Is brumating 100% necessary?

Hi all, is it true that you absolutely need to brumate to get fertile eggs? My male and female locked twice this week, right after she shed. For context i’m in Virginia, where they are native. I haven’t brumated them in any form. Just kept them at normal temps, feedings, etc. My male suddenly went off food after the first lock and I got 2 locks now. He still isn’t eating and is doing the nose rubbing at the front of his tank. So, the question is, will not brumating effect anything? Should I go for a 3rd lock? Best regards. Zoe

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I personally brumate but Its not necessary to get fertile eggs and many people have success withought it, about the 3rd lock it cant hurt as long as hes getting 3 day breaks between locks.

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Definitely not necessary. I would continue to pair them every few days until the female stops being receptive.

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I have been wondering this as well. If you brumate is it just a higher yield of offspring? Receptiveness to breeding? What are the benefits of brumation and cons of choosing not to?

I guess if it isn’t necessary, why do we do it?

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People do it for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it can help align the breeding schedules of your snakes to make sure they’re ‘in the mood’ at the same time. It also relieves some of the burden of feeding and heating many snakes if you’re a medium or large scale breeder.

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I personally haven’t seen a difference in fertility with my small collection with our without brumating. I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and brumation for mine means actively cooling them, not simply not providing supplementary heating.

Why do we do it? In many parts of their range, corn snakes naturally spend part of the year brumating, so it is in part an effort to mimic nature to some degree. It also provides some physical time off for the human(s) who would otherwise be feeding and cleaning the snake(s) in brumation. And brumation also means saving a bit of money on feeders.

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Excellent point!

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Thanks for letting me know! I was thinking for a very long time that brumation was suggested purely for breeding results. Thanks!

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Congrats on the lock by the way! Do you know their genetics?

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Yes! I purchased them both from breeders who hatched them out in 2014. One is an reverse oketee (female) and the male is an anery het hypo (:

I was told that would be a good pairing. Female is 549g and about 4’ long. Male is a little finicky eater since he’s started pairing, so he’s off food for now but his body condition is still solid.

When should I expect eggs (how long are they gravid for) and how long before I can feel lumps/or see a visual change in her shape? Also, she shed like 2 days before the lock so I’m worried she won’t have a pre-lay shed… does this ever happen? Thanks! Zoe

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@solarserpents is more qualified to help you out with this, as this year is only my second year breeding.

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Thank you!

Usually females average about a month to a month and half after the first breeding. Most of them will indeed have a pre-lay shed, it doesn’t matter that she shed recently. It’s rare, but they can occasionally skip their pre-lay shed. I would probably start offering a lay box early if you’re worried about that. One other thing to consider is that if she has a large water bowl, it’s not a bad idea to remove it. Sometimes females decide to lay their eggs inside their water bowl and then the eggs drown. So a small one that she can’t fit inside of is a better option while she’s gravid.

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Okay great! So should I wait to offer the lay box in a few days, considering its only been 10 days since the first visual lock? Or should I wait until she’s in blue?

I wait until they’re in blue, but like I said, there’s no harm offering it early. If it starts getting to the 30ish day mark and she hasn’t gone blue yet, you might put one in there for her anyway.

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Are you still pairing them?

No, it’s been about 2 days since the last pairing and I’m pretty sure I will stop pairing with the 5 visual locks I already have. I seperated them 20 mins after the visual locks were over. How many locks should I go for before stopping pairing?

Five is perfect.

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So I’ve got five visual locks total. I’ve seperated them for good until she lays. Sorry for all the questions, but is them being more ravenous a sign of being gravid? My female is going CRAZY over food. Like, I’ve never seen her strike like this and actually “take down” frozen thawed like this, its insane. I’m currently feeding her once a week or every 5 days, which one is better for a possibly gravid female? And should I be dusting her meals with calcium and multi vitamin? Thanks.

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Also… here is the link to their lock. Hopefully you guys can view it!

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