Rosy Boas are becoming quite popular nowadays that it might be a good idea for you to try to breed your own Rosy Boas if you want to earn a bit of money on the side.
That means that you should actually learn how to properly breed your Rosy Boas if you want to plan a successful mating, and make sure that you end up with healthy young snakes that you can sell for a good buck.
This is why you should look at our step-by-step guide on how to breed Rosy Boas.
Step 1: Choosing healthy snakes
The first thing that you need to make sure of is that you are using Rosy Boas that are actually healthy enough to breed so that they will end up with a clutch that is also just as healthy.
Of course, the more important part of it all is that breeding can be stressful for snakes.
So, if you have Rosy Boas that are less than ideal in terms of their health, breeding might actually be bad for your snakes’ health. That said, they need to be as healthy as possible because they need to be able to withstand the entire breeding process and come out of it nearly as healthy as they were prior to breeding.
What you need to know about breeding is that the entire process is actually quite hard on a snake. Brumating and breeding can take a lot out of a Rosy Boa, and that is exactly the reason why you need to make sure that they are healthy enough from the start.
Snakes that are not healthy from the start will possibly fall ill during the process or possibly after breeding. In the worst-case scenario, one or all of your Rosy Boas might end up dying, which isn’t something you want to happen to your snakes.
Of course, the moment you introduce your male and female Rosy Boas, this will expose them to cross-contamination such as the germs, parasites, and diseases that the snakes may be carrying.
So, if there are health problems in one or both of your snakes, the introduction would end up compounding those health problems.
But this shouldn’t be a problem if you have snakes that were already living together in the same tank and that they were already healthy enough from the start.
However, you can’t say the same when it comes to snakes that were previously living in separate tanks because each tank has its own set of different bacteria, germs, or even parasites. A simple introduction between two Rosy Boas can end up killing one or all of them if they aren’t healthy enough, to begin with.
Step 2: Brumation
We cannot stress how important brumation is for your Rosy Boas. Brumation is the state wherein your snakes will stay dormant or may even hibernate whenever the season gets too cold such as when it is winter.
It is very important for a snake to hibernate for it to be able to breed properly. And this is where you will also see how important it is for your snake to be healthy as hibernating means that it won’t be able to eat for a while as it is in a state of dormancy.
One of the things you will be needing for your snake to successfully hibernate is a hide box because your Rosy Boa needs to be able to hide in a dark place during the winter.
Zoo Med Reptile Shelter 3 in 1 Cave, Medium
- Easy to open and clean
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The dark hide box will allow it to feel safe and comfortable during the entire brumation period. That’s why each Rosy Boa tank requires a great hide box for your snake. You may even need two hide boxes that you can place in both the cool and the warm sides of the enclosure.
During the time when your Rosy Boa is hibernating, it will stop eating and will keep its body at a cooler temperature. This entire process will take about two months as your snake will not eat during the entire time but will require water even as it is in a state of dormancy. That’s why you need to provide a water dish in its enclosure during brumation.
By the time November begins and the winter is already approaching, it is best to stop feeding your Rosy Boas. This will give them enough time to flush their last meals out of their system so that they can begin to start hibernating once the season begins to become cold enough.
In the enclosures of each of your Rosy Boas, you need to lower the temperature to about 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the first week of the hibernation period. Reducing the light will also reduce the heat. After all, snakes prefer to hibernate in the dark.
Make sure that you keep your Rosy Boa enclosures in a room that is pretty dark with little access to natural sunlight. The room should only get about 6 hours of sunlight during the day but make sure that the enclosures are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Keep the enclosures in spots that are furthest away from sunlight to give your snakes the best kind of hibernation possible.
From there, it should be smooth sailing for your snakes as they should be able to hibernate properly without your assistance.
The only thing you should do is to offer them a small water dish maybe once every two days so that the snakes will have water to drink whenever they feel dehydrated during their dormancy period.
Make sure that the water dish is small so that the snake won’t be able to fit in it because your Rosy Boas should not get wet during hibernation.
For those who are housing multiple snakes in a single tank, have a separate tank for the other snake because you need to make sure that your Rosy Boas hibernate separately. The entire process will take about 10 weeks.
Step 3: Warming up
After the 10-week hibernation that your snakes had to undergo for them to properly breed, it is now time for you to warm things up for them so that their enclosures will return to their normal temperatures once again.
Do not rush this process all at once as you need to do this gradually for about a week or two because you need to make sure that you do not rush warming up your Rosy Boas or else doing so will shock their system or perhaps end up burning and injuring the snakes.
After slowly and steadily warming the enclosures up, wait for about 5 to 7 days since the temperatures became normal again. From this point, it is now okay for you to feed your snakes for the first time in almost three months.
The first meal that you should be giving your Rosy Boas should be smaller than what you used to give them because they need to steadily adjust to eating once again. Giving them a large meal may end up forcing them to regurgitate their food.
Once you have started feeding your snakes again, they will begin to feel hungry more often than they did prior to hibernating. That’s why you should give a larger meal to your Rosy Boas every five or so days. But make sure that you do not overfeed the snakes because it is important to keep them healthy enough in time for breeding.
Wait for a while for the snakes to start shedding. After they are done shedding, you would need to stop feeding them. It would take about a month or so for them to be able to eat again. You should also know that you should not try to handle your snakes or introduce them to one another while they are shedding because they are easily stressed out during the shedding period.
Step 4: Introduction
After your snakes are done shedding, it is now safe to introduce your male Rosy Boa to its female counterpart. The best way to do so is to place the male in the female’s tank, which should be large enough to accommodate multiple snakes.
You don’t want to put them in a small enclosure because territoriality might start to kick in and you might end up with an injured snake. Meanwhile, do not leave your male in the female’s tank indefinitely as you should only be doing so for about 12 to 24 hours per week so that they will get acquainted with one another.
