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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2015 :  22:08:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope that this type of post is acceptable on the forum. As a first time breeder I was interested in recording what I have done this season so that the experienced can comment on my mistakes and other newbies can learn from them.

The first and biggest question is why am I breeding? There are lots of good reasons not to. Risks to the animals, costs, looking after a large number of hatchlings and selling them off. I did read several different web pages and books to try and put myself off.

However, if I am honest, I have always considered breeding once from my snakes. I am a geneticist by training and once I realised the different genes and alleles Rosie had I wanted to breed to see what would come out.

Therefore when I bought a second snake it was always with an eye to what would make a good partner for her.

Their genetics are:

Rosie:- Motley; het Caramel, amel, anery; poss het hypo
Jim:- Caramel Tessera; poss het amel, stripe, hypo & diffused (He is het tessera)

Therefore, at worst, I would have 25% each of normal, Caramel, normal Tessera & Caramel Tessera. There are also possibilities of motley, amel and hypo (Butter & Amber) being added to the mix.

I am prepared to look after the hatchlings until they have good homes and realise this could be a long term commitment.

This year Rosie is 3, over 4 foot and 480g. Jim is 2, over 3 foot and 250g.

I had decided not to breed this year as I had not attempted to bruminate the snakes (although they naturally slowed themselves down) and Jim is still young. Rosie was obviously interested, trashing her viv each night in search of a mate but my decision was confirmed by Jim not seeming to be interested.

However, the week after Easter, Jim decided to start dancing, and, impulsively, I decided to introduce them. Within a minute they had locked and started to mate. Thus my decision was made for better or worse. I allowed them to mate two more times.

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley

Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2015 :  22:09:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
True love
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2015 :  22:17:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Preparing for eggs

I am fairly sure that Rosie is becoming gravid. She has fattened up, her belly scales are bulging and she is spending all her time under her hot hide. I have increased her feed to a 20-25g mouse once a week.


I can't feel the eggs yet when she slides over my hands and she does not seem to be about to shed. However, I have introduced a moss filled laying box into her viv, just in case.


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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 21/04/2015 :  22:32:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The incubator
I was wondering about buying an incubator as I would need a new stat and thermometer anyway. However, on further consideration I realised I would need the equipment for the hatches anyway.

I was given a polystyrene box by a local farm shop and have placed a heat map pn the bottom. The ramekins are to hold incubating box away from the mat and to hold the probe and thermometer in place.


I set the stat at 28 and left it to see. very soon the temp was 33. I lowered the stat to 26 and left it overnight. The max temp was 40! During the day 22 has resulted in a temperature of 30.

I also splashed out and bought some specialist nest box substrate for reptiles. Finally I have heard different opinions on the need of a hydrometer so i bought a cheep dial model.
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 23/04/2015 :  22:23:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rosie continues to get fatter and has gone into blue. However, she was, as always, ready to feed.

It did leave me to wonder if my laying box is large enough. It is about 3 inches deep.
[/

In Blue


Having a drink


And lastly; the daddy

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley

Edited by - Charles on 23/04/2015 22:24:45
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Razee
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
2522 Posts

Posted - 29/04/2015 :  22:09:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beautiful, so many possible outcomes, good luck and keep us updated :-)

0.1.0 late CB10 Carolina corn snake - Bazilishka
1.0.0 CB11 Abbots Okeetee- Little Twiddler
1.0.0 CB11 Hypo corn- Sebastianek
1.0.0. CB14 Butter Motley - Squidwood
0.1.0 stable cat
0.1.0 house cat
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2015 :  11:11:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So Rosie went into deep blue and I could feel bumps under her belly so I am getting excited. I did decide to get a new laying box as I decided the first was too small.


Cutting a hole in the top was problematic, particularly as most of my tools are at my mother's at the moment. The plastic is inclined to split so I used a hacksaw blade in the end. I did check to see that there were no sharp edges


I also used one of the new boxes I had bought for the incubator. Here it is full of the expensive (7) luxury substrate.


I then tried it out in the incubator. I am glad I did as the combination of the bigger box and it being full of substrate completely changed the behaviour of the system. Now it is actually simpler as the temperature on the stat matches what you want it to be.


Edited by - Charles on 23/05/2015 10:05:32
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2015 :  11:33:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have tried to resize some of these but photobucket is being a pain.
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2015 :  11:42:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So Rosie has shed and she is actively looking for a nesting site. Initially she completely ignore the nesting box. However, after 24 hours it was obvious she had at least investigated it. I did wonder that as the box had clear sides did she feel insecure in it. I have built the substrate up around the side and covered the lid with some vegetation. As I left for work this morning she was entering the box again. Crossed fingers.

Excuse the reflection
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Razee
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
2522 Posts

Posted - 15/05/2015 :  13:05:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any news? :-)

0.1.0 late CB10 Carolina corn snake - Bazilishka
1.0.0 CB11 Abbots Okeetee- Little Twiddler
1.0.0 CB11 Hypo corn- Sebastianek
1.0.0. CB14 Butter Motley - Squidwood
0.1.0 stable cat
0.1.0 house cat
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ScalySituation
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5292 Posts

Posted - 15/05/2015 :  20:31:57  Show Profile  Visit ScalySituation's Homepage  Click to see ScalySituation's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Maggie took a while to truly be comfortable in her nest box, she got their in the end though haha

1.0.0 Butter motley corn (Sheldon)
0.1.0 Caramel Corn (Maggie)
0.1.0 Caramel motley corn (Echo)
1.0.0 Cat (Angus)
1 mealworm colony
RIP Skye x
Sleep well Sonny, Mummy loves you xx
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 23/05/2015 :  10:19:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I had quite a wait for Rosie to lay. Part of the problem was that i didn't know what to expect and started thinking "this was it" every time she entered her nest box. In fact after 2.5 weeks the behaviour changed and she started to spend each night in the box. Then she wasn't leaving the box at all. I did offer a small mouse at this point. It is no surprise that she ignored it, a first as she is very keen on her food. 3.5 weeks after her shed I woke up to glimps this.


