A ~ C ~ S~N~A~K~E~S

Snake Breeders Based in Leicestershire, England, UK      

BREEDING HOUSE SNAKES

Boaedon species 

Rough Guide Timetable

Pairs are normally introduced early in spring and throughout the summer but females will continue to lay eggs throughout the year.  If the female is ready, mating is normally initiated quickly and if allowed, frequently.

After successful mating it is normally around 6 - 8 weeks until the female completes a pre-lay slough.  Particularly during the latter stages, a gravid house snake will often go off her food and it is advisable to offer smaller food items. 

From pre-lay slough to egg laying is approximately 5 to 10 days.  House snakes usually complete a post lay slough.

Incubation time is approx 2 months.

Brumation Not necessary
Incubation Temperature 27C (80F) to 29C (85F)
Expected Number of Eggs Clutches can vary considerably but between 6 and 16 eggs per clutch is typical.
Incubation Days

Normally around 60 days at a constant temperature of around 28-28.5C (82-84F). 

Successful incubation has been achieved with temperatures between 25C (77F) and 29C (85F) but hatching would be expected to take anywhere between 50 and 100 days.

Incubation Method

See our Guide to Incubating Snake Eggs.

Multiple Clutches

Female house Snakes are well known for mutliple clutching therefore before you embark on breeding you should be confident that your female is of sufficient size and muscle tone to produce a few clutches.  If you are in any doubt, even the slightest doubt, we would recommend waiting an extra year.

Multiple clutches of slugs from females who have not been with a male or who have only mated once are also not uncommon.

Stopping the Cycle

The most commonly asked question regarding breeding house snakes is not about getting them to start breeding it's about getting them to stop breeding!  There is no simple answer but here are a few of our thoughts.

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Housing males and females together all year round is not a good idea and will probably lead to premature death of both of the snakes.

 

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Whilst laying fertile eggs is probably better for the female than laying slugs, this is not a reason to keep introducing her to a male.

 

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Feeding a female well in between clutches is normally a very good idea however in house snakes this will also initiate the next clutch of eggs therefore if she has continually laid eggs for a while and needs a break sometimes offering her a little less food is a good tactic.

 

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Breeding season may be initiated when males and females are kept in the same area so if you are having difficulty, consider moving one of the sexes into another room.

 

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If all else has failed, consider a short cooling period for your female (ensuring she is empty first). This is often a very difficult decision to make as she will be underweight and under condition but sometimes it is the best option to give her a rest. Once out of cooling she may begin again but in our experience it may buy her the time that she needs to recuperate.

 

- If you are trying to introduce your female to a different male this year than she mated with last year you will need her to stop producing first to be able to be certain which male is the father this year.

Caring for the Female

Gravid females often refuse food therefore smaller food items should be offered whilst your female is gravid.

House snakes are known for laying eggs in water bowls however it has only happened to us once when it was an unexpected clutch and her laying boxes had both been allowed to dry out.  W e suspect therefore that this may be a consequence of not offering sufficient or suitable laying boxes.  Other breeders recommend removing the water bowl at laying time.

Immediately after removing the eggs we place the female in a tub of fresh luke warm water to clean the substrate, particularly from her eyes and mouth and also to give her the chance for a much needed drink.   At this time we offer her a single smaller food item and continue with smaller food items a few days later. 

Hatchlings House snakes  will complete their first shed around one to two weeks after hatching. In our experience, many of the hatchlings will be slow to get going but most will get there eventually.  Some of the hatchlings may be too small for pinkie mice and may therefore require regular assist feeding with mouse tails or similar small food items until they sufficiently increase their size.
Recommended linksAfrican House Snakes Forum

This breeding information guide has been written by us at AC Snakes for your information and guidance.
 
It will be updated and expanded as regularly as we are able, however it should not be used as your only source of care information.
 
Prior to purchasing or breeding any animal it is strongly recommended that you research extensively to ensure that you can provide the correct care for your pet and any resulting offspring.
 
Last updated April 2012

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