to Prepare a Lay Box
In the wild
most snakes that lay eggs will want to deposit them somewhere
warm dark and damp, whether it is in a compost heap as
often preferred by grass snakes, a burrow of some animal
or a mossy fork of a tree. In captivity if the female does
not find an adequate laying site she may well retain the
eggs and become egg bound. This may lead to need for surgery
or in the extreme can be fatal. However some snakes will
just deposit eggs anywhere and usually most inconsiderately
on the heat mat.
What ever type or size of container you use, make sure it is clean. For larger
animals if it has handles remove them, as the snake will often get stuck
in them. (We once had a python get stuck in the handles of a plastic
crate that was being used as a water bowl at a show)
The lay box size will depend on the size of the snake. A Burmese python for
example will need a large tub such as a child's plastic toy storage box
.e about 60 -90 cm x 60 - 90 cm and 60 cm plus deep, this should be filled
half full with damp vermiculite, peat/compost (messy) or moss. With the
lid off to allow access.
such as corn snakes and Kingsnakes will require an ice
cream tub. It can have the lid on or off, but I find these
snakes a little coy, and they seem to prefer lids on. Take
the tub and cut a hole either in the lid or the side wall
about twice the diameter of the snake. Half fill the box
with either damp vermiculite or damp moss.
can usually be purchased more cheaply at garden centres
rather than pet shops. Vermiculite and moss are commonly
used for hanging baskets.
Most Rat snakes
and Kingsnakes will lay about 10 - 12 days after a shed.
To prevent the snake laying in the water bowl remove it
on approx day 9.
If the snake
have sat in the box for a few days and then come out, rummage
through the moss etc as the eggs may be buried, or the
substrate has dried out a little s and needs redamping.
eggs reptile egg do not like to be turned, so when removing
from the lay box for incubation try to keep them the same
If the eggs
are laid in a clump, don't try to separate them, incubate
them as a clump.