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Thread: Mixed Sex Housing Question

  1. #1
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Mixed Sex Housing Question

    For the last couple of months I've had a nagging question in the back of my mind and I've finally decided to post it. So here goes.

    This question is with regards to housing mixed sexes and NOT brumating the group.
    Do you think that housing males and females together could be a determent to successful breeding. I guess what I mean is could housing them together cause the male to be less aggressive when breeding time comes? Could he be so use to the female scent that he doesn't react to the introduction of breeding pheromones the same way he would if he were introduced to the female during this pheromone time. Sort of like the way our own olfactory glands will get used to a scent and then we don't smell it anymore even though it's still present.
    Could a male just get used to a pheromone ?

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Steve
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  2. #2
    Adult snake Dan72's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    Steve I think there is something to this. My two radix reds have been caged together from birth. Because of their size alone I thought both to be female. After spending a year together, giving no signs to be anything other than female and having passed quarantine I decided to place the two "girls" in with my other girls. Not a day into the new viv and one of my reds was all over my albino radix. Caged with his sister all his life and no hanky panky with his sister. Not even 24 hours with another woman and he was all over her. So yeah I think something to it.

  3. #3
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" chris-uk's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    I think the unfortunate answer to this is: I don't know, but it sounds like it could be interesting to try.

    Sure, you have a method that works fine at the moment by keeping the males and females separated, but if we don't try new methods how do we know that they newer methods don't lead to better results? I actually think that you'll find that the males don't become accustomed to the females, simply because a female will smell like a female most of the time, but it's the female on heat that you don't want them to get bored with and ignore, and as the female won't be excreting mating pheromones unless she is receptive there won't be an opportunity for the male to grow accustomed to them.

    I understand that Steve Bol keeps his males and females together continuously in their breeding groups (unless he has a particular snake that he doesn't want to breed, in which case I assume they are kept singularly or in single sex groups). Judging by the number of baby garters he had in Doncaster last weekend this keeping method doesn't prevent the males doing their job when the time is right.
    RedSidedSPR likes this.
    Chris
    T. marcianus, T. e. cuitzeoensis, T. cyrtopsis, T. radix, T. s. infernalis, T. s. tetrataenia

  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" chris-uk's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan72 View Post
    Steve I think there is something to this. My two radix reds have been caged together from birth. Because of their size alone I thought both to be female. After spending a year together, giving no signs to be anything other than female and having passed quarantine I decided to place the two "girls" in with my other girls. Not a day into the new viv and one of my reds was all over my albino radix. Caged with his sister all his life and no hanky panky with his sister. Not even 24 hours with another woman and he was all over her. So yeah I think something to it.
    Or maybe one of the girls has reached sexual maturity and the other hasn't?
    Chris
    T. marcianus, T. e. cuitzeoensis, T. cyrtopsis, T. radix, T. s. infernalis, T. s. tetrataenia

  5. #5
    T.s. affectionado EasternGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    My babies have been housed together since birth...and Little Joe is now attempting to canoodle with Bella...since they are different species, I have to get a new tank and separate them as soon as my money comes in this week. I have been waiting to try to sex the babies...interestingly, Little Joe is not trying to mate with the two eastern babies, and they are not trying to mate with Bella or each other. So, apparently, housing the babies together did not have an effect on Little Joe...but it may have had an effect on the easterns if they are both male, or may have changed how Little Joe relates to the easterns if they are female. So, perhaps it changes things for some snakes but not others?
    Marnie
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  6. #6
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Selkielass's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    It's possible.
    Both my eastern garters and butlers slugged out on me. I never saw the males attempting courtship after brumation either.
    Wild males in early spring are eager to court anything female. My brumation conditions might have been too gentle or perhaps over-familiarity was the problem. Its a shame because Trax produced a LOT of jellies.

  7. #7
    Subadult snake EKS56's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    Well... I'm gonna find out because I house mine together. If you're in for the money then brumation would seem to me to be the way to go. But being at the hobby level I would just think it would be cool to have a litter. I'll know more in about a month. The little male and female definitely enjoy their company and I did walk in on them while they were doing the wild thing about a month ago.
    jwolfe152 likes this.

  8. #8
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" chris-uk's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternGirl View Post
    ...interestingly, Little Joe is not trying to mate with the two eastern babies, and they are not trying to mate with Bella or each other.
    Remind us what species Little Joe is?
    Bare in mind that different species will reach sexual maturity at different ages, and that within a species there will be variation depending on the conditions. The evidence I've seen suggests that Mexican species mature quicker, one of Steven Bol's articles mentions that his co-author's youngest mother was a 13 month-old T. e. scotti.

    Whilst I believe that the mating pheromones will vary between species, last week when I had Lacci out Vlad stuck his head out of his hide (these are my Cuitzeo pair, currently housed seperately because I didn't want any litters this year, what with our own scrub arriving last September) so I opened the Vlad's doors and the let Lacci slither in for a few minutes. In those few minutes, Vlad was instantly interested and started courting, and Lipwig (Vlad's male radix tankmate) started following Lacci around but wasn't so interested. When I have more time I'll be interested to do some more careful experimentation to see whether males do react to females of different species - the careful bit being continuous observation and ending the experiment as soon as they get to a tail-holding stage.
    Chris
    T. marcianus, T. e. cuitzeoensis, T. cyrtopsis, T. radix, T. s. infernalis, T. s. tetrataenia

  9. #9
    Never shed
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    Re: Mixed Sex Housing Question

    IMO, not hibernating Iowa native garter snakes is more likely to inhibit breeding than housing sexes together.

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