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Cohabbing Misfortunes.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
Cohabbing Misfortunes.

This thread has a single purpose: To collect and keep in one places tales of the consequences of cohabbing.

To start, yes I cohabbed once. One of the snakes ended up on a 6 week hunger strike and had a year of fickle feedings, resulting in real issues growing for a fair while. Feren only started eating again once I separated him from Liam, who was twice his size. He had eaten well for a month before the hunger strike started.
Old 07-22-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
Thanks for starting this thread!

I am glad I found this forum. I don't have any cohabbing stories, because I took the advice I read & chose not to cohab my snakes.

So many horror stories, it's sad.

I don't know who it was, but I remember one person who had two gorgeous babies they picked up from an expo, & thought the babies would be ok together on the way home, but one ate the other one, & they both died, if I remember right.

I think pictures are probably appropriate in this thread, don't you?
Old 07-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
Photographic evidence of cohabbing problems:
Old 07-22-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
Moderators, please forgive me. This is in my forum, but I would like to put it here too.

On a Saturday night back in March 2005, I went into the snakeroom to feed the snakes. Back then I only had 3 ball pythons and 8 cornsnakes. I thawed the mice and went to feed one of the ball pythons. My normally placid ball python was hissing and wildly striking at me the moment I opened the drawer. I jumped back and noticed a scorched smell and saw that the substrate was charred. I pulled the drawer all the way out of the rack, while dodging the strikes of the snake, put on my "wussy gloves" and transferred the snake into the large "critter keeper" that I used on cage-cleaning day.
The bottom of the drawer was actually melted. There was a fist-sized hole where the plastic was gone. I was horrified. I quickly unplugged the rack and waited for the snake to settle down. Thankfully, the snake was unhurt.

I ended up having to co-hab 2 of my ball pythons and 2 of my corns until the new rack came. Not a great situation as I had never been a fan of cohabbing in the first place. Snakes don't choose to socialize or travel in herds in the wild, but this was only going to be temporary. I put my 2 male ball pythons, and 2 of my male cornsnakes together. One of the cornsnakes was named Kelsey. He was a 7 year old amel stripe and one of the most beautiful snakes I had ever laid eyes on. I got him from a breeder that never learned how to pop or probe hatchlings, but said he could tell a snakes sex by its tail shape. I had put Kelsey in with females in the past, but he never showed any interest. I thought it was just bad timing on my part......

The new rack came about 2 weeks later. I settled everyone into their new digs, and thought things were fine. I was wrong. A few weeks later I noticed that Kelsey was starting to look "chunky". It NEVER EVER occured to me that "he" might be gravid. For 7 years I had thought of Kelsey as a male. I never provided a lay box. Why would you provide a lay box for a male snake?
One night in July I went to feed Kelsey and found "him" surrounded by 13 or 14 eggs. It took a few minutes for it to sink in that my boy was actually a girl. Initially, I was thrilled. I had wanted to breed that gorgeous snake from the beginning. I fed Kelsey a fuzzy and set the eggs up in vermiculite.

A couple of weeks went by, and Kelsey "seemed" to recover. She was eating and acting normally. I had not handled her since she laid her eggs. I took her out of the cage and noticed a huge lump near her cloaca, with several more behind it. My heart sank. I made a vet appointment the next day. The vet managed to get one egg out of her and gave her an injection designed to cause muscle contractions, in hopes of helping her expel the rest of the eggs. After a week of no progress I brought her back to the vet. She was given another injection. The next morning, Kelsey was dead.

It was very hard losing Kelsey that way. It was my fault for co-habbing and not seeing the signs of a gravid snake. But, I still had the eggs. That was something. I decided that it would be hard to give up ANY of Kelsey's babies, come hatch time. Even if they were a bunch of normals, I could breed them together and hopefully someday hatch a baby as beautiful as that girl was.....
But one by one I watched the eggs die. Soon I had only 9 good ones....then 8...And by October I was down to only 3 good eggs.

