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View Full Version : *Off Topic* Fix to my brumation problem w/ Western Hognose?


Ross Payan - LA
02-24-2005, 05:51 PM
Ok, so I've been trying to figure out how to brumate my western hogs in the hot TX climate. Everyone's first inclination is to use a fridge, but I have heard that the new frost free fridges will suck the water out of the hogs and kill them from dehydration, even with a water bowl present.

So here is my thought... What if I brumated the hogs in large AIR TIGHT containers and simply opened the containers every couple of days to allow for air exchange. The resp. rates should be slow enough at 55*f for this to work as reptiles don't use much oxygen even at normal temps.

The purpose of the air tight containers is too keep the air from the fridge from coming in direct content with the hogs, so the frost free function should not get a chance to dry them out. This should solve the "freeze-drying" problem.

Thoughts....? I think this might work, but I'd like some reassurance before I try it out. I don't want any snake jerky.

Any other ideas?

Gregg M
02-24-2005, 06:16 PM
How about just finding a cool dark area in the house????

robin d.
02-24-2005, 08:53 PM
Greeg... we do not have the temps even in the winter to brumate correctly usually in texas you have assist... ac unit or some kinda cooler
its easy to get boas cool enough but colubrids take it to a whole nother level.
btw riss my bud should be emakling you soon

robin d.
02-24-2005, 08:54 PM
you know i could edit that post but it is SO bad i think i will just leave it

Ross Payan - LA
02-24-2005, 09:15 PM
Man I wish I could just find a nice cool area in the house =\ but like Robin said it's hot here even in Winter. We have been hitting 80*f off and on lately.

I'll be looking for that email Robin... thanks for the help. btw, I might need another favor from you, lol... I'll send you an email.

robin d.
02-24-2005, 09:28 PM
i got the process started already just gimme a couple of days

Jodi L Aherns
02-24-2005, 10:13 PM
Ross,I keep my hogs at the same temp all year long and they breed just fine.I have gotten eggs the last two years,and will be putting them togeather in a month.The hot end 84-86f the cool side 80f,i do work with ones from S.Texas.Just my 2 cents.

Ross Payan - LA
02-25-2005, 01:31 AM
Hehe, thanks Robin I owe you one =)

And Jodi, thanks for the input. Lots of people have told me that all they do is throw the hogs together and they get good clutches every year. At the same time other's have told me that the only get fertile eggs if they expose the snakes to a period of time with temps that get to at least the mid 60's.

Do you know anything about the fridge method? Also, do you think the locale of the hogs you work with probably has something to do with not needing any brumation? And finally do you know any others who have the same success as you w/out brumating?

Sorry for all the questions, I just REALLY want to get a good clutch of eggs or two this year.

reptilebreeder
02-25-2005, 02:08 AM
Hehe, thanks Robin I owe you one =)

And Jodi, thanks for the input. Lots of people have told me that all they do is throw the hogs together and they get good clutches every year. At the same time other's have told me that the only get fertile eggs if they expose the snakes to a period of time with temps that get to at least the mid 60's.

Do you know anything about the fridge method? Also, do you think the locale of the hogs you work with probably has something to do with not needing any brumation? And finally do you know any others who have the same success as you w/out brumating?
.

Interesting question. Do herps that live in areas where it doesn't get cold, still brumate? They may still go deep under ground where it is cold, due to cues like photo period, or something. Or are they active year round? Any field herpers here with experience in those parts of Texas or Florida where it may never get cold enough to brumate?
Jodi has Texas locality hognose that do fine without brumation, and corns are well known to double and even triple clutch without brumation. I wonder if you had some plain's Hognose from Northern Montana, or Corns from somewhere cold, if they would want to brumate, or would have to brumate to breed successfully?

Wilomn
02-25-2005, 02:13 AM
Interesting questions John. I've got some corns, this year will be generation 8, that I have been experimenting with. Some I cool and some I don't and feed all winter. Last year was the first time I tried it and the corns I cooled had larger clutches and more of them double clutched than the ones I did not cool at all.

