May. 18, 2021
Dec. 24, 2020
Season's Greetings from us at Radiant Reptiles Canada!
Education has always been at the heart of everything we do here at RRC. We hope that by
adding a newsletter, it will let folks have better access to our educational info along with exciting news and events such as - expo dates, exclusive promotions, early-bird sales, availability updates, and more!
As always, we encourage questions and suggestions. If you have an idea for a future
newsletter topic please email us at - RadiantReptilesCanada@gmail.com
you can sign up and view our past newsletters here.
Jan. 15, 2021
Availability in 2021
Currently, we have some babies that are being weaned that will eventually be available along with the future babies of 2021.
No babies are available until they are on the availability page. We have yet to decide our holdbacks, and non of the current babies are close to their 10 meal mark. This is why they are not yet posted. As stated above, we can guess or hope on animals and visuals, but until they have hatched and are eating consecutive meals, we can not speculate on their availability.
Due to our location and weather, we do not offer Canada-wide shipping until late spring.
I will send out more newsletters as new availability and news happens, so you all can stay up-to-date.
Aug. 23, 2020
Noodles X Lockwood DBL Clutch Hatching
Look who decided to pip today! Noodles had only one viable egg this season (first time mom) and produced this chonky Toffee-Belly. "Welcome to the world lil one."
Jan. 15, 2021
We often get asked: “When will babies/certain morphs be available,” due to so many factors involved, it can be next to impossible to pin down an exact date. Here is some more information on the topic.
Breeding can be a risky endeavour with females sometimes eating males, egg binding, not 'taking', and or just throwing duds. Landing visual morphs can be a gamble. Perfectly good-looking eggs can end up empty, turn, or even yield deformed offspring.
It generally takes a month from conception for the female to lay and another 55 days (our average time) for the eggs to hatch.
Our aim is to produce high-quality, healthy happy animals, not mass produce. We do not power-feed and tend to have small clutches.
Babies can take months to get eating frozen-thawed non-scented mice. We hold ours back for a minimum of 10 consecutive non-scented meals to ensure they are well established. Many breeders only hold back for about 5, which can lead to the animal refusing food later in life. We want our animals and our customers to have the best success possible. It is usually during this time that we chose our hold-backs.
All of these reasons are why we do not update our availability page until the animals are absolutely ready for their new homes.
Jan. 15, 2021
I have created our first newsletter
Tis the season for love and we are very much eager to see what amazing animals we produce this year.
We are hoping for visual Albinos, Toffee-Bellies, Lavenders, and hopefully some Axanthics! As far as pattern combinations, we should have a mix of Normals, Anacondas and maybe some Supercondas.
Prices all relate to the pattern, morph, sex, age, hets, and a combination thereof.
Due to the gamble of breeding and genetics, we have no guarantee of any morph, pattern or sex. This is why we do not take any deposits until the animals are posted on our website's availability page.
Feb. 12, 2021
happy valentines day!
Feb. 12, 2021
gearing up for the breeding season
At the end of January, we gradually warmed up our brumating Western Hognoses, prepping them for this year’s breeding season. Weigh-ins and check-ups have been completed, all there is to do now is to get a couple more meals into our breeding animals before pairing.
Western hognoses are a sexually dimorphic species, with adult females being far larger and heavier than their counterparts. Courtship for the male Western Hognose can be a precarious business as females are known to try to eat their partners – sometimes even after being recently fed. (another reason to never cohabitate your Western Hognoses!)
We monitor all of our animals closely, waiting for the comical signs of “courtship” which often includes both males and females rhythmically twitching, the male following the female around the enclosure – often hitching a ride on her back, and the female doing an odd tail wag which is thought to waft pheromones. However, they sometimes just curl up together instead (much to our disappointment)
We tend to leave our pairs together for 3 days, unpair, feed, wait for 2-3 days and re-pair. If we believe the male has not done the deed after a month or so, we swap him out for a back-up male. It can be an exciting time as a breeder, but also a frustrating one if you are as impatient as I am. It can take many pairings sometimes for the female to take, other times they get the deed done immediately. It generally takes around 30+ days to see any eggs.
