Breeding snakes is a very common way snakes owners use to earn a little income on the side. Plus, Rosy Boas are a VERY popular snake to own. But how do you even begin to start figuring out how to breed snakes?
Quick List of Breeding Steps
In order to breed rosy boa constrictors, you will need to do certain things to make sure everything goes well, such as:
- Choose healthy boa constrictors and keep them very healthy
- Put your snakes through a season of brumation
- Warm your snake back up after brumation
- Introduce your male and female snakes to each other
- They will do their work
- Remove the male from the female’s tank
- Wait for the female to give birth
- Get those baby snakes into their own tank(s)
- Sell those baby rosy boa contrictors
Now, I know those steps probably don’t make much sense, so I’ll explain it all in detail for you as well.
Step One: Your Snake Must Be Healthy
Make sure the snakes that you are using for breeding are in very healthy condition. These snakes need to be healthy because after the brumation and stress of breeding
Your snakes need to be healthy during this breeding process for a multitude of reasons. One of these is simply because brumating and breeding, in general, are very hard on a snake.
If your snake isn’t healthy, to begin with, it is likely that the snake will become very ill or possibly die through this process. Another reason is that when introducing snakes to each other, they introduce a whole new world of germs, illnesses, and diseases to each other.
If the two snakes have lived in the same tank, they should be fine. However, more often than not, snakes are housed separately. Each tank will have its own set of germs as well. If your snake isn’t healthy, it could even fall ill or die from simply meeting the other snake.
Step Two: Brumation is Crucial in the Breeding Process
Brumation! Brumation is a state of dormancy or hibernation that snakes go into during the winter. Your snakes will need to brumate in order to breed. This is one of the main reasons why you need to make sure your snake is healthy!
One thing you will need for successful brumation, aside from the special tank atmospheric alterations, is a hide box. This hide box is to help your snake has dark places to hibernate in. It is recommended to have one on each side of the tank. One which is on the warm side, and the other one on the cooler side.
During this state of dormancy, your snakes will cease eating and will stay in a cool, dry environment to wade out this 2-month timespan of their form of “winter”. You will also only give your snake a small dish of drinking water. Only enough to drink and not get the snake wet!
At the beginning of November, you will need to stop feeding them and give them two weeks to get their last meals out of their system. This has to happen before you can start the full brumation process!
Within the first week of brumation, you will need to slowly lower the temperature in the enclosure down to about 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to reduce the light as well when reducing the heat.
You will need to keep this cage in a relatively dark room with no more than 6 to 8 hours of sunlight not directly at the cage. Keeping it dark for the snake is important to get the full cycle of brumation.
After that, there isn’t anything you can do except every couple days offer a small dish of water for the snake to drink. This dish needs to be too small for the snake to fit in, though, because your snake CANNOT get wet during its brumation period! Let your snake brumate for about 10 weeks.
Also, if you are housing two snakes in one tank, you should brumate them separately. So, you will need a spare tank for this brumation process.
Step Three: Warm up Your Snake
After your snake’s brumation period is over, you can now start warming up your snake! Gradually increase your tank’s temperature back to its normal rate. You can do this in the timespan of a week or two, just like with cooling down the tank. You just can’t warm the tank up rapidly because you could burn the snake.
After five days of your tank being back to its normal temperature, it is okay to feed your snake again. This first meal should be smaller than what the snake was used to eating because after not eating for so long they run the risk of regurgitation.
After their first meal, your snakes will be starving, so you will need to feed them larger portions about every five days. You will need to be careful to not overfeed your snake, though, because you are still trying to keep it healthy for breeding.
You will now need to wait for your snakes to shed their skins before it is safe to introduce them for breeding. This will happen about a month after they start eating again. Once they shed their skins, you are good to start the next step! However, do not move on until your snakes have shed their skins.
Step Four: Introducing the Snakes
Next, you will need to introduce your male and female snakes to each other. You will need to put them in the same tank to get acquainted with each other. Putting the male in the female’s cage for about 12 to 24 hours multiple times a week should be sufficient.
This can be dangerous, however. By introducing your snakes you can harm them as well, so keep this in mind before deciding to breed because it can possibly cost you your snake’s life.
By introducing two snakes, you also introduce them to a whole new set of illnesses and diseases that they haven’t been exposed to before. Even if the snakes live in the same house but separate tanks, each tank has its own set of illnesses.
This can be dangerous to your snake because if your snake isn’t healthy enough to withstand these introduced diseases, it could possibly become very ill and even die.
Another problem that might occur with introducing snakes is one might eat the other. Due to possible aggressiveness, especially if the snakes don’t get along, one snake could eat the other snake through this introduction. This, obviously, WILL cost you your snake’s life.
Another issue to consider before breeding is that your snakes could also just fight and hurt each other. This would not necessarily result in losing your snake (depending on how bad the wounds are), but could at the very least give you some very expensive vet bills.
