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Breeders everywhere!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bitis Gabonica, Feb 27, 2005.

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  1. Joe

    Joe Elite Member

    They can breed from about the age of two...which is how old those two are now. I would seperate them at about one year of age to completely rule out the possability of them breeding
     
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Thanks for all your kind words guys! :)

    LOL :p Oops! Good job i'm a "nurse" :D

    Yep, as Joe said, I would separate the snakes by a year of age to be careful.. I think Arrow and Garfield are actually a bit younger than 2? ..our adults are around 3 years in age now, and will hopefully too be laying eggs soon. Weight is often a better indicator of whether to breed, and corns should preferably be 250-300g before breeding, the heavier the better of course. Baloo, the hognose, was over 400g before winter and quite big for a hog, but has gone down to just over 300g after the egg laying, but we have no cause for concern with her weight.

    Arrow (the pregnant female corn) is smaller than Garfield (the over enthusiastic male :p - aren't they all?! :D ) .. and young pregnancy can cause more problems Juliane, such as higher risk of egg-binding. Would not be preferable for them to get pregnant at such a young age simply because of size - they have not had a proper chance to reach sexual maturity, meaning eggs are more likely to be infertile, the snake's growth can be stunted, and the snake may not be as nutritionally and weight- ready yet. How big are your corns? And are you sure of sex?
    - of course this was a one-off, and we were simply unlucky. Our other corns were together til an older age than these two and never got pregnant,. we actually separated them at first signs of ovulating as they reached sexual maturity, but obviously it is possible. Ofcourse this could easily happen in the wild, but in captivity our herps live longer and healthier lives because of research done into the best diets etc,. young pregnancy can also lower expected life span as well, but these are all possibilities rather than definates.

    Personally looking quite forward to administering injections to Baloo, it will be yet another learning experience and a very valuable and uncommon one at that. Arrow is really heavily in shed so eggs should be out by end of next week, beginning of the week after if things go according to plan. Will take pics of both of these snakes later on to post and show examples of pregnancy, retained eggs, etc. :)
     
  3. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Well Sunday has arrived and still no more eggs, so this evening we will be administering a calcium injection and then the hormone oxytocin to bring on labour in our hognose.

    Thought I would attach some pics of the culprits causing all this stress :p The first picture is a comparison of the male (left) and the female (right), as you can see females grow considerably larger than males. The second and third pics were taken last week when the female was entering her lay box, with retained eggs, which are obvious by the bumps near the base of her tail by the cloaca.

    More updates later.. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  4. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Oh wow Rachel, im so excited for you, hope all the eggs are ok, will they be? you will soon be inundated with lots of little babies :D
     
  5. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    The first batch she laid (the hognose) were all bad, however we don't know whether this is because they were infertile anyway or whether they were bad because they were laid in the substrate. A few appear ok so they are in the incubator in case but we shall have to just wait and see.

    The corn snake eggs should be fertile hopefully, fingers crossed. Will know as soon as they are laid whether they are bad or not, but whether they hatch or not is a waiting game... will keep you posted :)
     
  6. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Hey guys :)

    Update on the breeding snakes...

    The corn shed last night, so we should have eggs in the next few days, we hope!! :D She is holed up in her lay box so at least we know she will lay them in the right place!

    The hognose had her first calcium and oxytocin injections on Sunday.. which she wasn't very happy about! Unfortunately the oxytocin didn't do the trick, and although it made her contract she didn't pass what we were hoping for, and instead left us a nice smelly present! :p The day after we administered her second antibiotic injection, which we will repeat again tomorrow and again on Sunday, then that will be the antibiotic course complete. When we give her the antibiotic we are bathing her in a solution of warm water and some electrolyte powder (probiotics and nutrients) to help keep her hydrated. We have three more lots of the calcium and oxytocin to give her, after which, if they don't work, we will have to consider further treatment to get the remaining eggs out of her.. hopefully it won't come to that, and surgery would be the absolute last option, but as said we have 3 more lots to go if needed so we will hopefully see some success.. will let you know how that goes.

    We have learned so much from our first breeding experience - 1) being that hognoses are seemingly different to other snakes when it comes to egg-laying and appear to just make up their own rules! :p They can lay eggs over a long period of time, and we wonder if we hadn't intervened whether she would have laid the eggs by herself. However, we were worried, and I think that if you have any concerns professional advice is a must - egg-binding is a serious condition afterall, and a vet can advise and do much more than us. An op would be the last resort for any snake with egg-binding, as it is a huge thing to put the snake through, and after an op it is very likely that the snake will have future problems in passing eggs. A snake that has experienced egg-binding is more likely than others to experience the problem again, however it is a very common occurrence, particularly in first clutches, infertile clutches and unhealthy snakes.

