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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.

Can You Use A Chicken Incubator To Incubate Snake Eggs?
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Old 03-18-2004, 03:55 PM   #1
Can You Use A Chicken Incubator To Incubate Snake Eggs?

It holds about 8 quail eggs as far as size. The temperature ranges from 98 to 102 and there is a water tank to regulate humidity. With a light and everything. Would it work? I have a link to the kind I have if that would help.
Old 03-18-2004, 04:06 PM   #2
Darin Chappell
The basics of bird incubators versus those used for snake eggs are the same.

However, whereas birds need their eggs rotated to keep the embryos from sticking to the shells, reptile eggs are to be kept static throughought their incubation. So, any device that would automtically turn the eggs for you would need to be disabled/removed.

Also, the temps are really too high for proper cornsnake incubation. The temps need to be about the same range as needed by the snakes that will come out of the eggs. 75-85 is acceptable, with 82-84 being optimal, in my opinion. The lower the temp, the longer the incubation period. If the temps are too high, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence, that this causes kinked babies. Although I have heard of some who do, and are regularly successful, I wouldn't risk it.
Old 03-18-2004, 04:29 PM   #3
It doesn't have an automatic turner, have to do it manually. So temperature is the only problem? It comes with a thermostat so I guess that could be fixed. Also, don't you need a substrate like vermiculate? (Excuse the spelling)
Old 03-20-2004, 12:45 PM   #4
I knocked together a box for an incubator and put a chicken egg thermostat (wafer type) in it. I could adjust that down to an acceptable temperature.

Main thing that concerns me is the size of your incubator. Eight quail eggs is pretty small. If it is smaller than a plastic shoebox of the type sold at most of the discount stores, then I'd say the incubator is too small. IMHO, that is absolute minimum, but I like an incubator big enough to hold a sweater box.

Standard mix for snake eggs is 1:1 vermiculite to water by weight. One ounce of vermiculite per fluid ounce of water. I measure them both because I don't trust my ability to guessimate amounts. I bury the eggs in the mix.

Depending on how easily humidity is lost, you will have to add more water every so often. If the top of the top egg is just uncovered, you will see it start to dimple in. That's the time to add more water, about 50% of what you put in originally. Pull the eggs out, mix the water in, and rebury the eggs. A water tank will help with humidity but not do it all.

I like Vermiculite the grade of coarse sand. Others consider that too fine. You pay your money and make your choice.

Darrin is right on.

Look through the posts in this forum. You will find a lot of posts about incubation. And if you don't have it, Bill and Kathy Love's The Corn Snake Manual is a valuable resource.

Good luck.

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