Snakes - Over a quater of a century of keeping snakes

I started keeping snakes in 1986, with a Red Sided Garter snake, which grew to around 30". I then progressed and purchased Fred, our first Royal Python. The peak of my collection was around 1999 - 2000 when I had around 12 adult snakes and bread some 60 babies over these two years.

New addition to the family - November 2009  

A few months back I stumbled on a forum that discussed all things herpetological and this re-kindled my interest in snakes and prompted me to consider a breeding program with my long term captive male Royal python. I Received some cash from Dawns's grandmother, and sold the Eco 8 as spares on e-bay (all apart from the electrics). This gave me enough cash to look for a suitable female, and it wasn't long before I found one that was ideal for next years program.

However this was the start of things, I then designed a new set of enclosures, and spent a weekend getting the wood cut from B&Q and putting the thing together. Everything went well and over the course of the following week obtained the glass, heaters and lighting... the bottom line was around £400 for a fully fitted and decorated set of vivariums, each one 1200mm x 325mm by 500mm.

I spent a couple of days setting the heating right so it gives a hot spot of 32 C at one end and 26 C at the cool end, before introducing the snakes to their new home. A day later both snake fed and then Fred went into a shedding cycle. Jasmine is still a little too small to breed from at just under three feet and 700g. Ideally she needs to double her weight and gain another foot, which as she is only two years old should manage that in time for the breeding season next November (2010).

The image on the right shows Jasmine exploring her new home, and I'm sure you'll agree she has some stunning light markings

 

The image on the right shows me with our boa (bcc) who was named by Dawn as "Mildred" (yes we did have a pair and the male was called George, but he was so agressive we sold him on ). She was about two or thee years old when we took that picture and around six feet. The bank of vivariums I built can be seen to the left of the picture,, with the remaining hatchling corn snakes in the tubs on the top.

Mildred was given (along with a 72" x 21" x 21" viv) to my friend Andy as we needed to downgrade the collection due to our second child coming along and we needed a three piece suite, so it was get rid of the viv's or sit on the floor !

Back in 2001 Andy and his wife Barbara moved home so Mildred came and stayed with us for an evening or two, by which time she was just over 8 feet in length. Regretfully the move took longer than anticipated, and she developed an RI not long after, from which she didn't recover. Both Andy and Myself were gutted as she was such a nice calm, plascid snake.

20/11/2015

We have a new addition - A six month old lesser pastel royal python. She's settled in nicely and is quite a dustbin, taking a feed the day we got her home...

Royal Python Breeding

After keeping Royal Pythons for over 20 years I have finally managed to get an adult pair to breeding age and condition this year. In November 2014 I started reducing the evening temperatures, and then from January 2015 started to introduce the male to the female. Well looks like my male did the business as the female ovulated in mid July, and is more or less doing what she should do according to various web sites on breeding royals.

19/8/2015

She had been very restless over the past few days and would often lay inverted under the heater for a while from time to time, and then this morning this is what greeted us this morning, exactly 30 days after she has her pre-lay shed. Seven large eggs are now in the incubator and hopefully the next update will when the eggs hatch and babies are out.

23/10/2015

Due to issues with the incubator I lost all but one of the eggs - here's the only survivor - a female lesser platinum to boot !