On October 12 a head poked out of one egg. I was elated. The baby had the same wonderful striped pattern as its mother!! On October 13, another head appeared, and again the same striped pattern emerged. The color was a bit darker on both those babies but that wonderful pattern was the same! (That meant the male was het for stripe too!) Then on October 14, the last baby hatched, the spitting image of Kelsey! They turned out to be all males, and they came at a horrible price. But I named them Kessler, Kato and Kismet and kept all 3. My avatar is a picture of Kato as a hatchling.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I will have to say that I am adamantly against co-habbing snakes. It cost one of mine her life. If my words seem strong in those kinds of threads, it just because I don't want someone else to go through what I did. The snakes are the ones who suffer for our poor decisions. Always remember that.
Old 07-22-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
I will share my experience with cohabbing. I have had snakes off and on most of my life. Had been out of it for awhile and decided I wanted corn snakes. Bought a male Anery and female Normal motley from a "breeder". They were both 5 months old. The were kept together since birth. The male was huge in comparison to the female and I was told they would be fine together. Even asked advice from my local pet shop that had a snake "expert" working there. The "expert" said they would be fine in the same viv. My snakes were always together also, they ate well, shed etc. for about 2 months. The female just wasn't growing. I found her dead in the viv one morning and she looked like she had been regurged or mashed. Either way she was dead, and I wish I could go back and change the way I first did things. I can't but I sure learned a lesson. Never will I cohab snakes again, no matter what age!!! My Anery, will be a year old in Sept., now weighs 93 grams and is gorgeous, I miss my little Motley, still feel horrible about her demise, I could have avoided it.

0.1 Adult CommonMiami Phase Corn Snake,
1.0 2010 Mystery/Anery
Old 07-22-2011, 10:27 PM   #6
Here is my contribution... I don't have any horror stories. But, I have an album full of misfortune pictures that I found in Google Images...
Old 07-23-2011, 01:05 AM   #7
Here is a link to my thread. Granted it is not a "cohabbing" story but they were cohabbed for about an hour. And at this time we are hoping that it is a happy ending but as starsevol's story proves it is not always a happy ending. My biggest point is that these are babies. So even if the babies are happy and eating (and not each other) there is always a chance of premature breeding as well.
Old 07-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
So far, this thread seems to suggest that co-habbing is only a bad thing to do when either of the snakes is too young to be bred. In that case, if they are old enough, it is not more dangerous than putting them together because you want them to breed. If you notice an unexpected gravity in time of course....

I must say I do feel a little 'itchy' from this thread; maybe I should start a thread on co-habbing for years without problems and one for cases were snakes were not co-habbed and still got sick or died? Recently I read somewhere that research showed that the stimulation of another snake nearby is actually beneficial.

I also don't understand why I see all those piles of hatchlings on this forum, while most cases of cannibalism occur between HATCHLINGS. I know that some will even keep them together as a group until their first shed. Yet these breeders are most probably against co-habbing..... weird choice IMO.

Sorry for the off topic contribution but I don't have any co-habbing misfortune stories to tell, even though I have been co-habbing for years (now wait for the scorching)
Old 07-23-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
I do have to say and I put it in a thread somewhere. I do have a cohabbed pair. I know that they are both female cause they have both layed eggs and they are in a 100 gal tank. Plus, I have a couple more divided tanks but more often then not most the people that are asking are new. And I have a big probably telling someone that it is ok the cohab knowing that there is a risk when I know that if they don't cohab there isn't that same risk. Most of these problems come from people who don't know their snake inside or out, like we do. My biggest reason for bringing up the age thing is because I have seen many times at pet stores where people are told that they can cohab until 2 because the can not become gravid before that and we all know that just isn't the truth.
Old 07-25-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
Em Wright
Blutengal... just had to stir the pot? I think the point of this thread is simple: A place where we can collect stories, pictures, and information about cohabbing. There shouldn't be any debate here, there's been debate in a lot of other places.

I have never had problems with cohabbing. Why? Because I've NEVER done it and I never will. This was my first year producing hatchlings. I didn't get any baby pile pictures because I removed the babies as soon as I found they were completely out of the egg.

I have seen cohabbing though. I went to a breeder's house (nobody here) and he had about 5-8 yearlings in a shoebox size container together. Not just one tub like that, but several. How is that good for any snake? The only reason he kept them that way was so he could keep more snakes in a smaller space and make a bigger profit from selling them.

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