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 Breeding season preparations

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2kdime

2kdime

Posts : 21
Join date : 2011-09-20

PostSubject: Breeding season preparations   Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Would LOVE to hear what all everyone does before breeding season and during the season.

Let's get specific on amount of copulations, hours of light cycles, feeding, etc etc

This has always been a topic no one in the community ever wants to hit on and I never knew why.

Let's hear it guys
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Admin
Admin


Posts : 19
Join date : 2011-09-10

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:11 pm

I think it's often skirted because many folks don't really know what they do. They just follow the recipe and it works for them. Being a nerd, I like to know everything I can, that's what fascinates me! I am just as interested in this topic and I'm sure many readers are too. Let's give this post a good reply, everyone! Here's what I do:

First, I feed seasonally. I give heavy feedings during the spring after laying and through mid summer. The definition of heavy varies from snake to snake. Sometimes weekly, sometimes once every three weeks. About mid-summer it really gets hot here and the bloods naturally loose interest in eating. As fall arrives in Sept, I increase feeding again to squeeze what I can in before winter comes. I start changing my lights a bit in October and I'm usually at 8 hr days by mid November. I usually see my early breeder females decrease interest in feeding and chillin straightened out, especially in the mid section. I start pairing as soon as I see anything different behavior-wise. The later breeders continue eating, but start this behavior change in January or February.

I don't see copulations frequently like I do with Aspidites and carpets, in fact, I've had females lay good eggs without a single copulation recorded on their card. They can be sneaky. I breed mostly in pairs and only rarely use one male for multiple females. When I do, I put that male with one early breeder and one late breeder. I continue this photoperiod cycle through March or April (depending on weather).

As for temps, I don't really do anything. For bloods, I use DTH's of 80-82 and NTL's of 76-78. The only thing that changes is the relative length of each. (Side-note) This has actually been working for all my pythons, knock on wood. There are other obvious climatic changes. Hell, if humans can feel/smell/sense it's winter, these instinctual, tuned-in pythons surely know too.

I keep pairs together, resting them every 3 or 4 days for 3 or 4 days at a time. They are separated for the summer when either the female is gravid or she starts "acting normal" again.

Everything else is timing: 30 or so days from ovulation to shed, 30-ish more until laying. I incubate at 88-90 trying to stay as close to 88 as possible. I slit after the first natural slit or at day 60, whichever comes first. I set babies up in 15 qt Sterilites in a rack with the tubs about half full of cypress. Start feeding on live crawler or hopper mice and once eating well, transfer to ARS hatchling rack on paper. I have two rules here, cypress only until feeding and paper from then on.

Hope this helps, what do you do?
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bwt501

bwt501

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:29 pm

Up here in the northeast with my collection in my basement, I just let mother nature set the mood. Year round the hot spot in my racks stays at 84 ish and the cool end is a slave to the varying ambients which go from 78 in summer to around 70 in winter. All my pythons (womas, anteresia, balls, savus) get the same environment which are all in the same rack systems. For the bloods/shorts I feed small meals weekly except for pre- ov females I will shut them down until after laying. I do not manipulate light cycles either, however I do have a small window that lights the room according to the seasonal day lengths. I let the barometer be my guide. The first drop around end of august when that fall weather feel starts, I notice all my big boys and girls get sexually charged and if I want I can guarantee copulations at this time ( which I did this year, five pairings locked up within hours during the hurricane last month) . Not that these early pairings will guarantee me my spring clutches but I use this time to get a feel for compatibility and these pairs will be introduced on and off anyway throughout the season until the spring. And that's it.
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ChrisK

ChrisK

Location : Hellertown PA
Posts : 17
Join date : 2011-09-14

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:00 pm

late august I start feeding females every week and if they miss a meal no biggie. males I give them power bars(small rats) every 2-3 weeks to keep them lean and mean....

I run my lights at 14hrs then in Oct I drop to 10hrs for 2-3 weeks then ill drop to 8 hr and even some days no lights. It really depends on what the male is doing..

temps drop from 88 to 72 give or take...


Oct is when I first pair up breeding pairs..with a male who breeds to multiple female I leave in a week with each female and rotate... when Im feeding I separate for two days then right back at it...this work good last season so Ill do it again and I've notice just paying attention to the snakes and their behavior is half the battle

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PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:34 am

Excellent points, guys. Behavior is easily half the battle (maybe more). The kids tell us when they are ready, we just have to listen.
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2kdime

2kdime

Posts : 21
Join date : 2011-09-20

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:05 pm

Lord knows I don't have near the experience of some, but have seen my fair share of ups and downs and I'm still here.

I lucked out my first season and completely whoofed this last one with only one pair going with 5 duds and 1 viable that died at the end of incubation.

This year I am approaching my season in the following fashion, due to my own lessons learned and with input from others.

First off I have started feeding my animals a bit more heavily. I have started feeding every week as of late and will do so for another month or so.

Secondly, I have since switched my "reptile area" and have total control over my lighting. I have been running them on roughly a 12 on and 12 off. I know others do more but this is what I started with and I'm sure with time things may change, but it was working for me. I have begun dropping my light cycle from 12 hours on until I reach 8 hours on. I have been dropping 15 minutes every week with maybe a 30 minute jump in there for fun. However I have to make it work to drop 4 hours over 3 months, September through November.

