And finally, babies! The first brave little explorer took its first breaths the afternoon of Monday, July 20th. A Spider! The waiting game is over! Or so I thought. I checked on them every two or three hours but there was little change. The last time I peeked in Monday evening one more egg had a slit in it but that was it. Bah, I'll go to bed and check on them in the morning.
This was the scene Tuesday morning, looks like I got a Bumblebee! I was starting to worry about the two on the far right, they look a little odd. Hopefully I'll find out what's going on with them after work.
Tuesday evening and still nothing from the two eggs on the right. But on the bright side I look to have two normals, two Spiders and a Bumblebee! Just wish they'd hurry up and get out of the eggs already, darn slow pokes...
HATCH ALREADY YOU LITTLE... Ahh, err, I mean, aren't they just the cutest little things? This is Wednesday morning. The little Spider that was the first to pip is almost ready to leave its egg, but the bigger news is that the top right egg is slit and the bottom right egg has movement just below the surface! I might get all seven after all! But good grief they are taking forever, guess I'll check in when I get home from work...
Getting home from work Wednesday evening I open the incubator to find this. The good news is the first four are finally out of the egg, but I do not like the way they are piled on that top right egg. I snap a shot and quickly remove the hatched critters. They were laying right on the slit that had been cut the night before. I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the egg to see what was going on and was saddened to see a little Spider motionless and unresponsive inside. I had my hopes high about what was in those last two eggs all day at work so to find a Spider presumably smothered by its siblings was depressing indeed. I don't know if it was already weak and they just finished it off or what exactly happened but I was kicking myself for not cutting the egg sooner, if that would have even made a difference. I had considered cutting the last two eggs the night before but decided against it. My heart heavy now I decided to cut the last egg and was relived to see that the little normal inside was still alive. I peeked in the incubator one more time before hitting the hay and the Bumblebee was out of the egg so I moved it in with the other hatchlings. They were temporally housed in a 16 quart tub on damp paper towels. As they shed I moved them into their private accommodations in the nursery rack.
Thursday morning the last little one is just about ready to leave the egg.
Watching them experience the world for the first time was very rewarding, and popping this little Bumblebee as female was the icing on the cake! My first Ball Python clutch produced a two gene female! I could have bought a female Bumblebee for a fraction of the money I put into this project but the experience was very much worth the cost, the work, and the wait. It was all a bit addicting really. I think I just might go for that Spinner this coming season, but seeing those eggs hatch is a whole year away