Breeding question?

When breeding should there be blood evidence of a lock every time or just on the first lock? I have put my pairs together 3 or 4 times over the last week and a half and had blood on the first locks but none since. I have seen visual locks each time but not as intense as the first locks were. This is my first breeding season and not really sure, but thought i was supposed to put them together several times over the coarse of 2 weeks or so to make sure that they were fertilized. Today was lock 3 for some and 4 for others and the males didn’t really get excited the way they did the first and second times. Should i just stop and consider it done at this point?

As long as you’re seeing locks, that’s all that counts. If your females have each been bred 3-4 times they are probably good. You can always keep introducing the male once a week if you want to make sure, the female will stop flagging her tail and start just kicking the male off and try to stay away from him when she is no longer receptive to his advances. Sounds like you should see some clutches though!


No, blood is definitely not necessary and actually not super common (at least not in my experience). Typically you’ll see some yellow ‘leftovers’ after a successful lock. I try to shoot for five locks or until the pair is no longer interested. The females usually make it pretty clear when they’ve had enough.

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How much recovery time are you giving your males? How old are they? Very young and very old males may need a little more time between breedings.

Both males are 2017. I have been waiting 2 days in between. One male has stopped doing anything but the other is going strong.

Two days may not be quite enough for the male with less libido. Plenty of males are willing to mate again very quickly, but it isn’t always in their best interests.

Many people wait three days between pairing attempts. That’s partly to allow for rest and recovery. It also allows healing time for any minor injuries to either party. Mating (of any species) often results in minor tearing of delicate tissues. This doesn’t necessarily or even usually produce visible blood, but it does provide a potential entry point for bacteria. The snakes’ metabolic rate is only about 1/5 of a human’s, so healing takes longer.

You might consider reducing the frequency and see if it helps your less enthusiastic male. How many females are you breeding to each male?

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I have 2 females for each male. I have been pairing them every other day but after the first two times the males will only breed one female at a time so i am now doing every other day 1 female at a time. One of the females bleeds quite a bit every time, the others rarely bleed at all.

That’s an unusual pattern, if I’m understanding it. I’ve got a couple of questions.

First, as I read it, you were initially putting each male together with two females simultaneously. Initially each male mated with each of these two females in short order, but has become less interested, correct? You are now putting each male with one female every other day. One male no longer wants to mate. Is this correct?

Next, you state that one of the females consistently “bleeds quite a bit.” As others have said, this isn’t usual. Sometimes seeing a trace of red in the otherwise lemony-colored, viscous fluid spilage after a lock isn’t terribly uncommon or terribly worrisome. Neither the male nor the female should be bleeding after every mating, nor should they be bleeding much. Do you have a picture? How large is the amount?

I don’t want to get too lengthy, but I would hold off on breeding the female who is consistently bleeding.


Yes that is all correct. One male is still going strong and the other maybe will go once a week. Not sure if it’s that his females are all finished ovulating or what. The other male goes straight to it within seconds every time but won’t do 2 females at the same time. It’s one of his females that bleeds every time, but he is pretty agressive and so is the bleeding female. I put moist paper towels in and the blood spot is usually about 4 or 5 inches across. His other female will have a spot maybe the size of a quarter at most if any at all. The one that bleeds is over weight but she is just as enthusiastic as the male is. She immediately puts her tail in the air and starts twitching around same as he does. I think i’m done with putting them together this year though. If they’re not pregnant at this point it’s not going to happen. Everyone has locked at least 6 times now. I’m looking forward to a pretty healthy batch. 4 female corns and both of my garter pairs have also locked. I have 6 more females and 2 more males that are either juvenile or sub adult so next year and the year after are really going to be exciting.

Yea I think you have definitely gotten enough locks, no matter what species I breed I only put the male in with a female once a week at most, less when in shed. Sounds like you will get some eggs, I just wanted to make sure you are prepared for double clutches. Even though I would not reintroduce my male corns, or kings almost all females would lay a second smaller clutch. One time I had a triple clutch in the same season!

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That was what I thought you meant. It sounds like you’ve had multiple locks for each female corn. Even with a very eager pair, you shouldn’t be seeing blood like that every time. You’re right to trust that fertilization is either assured or isn’t going to happen and stop those pairings. I definitely wouldn’t keep rebreeding any animal who keeps bleeding. Too many ways that can go sideways.


Thanks everyone for the advice and help. Multiple clutches would be nice but this being my first year just one each will be fine with me. I started this because my teenage sons were interested. Not sure it will ever be a viable business but it’s a great hobby interest to share with my sons. It all started with a black rat snake one of my sons caught in the back yard and has grown to 17 corn snakes 4 garters and the black rat that got us started. 1 adult male and 1 adult female came from a local reptile store and the rest have been purchased here on MorphMarket .