Step Five: Mating
After this introduction period, you should be good to go for their mating! During this stage, the male will line up with the female and rub its chin along the sides and back of her. The male will then wrap his tail with hers.
This behavior will continue for anywhere from 1 to 3 months and should result in your snakes successfully mating. You will need to check the female rosy b
Three to four weeks after this point the bottom half of your female rosy boa should noticeably increase in size. This is assurance that the mating process has worked and you are ready for the next step to happen.
Seperate the Snakes
You will then need to remove the male from the female’s housing tank so that she can be alone. You can now proceed to take care of your male snake with its normal schedule, as well.
After removing the male snake, feed the female every four to six days if she is willing to eat. But make sure you feed her small items, though. This is why you are allowed to feed her a little more.
This makes it easier to keep her food down and process everything without regurgitation. This is like the equivalent to morning sickness in humans, if that helps you guys understand a little better.
Step Seven: The Waiting Process
This step is simply waiting for the female to give birth. You keep up with the frequent feeding schedule, but it’s okay if she doesn’t eat. If your snake is healthy, she should be fine not eating during this time.
You will also want to provide a hot spot of about 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit on one side of your snake’s tank as well.
During this time your snake may also get more aggressive, but don’t worry. This is completely normal. It’s just like a pregnant woman having hormonal reactions.
After about 120 to 140 days your female snake will start to act super tired. This is a sign that she is almost ready to give birth! Your snake will most likely shed her skin as well.
Your snake will then give birth to her live young. Your snake’s clutch should range from about 3 to 8 snakes. Your now-
Step Eight: Babies are Born
After the babies are born, you will need to get them each in their own, separate 10-gallon tanks to start their own feeding cycles and lives. About 7 to 14 days after birth these baby rosy boas will shed their skin, which indicates that it is safe to start feeding them.
You can start feeding them pinkies at this point. Don’t fear if your baby snakes are being fussy eaters or, on the other end of the spectrum, extremely hungry all the time. That is very normal for baby snakes.
If your snake is a fussy eater, try altering their environment a bit. Changing physical features inside the tank or even altering the temperature can help them be more apt to eat. Another trick is to pierce a pinky and try feeding the snake that way.
It is not recommended to brumate during your baby snake’s first winter, but if they refuse to eat it can be a last resort and you can try feeding them after brumation.
Step Nine: Sell and Make a Profit
Finally, you can sell all of those cute little baby snakes you have!
First, however, you might need to acquire a permit to sell these snakes. You will need to research your state’s regulations and requirements for selling animals. Once you have checked that and figured out what is needed, then you can proceed.
You can either create a legal business by doing all the necessary state-required paperwork, or you can probably sell your snakes at a local pet shop.
It is ultimately up to you to decide which you prefer and regulations and requirements will vary with each state. It would be smart to contact animal control as well to get the necessary information.
Another thing that is important to know is whether you plan to start your own business or to sell to a pet store is to figure out the average pricing for the snakes that you are selling. You don’t want to overprice them because then people won’t buy your snakes.
However, you don’t want to underprice them, because then you won’t be making as much money as you should be. So, to help you get some of your research, I researched the average price of a rosy boa and found that these snakes generally sell at $100 per snake.
If you do decide to start your own business, you will need the necessary paperwork clearly filled out and on file, however that may be needed according to your state’s regulations.
There are also a few other things you will have to consider like how you will market your goods and how you will transport the snake to its buyer or if they will retrieve it themselves.
You will need to market your snakes if you plan to sell them, but how would someone do that? Well, there are a few rather easy options for this. You can put flyers up at your local supermarket or pet stores. You could also go to social media sites as well and put a digital flyer there. Both are great ways to get the word out that you have adorable snakes to sell.
Another factor to consider, as I mentioned before, is your snakes’ transportation to their buyers’ homes. You have a few options. You can have your buyer retrieve the snake themselves, which is probably the cheapest option for you but may not promote sales as much.
Another option is for you to transport the reptiles yourself. You could charge a little extra for this if you so desire, and this would also ensure that the snake gets properly handled through this beginning process for this stressful beginning of the snake’s new life.
The last option to consider is shipping the pet to the desired locations. This is a harder thing to do because it does get expensive and can be very traumatic for the pet.
However, all of this is up to you! Make sure you do your research and enjoy your new business!
Do rosy boa constrictors lay eggs?No! Rosy boas actually give live birth to their babies, kind of like humans do. This is one of the things make rosy boas so easy to breed because there is no need for egg incubation.
How big is an adult rosy boa? The average size of an adult rosy boa snake is roughly 3 feet long when fully grown. The record size for this snake is 4 feet long.
Are rosy boa constrictors good beginner snakes? The most common beginner’s snake is the California kingsnake or a corn snake, but rosy boas are probably next in line. They are generally easy to take care of and very cool to look at.