Want to get some advice from any UK breeders as a lot of the advice I see online is from US breeders or breeders in warmer countries.
We’re looking to pair our Lillywhite female and pin, harl, white wall male in April/May time when it starts to warm up.
I’m mostly looking for the best way to do introductions for breeding. I’ve seen that some will eother but the male into the female’s territory but I’ve also seen some use a seperate ‘breeding tank’ so there is enough room for them both.
Also with the incubating of the eggs, we’ve been advised to place the egg’s into a polystrene typed box to act as an incubator. Would you also add a heat source (say a heatmat on the bottom of the outside)?
I just want to make sure that everything goed smoothly and thought I’d get some opinions from some already experienced breeders
So I have a tub that is fully bio-active that I use as a breeding enclosure, I can see in and has plenty of hiding, climbing and jumping.
I chose this method as it best suits me, I worry a lot and didn’t want the females to stress. I am new to breeding Cresties, but expect eggs soon
I have set up a small polystyrene box as an incubator for the colder months. This has a small heat mat on the inside and is kept about 20c. I’ve also got a heat pad (was lying about) and some water in there (water helps keep heat & humidity when opening the incubator). I’ve got another heat mat so I might put it on the other side instead of the heat pad. I have placed them on the side with electrical tape so they warm several boxes, if at the bottom they will only warm the bottom ones.
Heat mat on the outside will do nothing. Remember these boxes are used as cool boxes as well. My box can only fit in 12 eggs (estimate) but we have a huge polystyrene incubator for royal pythons so if it’s not in use, then I can use that. However in summer months I plan to use small rubs on the wall as they can incubate at room temperature.
I currently have humidity checkers in incubator and in a box plus I use a temp gun as I use this with the Cresties enclosures also.
I have set up the incubator as this is peace of mind for the first few eggs and will go from there as to whether I will need a bigger one when I have not Cresties laying.
I didn’t want to spend much given its likely to only be used in winter months and I will have access to the snake incubator in winter months as they tend incubate the first half of the year.
I’d definitely recommend polystyrene box if you do want to incubate. It’s much cheaper and much more efficient than shop bought incubators. It works well for our snakes, keeping humidity and heat at optimal levels without fluctuation. I expect it to do the same for Cresties.
I personally don’t use a separate enclosure as sometimes this can stress both out being somewhere new. I’ve tried different ways but the one I do a lot of other breeders do too.
But I add the females to the male vivs, I leave in for 3 days and then remove. I wait for eggs to be laid to check if fertile and that’s it! If not then you can pair again.
If I see a lock I remove the female after they’ve finished as no need really to keep her in there.
Keep in mind too that females can hold sperm for 3 years+.
So if you decided you want to change males you can ‘swap’ the sperm basically and switch them. It’s how some people do half season with one male and half with another. I personally don’t see the point, I wait til next season as no need to stress anyone out again.
Thank you both for your insite
We have a spare exo that I was gojng to set up as a breeding tank. I’m a bit worried about puttkng her in with the boy - not for fighyibg but more getting her back out again he has three larges pieces of cork bark that are wedged abd difficult to move to even get him out if he goes behind.
The suggestion about tge incubators sounds perfect though, so thank you!
Thank you everyone who commented. We decided to go with our origonal plan of a breeding enclosure. We put him in firdt while half asleep so we could take the time to adjust before adding her in yhr evening. Not even half an hour after adding her, we had mating calls and then about 10mins after I saw a visual lock tried to get decent photos but it was dark.
Checked on them both this morning and they seem all good, no damage to either of them and he’s looking super smug. She’s just snoozing in the coconut and both have eaten during the night.
That’s rather strange then as there is nothing in her lay box and we check it pretty much every day since hitting day 30. She did go off her insects and stopped eating for a few days but we’ve found no eggs. Shes also started eating again.