I've only got 1.2 hogs that I'll be breeding this year. All wc from texas. I've had them about 5 years now. One female was a monster and has never laid an egg. Last year I found two little slugs that were hers. The smaller female has bred the last three years and double clutched the last two. I always cool them.

Next year I'll have a couple of more females that will be ready to go and I may try keeping one up for the winter to see what happens.

Very interesting stuff though.

SFgeckos
02-25-2005, 03:04 AM
hey ross

ild definately recommend talking to terry dunhum (albino tricolors), hes been working with tricolors for many years (and exotic finches before herps) in the warm state of Florida. i remember him telling me a few years back when i was working with albino nelsoni and other milks, about how he uses old wine coolers to brumate all his snakes with pretty decent success? i think he had some problems with pyros though (they need it much cooler than the average milksnake like 45-55F/60F?). just trying to help, lates

-jon

Intense Herpetoculture
02-25-2005, 03:08 AM
Just add a large container of water in there, up your humidity. Not to mention maybe using moist peat-moss for substrate, spray it down as it dries.

robin d.
02-25-2005, 03:42 AM
also Ross contact steven hammack.... he bred hognoses and is here in texas... or maybe john cherry, i bet they can help

reptilebreeder
02-25-2005, 05:15 AM
Interesting questions John. I've got some corns, this year will be generation 8, that I have been experimenting with. Some I cool and some I don't and feed all winter. Last year was the first time I tried it and the corns I cooled had larger clutches and more of them double clutched than the ones I did not cool at all.

That's cool information, I get those same results from species that "need" to brumate; better production=larger clutches and/or multiple breedings if they were brumated vs not brumated. I wonder if there would be any significant difference from a pair of Corns from a more tropical area like extreme South Florida. I also wonder how much difference if any between WC and subsequent cb generations.

I've only got 1.2 hogs that I'll be breeding this year. All wc from texas. I've had them about 5 years now. One female was a monster and has never laid an egg. Last year I found two little slugs that were hers. The smaller female has bred the last three years and double clutched the last two. I always cool them. .

Interesting. I would be curious to know if the large female would produce if you didn't brumate her. Have you been brumating them the same (temps and duration) as your other colubrids? It would be interesting if this WC gal is from an area where "true brumation" was rare or transient, and the cooler species brumation is actually detrimental to her breeding.

hmmmmmm........makes me want to go back to the smitty days and break out the pencil and paper (a la Ron) :D and do a study.
Anyway, I'd be interested in your results this year, and especially next year if you do that with the Hognose, so keep in touch.

Jodi L Aherns
02-25-2005, 07:51 AM
Ross,I think local has alot to do with it,that is why i bought hogs that were S.Texas local.I live in MN so it gets cold enough but i do not like to cool them.I know people how use OLD friges like 70s models and they work great,no drying anything out.

Gregg M
02-25-2005, 12:16 PM
I guess it is a whole lot easier for us here in the North East.... Sorry I could not help you out more, but I never had to put a snake in the fridge...... LOL..... The only thing I use a refridgerator is to either keep my food cold or I add a heating element to turn it into an incubator..... Anyway, good luck....

Justin Mitcham
02-25-2005, 01:17 PM
I have feild collected here in Texas for over a decade and have found that even in southern Texas the reptiles brumate for at least 2 months, today the highs in south texas are in the 50"s and 60's , if you look at the yearly almanacs it will show that even starting in November lows reach into the 60's:

High's Low's Mean Sunrise / set
NOV 80-73 62-55 67' 6:39-6:59 / 5:48 - 5:38
DEC 73-68 55-50 62
JAN 68-70 50-51 60
FEB 70-75 51-56 63 7:14-6:54 / 6:14 - 6:31

