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  1. #1
    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    Wild Genetic Boosting

    would pairing a morph that has negative symptoms attached to it with a normal BP work to counter-act those defects even within visuals or is there like something else to it?
    het for nothing but groovy

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    Re: Wild Genetic Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by YungRasputin View Post
    would pairing a morph that has negative symptoms attached to it with a normal BP work to counter-act those defects even within visuals or is there like something else to it?
    Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Snakes have around twenty thousand to twenty-five thousand gene pairs. A few of those gene pairs have slightly defective genes. If you start with a stock with one known somewhat defective but otherwise desirable gene and inbreed, the combination of your known gene and less good genes in other gene pairs are easier to identify and remove from the potential breeding stock. Hopefully, the better genes in other gene pairs will counteract some of the bad effects of the known defective gene. In this case, outbreeding will not improve the stock.

    On the other hand, the stock may have been inbred without any concern for health and vigor. Poorer genes may have accumulated to the point where the stock is in danger of dying out. At this point, outbreeding may be the only way to save the stock.

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  4. #3
    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    Re: Wild Genetic Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by paulh View Post
    Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Snakes have around twenty thousand to twenty-five thousand gene pairs. A few of those gene pairs have slightly defective genes. If you start with a stock with one known somewhat defective but otherwise desirable gene and inbreed, the combination of your known gene and less good genes in other gene pairs are easier to identify and remove from the potential breeding stock. Hopefully, the better genes in other gene pairs will counteract some of the bad effects of the known defective gene. In this case, outbreeding will not improve the stock.

    On the other hand, the stock may have been inbred without any concern for health and vigor. Poorer genes may have accumulated to the point where the stock is in danger of dying out. At this point, outbreeding may be the only way to save the stock.
    thatís 1 thing iíve noticed with BPs is there an exceptional amount of morphs with associated/known medical issues - was wondering about this because i really love the way caramels look and would want to breed them with my wild one but thereís so many healthy issues associated with it idk
    het for nothing but groovy

  5. #4
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    Re: Wild Genetic Boosting

    Caramel is a recessive mutant gene, so that stock could be a case of inbreeding with little concern for health and vigor. If so, outbreeding could be adventageous.

    Kinking seems to be the problem with caramels, and I have never been convinced that kinking has a genetic basis in every case. Vitamin deficiencies can also cause problems with bone formation.

    If I planned to work with caramels, I'd try to use a male caramel that did not have kinks and breed it to a couple of unrelated normal females. Babies would be het caramel. Then do half brother x half sister matings to get caramel babies. And give vitamin supplements. Not enough time or interest here, though. <sigh>

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  7. #5
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Any idea what vitamin(s) are thought to be related to the kinking, and whether there is any evidence for the suspicion? Sounds interesting, at any rate.

  8. #6
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    I have found nothing in the literature directly saying that vitamin deficiently causes the congenital problems that we see in various snake species. But I haven't found anything saying that vitamin deficiently does NOT cause those congenital problems either. I have found material about steatitus (inflamed fat bodies, treated with vitamin E) in boas and thiamin deficiency in garter snakes. And it is well known that breeding females need higher vitamin intakes than non-breeders. So I think the vitamin deficiency idea is worth consideration, with vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc deficiencies at the top of the list. Unfortunately, both A and D can be toxic in large quantities, so figuring doseage may be difficult.

    When I was doing my little bit of hobby breeding, I lost a female Burmese python and her clutch of eggs. I know now that she was on a vitamin A deficient diet. I also lost a group of garter snakes. Probably due to thiamin deficiency caused by thiaminase in their frozen fish diet. If I knew then what I know now...

    Below are a couple of interesting sources, IMO.

    The McDowell book lists symptoms of vitamin A deficiency that occur in various animal species. That list is close to a foot long. Congenital defects include small eyes, missing eyes and failure of the spine and some other bones to develop normally.

    ------------
    Vitamins in Animal and Human Nutrition, by Lee Russell McDowell. 2nd ed, 2000

    "Vitamin A is necessary for normal vision in animals and humans, maintenance of healthy epithelial or surface tissues, and for normal bone development."

    "Vitamin A deficiency could indirectly result from zinc deficiency."

    "A deficiency of vitamin D results in signs and symptoms similar to those of a lack of calcium or phosphorus or both, as all three are concerned with proper bone formation."

    "Congenital malformations in newborn result from extreme deficiencies in the diet of the mother during gestation, and the mother's skeleton is injured as well."

    ------------
    Tips

    To inprove the condition of captive snakes try using Solovite vitamin-minereal tablets. Sluggish appetites have been improved with routine use of this supplement.

    Dosage: Not to be used in animals of two (2) lbs. or less.

    1 tablet / 40 pounds once every two (2) weeks.

    For animals of lesser or greater weight, regulate the time rather than the dosage.

    ex. A 10 pound snake would get one (1) tablet every eight weeks.

    This product is available at health food stores or from Solgar Co., Inc., Lynbrook, N.Y. 11563.

    - Natl. Assoc. for Sound Wildlife Progs. Newsl. 1(2): 7. (Oct-Nov 1977)

  9. #7
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Hmm. That can't explain the difference in kinking prevalence with certain morphs, at least not without appeal to some genetically distinct metabolic difference.

    Vitamin A is not remotely deficient in the diet of rodent feeding snakes; adult rats and mice exceed safe levels for cats and dogs (source), and are about 15-50x higher (source) than that recommended in poultry diets (which is the phylogenetically closest relative to snakes that we have good nutrition understanding of).

    On zinc: it looks like adult domestic rodents have about 60-65 mg/kg zinc. Highest recommended level in poultry diets is 80mg/kg (source), so feeder rodents might seem adequate -- though they're lower in zinc than wild rodents, and poultry process more food per day. Interestingly, the herps in the nutrition chart vary from 100 - 662 mg/kg, suggesting they simply run higher zinc levels (and might need more intake to maintain that). That might be worth some deeper research, maybe into the dietary uptake of zinc by rodents -- perhaps feeding rodents better would or does have benefits regarding kinking.

    Regarding Vitamin D, it would be interesting to see if keepers who provide UVB have less incidence of kinking. UK keepers would be a good group to survey.

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  11. #8
    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    going through all this and my first question is: if a vitamin deficiency is detected how would this be corrected? particularly when the specimen in question is on a diet of f/t prey items? i know there is stuff like calcium powder and so on - perhaps there is something like this the prey item could be dusted in prior to feeding?
    het for nothing but groovy

  12. #9
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    Re: Wild Genetic Boosting

    Calcium powder is almost always calcium carbonate. Feeding calcium carbonate is generally a bad idea because it throws off the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Bone has the right ratio, even pinkie mouse bone. Extra calcium passes out in the poop, at best, which is a waste of money. At worst, extra calcium is deposited in soft tissues, where it is injurious to the snake.

    A liquid vitamin preparation can be injected into a dead mouse's body cavity, and the mouse is then fed to the snake. Pet stores often carry liquid vitamins that are added to cage bird water containers.

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  14. #10
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    Re: Wild Genetic Boosting

    Quote Originally Posted by YungRasputin View Post
    ...perhaps there is something like this the prey item could be dusted in prior to feeding?
    I wouldn't bother "dusting" on the prey- by the time it's swallowed, most has fallen off. That's also assuming that the snake is still willing to eat it when it smells slightly different.

    As stated in previous post by paulh, inject (if it's a liquid) into the prey's body, or pack the powder into the rodent's mouth-that's what I do. Whatever you do though, don't over-do it.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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