How to breed (most) constrictors

How to Breed Snakes

Breeding snakes is a long process, but it's easy if you know what you're doing. It's also very rewarding when you see those babies popping their heads out of their eggs. You will need a male and female snakes (obviously), 2 Rubbermade containers with newspaper and a water bowl, an incubator (I will tell you how to make one if you don't want to purchase one), and some patience.

First, you will need to hibernate your snakes. This needs to be done at specific times of the year. Timing is the key. Try to put some extra weight on the snakes before hibernation, but make sure there is no food left in their stomachs before putting them in hibernation. The last meal should be given during the first week of October. They can be put into hibernation on the last week of October. Timing and temperatures are very important. For the first week, the temperature should be 70 degrees. For the next 3 weeks the temperature should be about 60 degrees. Then the rest of the hibernation period should be at 50 degress. Hibernation should be over about mid-January.

Once hibernation is done, raise the temperature to about 70 degrees for a week. Then put the snakes back in their normal enviroment, but keep them separated. After a few days, give each snake a small meal. Do not overfeed them or the food will be reguritated, and you don't want that. After 5 days, resume the normal feeding schedule. Once you've fed the snakes 4 times the snakes can be put together. They will either begin mating right away, or they may wait until the female has her first shed. Once you see the female swell up with eggs, it's best to separate the snakes once more. The female should be fed heavily to ensure proper nutrition for strong, healthy eggs.

The female will go into a shed about a week or two before she lays her eggs. After the shed, she won't eat again until her eggs are laid. She will need a nest box, which can be made with a smaller Rubbermaid container(about 12x10) with a 2 inch layer of damp vermiculite. Keep this bedding damp, as it will ensure the eggs don't dry out. The female should be bothered as little as possible as egg laying is stressful and exhausting for her. Once the eggs are laid, she will need to rest for a few hours. After that, offer her a small meal. Now you can take the eggs and put them in an incubator.

There are several ways to incubate eggs, but this is the easiest, most productive way. Much like the hibernation boxes, for an incubator box, you will need a Rubbermade container with a lid. Make sure you put holes in the lid; the eggs need to breath. Cover the bottom of the box with 2" of damp Perlite. It's important to keep this damp, but not wet. The eggs must stay dry. Put the eggs in the box, and keep the humidity at about 80 to 100 percent. The temperature should be the same as your snakes normal temperature; about 82 degrees.

After about 45 days, cover the eggs with a damp paper towel or newspaper. This helps keep the egg shells soft so the babies will have an easier time cutting through. The eggs should hatch after about 2 months of 82 degree incubation.

The babies will not always jump out of their eggs, so sometimes they may need help. Be very gentle, and never remove the snake from the egg. The only help you can offer it to tear further where they have started. They will come out when they are ready. Once they're out, separate, and try to feed them. Also, offer them water. I find the best way to care for all these babies is to use clear deli containers. This lets light in and you can see what the little guys are up to. Get the smallest, pinky mice you can find and offer the babies their first meal. Do not use live pinkies. Obviously, you can't put a water bowl in a deli container, so it's easiest to offer them water, one at a time, in another enclosure. I will fill a larger container with water about 1 in deep, and put the baby in there for a few minutes. You can tell when they are drinking. They will not drown either, so don't worry about that. Be careful and keep an eye on them. They can get out of the containers. They are quick. Continue to care for them this way until they are a bit bigger. If you plan to sell them, they are ready to be sold as soon as they keep down their first meal.