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Breeding/Egg Production & Care Any topics concerning breeding of the cornsnake, brumation, egg laying, or issues concerning problems in any step along the way.

Eggs. No equipment. Complete surprise. HELP
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:58 AM   #1
J.Catherine
Eggs. No equipment. Complete surprise. HELP

So, long story short, I thought there was a chance my female corn snake could be pregnant. Was previously cohabbed with male, but I only observed mating like 3 week ago. They have since been separated and she has refused to eat for three weeks now. She shed 2 weeks ago. They were not brumated so I thought it was highly unlikely actual ovulation and eggs and things would occur so I didn't prepare for it.

Walk in twenty minutes ago and there's eggs in the viv. I'm hurriedly trying to heat up some mice for her to take since we've been having eating problems and I'm really worried her strength will be low now.

She laid them in her hide, not an overly humid environment. I don't have an incubator. There's nowhere here that sells them and is open on a Sunday. Any way to save the clutch or should I just bin it? Anything I can do for my poor snake as well?
 
Old 04-14-2019, 10:01 AM   #2
J.Catherine
Oh and there's two that are outside the clutch I take it they're dead already?
 
Old 04-14-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
Twolunger
Corn snakes do not have to be brumated. It's a good idea because they cycle faster after being removed from brumation, but I don't brumate anymore. As far as the eggs, if they appear viable, somewhat white shells and not yellow and rubbery to the touch you need to keep them from drying out and dimpling. The ones laid outside the hide can still be fertile if they look white as described. You can put the eggs in a plastic container with moist substrate and set them on or near the warm side of your vivarium until you can get an incubator. I wouldn't buy an incubator if the eggs are yellow and rubbery, as they are probably infertile. If you want to try just in case there are fertile ones, do incubate them.

Give the female a day or two to rest and then offer her a small meal. I would not cohabitat them again, as the male will try to mate again.
 
Old 04-14-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
J.Catherine
Well, they're white, but I would say it's closer to rubbery than moist. However a lot of them were robust and oval shaped. However Now some of them have started to dimple a bit and there's quite a few blemishes on them. I've put them on moist paper towels and put them over the heatmat (down at the base of the heatmat it comes in at 30 degrees c so I've put it above a centimetre or two of substrate to make it so that the eggs come in at roughly 27-28) Put them in a plastic tub with a few holes in the top for ventilation too?

These are pictures



Think they're salvageable? If so what kind of incubator do I need? Do I need to fork out for a reptile one or can I use a chicken one?
 
Old 04-14-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
Twolunger
I've had worse looking eggs hatch with no problems. Not all were fertile but several were. The wet paper towels should help with the dimpling, but don't overdo the moisture when you set the eggs in a hatching medium. I don't know what you have available there but here I have organic perlite that I use. Any incubator will suffice, as long as it keeps a fairly even setting without high spikes in temperature. In warm climates like mine I don't use an incubator all the time, just put the containers on a shelf. My room temperature is usually 80 degrees F. I don't have ventilation holes on my egg containers because it's hard to maintain the proper humidity. I just open the containers once a week for air exchange. You can do a search on this forum for egg container hatching medium.
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:44 AM   #6
J.Catherine
I got some cocoa fibre brick and rehydrated it since that's the only thing that my pet stores sell that seems even close to what I need :/ I put a hydrometer/thermometer in the tub before I put it in the incubator and it's reading at a steady 27-29, but the humidity is coming in at 99%. But I'm worried that might not be right since more of the eggs look to be dimpling in a bit (no discolouration tho)
 
Old 04-17-2019, 10:19 AM   #7
Twolunger
I don't know what others do regarding dimpling, but I'll tell you what I do. I use an eye dropper to put water on each dimple and then cover the dimple with a small piece of paper towel. In a day or so the egg is rehydrated and I remove the paper towel. I'm only talking about dimples on top of the eggs. While some humidity is necessary in the egg container you don't want it so humid that water droplets appear on the sides and top of the container. Believe me, I've ruined a clutch by having too much moisture.
 
Old 04-28-2019, 04:42 PM   #8
J.Catherine
An update --

I used your eyedropper technique and I think that's working well. They're two weeks old now and I put them against a torch today and saw that all of them (minus one that decayed that I had to remove) have blood vessel lines in them so that's a good sign I think.

The tub I'm using is cracked open slightly were I've inserted an independent thermometer/hydrometer because my incubator is slightly broken :/ (goes up to 28 c but if I open it it doesn't go back up to that temperature so I'm using tiny hot waterbottles...not an ideal situation, but it's the best I can do at the moment). At the crack the eggs are dehydrating faster, so those ones might not survive but all the others look okay.


Counting down the days till early June when they should hatch now
 
Old 04-28-2019, 06:46 PM   #9
Twolunger
If the eggs at the crack in the container appear to be dehydrating just add a little water near them periodically. I have to salute your tenacity, hot water bottles. The average person might just give up on the clutch. It reminds me of when my air conditioner broke down two years ago in the middle of the summer heat. The cooling company ordered a new unit, but I had to cool the eggs down using small amounts of ice inside the incubator for a couple days.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 04:34 AM   #10
J.Catherine
Well, continuing in this saga, the eggs unfortunately died as my incubator broke. As I went to fix it I took the tub out and put it on a hot water bottle filled with hot but not boiling water and on top of several towels. Temperature plummeted. So I took off a layer of towels, and another, and another until it was right on the hot water bottle and the temperature stopped dropping, but it was 22c (71f) by this point. Incubator gets fixed, I pick up the tub and it's too hot to touch. So I either froze or boiled the eggs, but a few days later and they were all brown. A dissection confirmed they were indeed fertile and would've yielded lovely babies.

After the clutch my corn fed ravenously, but then stopped. I thought 'surely not..', but I put a laying box in last night and woke up this morning to see her huddled round a clutch!

Didn't put her with the male again obviously as I wasn't super keen on a double clutch since this is her first season, but nature has found a way clearly. No idea if they are fertile but they certainly look initially healthy. Really hope she starts feeding soon too.
 

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