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  1. #1
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    Cool Baby snakes 2015: Kamalah's turn! UPDATE: All done! Hatchling pics up! #69

    I decided not to breed my 13yro normal corn snake het amel (meaning she carries the recessive amelanistic/albino gene) Cleo this year for two reasons. One, well...she's 13, and two, I recognize what she produces isn't very marketable and it isn't fair to her offspring to continue to put them out there. I know this from horses--just because it has a uterus (or in this case, an oviduct) doesn't mean we should use it. Because my husband is a teacher, we have hundreds of interested buyers in the form of students and their families and haven't had trouble selling her two clutches, but still; it was time to move on.

    Enter Kamalah (pic from before breeding her), a 5yro lavender Aztec (het for hypo--where the black is all but eliminated without being amelanistic, and het for the stripe pattern). I intended to breed her to Keegan, a hypo vanishing stripe het lavender, and enjoy the more diverse and valuable clutch. Plus, it's way more interesting (and flat out fun) for the students to calculate the possible genetic outcomes in the Punnett square. At least 8 possible phenotypes, by my count!

    Well, every time I paired her with Keegan, he was all OH BABY!, and she was all NOPE. I never once witnessed a lock between the pair, so rather than put them together for 15-30min periods, we started leaving them together in the 55gal "honeymoon suite" for a few days at a time before separating them again. We did that at least three separate times, but never once observed a lock.

    Fast forward to now. I have hope she's gravid, but no concrete proof since I didn't observe a lock. There are promising signs: she gained about 30g in just under 2 weeks and she refused the large adult mouse I offered her Sunday, and she's always been a good eater. She did readily take the weanling a few days later, though. She shed two days ago--what I hope is her prenatal shed--so I have the lay box already in her tank, her big water dish out (they've been known to lay eggs in the big dishes, drowning the embryos ), and my incubator stands at the ready. Since I don't know the exact date of any locks, I don't really know when she'd be ready to lay--so I'm going by her shed schedule.

    If that truly was her prenatal shed, she should lay her eggs in the next 7-10 days. I am encouraged that she is quite restless--Cleo was like that a few days before laying. I suppose it's like with humans, too, but this is true nesting behavior, heh. If she keeps up with Cleo's pattern, after a few days of restless movement, she'll go in her lay box and stay there for a few days before laying.

    Her activity has given me full view of her, and I'm quite encouraged today by how round her back half seems. She's also unusually irritable (note her defensive pose), which is NOT like her. She is the sweetest, most mellow of all our adults snakes, but hey I was no basket of sunshine just before delivering mine, either.

    I've been through a lot, a lot, in the last year, so this would mean a lot to me. I had to be medically retired after 17 years in the classroom following brain surgery in January, and after losing my horse to a nasty colic and then realizing I'm not in a place physically to ride or really even handle a 1000lb animal, my other pets are a source of comfort and hope. No pressure, Kamalah.

    So...here's hoping all my eggs are in that one lavender basket.
    Last edited by Lauruffian; Jul. 30, 2015 at 08:09 PM.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
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    I have to admit I'm not a giant fan of snakes but those two are very pretty! I like the female better - she has interesting colors. Hope there's babies!
    "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
    - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

    There's no reasoning with crazy people.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2010
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    TX
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    I lve following your snakes! Hoping for eggs soon.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
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    4,471

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    Ooh babies! hoping for a real pregnancy.

    We had two different boas at our orchid society meeting last weekend; lot of snake stroking going on. our OS secretary posted a pic on her FB page of herself cuddling two adorable bunnies; but i suspect she probably fed them to her burmese python.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Gravity works, and the laws of physics are a bitch.

    Member: Rabid Garden Snail Clique



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
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    Someplace Wet
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    see the tough position you put us in? We cannot knit booties

    here is hoping you get your long wished for clutch


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2008
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    land of the Canucks aka West Coast B.C.
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    Yay! Love your snake tales.

    Slight side note but how is Runway doing?

    P.
    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2002
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    Southern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismaryllis View Post
    our OS secretary posted a pic on her FB page of herself cuddling two adorable bunnies; but i suspect she probably fed them to her burmese python.
    Oof. This is why I stuck to corn snakes and ball pythons--none of them get big enough to have that sort of feeding requirement. Rats and mice? Sure. Chicks, chickens, and rabbits? I'm out.

    Thanks for the well-wishing! Hopefully I'll be back soon with pictures of eggs.


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  8. #8
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    Southern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polydor View Post
    Yay! Love your snake tales.

