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Corn Snakes

Breeding Corn Snakes

Snakes -> Corn Snakes-> Breeding Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are one of the easiest snakes to breed in captivity.

Countless thousands are produced each year and the corn snake is arguably the most bred snake of all.

Because of this the techniques have been slowly refined over the years - to todays model with which just about anyone with a sexually mature male and female pair should be able to produce and hatch a clutch of corn snake eggs.

Corn snakes will generally breed from the age of 18 - 24 months of age if they have been well fed and so are reaching adult size.

Once you have two suitable snakes (any color morphs can breed with each other) you'll need to use environmental manipulation to prepare them for breeding.

Like most animals from temperate climates, corn snakes lives are dictated by the seasons.

Anyone who has kept cage birds will be familiar with the way the first breath of spring will make them show a new lease of life. They sing and sing. They flirt.

And soon enough they'll be mating. And all this so that their young hatch out at a time of year where there is enough warmth to help their young develop quickly, but most importantly, where there is the most plentiful supply of food.

Finches eggs hatch just in time for the hatching of millions of caterpillars in the wild - more than enough nutrious and easy-to-find food for their young.

Corn snakes are no exception.

Whilst they may breed at any time of year in captivity, and often without environmental manipulation - their breeding cycles are much more predictable when using this manipulation and the results also tend to be better.

In corn snakes, the adults should be cooled off over the winter. A final temperature of 10 - 15'C for 12 - 16 weeks is a generally accepted routine though great care must be taken when cooling them off.

They should be cooled separately, and slowly, reducing food so that at the cool period food is not sitting undigested in the snakes gut - which could result in the detah of your snake.

During this period of water should conitnue to be made available though.

After this winter cooling period, warm the snakes back up to their optimum temperature - again doing it slowly so as to not shock the corn snakes system.

At this point your snakes will begin eating huge meals and to prepare them for breeding, as well as making up for the winter period - feed them as much as they'll take.

Then introduce them to each other - putting one corn snake into the cage of the other.

Breeding is likely to happen almost at once but it is worth leaving them together for at least a week to give them numerous chances to mate and so increase the chances of fertile eggs.

Normally after this period the male snake will be removed and the female should be provided with a box containing damp moss in which to lay her eggs which should occur 5 - 6 weeks later.