What is Brumation – A Quick Explanation
Brumation is a reptiles version of hibernation. The brumation period will commence around the middle of November and will conclude at the end of February at the latest. When it occurs naturally in nature it prepares the reptile for the next season. Environmental conditions are what triggers brumation. It is a simple process where a reptile slows down it’s metabolism and becomes more sluggish and less active. Typically during the winter or periods of cooler temperatures. How does this affect breeding corn snakes without brumation?
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Your corn snakes that are in captivity, at home for example have much less chance of going into brumation naturally. This is due to the unnatural temperatures that you will obviously have in your home.
It is possible to trigger brumation in your corn snakes in captivity, this happens through careful regulation of the temperature to stimulate what would happen in the wild. It would be more prudent to begin the process halfway through November and conclude it at the end of February. This will be most beneficial to your corn snakes as it will mirror what they would experience in the wild.
Breeding your Corn Snakes Without Brumation-What are the Risks
First of all, you should know that it is, indeed possible to breed your corn snakes without brumating them first.
However you must be aware of the risks involved if you choose to breed your corn snakes without brumation.
The Risks in Detail
The first risk is that you increase the chance of your corn snakes not breeding, simply because they will not have the desire. This could cause you to waste time and money. If your corn snakes do not breed then simply put them through brumation then have another go at breeding them.
Secondly, you are more likely to find unfertilised eggs, also known as “slugs” as a result of not brumating your corn snakes.
Thirdly, by not brumating your corn snakes you will not benefit from their increased appetite. They will subsequently have less energy and will therefore be less fertile and also have less energy.
Lastly, part of the brumation process involves significantly cooling down the corn snakes body temperature. During this part of the process the female’s egg follicles develop as well as the male’s sperm devolving. Which may lead to increased fertility.
Other Points to Consider
Separate Females from Males
Another important thing that you need to remember, is to separate the sexes before the beginning of the mating season. You must make sure that females and males are not spending any time together in the same enclosures, no matter how big or small, before the beginning of the mating season.
What Corn Snakes should You Breed?
You will easily be able to source some corn snakes to breed as they are abundant in the U.S.A. This means that you can choose from the very best corn snakes that are available. They should of course, be sexually mature healthy and you should not cross breed them.
Make Sure the Corn Snakes are Healthy
You will need to perform final checks before pairing up your corn snakes for breeding. Look out for any blistered skin, fatigue and foaming at the mouth these are all signs of disease. These snakes should not be mated.
Check for healthy weight and size and…
Remember the rule of three. Your corn snakes will have increased fertility if they are:
- Three feet long, at least, with an average of five feet long. This is considered to be good length to have grown too.
- Three hundred grams in weight, at least, with an average of nine hundred grams. This is considered to be the ideal weight for a corn snake.
- Three years old, for a female and two years for a male. This is considered to be an adult.
Make sure to check the snakes mass. You will not want to see any bones through the skin. Any corn snake that is under weight could suffer a injury during mating.
Of course if your corn snake has any deformity. Like spinal problems, or if it struggles with feeding. Then do not breed it.
The Best Age for Breeding
In regards to the best age for breeding it is best to be cautious as younger corn snakes can suffer injury from breeding to early. Females should be at least three years old and males should be at least two years old.
Whenever Possible do not Cross-Breed
There are of course, many hundreds of corn snake morphs (patterns and colours). So you can create beautiful and interesting variations when bred together safely.
Cross breeding your corn snakes may result in deformities and sometimes even death. The less experienced the breeder the greater the chance for this to happen.
A mistake made by some inexperienced breeders is to experiment breeding corn snakes with Californian kingsnakes. The Institute for Creation Research has found that these may be more closely related than taxonomists recognize. However great care should still be taken when crossing these breeds.
With so many variations of morphs (colour and pattern) in corn snakes, some of them inevitably have come from inbreeding. Inbreeding (breeding a snake with it’s parent or sibling for example) is a divisive topic amongst breeders of all experience levels. Of course some breeders have concerns about the health risks as well as the ethical aspects. Other breeders say that it is fine if the handler is aware of the risks and experienced enough.
You can easily minimize the effects of inbreeding, by breeding no more than four successive generations. As well as “outcrossing” (making sure that no common ancestors are shared)
Inbreeding can sometimes occur naturally in the wild. All snakes seem less affected by inbreeding, than mammals appear to be.
New morphs can be created from inbreeding, remember though that there is the risk of deformities and even death in your corn snakes. You should also do additional research into the genetics of corn snakes before attempting this.
Inbreeding can easily be avoided by sourcing from different breeders and keeping a record of the corn snakes that you breed. If you are breeding corn snakes for profit you should be aware that some buyers will want non inbred corn snakes.
Choosing to brumate your corn snakes before mating them will save you money. Remember that they will not eat during brumation. This will save you money on food and subsequently save you money of substrate.
Most Recommended For Corn Snakes
Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here
Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here
Reliable Thermometer – Click Here
Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here
Climbing Branches – Click Here
Hydrometer – Click Here