12/14/07

One of the questions we get asked a lot is should you feed a snake during the breeding period. We absolutely feed snakes when they are breeding. The number one thing we always advise is that your conditions while breeding don't expose the snakes to temperature extremes. This of course goes hand in hand with the proper environment for feeding a snake. If you are exposing your animals to cool temperatures (less than 75 F) I do not recommend feeding them. There are many schools of thought regarding feeding during the reproductive period. Many successful breeders do not feed their snakes at all during this time. We feed until the females stop eating, and always only one food item at a time.

The breeding and feeding behavior is not mutually exclusive as is seen in the photo below!

Motley male and normal feediing as male is actively courting the female: Here is a pair of boas courting and eating at the same time! I try to be very careful and make sure that the snakes don't end up in a big ball!Motley male and normal feediing as male is actively courting the female: Here is a pair of boas courting and eating at the same time! I try to be very careful and make sure that the snakes don't end up in a big ball!

Usually the females feed until their follicles get to a certain size in the 30mm range then quit until after ovulation.  We have noticed as a female approaches ovulation, the male goes into a shed. At that point he is done and when he sheds is ready to feed and put the body weight back on that he may have burned off actively breeding the female. Tracy