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 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

Hello all!

I’ve had my California Kingsnake for a few years now, and he has been doing great! Eating well, shedding beautifully, easy to handle. He is my first snake, and I’ve been very pleased with him.

I live in Northern British Columbia, which means that over the winter we have very short days about 6 to 8 hours of daylight. Kingsley brumates for about six months out of the year - stops eating around September/October as the days get noticeably shorter, and comes out of brumation around mid-January, as the days start getting longer again. He comes back to activity, sheds (always a good shed), and starts eating again a few days after.

This year, he stopped eating in early August, looks like he started brumating early, which was weird as we still have plenty of daylight and warm days. He became active again about a month ago - had a great shed, and is active and eating - so now about two months early in his brumation cycle.

My question is, has anyone else who lives in Northern lattitudes experienced this with their snake? Is it common for the brumation to be consistent at first and then to start to vary?

Not overly concerned as long as he is doing well, just curious and would like to learn more.

12/19/11  01:07am


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  Message To: Guppyfry   In reference to Message Id: 2247657

 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

I usually come here...but have been so busy this time of year...very nice Cali ...would love to see more pictures.

I stayed in Atlin BC and Whitehorse for 2 years...was a fantastic time for me , will never forget.!.!
I have 1 Cali and 2 Florida (brooks) kings and numerous other boas and pythons.

The python goes off in August and starts again in April ...the kings slow down here and sometimes the Cali goes off ....but since I have had it for 1 year now ...or maybe 1.5 it is finally getting into a routine. It was off food 1x from July to October and had me it is slower ...but still eating and shedding. If yours is female that might be why ??

Females pre shed prior to mating just as the season warms up and starts. That’s a signal to breed or introduce the male if you are doing captive breeding.

I am going to go back and stare at your beautiful snake


12/22/11  10:44am


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2248091

 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

Thanks for the reply and the compliments, cphill - where do you live now? (I’m in Prince George, BC).

Wow, the python has some brumation period! And I thought that Kingsley was a champion brumator!

Interesting about your Kings, sounds like they all have their own individual rhythm and activity periods.
I joined this board when I first got my snake about six years ago, and if I remember right from the discussions back then, most snakes only brumated for two to three months. I figured that since the winters are longer and the days shorter, it was no surprise that my King would brumate for longer.

I honestly don’t know if Kingsley is male or female - my best guess is that he is male from the even and gradual taper of his tail, but it is only a guess, and I’ve been going with that. I thought that both males and females went through a post-brumation shed? Is that not so? Are there any other behaviours that might indicate sex?

That picture is from a couple of years ago - I don’t have any recent pics, lost a whole bunch when my computer crashed a few months ago. I guess I’ll have to set up a snake photoshoot so I can show him (her?) off!

12/23/11  09:57pm


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  Message To: Guppyfry   In reference to Message Id: 2248282

 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

Back down in Utah USA ...Salt Lake city and close to the mountains ...even have a few moose here and elk too.

The females shed prior to have caused me to question myself, I will report back this spring. At least the corns behave as mentioned. Since i am not breeding the kings as of yet. I tried to introduce the 2 brooks and I think they are the same sex...will try again this year in spring to see what happens.

The Cali was for sale in 2010 early spring and was quite young ...a bit nervous and flighty. I have made great progress with it and it no longer musk’s or strikes in defense...actually eats regularly and just makes me feel like I accomplished something...has really started to grow and be social.

maybe you have other computer issues ...can you pull the hard drive and slave it on another PC
I did that a time or 2

12/24/11  03:27pm


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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2248359

 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

Should have checked in earlier - sorry about the delay. Very nice King! Kingsley would musk and go a bit nuts too when I first started handling him, but he got used to it. Hasn’t musked in ages, but one day my hands must have smelled of chicken or something because he started to constrict and tried to bite, but quickly let go. Other than that, never a bite or strike.

Great pics!~ You don’t really let your King crawl into your computer, do you? Kingsley isn’t much into computers, he has more of an artistic, musical side:

12/26/11  09:56pm


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  Message To: Guppyfry   In reference to Message Id: 2248529

 Wondering about Kingsnake brumation period

LOL...So I that is a classic image there!!

my older pc case was just spare and sitting there ...the standing joke of the woman who had computer problems always makes me think of this picture. Or Vice versa.

12/27/11  07:17pm

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