Should i be brumating my 2020 snakes this year for breeding in the spring or should i give them another year to mature?
It could be dependent on numerous factors, including what species you are referencing. I know age alone with most species is not the sole qualifying factor, but could you please provide the colubrid species you’re inquiring in regard to?
I am keeping Corn snakes.
Good question. You can do a search about brumation with corns on MorphMarket if you like. It’s been discussed a few times. The scientific info, such as it is, is inconclusive. The short answer is, it’s up to you.
I personally don’t brumate any of mine. I’ve done it at times in the past, never noticed any difference at all in fertility. I live on the Gulf Coast where’s it’s warm/hot all year & I found it a hassle trying to keep them cool enough. My snakes are truly a great pleasure in my life and I enjoy watching and handling them all year through. I also like keeping up with each individual’s health in the usual way rather than taking any chances at all with an opportunitistic pathogen which might affect them going into, being in, or coming out of brumation.
Corns are active year-round in much of their range so brumation is clearly not a biological requirement for their reproduction. Its biggest benefit IMO is that it gives the humans a break from feeding and cleaning. The reduction in work is nice, and v for those with a larger collection the reduction in food bills can be noticeable. One other plus is that’s it may be easier to plan for which snakes will be ready to mate on a particular time, although Mother Nature often has very different ideas about that.
Truly, it really is up to each keeper. Whatever best fits into your life with your corn snakes, you can feel confident is safe and healthy for them.
Sorry, I got back late last night from a few days away. I’ll leave my other answer to “should I brumate” in case those details are needed by somebody.
As far as your 2020s, I don’t advise brumation them. I don’t generally advise brumation anybody until after they’ve matured and had a season of breeding. For me, the final winter before a first breeding season is a time to keep close track of a maturing individual’s health and be very sure that they’re very ready for the physical stressors of being bred and potentially going off feed. This is true for males and females.
I don’t brumate any of mine, but also, being in Arizona, it would be difficult to get temps cool enough for proper brumation.
Why do you want to brumate yours? I think I would give them one more year of growing before you brumate them.
My snakes tend to stop eating around this time of year anyway and i have a wine cooler big enough to brumate them so i just figured that since they stop eating then the brumation would be natural for them. I brumated all of the adults last year and they all did great. You may not have to feed during brumation but you have to check their water and humidity levels almost daily so they are actually more work than normal and i buy my food in bulk so i probably have 30 large mice that may go bad before spring so not trying to save on food either, just want to do what is natural for them.
Nothing we do with snakes in captivity is “natural” so honestly, if it’s more work for you and you have mice that could go bad, I’d say don’t bother brumating. It’s possible they will self-regulate and begin feeding again, anyways. I live in the Midwest, and while it gets cold enough here to brumate, I’d have to figure out a way to keep them at a temp where they wouldn’t outright freeze.
Basically, it’s up to you whether or not you want to give yourself the extra workload. It won’t be detrimental for your snakes whatsoever, and I doubt they’d even notice they were warm all year. As for breeding age, it’s more of a size/weight thing. I’ve got a couple 2020 girls that will be breeding for the first time in 2023 if they are at least 300g/3ft.
Really? That’s odd. Do they have enough heat? I don’t get refusals during the winter, even with cooler ambient temps, since the heating remains consistent.
I keep all of my snakes in a climate controlled room that stays at 83⁰ year round. I had the same thing happen last year where a little over half of them, ones that are normally pigs just stop taking food about mid October. I did get most of them from Northern states but i live in Florida. Last year they all seemed to enjoy the brumation and were all ready to eat like normal after it was time to come out. The question wasn’t really about brumation, i know some do and some don’t. The question was is a 2020 snake breeding age or should i wait another year on them?
I go by the rule of 3s for breeding (females, anyway). 3 years old, 300 grams, and 3 feet long. Since yours will be 3 next year, if they also meet the weight and length requirements, then I’d say yes.
Question answered. Just weighed all of my 2020s and all of them are almost the same at 200grams. They will all be 2024 breeders.
How curious. I wonder why yours stop feeding in the fall. Mine are quite happy to eat year-round, with the exception of a couple of the boys who stop feeding during active breeding season.
I would definitely try and keep your youngsters feeding through the winter if they’ll cooperate. Your males definitely ought to be up to breeding size next season. The females may well be also, if they’ll eat over the next several months. Not that there’s anything wrong with waiting until 2024, of course.