    Slight side note but how is Runway doing?

    P.
    Oh, I need to update that thread! After more than doubling her weight ( ), Runway was sold to an absolutely perfect home (as far as I could tell) in Tennessee. Let me go find that thread and post an update.



  9. #9
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    I took Kamalah out to refresh the spaghum moss in her lay box (it was getting icky, and I don't want eggs laid in icky moss) and decided to feel for the eggs--I was told they'd feel like a long string of large pearls. Sure enough, they were pretty easily felt as she glided over my fingers. I didn't get a solid count since she would pause and change direction and I didn't want to stress her, but I counted 15, certain I missed a few. Whoo hoo!


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
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    Rochester, NY
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    I'm so glad she has eggs. It will be exciting to see what she produces.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 1, 2008
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    when is she due? And how long is incubation?



  12. #12
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    Nov. 12, 2009
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    New England
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    Kamalah is gorgeous! Unfortunately I left her pic on the screen and when DH went to get on the 'puter he screamed like a little girl and almost had a heart attack. He's not fond of snakes at all.

    Having "clutch" and "pearls" in this scenario has a whole new meaning.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    Southern California
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    threedogpack, she is due to lay any day now. She's driving me nuts because she won't settle--in the lay box, out the lay box. In, out. On top of, under, in, out. She's clearly very gravid (oof, I feel her discomfort) and is far heavier-looking than Cleo ever was with her clutch. I'm guessing she has quite a bit more eggs in her.

    She just now went back in her lay box--I'm hoping she stays. Not just because I'm eager for her to lay, but because I want her to rest. I also am eager for her to lay so I can go back to feeding her; she's put so much energy into cruising all over the tank on top of the physical demands of developing those eggs.

    Educational/explanation sidebar: It's inadvisable to feed after the prenatal shed as they are so heavy with eggs, they may not be able to stomach the meal--however small--or digest it properly. I learned the hard way with Cleo who regurgitated her adult mouse meal her first breeding season when she was about to go into her blue (preshed) phase. Snakes' stomach acid is extremely potent, able to break down the enamel on rodents' teeth, so when they regurg, that acid can do a lot of damage on the way back up. (There's a regurgitation protocol to follow when that happens as meal regurgitation can become a vicious, and lethal, cycle.) In Kamalah's case, I fed her a weanling mouse when she was just about to go blue--enough to give her nourishment, but not enough to stress her--and that's all she's had in the two weeks since. I'll likely start with a weanling again once she lays and slowly build back up with weekly feedings.

    In this pic you can really see how the eggs bulging, particularly in her last few inches before her tail. Her translucent color really shows it off. I'm a bit put off by being able to see her spine, but have to keep telling myself (as another breeder mentioned) that's likely due to the eggs pushing her spine up, though a natural loss of condition could be playing a part too. Hopefully those eggs will make their appearance in the next 24 hours!

    Shine, heh heh on your husband squealing at the pic. He needs to meet some of my snakes and learn how sweet they can be.



  14. #14
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    Jul. 20, 2010
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    So what colors/patterns should this breeding produce? I'm surprised that Cleo's babies aren't considered very marketable. I thought Mushroom and his siblings were very pretty. I prefer the darker colors and patterns to the dilutes.
    I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.



  15. #15
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    wireweiners, hey there! How is Mushroom doing? He's such a pretty boy.

    According to the Corn Snake Genetics Calculator--yup, that exists--the cross of Kamalah and Keegan produce these eight possible outcomes:

    Stripe, het (meaning, heterozygous/100% certain to carry recessive gene for) lavender, het hypo
    Lavender, het stripe, het hypo
    Normal (AKA Classic), het hypo, het stripe, het lavender
    Hypo, het stripe, het lavender
    Lavender stripe, het hypo
    Hypo stripe, het lavender
    Hypo lavender, het stripe
    Hypo lavender stripe (These guys sell for $200+ as hatchlings, so of course we're hoping for a few of those )

    Normals and amels are the most common, which is what makes them less marketable. (Though the normals produced in Kamalah's clutch will have more value because of the hets they carry.) That's nothing to say about what great pets they are--and Cleo has such a great temperament, that's worth something to pass down. They're great "starter snakes," so to speak.


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  16. #16
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    UGH! Lay already! Now, on top of my impatience and eagerness to get her eating again, I am concerned about her getting a case of the sniffles. She had a mild respiratory infection back in August, and in spite of increasing her enclosure's temp and giving her the prescribed injectable antibiotics, having that reptilian metabolism made for a s-l-o-w recovery. By November-December-ish, she was fine.