Third, I planned on cutting way back on food after pairings begin, to maybe a small rat every other week for the animals.

Pairings- I plan on introducing males to females on Mondays and leaving with them until Friday or until I notice they are no longer copulating. Feed after seperating on Friday and reintroduce on Monday. I don't really plan on spreading any males out over 2 girls as I have really picked up animals in pairs for intentional breeding together later down the road.

Animals will continue breeding until early Spring or until interest tapers off.

Come March or so, I plan on bringing the lights back up in a quicker fashion. Say from 8 hours on to 12 in a month, so an hour a week.

Temps aren't changing on my Herpstat or my Rancos for the ambient room heat, but I am sure naturally temps will cool slightly.

That's about it in a nutshell......


Hopefully I end up with eggs to fill my new incubator!

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Tim Mead



Posts : 27
Join date : 2011-09-29

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:09 pm

Please pardon any disarray of content..
Last year, Buddy aka outlaw purchased a SS female from us who had been bred repeatedly..If this gal had remained here she would NOT have produced because of the long hours I was putting in at work I was not feeding as I normally do..I said to Buddy, take her home and feed her up and she will ovulate for you..Buddy took her home and put 3 or 4 g- pigs in her and wham she ovulated and went on to lay between 25-30 eggs..

Feeding, I keep my breeding girls stuffed to the gills..It takes fat bodies/cells to make eggs and we have never seen a 7-9 egg clutch from any of these species,,Examples, 1993 an 18 month old w/c borneo female laid 18 fertile eggs NO slugs..2009 a T+ het gave us 20 fertile eggs 1st clutch..You may also recall we still likely hold the clutch record of 44 fertile borneo eggs..This is only possible with suffient fat bodies..

Lighting, we don't give any consideration, the lights go off on my way to bed,(generally).The current snake room has a window on the north and east..The room is lit with 4 floresent bulbs in the ceiling fan that spins 24/7..

Temps, Of course are the biggest change, we have always lived in an older pier and beam home so come fall the floor starts cooling..At this time our breeder males are all moved to the lowest enclosures..Generally after labor day here in the south..Like fruit and nut trees that require a certain ## of cooling hours to produce..Yes I know Borneo is split by the equator, which means temps are near constant..Last nite the heat was turned off and the room said 72 this morning..DTH and NTL is a practice here..Because of this all the males are restless and now paper shredders..BUT, until I feel they have recieved the cooling hours I desire nothing will be placed together..We generally do not start intros until mid November or THANKSGIVING...This practice has served us well and with a 1000 +/- eggs of 95-100 % fertility I think we'll stick with it..

Breeding time, The first of the year we quit breeding, NO more intros after 1-1..There SHOULD have been suffient cops to produce, Each female will have seen a/the male on more than one occasion..We do not care whether the male gos to the females enclosure or vice versa it makes no differnce in our routine..Breeding is stressful so we keep it under 60 days..
I see in the web now were folks are already breeding and wonder ?? what sucess they'll have ..
Again our recipe has always been yummy so we'll stick to it..Not to say others can't cook but we are finicky..We will continue to pour the feed to the females and hope for the best..The best of course would be better than a 44 egg clutch but it won't happen here this year as I believe all we'll breed this season are 1st timers..But it will be beat in the future !!
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Tim Mead



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Join date : 2011-09-29

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:14 am

After reading all of Matts, We'll comment more ..We too will slit eggs AFTER the first pip..We will look for that at 56 days if incubation temps have been on the money of 88-90..
This is generally the case..Where things differ mostly for us is in the shed to lay time..As said before and else where we do not provide a hot spot..Therefore that period of time is often extended and as many as 43 days have been seen...We set our babies up in a communal box of soft moist spagnum moss so they can burrow like worms and clean themselves..They behave just like worms too, in that they will all ball up into a mess of themselves..After about a week of this they go to 6qt shoeboxes and tented newspaper that is sprayed for humidity..They are kept moist/humid but never wet as we see with many paper towel users..The full size newspaper put into a shoebox folded,tented gives more than one nook and cranny and a maybe hill to climb..Nowadays its near a month before we offer the 1st meal and have found less refusals..In the old days all babies would be set up in spagnum and results were very good however waterbowl maintenance was intensified..I would think cypress for babies would be a little hard and heavy for their lil faces to to burrow thru..With the exception of increased maintenance cypress is probably what all adult shorties would vote for in their habitat..Looks good and smells like mother earth herself..If it wasn't for the increased work we would use it..
Nestboxes are hideboxes most of the time and we pull them during breeding so that there is no chance of injury from them..Once breeding has concluded the nestbox is bedded with moistened spagnum moss and the female has her bed..When you have enough of these in a room your snakes are now NOISEY..This time of year tickles me when you hear all the squeking or what sounds like farting going on..5-10 big girls on this creates quite a symphony..If advertised as snake room sounds many would not believe it ..
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Buddy Nester

Buddy Nester

Posts : 4
Join date : 2011-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Breeding season preparations   Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:07 pm

I think Tim just about covered the whole spectrum,of things there,we ended up with 4 females going last yr and around 128 hatchlings,until the heat malfunction in the building it self!! Which wiped out all but 2 hatchlings..and one of those dies soon after that,So I still have the one female,she is going to be a sweet asset for me,and she will be under lock and key for sure..

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