Brazilian Rainbow Boa breeding 102, This is the basic process I
use to breed mine.
My breeding cages:
I made two of these cages to be
expandable. They each have 8 roughly 2' x 2' x18" sections. Each
section is sufficient for one adult Brazilian Rainbow Boa.
Currently there are 4Ē PVC pipes on the outside connecting vertical
pairs and a pass through between the two cages at each level. All
these pipes have threaded ends and can be closed off as required.
With these cage connections I have a lot of variability in how I
connect cages together. Either two vertical cages, two
horizontal cages or even three to four cages in a cluster.
Typically each cage is blocked off and housing one female. The
males are in a nearby tub rack
note: I have since added
in lateral pass through pipes and no longer use the outside pipes.
I breed my Brazilian rainbow boas in trios by connecting together
two female cages and adding one adult male rainbow boa.
I lay down two layers of
newspaper followed by one layer of indented craft paper on top. Each
cage gets a sweater box for hide/moss. The box gets about an inch of
peat moss well dampened and another inch of green moss also nice and
damp. There is also a two gallon squat water bowl with about 1 to 2
inches of water I place on top of the hide. Both the hide and
the water bowl are large enough for two adult rainbow boas.
Often them will mate in the water bowl itself.
I am using Radiant Heat Panels (RHP)
to heat these cages. One RHP per section. Each level is controlled
by one channel of a Herpstat Pro thermostat. Yeah, I could probably
control it all with one thermostat but I want to closely control
each level and not have the upper cages warmer than the lower ones.
The individual channels are set to 82 degrees and with all the cages
and tub racks, the whole room ends up around 75. I do use the night
drop feature but only a couple of degrees. My downstairs room they
occupy was built as a guest bedroom and has full insulation so the
room itself retains heat very well.
I usually feed on a two week,
give or take, schedule. I feed F/K as I raise my own feeders. Also
sometimes feast/famine as I raise my own feeders. I usually check
the cages daily and clean as necessary. More so during "eating"
season. The hide boxes get checked/changed frequently as they like
to poop in the moss maybe feels more natural?
Early October I start dropping
my daytime temps over a few week span from 82 to 75 for all the
cages and racks housing adult rainbow boas. Still keeping
all snakes separate. (BTW, I am in San Jose CA, does not get real
cold here so I have to use the middle of the winter as my cooling
time) During this cooling period I also decide who is
getting bred to who and arrange the females so they are in adjacent
cages. I still continue feeding cleaning etc. During the entire
On January first, I open the
connections between cages and add in that specific male to create
all my 1.2 rainbow boa breeding colonies. I also start raising the temps a degree at a
time over the next two - three weeks back up to 82 degrees.
Over the next several months, I
block the tubes and separate the individual rainbow boas monthly for
feeding. Many females will stop eating once they are gravid but I
still offer food. Two or three days after feeding, I open the tubes
back up and add the male rainbow boa back in.
During breeding season I observe
the rainbow boa groups frequently and take note of anything I notice that could be
related to successful breeding:
Swelling in the
females (possible ovulations)
Sheddings (do that
year round any ways)
Laying on side or
back - gravid females will do that
In May (give or take) after all
breeding activity has stopped and I believe the female rainbow boas are all
gravid, I block off the tubes and put the males and females all back
to their respective cages and tubs. This can be variable for
individual 1.2 breeding trios. If both females are clearly gravid,
then I can separate sooner. I feel itís better to leave them
together longer than necessary then to separate them too soon!!
By tracking all the female
shed. I can come up with possible due dates. Add to that all my
recorded breeding info and I can usually tell which shed was the
POS. Typically within a month following last noted breeding
activity. And typically in the March - April time frame (sometimes
as late as June). I keep a spreadsheet file with formulas where I
can enter in shed dates for each female and it calculates a
corresponding due date. It has room for four shed dates per female
so I can see alternate due dates all at the same time. I use POS
plus 117 days to estimate their due dates. Once I have the
necessary info and identify which shed I believe was the POS, I
highlight those cells in my spreadsheet and mark my calendar!! I
also put a post-it on the individual cages with that female rainbow
Feeding while gravid:
Many female rainbow boas will not feed at
all, others will sporadically and a select few will eat regularly.
I figure out which ones donít typically eat and offer them food
first, then keep moving the food item until itís eaten. Last time
food is offered is one month prior to due date.
As soon as I find/notice baby
I remove them from the mothers cage. Their next care depends on the
state of the litter...
Babies all out cruising the cage
none still attached to yolk or umbilical. I put these babies
directly into shoe boxes with damp paper towels and water bowl..
Babies found shortly after (or
even during) birth. Full term with minimal or no yolks and still in
the egg sacks. I let the babies work them selves free of the egg
sacks and umbilical then place each baby in it's shoe box with damp
paper towels and water bowl.
Babies found still in sack but
with yolks - best to observe and leave them alone giving them time
to absorb the yolk. Once they break free, then off to their shoe
box with damp towels and water bowl.
On occasion, I have transferred
baby with yolk, still in sack to the shoebox. Need to keep that
very clean, damp always and keep an eye on it/them. Yolk babies
need to be kept extra warm (not hot) to allow them to digest that
yolk and not let it harden.
Thought I'd mention that when
I'm planning on being gone, I stop feeding two weeks prior to
leaving and don't feed again until I return. This helps keep the
mess to a minimum while I'm not there to clean it up. And increases
the likelihood of having clean water the entire time Iím gone.