at Sun Dec 2 07:34:01 2012 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tspuckler ]
It's not necessary to brumate milks found in the United States, though I've had some that went off feed in the Fall and in those cases you really have no choice. As far as breeding these types, yes I think brumation is advisable.
I don't think brumation temperatures matter all that much, though below 60-65 degrees and above 45 degrees is pretty standard. I would be under the impression that in the wild the temperatures would vary in a hibernaculum.
I've never had a snake die in brumation (I've been cooling snakes in the winter for 25 years). Snakes can die at any time. If the snake is healthy and checked on every week or so, it should be fine. I think inexperienced keepers have a hard time knowing if a snake is healthy. I think keepers with big collections may not check on their snakes enough. I recently checked on my snakes that are in cooling and noticed that a young Rubber Boa has an upper respiratory infection. If I had not checked on the snakes and not known the signs of an URI, then it's likely the snake would have died.
I have a friend who bred Hondurans and for many years that simply used light cycling. It is important to note that in the winter the ambient temperature in the room was cooler than in the summer. He fed his snakes throughout the year. I've heard of Corn Snake breeders that do this as well. While this may work for snakes from warmer climates, I don't think there's been much done to see if it would work for an Eastern Milk or Red Milk....though in my experience these snakes would tend to go off feed and need to be cooled anyway.
Third Eye Herp
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