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  • Too old for a boyfriend?

    Hello all,

    I have a "Bay of Baja" female rosy that I've had since 1999. She's very healthy and active, and has always been a fantastic captive. In 2007, I had a small litter from her, but lost her boyfriend shortly thereafter. She's been going solo ever since.

    My question is, is she too old to breed? Since they can live into their mid 20's with relative ease, she has a long ways to go yet. She's in very good weight and has always been a stellar feeder, only going off feed in mid winter for a couple of months (I turn her heat off then and she is in the low to mid 60's for that time).

    I tried to snap a pic of her to attach to this post but she won't sit still. I don't handle her much so she's always on the move when I do.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

    I personally wouldn't breed her, since she's been inactive for so long...it's risky. How is her muscle tone? On the other hand, I had a rosy boa that was given to me late in her life (she was unwanted & poorly cared
    for in a nature museum...they had trouble getting her to feed- she was stressed being in a fairly small cage with 2 other females etc); anyway, she was about the age yours is now and she "insisted" on trying to
    reproduce*. She produced slugs and because she had very poor muscle tone, trying to push out those slugs nearly killed her. (*I am leaving out many details here for the sake of brevity) Long story short: I ended up
    giving her a mate (she ate just fine for me...in fact she made a pig of herself! she just needed her own space & better conditions/heat/TLC) and she produced very healthy strong litters with me for 5 years. I wanted
    her to stop sooner, but she nearly died twice, from the difficulty of pushing out slugs, whereas live babies do most of the work themselves. All in all, that rosy boa lived another 11 years with me after surviving the
    nature museum, and even with having 5 litters (49 babies in all)! She lived about 5 years beyond her last litter. So there you go....? I never really wanted to breed rosies at all...but she truly had other ideas, LOL.
    (oh, and she went thru two "husbands", hahaha...she really was a remarkable snake, and the year after the museum gave her to me, the other 2 rosies they had both died of some nasty illness...she sure had good
    luck, playing difficult & getting evicted when she did!)

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    • #3
      Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

      Her muscle tone is great, she's solid as a rock. She has very good weight. I think she's plenty healthy enough; was more concerned about fertility. It surprises me how strong that little snake is every time I handle her. She's in a 36"x12" tank, with lots of structure, and is always on the move in the evenings and at night.

      Thanks for sharing your experience-- that helps!

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      • #4
        Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

        Well your snake has something in common with the one I had...neither one had done much or ANY breeding. So I suspect yours will be fine (there's always risks of course). And the winter cool-downs improve their
        fertility too, sounds like you're doing everything right...good luck starting her family!

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        • #5
          Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

          I've bred various kinds of other snakes, but the rosies were always very subtle about their mating behavior...I never once saw them in 'action'. I generally housed them together for a while in the late winter or
          early spring, during which time I'd often see them cuddled together...and it always 'worked'. Neither one ever seemed stressed during their time together, quite the opposite, & I gave them plenty of privacy.

          One good thing about breeding an older snake is that they've got plenty of body size to handle reproduction; I've never bred any snakes younger than 4-5 years, but I never imagined in my wildest dreams just
          how successful that very mature rosy boa would be, nor did it seem to shorten her life one bit, since she was about 26 years old when she passed. I think because she had never bred earlier that made all the
          difference...overall, breeding does generally shorten a female snake's life some, as it just takes a lot out of her to reproduce.

          Your gal sounds like she's in prime condition so I hope you can find a male to keep up with her...she's probably a "cougar", haha!

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          • #6
            Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

            I've known a friend who had a Boa from birth, and he bred It every 2-3 yrs , even at 28 yrs old , she was having nice healthy litters. I believe that breeding too often, runs the greater risk.

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            • #7
              Re: Too old for a boyfriend?

              Originally posted by Morgans Boas View Post
              I've known a friend who had a Boa from birth, and he bred It every 2-3 yrs , even at 28 yrs old , she was having nice healthy litters. I believe that breeding too often, runs the greater risk.
              That's a risk too, I'd agree...I think in the wild, most snakes are inclined to breed only every 2-3 years. And again, extenuating circumstances were the only reason I ever bred the rosy boa that I mentioned (and the 'rest of the
              story' is that she produced not only slugs when unbred, but also a live but deformed parthenogenic baby that lived 8 months. In giving her a mate, the idea was for her to at least have viable babies rather than slugs or deformed
              babies with little chance of healthy life.) I totally applaud those breeding their snakes with the restraint in mind that your friend shows.

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