It's 6:00 am the first of December and it is 65F. Two nice warm rainy days ahead of us this week-end, then a nice little "cold snap" of 40F-60F for next week. Alternating weeks of cool and warm temps really work well during this time of year. I'm not big on continuous cold-in fact since I lived in Panama for two years during my 20's, and spent the better part of my life in a snake house at 80F, I'm not great in the cold!
Continuing on with the alternative breeding season idea, mainly this came out of being too busy! It seemed it was easier for me to just focus on a certain amount of animals at a time, so the breeding started to revolve around me focusing on a certain amount of animals that seemed to draw my attention. This attention was sparked if during feeding that week, one or two females didn't eat, when they had been feeding every week for their entire lives! That's a sign-and you need to pay attention to it.
Last year after 4 years two of our female boas out of the blue stopped feeding, a female motley and a female pastel het albino sharp. Now these females are such aggressive feeders, that it truely takes you back when offered their usually weekly rat, they both don't eat. I don't have to be hit over the head-something has changed! If they don't want to eat they want to do something else....better find a suitable mate and get him in there. So here is an example where I'm not changing the whole venue for all of the snakes, just these two. And that is how I go about it week by week, just letting the snakes tell me what they want.
With a large still maturing collection of snakes, the focusing in on individual animals gets more important. Unless your collection is all mature breeding animals where you have the luxury of having pairs together and knowing that all the animals can potentially reproduce, you have to do a little leg work. Each year a I get a female that does reproduce-well next time, the breeding is way more routine--she knows what she is doing, and it is a lot less guess work on my part! The photo below is a female jungle bred to what turned out to be a super ghost. This was the first successful year for both the male and female-already I have the male in with a female for this year, and the female jungle I will start breeding one year after she produced this litter. Tracy