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Occ1123   Greatballzofire  
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 1st Clutch Ever! Experience so far and Q’s...

Hey guys,

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything (I think a couple years!), but I think this is worth posting just beacause it is my first time breeding any of my own snakes and it happends to be Pituophis.

My ’07 Female Stillwater Hypo was bred this year by my ’07 Male 100% Het Stillwater Hypo Bull Snake beginning on 3/21/09 after a 3 month brumation from 12/19/09 to 3/14/10. I observed constant breeding attempts by the male immediately after introducing them, but never saw a lockup (obviously not incredibly unusual). On 5/15/10 she shed for the 1st time since cooling and then refused food the follwing week (5/22/10).
Then, very early on 5/29/10 (13 days after shedding and just a week past 2 months since I put the pair together for the first time) she began laying eggs.
She ended up passing what appear to 7 fertile eggs, 6 slugs, and 1 iffy looking one. About 3 hours after laying her last egg (over 12 hours since she started laying) she still had what looked like one more eggs left inside her which she had given up trying to lay. With the recommendation of a very experienced breeder, I proceeded to push the egg out for her, which turned out to be another slug.

The next day (5/30/10) I noticed another bulge at her cloaca, which I also pushed out for her as she still seemed to exhausted to push it out herself...another slug.
Then today (5/31/10) I found a tiny slug (much smaller than even the other slugs) in her bin.

I’m hoping now, with a total of 7 good, 9 slugs, and 1 maybe, she is actually done, but with the slug surprise today...I can’t be sure.

I would like to hear from any of the more experienced breeders if they have any thoughts on this experience. Not only is this my first time breeding any of my own snakes, let alone Pits, but it is also both of the parents of the clutch first time breeding.

Does any of this sound unusual or worth being concerened over?

I’m guessing the long egg stuggle and somewhat low fertility is due to both of the parents being 1st-timers and/or maybe some bad luck. By the way, the female had excellent size and weight (about 5.5 ft. and a little on the heavy side) both prior to cooling and breeding.

I was planning on offering her a small meal today, but after finding the slug I decided to wait. Should I continue to wait a day or two more to see if there are even more slugs or would it be safe to feed her tomorrow?

Also, if there is anything at all you would like offer for advice/suggestions, I would GREATLY appreciate any comments.

I will also make another post after this one asking about the best incubation for Bull Snake eggs using vermiculite.

Ok, well if you have actually bothered to make it this far through this very long post...the least I can do is let you see some pictures.

FYI: The reason why she is laying in the corner of the bin as opposed to a moist lay box was because although she definitely looked gravid after her shed...I was told by experienced Pit breeders that she would most likely not lay for about another month and go through another shed. She definitely surprised me as well as some of my far more experienced’s a good thing I caught her in the act...

Thanks very much in advance for any suggestions/advice/comments.


05/31/10  06:58pm


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  Message To: Occ1123   In reference to Message Id: 2151924

 1st Clutch Ever! Experience so far and Q’s...

I saw your thread at, with folks saying maybe she was too young and that is why she had some problems. This was of great interest to me as I have young bulls that I eventually want to breed, but don’t want to risk their health by being premature.

My Stillwater x Kingsville 09 babies:; need another unrelated pair for breeding as these are siblings. Maybe by 2013? With breeding snakes patience is the key! LOL!

Anyway, am wishing you the best with your clutch and hope you get some beautiful babies as nice as their mother.

06/03/10  09:41am

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