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RE: Breeding Blue Racers

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Posted by: 53kw at Fri May 27 15:49:23 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by 53kw ]  
   

I've bred a few species of racers and some coachwhips. I keep all racers and coachwhips separate until breeding time. Too much conflict at feeding time. Often, a dominant snake will bully a Beta animal, which may interfere with the Beta's feeding. Better to just keep them separate. If you can't do that, see if you can get them to eat dead food, which they can just pick up off the floor of the cage without both chasing the same prey.

Make sure the female is at least four years old, preferably five. Racer, coachwhip and indigo eggs are prone to binding to the wall of the oviduct, which can be fatal. It's ironic since they are non-adhesive once out of the mother. Snakes that breed too young are very prone to egg-binding.

The female should be in excellent health and good weight. In blue racers, she should be about four feet long. Hibernate them separately and put them together in early spring, as soon as they emerge. I never noticed any difference introducing the male to the female or vice versa. Blue racers spend a long time mate-guarding and may not copulate right away like kingsnakes or ratsnakes. Keep a nest box in the cage so they can get used to it.

The female may not have a typical pre-lay shed. Keep checking the nest box for eggs even if the female has not shed, or has gone beyond the usual Colubrid ten-day post-shed laying window. The eggs will be non-adhesive, and on the small side. Don't incubate them too warm--upper 70s is good.

Following laying, the female will look pretty bad. Her skin will be less healthy than before and she'll probably be thin. I'd skip a year or two before breeding her again.

If your wishes come true and you end up with a clutch of baby racers, you'll be faced with one of the biggest challenges in snake keeping--conditioning hatchling racers. That is a very big job with no real promise of success. If you get five out of a dozen to stabilize and accept the kind of food you can provide, you will have done well. Breeding multiple clutches or trying to breed every year will only leave you with more and more challenging mouths to feed, so try it with a few at first to see if it's something you ever want to do again.


   

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<< Previous Message:  Breeding Blue Racers - pythonowner3, Thu May 26 23:57:33 2011