How long to brumate Western Hognoses?

I currently have my two western hognoses down for brumation, and have for about a month now. They were put into brumation on December 15th, after being given 2-3 weeks off of food.

However, I’m unsure as to how much longer I should leave them down before bringing them back up. I’ve heard of some people who don’t brumate at all, and other sources say anywhere from 1-4 months.

I would like to breed them, my female is around the 250 gram mark, male is around 70 grams (at least last time I weighed them before putting them down for brumation, would need to weigh them again to see how their weight is doing)

There aren’t many hognose breeders in my area (only one that I’ve heard of), so if I could get this figured out and nailed down I might be onto something here. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

It depends on people’s for me it it’s anywhere between a month to 6 weeks.

I stop feeding mid November, cool them from December 1st to January 1st, let them warm up for a week, start feeding again, and start pairing after 3 to 5 meals (I feed smaller meals every 3 days for the first 2 weeks and back on normal feed schedule after that)

There are many ways to do this you just need to find the one that works for you.


Yeah, seems like there isn’t any set method of doing things, which has me a bit nervous aha… but thank you for the info!

I might try pulling them up in a few days then, see what happens going that route. If it don’t work, I can try something different next season!

I’ve heard that some snakes don’t even need a burmation period. Maybe not hognose in particular but is there any truth to that?

Depends on the species I have bred Honduran Milksnakes successfully without brumation period in the past for example, I am yet to try with hognose but plan to at some point.

If you do get around to it keep us posted. I’m interested in this and wondering if it’s a “domestication” thing or if it’s just cause being cold for a bit really doesn’t mean anything breeding wise.

Some species in the wild will typically brumate and come springs breed, so while they are not in the wild this behaviour is encoded in their DNA, so as breeders we always try to put all the chances on our side for the best outcomes and try to mimic nature.

Is it necessary? I believe it definitely help but not with all species which is why when I breed some animals I like to experiment around.

Same goes for BP while they breed during cooler months (though they do not brumate) some people believe cooling is the way to go, I don’t and I breed year round.

I cannot think of anyone I known not brumating hognose but I know people have successfully bred milksnakes and corn snakes without doing so.

Ultimately a lot has to do with experimenting see what works for you but most importantly what works for your animals.


This is only my 3rd year breeding Hognose but I’ve successfully bred my initial trio for the last 2 years with no brumation. Both females double clutched last year also. (from retained sperm, I did not reintroduce the male) This year, I have 6 females that I hope to breed and I did not brumate them so hopefully they all respond like the 2 females from the previous seasons.