01/18/08

We get a lot of questions regarding feeding during the breeding period. We absolutely do feed during this period, but only one rat per snake, one time per week. When  the female's follicles get to a point where they are getting in the 25 mm range we stop feeding the female. Some keepers stop feeding the females as soon as they start breeding because they don't want to risk the female ovulating prematurely. There is no question you are on a fine line-a full stomach may mimic growing follicles: a meal together with a load of growing follicles may give the female a signal to ovulate prematurely, because there is the sensation that the follicles are full size. We believe there are certain "stretch receptors" that indicate the readiness of the follicles for ovulation. These receptors may be prematurely triggered with the combination of a meal and the growing follicles. If only half of the follicles are mature, when ovulated, then you will get 1/2 good babies and 1/2 "slugs."

I particularly think it is neat when a pair is breeding and I offer a meal and both snakes eat. I love when a male eats anytime because then he gets badly needed food input to keep up his reproductive activity.

Motley male and normal female feeding while breeding, multitasking at its best!Motley male and normal female feeding while breeding, multitasking at its best!