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Site updated:
26th June 2012





Snake Laying Eggs Pictures and Words

Alice lays her clutch of eggs

After shedding her skin in February (along with Shaggy who shed his skin later on the same day), it was the signal for the start of the breeding season for my two corn snakes. So Shaggy began his usual chasing Alice around the vivarium - both of them getting quite fast and energetic at times.

Alice wasn't ready or in the mood to begin with, but by the end of March, Shaggy's persistence had paid off and they mated several times. For all you weirdos interested in snakes having sex, I include just one picture only of Shaggy and Alice squirming around on the floor of the vivarium - and you can't 'see' anything anyway!!!

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 114
It was soon obvious that Alice was pregnant - she became quite active, nosing around as if looking for something, alternating with periods of quiet restfulness when she curled up in a corner. So I put the nesting box - actually an old plastic sandwich box - into the vivarium for her and she immediately went into it and curled up in there, burrowed into the damp peat in the bottom.

Trouble was, Shaggy was still feeling randy and wanted to play with Alice some more - but she definitely wasn't having any, which led to the ridiculous situation pictured here, where Shaggy had clambered into the nesting box with Alice...

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 115

Things carried on like this for a day or so, me hoping that Shaggy would take the hint and calm down - but the pheromones Alice must have been giving off were driving him wild, so in the end I decided to separate them and put Alice, with the nesting box, into the small green topped plastic vivarium I first used when Shaggy was a hatchling. It is quite small, but big enough for Alice for the time being - at least she could get some peace and quiet.

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 116
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 117
Here is another picture of the small vivarium, showing the hole in the lid of the nesting box, which I had enlarged to about two and a half inches (6cm). I never pushed the lid down tight, so air can get in to circulate more easily and also it gives Alice another way to get out of the box. Pictured right is a shot of Alice peering out at me.

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 118

Alice now spent most of her time sitting in the nesting box - as picture 118 above here shows, which was taken a few days after moving in. There were a few times when she wanted to come out for a little exercise, but it wasn't long before she went into shedding mode and did her pre-laying shed over the Easter weekend. As a rule, female corn snakes shed their skins both shortly before and after laying eggs. Another thing is that they stop eating - the last time Alice ate anything was at the beginning of April, just before I put the nesting box into the main vivarium.

A couple of days before laying her eggs, Alice became very active again - not really knowing what she wanted... One minute she was wanting to come out and the next to go back into the vivarium. These three shots show how fat she has become, her belly swollen with eggs.

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 119
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 120
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 121







All was quiet in the morning, but around lunchtime there was some movement inside the nesting box and, when I looked, there was an egg that had only just been laid - so I very quietly removed the green lid and took this picture and then left Alice to carry on for a while, undisturbed.


Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 122

It wasn't long before several more eggs were laid - and I could see that Alice's head was over in one corner of the nesting box, so I gently lifted the other end of the box's lid and took these pictures of the eggs, including one of them as it emerges. I'm pretty sure Alice was either unaware of me there or it just didn't bother her. Obviously I didn't touch her at all and after taking the pictures the lid was gently lowered again.

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 123
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 124
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 125
Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 126

By the time she had finished laying the eggs, it was early evening and too late to take the eggs to the pet shop, to their incubator, that night. So it wasn't until the next morning that I gently lifted Alice off the eggs in the nesting box, where she had stayed all night. She curled up on the floor of the vivarium and after this last picture was taken, I covered her with another hide, so she feels safe and secure. You can see that her skin is not in all that good condition now and she has now gone into shedding mode again. In a few days time she will shed and then I will feed her with a small mouse. Assuming she takes that ok, she will be fed small mice and more often than usual for a short while, building back up to medium mice in a few weeks.

Corn Snake Picture
Snake Picture 127

As soon as Alice was separated from the eggs and settled in the vivarium, I took the nesting box with the eggs inside straight to the local reptile pet shop, Reptiles Plus. They offer a free incubating service for people with reptile eggs in their large incubator in the shop. In case you are interested in this service, their phone number for UK residents only is 01202 421117.

Oh, I suppose you are wondering how many she laid - well, it's not easy to count exactly because the eggs are stuck together in a clump. They are not hard, like birds eggs with a brittle shell, but have a leathery texture and slightly flexible skin. But our best estimates, when counting at the pet shop, was somewhere between 21 and 24 eggs. Hopefully most of these will hatch ok and when they do will be looked after (and owned) by one of the people who works at the shop - she will have all the time consuming feeding and watering of the hatchlings and not me. Look out for pictures of the hatchlings as they are born - around 70-90 days after going into the incubator as eggs.



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Gallery Two
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Gallery Fourteen
Gallery Three
Gallery Six
Gallery Nine
Gallery Twelve

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