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Old 08-31-17, 12:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is Brumation Necessary?

Question, is brumation necessary for rat snakes to breed?

I've read many people say they don't need to brumate their corns to breed and I'm curious if it is necessary for rat snakes. I mean, I'll do it if I have to but if its unnecessary then I'm gonna just let them have at it in spring.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

It depends on the species, but most snakes from temperate climates need it to trigger ovulation.
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Old 08-31-17, 04:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

Some also need it to trigger feeding for the next season also and there's some suggestion that allowing animals that naturally brumate to do so extend their life expectancy.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

I've bred multiple north american ratsnake species both with and without brumation. It is not a requirement but it gives both your pocketbook a break from feeding bills and the snakes' system a break from practically everything and breeding patterns are more predictible when brumation occurs. I must note that if you plan on brumating in order to reproduce, you must be able to reach temps cool enough, especially for the male to produce viable sperm. If that is not possible, you will have limited success. I (as well as many others) have found that no brumation is better than one at the wrong temperature in regards to fertility. I would argue that only a few temperate species require brumation to trigger ovulation and that ovulation can happen simply when courting occurs as I have bred everglades ratsnakes, corn snakes, a few different kingsnake species, as well as western hognose snakes as early as february with great success.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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I've bred multiple north american ratsnake species both with and without brumation. It is not a requirement but it gives both your pocketbook a break from feeding bills and the snakes' system a break from practically everything and breeding patterns are more predictible when brumation occurs. I must note that if you plan on brumating in order to reproduce, you must be able to reach temps cool enough, especially for the male to produce viable sperm. If that is not possible, you will have limited success. I (as well as many others) have found that no brumation is better than one at the wrong temperature in regards to fertility. I would argue that only a few temperate species require brumation to trigger ovulation and that ovulation can happen simply when courting occurs as I have bred everglades ratsnakes, corn snakes, a few different kingsnake species, as well as western hognose snakes as early as february with great success.
How cold does it really need to get. Because I can't keep them in my garage because people who live with me are smokers. I might be able to get them to a buddies house who keeps his house cold all the time and just leave them there for a couple months but I'm not really sure what to do.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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How cold does it really need to get. Because I can't keep them in my garage because people who live with me are smokers. I might be able to get them to a buddies house who keeps his house cold all the time and just leave them there for a couple months but I'm not really sure what to do.
50-60 without any temperature spikes if possible, 55 would be what I consider ideal. Certain breeders prefer closer to 50, however, and they definitely have the success behind them to justify it.
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Old 08-31-17, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
How cold does it really need to get. Because I can't keep them in my garage because people who live with me are smokers. I might be able to get them to a buddies house who keeps his house cold all the time and just leave them there for a couple months but I'm not really sure what to do.
How do you care for them now? A rack system? How many are you looking to bred? How many of the collection isn't breeding size yet but at least a year old? Do they share the same rack?

My guess is you could possibly just lower the temp on the entire rack system if that's what you have. Even the yearlings will be okay in brumation, however just expect them to take longer to get to adulthood.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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How do you care for them now? A rack system? How many are you looking to bred? How many of the collection isn't breeding size yet but at least a year old? Do they share the same rack?

My guess is you could possibly just lower the temp on the entire rack system if that's what you have. Even the yearlings will be okay in brumation, however just expect them to take longer to get to adulthood.
Nope, one huge planted tank for my female Baird's and a smaller tank that's decorated for the male. They are in my room so idk what I could do about that. To be honest I'm kinda thinking that since I don't keep them very warm in the first place that they'll probably be fine to keep going through winter. From what I've read its the really warm temps that cause sperm to die and I might not have that problem due to the unique way I keep my snakes.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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Originally Posted by Aaron_S View Post
How do you care for them now? A rack system? How many are you looking to bred? How many of the collection isn't breeding size yet but at least a year old? Do they share the same rack?

My guess is you could possibly just lower the temp on the entire rack system if that's what you have. Even the yearlings will be okay in brumation, however just expect them to take longer to get to adulthood.
I also only have the 2 snakes, when I got back into the hobby I did so with the thought of finally breeding some snakes because I'd thought of it so much. Then use whatever they make me to afford the next pair/etc. My new job will let me spend other money faster to expand but since I'm limited on space it's been a good idea for me to re-expand much more slowly than I really want to.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

Cool stuff!

You can just lower their temps in the room, essentially only using room temp and see how that goes.

I can't speak for colubrids really but with pythons people no longer use a cycle for the likes of ball pythons. My thinking is that the snakes pick up on the barometric pressure changes moreso than the temp changes. So no matter what the temps are in their enclosure they can "feel" the winter months here.
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Old 09-01-17, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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Cool stuff!

You can just lower their temps in the room, essentially only using room temp and see how that goes.

I can't speak for colubrids really but with pythons people no longer use a cycle for the likes of ball pythons. My thinking is that the snakes pick up on the barometric pressure changes moreso than the temp changes. So no matter what the temps are in their enclosure they can "feel" the winter months here.
Problem is they are in my bedroom and with the bioactive setup I have the bugs and plants to worry about lol.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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Problem is they are in my bedroom and with the bioactive setup I have the bugs and plants to worry about lol.
Then you'll just have to give it a shot as it is.
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Old 09-01-17, 02:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

You can't brumate them in there enclosure then... if bioactive.

If you have space for a fridge somewhere, then you could potentially brumate them in there using tubs. Fridge can maintain temps appropriately, just have to refresh the air once a day (opening the fridge, closing it) and, will not let in air... so could even go into the garage as long as the others don't go mess with your snakes when you're not around.
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Old 09-01-17, 02:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

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You can't brumate them in there enclosure then... if bioactive.

If you have space for a fridge somewhere, then you could potentially brumate them in there using tubs. Fridge can maintain temps appropriately, just have to refresh the air once a day (opening the fridge, closing it) and, will not let in air... so could even go into the garage as long as the others don't go mess with your snakes when you're not around.
This ^^^^^^^^^. One of the most effective ways to ensure a maturation of the sex cells in male and female colubrids is to expose them to brumation. Not only that, brumating has a correlation to litter size as well and is a natural phase in the life of the animal. Most breeders of garter snakes do use either compact or full sized refrigerators to brumate breeders. It can also be done in climate controlled reptile rooms and basements depending on availability of space and correct temperatures.
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Old 09-01-17, 04:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Is Brumation Necessary?

It's Iowa and there's this chunk off the bathroom they never insulated properly so they threw a wall up with a door and put shelves in it. We don't use it and try not to open it all winter unless you want to freeze your *** off using the toilet for awhile. In fact I might even have to put my heater with a built in thermostat in there to make sure it doesn't go too low if we hit too many subzero days in a row.
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