What would be best for this species is brumating them 55-60's for 2-3 months, with a photoperiod of only 4-6hours or no light at all. Even in your warmer states these species experience a drop into the 60's at night as early as november, the daily highs are still in the 80's but nightime lows are much lower. Which is usuallly typical with desert ,arid and tropical locations. In fact look at Mexico City, there winters are only in the 70's for highs but at night there averages are in the mid to low 40's. Many species I have found espeically the mexican milks and kings do much better if there nightime lows are reduced. My ruthveni are now at 70's and drop into the 60's at nights, I provide a heat strip that is only turned on in the day to similate basking that reaches 85's or so. If I let my ruthveni get into the 70's with no drop in temps, I start to experience fertility problems. I believe the same is similar for many hognose species, I only have collected them on cool morning and evenings here in Texas, so obviously they avoid the heat. In the dead of summers they become very scarce, possible spending most of there time underground.If you use a fridge put a water dish in it nd take them out and soak them every 3 weeks, this is what I do with all my colubrids to make sure they stay adequatly hydrated, usually 30-40min in cold tapwater works, they really don't warm up much and I haven't had any negative effects from disturbing them during this time etc.
Hope this helps.
Justin Mitcham

Justin Mitcham
02-25-2005, 01:23 PM
Another point I forgot to mention is that even in the summer in tropical regions the nightime lows are significantly lower than most realize, even in the dead of summer the avearge lows are only in the low to mid 50's.
Justin Mitcham

Ross Payan - LA
02-25-2005, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the reply Justin... So does this mean that you have had success using the fridge method with a water pan and soaks?

Thanks again.

Justin Mitcham
02-25-2005, 04:00 PM
Yes, I tried keeping my animals in a refrigerator on two seperate occasions, both times it worked well.Although you may want to install a heat strip hooked to a themostat in case it gets too low this will prevent them from freezing until you fix the problem. 1st Time I tried it during the winetr we had a big cold frontNow during the winter I block all the vents in my home except for a redone bathroom and I turn on the AC when I need it, I leave a small window cracked and a vent on to keep air circulating from outside. The room ranges from 40-55 with the avearge being around 50', this does fine, with the small amont of lght comming in it sets a natural photoperiod. I brumated this year from dec 13 - feb 14 . With a two week pre-cool down starting dec 1. This is done by halting all feeding, and turning off there heat pads, room heat etc..
Justin

Justin Mitcham
02-25-2005, 04:04 PM
Forgive my 1st post I wanted to include an experience and while typing was interuppted on the phone, I accidently hit the post button, here it is again..


Yes, I tried keeping my animals in a refrigerator on two seperate occasions, both times it worked well.Although you may want to install a heat strip hooked to a themostat in case it gets too low this will prevent them from freezing until you fix the problem. 1st Time I tried it during the winetr we had a big cold front come through and my fridge went funny, I woke up to 31' reading in my fridge. I about had a heart attack, they were fine and were revived with no apperant ill affects but if I hadn't noticed it it would of been a 20k loss!!! Now during the winter I block all the vents in my home except for a redone bathroom and I turn on the AC when I need it, I leave a small window cracked and a vent on to keep air circulating from outside. The room ranges from 40-55 with the avearge being around 50', this does fine, with the small amont of lght comming in it sets a natural photoperiod. I brumated this year from dec 13 - feb 14 . With a two week pre-cool down starting dec 1. This is done by halting all feeding, and turning off there heat pads, room heat etc..
Justin

Ophis
02-25-2005, 07:47 PM
I would like thoughts on this idea. Take an old fridge and wire a Helix T-stat or similar device to control the fridge compressor (eliminate the original stat and sensors) run the remote sensor through a drilled hole into the fridge. Whatever temp you set the Helix at, the compressor should function as needed to keep that temp.

Ross Payan - LA
02-25-2005, 09:29 PM
I think you can plug the fridge straight into the thermostat. At least that's what I'm planning to do. I'll prob. be running a Ranco.

Ophis
02-25-2005, 10:10 PM
That sounds like it would work. The fridge temp control is set lower that the brumation temps you would need, so Your stat will be the controling stat at the higher temps.