Once in a great while over on Facebook, I'd do some more informational/knowledge, or even motivational-type posts. These usually spawned from something situational regarding breeding Leopard geckos that was a partciular 'breakthrough' moment for me, or maybe a lesson I'd learned along the way. It was really more about me sharing something with other breeders that maybe they too were experiencing on their own journeys.
If any of you are like me, all of the work and passion you've put into your geckos can sometimes present frustrations when things don't work out as 'planned'. One of your 'best' animals gets sick/passes away unexpectedly, an overzealous male prolapses to the point where he is no longer viable, you lose power for days right in the middle of the season with full incubators, maybe you get stiffed on $12k worth of geckos from another country...you know, the every day stuff. :) In all seriousness, I'm sure most of you can relate to your own disappointments.
I guess the point of all of this is that, no matter how many things like this crop up to attempt to derail you mentally, you have to be patient. Realize that, even in the worst cases, there's always next season. While my current situation is nothing like that of being stiffed for $12k, it has been a constant source of frustration for me for over two years. In 2018, Don Hamilton and I both invested in Carbons, a melanistic line from Poland, unrelated to any of the more well-known melanistic lines (BN, BP/CC, etc.). Being potentially the first breeders in the US to work with these, we were incredibly excited, and saw such huge potential, not only in Carbons themselves, but what they could potentially do regarding outcrossing/strengthening other melanistic lines, as these were big, stout geckos.
So between the two of us, we had four females shipped in, and spent over $5k. To date, not only have NONE of these females laid an egg, only one of them were ever even seen ovulating. That's right...FOUR females, TWO seasons, only ONE female was seen ovulating. While I do believe that these are a bit more challenging to see the follicles in, it was still just odd. This was a major source of frustration for both of us, feeling that we really had something special to start sharing with other US breeders, but it wasn't looking like it was meant to be.
Was it the flight over/geographical change from Poland to here? Were the females not accepting our males? (...maybe a bit, these females do seem a bit testy when it comes to male advances and are big enough to hold their ground firmly.) Anyway, we were really bummed and had both almost given up hope on any of these Carbons ever being viable.
Until 2021... I now have all four Carbon females and then it happened..the first female ovulated and was paired to my amazing Mack Snow BP/CC from John S. Then the second female started, and then the third. Still waiting on the fourth to catch up, but I'm confident. Now, fingers crossed for successful pairings and maybe, just maybe, EGGS. One week ago, while checking up on paired females, I saw them in the first female...EGGS! Next question, are they be viable?
I'll wrap this story up by telling you how important it is to stay focused on the end goal and always try to stay patient. Not everything is always going to go 'right', and not everything is going to happen overnight. At times, I was almost ready to write off the Carbons and just chalk it up to a loss. But finally, now, at almost three years old, they're ready on THEIR time, not mine. Don't allow letdowns and frustrations to become roadblocks to doing what you love to do.
The long and short of this to show that I pulled my first two totally healthy Carbon eggs tonight. Stoked.
Have an excellent 2021 season!