Again, there will always be a danger of having one of your snakes getting harmed throughout the introduction process especially if the female starts to show signs of territoriality.
Remember that female Rosy Boas are larger than their male counterparts, so it wouldn’t be off if the female is capable of killing the male by eating it. Or maybe it’s the male that would actually eat the female.
Regardless, predation can happen if you are not careful and if your snakes become too territorial while introducing them to one another.
Also, territoriality isn’t the only issue here when it comes to your snakes’ well-being. Remember that introducing two snakes can compound the different germs, bacteria, and parasites that they may be carrying.
As such, cross-contamination is likely to happen here. That’s why we cannot stress anymore how important it is for you to have healthy snakes that are capable of withstanding illnesses, diseases, and parasites that were caused by cross-contamination.
Step 5: The mating proper
Once the introduction period is already over and your snakes have gotten acquainted with one another, the next thing to do is to allow the two Rosy Boas to mate.
Check my educational article about how snakes mate here for a general overview of mating in the wild.
During this part, you will notice that the male will try to line up with the female while attempting to rub itself along the back of your female Rosy Boa.
The male will also try to wrap its tail with the female’s tail. You will notice that this behavior will last for about a month or so and can even last for about 3 months.
After the male is done doing what it is doing and the behavior stops, that should be the time when mating has become successful on the part of your Rosy Boas.
At such a point, it is important for you to try to check whether or not the female is beginning to become fatter such as when the girth of its stomach is increasing. That should be a sign that mating was successful.
You will notice that the female’s bottom half should be a lot bigger than it was. At this point, it will become clear that the mating process worked and that the two snakes are now ready to be separated.
Step 6: Separation
It is important for the female snake to be left alone while it is pregnant because of how she will be under a lot of stress and due to how pregnant Rosy Boas can be quite territorial as well.
That’s why you need to remove the male from the female’s enclosure. Of course, this will also allow the male to return to its usual habits as it has now done its part in this story.
After successfully removing the male Rosy Boa, what you should do is to feed the female as often as possible as long as she is willing enough to eat.
Feed her maybe every 4 to 6 days depending on her appetite and mood. But make sure that you are feeding her smaller portions instead of larger items.
The fact that you are giving the female Rosy Boa will make it less likely for her to regurgitate her meal because, after all, snakes also suffer from morning sickness similar to how humans and other animals do.
Step 7: Wait for the magic to happen
At this point and while the female is pregnant, the only thing you need to do is to wait. Of course, it is still important for you to make sure that you are properly feeding and taking care of the female Rosy Boa.
If she doesn’t want to eat, it is totally fine as long as she was already very healthy before the entire breeding process started.
Also, you may want to have a hot spot in its enclosure.
The hot spot should be about 85 to 90 degrees on the warmest side of the enclosure. This will allow the female to have a warm spot for it to keep itself warm and to properly incubate its young.
Meanwhile, avoid handling the snake while she is pregnant because pregnant animals are more likely to become aggressive in an attempt to defend themselves.
Wait for about three to four months for your female Rosy Boa to show signs of tremendous fatigue. T
his should tell you that the snake is ready to give birth. Also, you might also want to check out for signs of shedding because some snakes actually shed when they are about to give birth.
Rosy Boas give birth to live young and do not lay eggs. A Rosy Boa should have a clutch that should have at least 3 to 8 snakes.
Step 8: Caring for the babies
Once the baby Rosy Boas are born, they are generally capable of taking care of themselves without the mother’s help. It is also best to make sure that you give them 10-gallon tanks each so that they can start living on their own.
It is not rare for Rosy Boas to eat their young because these snakes also eat other snakes that are smaller than they are. So, that is why you might want to separate the babies from their mother as soon as possible.
Don’t feed the babies right away. Make sure that you wait for about 7 to 10 days for them to start shedding. The moment they are done shedding, it is now safe to feed them. At this point, they are probably about 10 to 12 inches long, so it is safe to feed them pinky mice.
Baby Rosy Boas can be extreme eaters in the sense that there will be some that are picky while others are voracious. Don’t worry about fussy eaters because this can be quite normal for Rosy Boas. But it is best that you stay patient with fussy and picky eaters. Try out different things to make them eat more such as changing their environment a bit or altering the temperature so that they will want to eat.
It might not be best to allow your young Rosy Boas to hibernate during their first winter because they need the food and calories to grow. That’s why you need to keep the temperatures up in their own separate gallons when the winter comes so that they won’t end up hibernating.
Step 9: Keep or sell
At this point, you now have two choices to make. You can either keep the baby Rosy Boas or sell them for a profit. Keeping them will allow you to have more Rosy Boas in your collection.
You can keep them as pets or breed them with other Rosy Boas later on. Selling them, of course, will allow you to reward yourself for the hard work of being patient with your snakes during the brumation and breeding processes.
If you want to legally sell the snakes, a permit will be required. But the permit will depend on your state’s own regulations, and that is why it is best for you to do your own research.
When selling your Rosy Boas, you can either sell them to a pet store, which should dictate its own prices, or sell them yourself. You may want to price your snakes competitively enough so that you will be able to make good money out of doing so.
Most Rosy Boas can be sold at a median price of about $100 but there are some that can be as cheap as $25 and as expensive as $200. The rarer color morphs can cost several hundreds of dollars.
Regardless of what you may want to do with your Rosy Boas, the fact of the matter is that you are now done breeding them and you can do it all over again later on with the same female or a different one.
You can even try to mix and match different color morphs so that you will end up with rare and unique Rosy Boas.
Everything you need to know about caring for Rosy Boas in captivity:
Read our Rosy Boa Care Sheet (Complete 101 Guide)