I left her alone for 24 hours. Today I did open up the box, but she was very grumpy if I tried to get a better look


However, from below I counted at least 17 eggs, all looking healthy.


I plan to try and evict her this afternoon

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley

Edited by - Charles on 12/07/2015 20:37:17
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ScalySituation
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5292 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2015 :  20:22:30  Show Profile  Visit ScalySituation's Homepage  Click to see ScalySituation's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
How's the incubation going?

1.0.0 Butter motley corn (Sheldon)
0.1.0 Caramel Corn (Maggie)
0.1.0 Caramel motley corn (Echo)
1.0.0 Cat (Angus)
1 mealworm colony
RIP Skye x
Sleep well Sonny, Mummy loves you xx
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2015 :  20:48:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the long wait! Also Photobucket is playing up and not recording all my edits!

I transferred the eggs to the incubator and all started well.


Rosie had lost 180g with the experience! it took a lot out of her.

However a week later some of the eggs started to shrink. I added more water to the substrate and half buried the eggs.


A week later things were worse - so I asked for advice on Facebook


This came back with the advice to cover them with moss or damp kitchen towel. I went for the latter, spraying it with warm water daily. This did reverse the shrinking for a while. However, a week later and it was obvious that 9 of my eggs were dead. I separated out the 4 I could easily remove.


I next found that the temperature in the incubator started to fluctuate again. not helped by the hot weather. It was a real battle to keep things below 32. So I did start to fear for the rest of the eggs.
Today is good news though. Pipping has occurred. More on that latter as the emerge

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley

Edited by - Charles on 12/07/2015 20:52:01
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2015 :  21:02:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reflections on the process so far

Mating is easy - the snakes know what they are doing

Waiting for the eggs.
You need to have patience. I was expecting eggs as soon as Rosie had shed. It took closer to three weeks. I would have waited until her behaviour changed and she had definite bumps before I put the nesting box in.

The incubator.
Don't waist your money on expensive substrate and cover the eggs with moss or kitchen towel. The latter is easier to remove for observation but needs to be moistened more frequently. Moss is also easier to make sure it is in contact with all the eggs.
My incubator ended up having large variations in temperature and frequently getting too hot.

I feel part of the problem was the large aigret I had left between the mat and the tub; at least an inch. The tub also fitted very closely in the box. As a result a large amount of hot air was trapped under the box. If I were to do this again I am not even sure I would leave a gap. There was over an inch of substrate between the eggs and the mat under the box. If I would leave a gap I would make it much narrower.

Who knows, maybe those 9 eggs would have died anyway but some of the above might help in the future.

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley
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ScalySituation
Fully Grown Corn

United Kingdom
5292 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2015 :  22:48:43  Show Profile  Visit ScalySituation's Homepage  Click to see ScalySituation's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Sorry you lost some :(
Yay for pipping though

1.0.0 Butter motley corn (Sheldon)
0.1.0 Caramel Corn (Maggie)
0.1.0 Caramel motley corn (Echo)
1.0.0 Cat (Angus)
1 mealworm colony
RIP Skye x
Sleep well Sonny, Mummy loves you xx
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 13/07/2015 :  23:28:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A bad 24 hours and a tale of warning for prospective amateur breeders. Last night one hatchling appeared. A lovely Caramel Tessera Motley - all was looking good as another two were pipping. This morning a Tessera Motley hatched, although it does have a kink - see post in the Health Forum. The other pipping snake had died by the end of today - I think it somehow got its head stuck and drowned. It was a perfect Tessera. Finally, I managed to leave my heat matt on for a few ours unregulated! I don't know what the final temp was before I discovered it but it seemed to have forced another two snakes to hatch prematurely - they still had their "umbilicals" attached; one had broken theirs off. I worry that these two might suffer long term damage because of this. So I am left with 4 unhatched eggs which I am now worried that I have cooked!

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some good news.

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley
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SilverWings
Yearling

United Kingdom
740 Posts

Posted - 14/07/2015 :  07:16:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don;t blame yourself for the umbilicus, I had two come out with it still attached. It drops off within 24 hours or so, just kep them on damp kitchen roll until then. Mine were both absolutely fine but extra sensitive to any kind of handling for a couple weeks.

2.2.3 Corn snakes; Red, Rosie, Liana, Checkers, Luna, Diego, Snowman
1.0 Taiwanese Beauty Snake; Aleron
1.0 Green Anoles; Doug
1.0 Greyhound; Lee
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Charles
Hatchling

United Kingdom
229 Posts

Posted - 14/07/2015 :  11:20:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Silver wings. They are both chirpy this morning, although one is kinked. Another also died in its egg overnight. 3 left unhatched. Cross fingers they are ok.

I half expected this blog to demonstrate the perils of breeding as you can have a hard time getting rid of the offspring. It seems that instead it is acting as a warning of the consequences when things go wrong.

1.1.0 Jim Caramel Tessera, Rosie Motley

Edited by - Charles on 14/07/2015 13:10:51
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