Jan. 15, 2021
At the moment, most of our Western Hognoses are in brumation (a hibernation-like state.) We will be pairing our Western Hognoses in early Feb. 2021.
During mid-2020 we started working with Northern Blue Tongue Skinks. We are raising a trio and are working towards creating care sheets for them in the future when we will have babies available (likely sometime in 2022.)
We also work with Kenyan Sand Boas and hope to be making our first pairing in 2021. We are currently feeling out the demand :)
I have started making high-quality hand made reptile-safe decor. The decor can be purchased as it becomes available on our FB page, and website or I can be commissioned if you have something special in mind! :)
March. 12, 2021
March's newsletter has been sent
March's newsletter is a big one that focuses on reptile substrates, their pros, cons and risks. To read this newsletter and others be sure to sign up/check out our Newsletter section here.
April 1, 2021
Feb. 12, 2021
working with newfoundland
In December 2020 we had an individual, based in Newfoundland, reach out to us inquiring about a Western Hognose. We let them know that a permit would be required, yet we did not know of anyone in Newfoundland who had been successful in obtaining a pet level permit for Heterodon Nasicus.
This individual had already done their due diligence and had been in contact with folks working in Newfoundland’s’ Wildlife Research, Endangered Species and Biodiversity sector to apply for a permit and had started a dialogue on the topic. They were hoping we would be open to working with them on this project and if we could forward proof that our animals come from captive-bred, healthy sources.
Many regions of Canada require permits for various reptile species. To our knowledge, a large number of those requests are denied. What we don't know is why. It could be the ease of saying no, lack of research, media folklore, myths, public pressure (fears), a lack of polite persistence from applicants, and or a combination thereof.
Because of this, we were honestly sceptical that a pet level permit would be obtainable. We truly believe in spreading awareness about reptiles and hope to make gradual changes where we can, which is why we were happy to collaborate in the process.
Knowing that it would take more than just letting the Biodiversity sector know that we have captive-bred animals - I chose to write a polite lengthy letter. I outlined everything from how the Western Hognose (Plains Hognose) is considered a harmless reptile, information regarding bites, background information about ourselves, how we promote questions and education at every level so clients know what they are getting into so the animal will not suffer, our stance on providing healthy animals, and the pros of having permits be obtainable.
We explained how it does not solve any problems by creating barriers or outright bans for harmless animals. Doing so can, and has, led to a host of issues such as - an increase in black market pet sales, not having access to vet care, higher neglect of animals, and instances of people still choosing to keep restricted/illegal species.
Most importantly, I let them know that we were more than happy to provide any information needed, help where we could, and be open to ideas. I sent the email off and got a reply swiftly.
It turned out that they were indeed open to the idea and would get back to us after doing their own research. I am very impressed and overjoyed that they listened to the three of us, and have been so great to work with.
We found out later that out of the many breeders and pet stores contacted, we were the only ones willing to take the time to pursue making this happen.
Our potential client recently received his permit and we are all very excited to move forward in this win for the reptile community!
- You can read more about this from our new friend’s perspective on our testimonial page.
Hey everyone, I recently updated my art website to include animal facts and more information behind each creation, PLUS the exciting new feature of being able to purchase my artwork on clothing, masks, bags, and more through my “Red Bubble” shop.
For art prints, you can always buy 8.5X11” glossy prints from me, which saves us both money, or you can get larger prints via the “IN PRNT” shop.
If you can’t support me directly, sharing my art posts, recommending me to others, or tagging me in potential art gigs goes a long way!
April 24, 2021
Ra's Clutch is pipping!
This year has been pretty disappointing as most of our females have dudded out so it is refreshing to see our girl Ra's clutch starting to hatch. - Radiant Reptiles Canada
May 11, 2021
May's newsletter has been sent