    It is quite distressing for us to administer injections, as it is obviously uncomfortable and stressful to the snake, however it is in her best interests, and we would rather cause a little discomfort than have a snake die through egg-binding.

    Well, watch this space for corn and hognose eggs.. updates as they come to us! :D
     
  7. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Wow...I sure hope all ends up well for you and the snakes! You have a lot going on! It must be really hard to give those injections! :eek:
     
  8. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    It certainly is Juliane, not something we look forward to! But as i said it's in her best interests so that kind of softens the blow a bit, and we are learning something very important,. at least we will know what to do if we have any problems with our other snakes.

    Roll on the boa babies.. at least there's no risk of egg-binding and associated problems with them!! :D
     
  9. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wow! Good luck with the rest of the injections... hopefully she'll pass the rest of the eggs without any surgical intervention. You're lucky to have a vet whose opinion you respect on things like that. I like my vet, but I'm not 100% convinced that she knows all that much about snakes.
    That's why I'm happy to have you all, and Martin and I are getting some Reptile Medical books.
    At least next time you'll know what sort of difficulties might pop up with a future gravid hognose!
    Fingers crossed. Keep us posted!!! :D
     
  10. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Thanks Andrea :)

    We have two vets that we visit - after much searching in the past for decent reptile vets! They are both reptile specialists, and one has worked extensively with zoo animals, so they both know their stuff! Sometimes we have thought, "we could have told them that", but I guess as you keep reptiles you learn more and more, but the vet is the only person qualified to deal with some things.

    We both really wish that instead of our current courses, we had chosen to study vet medicine, and specialise in reptiles, but I guess without a lot of money that's just a distant dream right now.
     
  11. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    More eggs on the way... :D Our anery corn is about to have her pre-lay shed, and the snow and oaketee are getting fatter by the day.. expecting lots of eggs coming our way in the next couple of weeks! (No chocolate eggs though :( ) :D
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But think how much money it would be worth if it actually did lay chocolate eggs!
    Move over Cadbury Bunny! :D
     
  13. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    LOL :D Sid the thousand-pound Easter snake sweet.. Do you think it would take off? :D
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LMAO Works for ME! :D
     
  15. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    I like it too :D
     
  16. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Easter eggs..

    .. a little late admittedly but still just in time I think :p

    .. The young amel corn is laying her eggs right now!! Hehe.. will post tomorrow and let you all know how she goes on! Fingers crossed :)
     
  17. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    More corn eggs?

    Well with constant assessment of our three female adult corns I am still trying to decide who is gravid..

    I weighed them today (wouldn't normally disturb them at this critical stage), and the oaketee is most definately gravid, and I would guess carrying quite a few eggs, as she has gained over 100g in just over a month! The snow is also seemingly gravid, as her skin is visible through her scales, and she has gained 43g in just over a month - not quite as much as the oaketee but she has always been a smaller snake. The anery however is either a) gravid with infertile eggs or b) not gravid just yet - she has only gained 16g, and is searching her enclosure, I assume for food :p so we'll try feeding them tonight and see how close they are to laying. The anery just shed, which we took for a pre-lay shed, but if she eats tonight I think we can safely assume that it wasn't, and she is not gravid or might be but only just.. I think the snow is in shed so I doubt she'll eat and it will be interesting to see if the oaketee can still fit any more in.. wow, I remember when these guys came to us just three years ago as tiny wiggling worms, I can't believe they are soon to be mothers!!! :D


    I also believe one of the female bearded dragons to be pregnant again, as she is behaving restlessly and digging again.. let's hope this time the eggs are fertile.. I think I might have said this before, but I love Spring! :D

    The hogg island female is probably gravid too, but it will be a few more months before we have any baby boas roaming around :p

    Well, that's all for now folks.. sorry to inundate you with all this, but this is our first year breeding the snakes, and it's such an exciting time!! Successful breeding is so rewarding and gives you a wonderful feeling of achievement and satisfaction.. now we'd best get on building the hatchling racks and finding good homes for all these babies to go to!! :)
     
  18. Joe

    Joe Elite Member

    And by this she means me :D
     
  19. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Well I wouldn't want to make a mess would I!! You should stick to what you're good at, and I'm no good at building things!! :D -I'll look after the babies when they arrive.. what a hard job that is going to be and not in the least bit enjoyable! :p
     
  20. Joe

    Joe Elite Member

    Just to give you an update...the hognose finally laid the remaing eggs today....she laid another 5 in total!!!!!

    The good news continues as she is gaining weight and acting like her normal hissy self :D From what we have learnt this behaviour is not unusual and hoggies are a menace to themselves :)
     
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