    We have had her here with us in the family room so she can be closely monitored for the last month or two, and in the last few days I've noticed her occasionally having noisy breathing (I hear the random sniff) as well as sporadically opening her mouth a crack to breathe. Poor mama. But there's nothing really I can do at this point until she lays--we need to avoid stressing her as much as possible. I have to keep telling my worried-mama-self that she's not as bad as she was this summer; she's not been puffing her throat to help breathe, and when I took her out yesterday to examine her, there was no open-mouth breathing or drooling all over me (ew) as before. (FTR, I took her out when she was in manic search-the-tank-for-a-nest! mode, so she was already active; I figured taking her out to examine her wouldn't be too stressful considering her behavior, and it was worth it to get a closer look at her.) As it was, the vet told me last summer she was in the early stages of the infection--the antibiotic was to get ahead of things--so she wasn't that bad off then, and thus, cannot be all that bad off now. BUT STILL! I worry about the poor dear. I have a feeling she is so heavily gravid--I counted 19 eggs while examining her yesterday --her lungs (well, lung--snakes only have 1 that's functional) are getting compressed much the same way a late term pregnant woman's are. Now I want her to lay those eggs so I can both get to feeding her again AND get to work on treating that infection.

    Heh, I told my husband it's rather like have a heavily pregnant mare, due any day--you don't load her up and trailer her to the vet unless you really, REALLY have to. (He joked about having to hitch up our trailer for Kamalah.) He was saying we should take her to the vet as soon as she lays, but I said that's inadvisable too--she will need some time to rest and recover, unless things get ugly in a hurry. What I aim to do is make sure her mice have vitamin powder on them and I'll go back to having dual heat sources, in essence giving her a fever. If she is still sniffling after her first meal, I'll take her in. Ugh, again, reminding myself she is not as bad now as last summer, and last summer it was mild, so, I need to calm down my worry monster.

    Girl is really swollen with eggs! I tried to get a pic yesterday showing the drastic difference between her last few inches of body and her tail, but couldn't quite capture it. This sort of gives the idea.

    We are at day 13 post prenatal shed. Most snakes lay between 7-14 days post-shed; Cleo was always right on day 10. But, some go 17-20 days, and heck, some lay before they shed, so that's why that's an average. BUT STILL! Lay your eggs, girl! :::taps foot impatiently:::


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  17. #17
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Oh, I just found this thread, so I can't really complain about the waiting, but since I was playing catch-up, I was really hoping there would be eggs before the end of my first read. Guess I can just join the line of eager egg-waiters!

    I think someone asked how long the gestation period is, but if you answered, I missed it. I want to prepare myself now for the next phase of waiting!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  18. #18
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    Aug. 3, 2009
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    Central Indiana
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    We are all eagerly awaiting these babies!
    Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    I think someone asked how long the gestation period is, but if you answered, I missed it. I want to prepare myself now for the next phase of waiting!
    Sorry I neglected to answer that earlier! Gestation/incubation of the eggs is painfully long--about 65 days, give or take 10 days on average. Darn that reptilian metabolism again! So, once the eggs are laid, there's a long waiting period--then around day 55 the excitement starts again as we wait for the first pippies to stick their noses out of their eggs.

    And thanks SarahKing!



  20. #20
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    Oct. 9, 2002
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    We have eggs! Whoopee!!

    DANG if girl made us wait and worry. She went a whopping 17 days after her prenatal shed. I had my suspicions yesterday laying was imminent, though. She stayed in her lay box almost the entire day, and by nighttime, she was lifting her tail in a way that suggested to me she might be uncomfortable with something akin to labor pains.

    Sure enough, this morning when I checked her I saw about 5-6 eggs. Woot! Knowing she had quite a bit more in her, I left her alone for the morning and when I checked on her later, she was done. She laid an impressive total of 19 eggs in her first clutch. One appears to be an infertile slug, but that's to be expected--Cleo always had 1-2 in her clutches, too.

    Tired mama wrapped around her hard work

    The eggs, moved to the egg bin (AKA tupperware with Hatchrite reptilian egg substrate) prior to being placed in the incubator.

    I may offer tired mama a small meal tomorrow, but I definitely need to leave her alone for today. She'll go immediately into her blue preshed phase--females always shed after they lay their eggs--and she will be ravenous after that shed. Then I can work on getting her condition back.

    Now the countdown begins until pipping! 55-70 days is average. Patience is not my strength. :::begins tapping foot:::


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