Do Snakes Nurse Their Young?

Rat Snake

There are a lot of misconceptions people tend to have regarding snakes and their loved ones. Many people often assume that snakes do not reproduce normally while others go as far as assuming snakes actually breastfeed their young ones.

There are a lot of facts you do not know about snakes. Facts ranging from the mode of birth to their survival and a lot more. All these facts and more are going to be discussed in this article.

Do Snakes Nurse Their Young?

This is one question a lot of people tend to have regarding snakes and their young ones. Many people tend to ask if snakes nurse their young ones and how it is possible. Well, you should know that snakes can’t nurse their young ones. 

You might be wondering if snakes that carry their babies or eggs in their stomach nurse their young ones, well, the answer is no. the babies do not even rely on food from their mother to survive.

 Everything the snake needed has been provided inside the shell when it was incubating. The moment the shell breaks and it gets out alive, you should know that the snake is strong enough to survive on its own.

When the snake is out of its egg, one thing the snake does is begin feeding on small insects, other pests, or rodents it can swallow with ease. It also senses predators and hides from them. All these things come naturally to the baby snake.

As the snake grows, it begins to feed on larger or bigger animals such as rats, mice, and other animals. When it gets to the reproduction stage, it produces its egg and when they are hatched, it leaves the babies alone to fend for themselves.

How Are Snakes Born?

Now that we have talked about the fact that snakes do not feed or nurse their young, you might be wondering how exactly snakes are born. Well, you should know that there are 3 methods snakes are born or hatched.

Method 1: Oviparous Snakes

This applies to 70 percent of the snake species you will see around you. You should know that most of these snake species are oviparous. Oviparous here means these snakes give birth to their young by laying eggs.

The cobra, ringneck snakes, and a lot of other snakes fall into this category. They give birth to their young ones by laying eggs. The eggs are then nurtured in a warm condition till they are strong enough to hatch. When they hatch, they find food for themselves as snakes do not nurse their young.

Method 2: Viviparous Snakes

While this category of snakes might be relatively rare, you should know that they exist. This category of snakes is snakes that give live birth to their babies. They account for around 20 percent of the snake species in the world.

Viviparous snakes are mainly sea snakes. The condition of the sea isn’t healthy or conducive enough for snakes to lay eggs. Due to the condition, snakes evolved from laying eggs to giving birth to their young ones. The young ones or baby snakes come out of their mouth. Viviparous snakes are a pretty exciting species of snakes as they also do not take care of their young ones.

Method 3: Ovoviviparous Snake

This type of snake accounts for like 10 percent of snake species in the world. The ovoviviparous snake is the type of snake that is seen as a combination of the viviparous snake and the oviparous snake. This is because they both lay eggs and give live birth to their babies.

You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, the answer is relatively simple. This category of snakes first produces or lays eggs. However, these eggs are kept in their stomach till they hatch. This is to protect the egg from predators and bad weather conditions. When the eggs are hatched, the baby snake comes out through the mouth of the mother.

You should also know that despite the snake staying inside its mother during the entire incubation period, the snakes have to fend for themselves the moment they are born.

How Do I Care For a Snake Egg?

There are a lot of things you need to put into consideration if you are going to be caring for a snake egg. These things are very important as they determine whether the snake egg lives or dies. Below is a list of the things you should consider.

Step 1: Make sure the Snakes Are Kept at a Moist Temperature

This is the first thing you need to do if you are going to be taking care of your snake egg. You need to take your time to ensure the snakes are kept at a warm temperature. The temperature goes to a very large extent in determining how well the egg survives or hatches.

When nurturing the egg, you have to take your time and keep it in a place where they is moisture. It s best you use a thermostat to monitor the temperature to avoid the temperature going below the requirement needed for the egg to survive. 

Step 2: Do Not Open the Incubator or Check the Egg

This is one very important thing you need to keep in mind. The moment you put the egg inside the incubator, you need to take your time and resist the temptation to check or touch the egg. By opening the incubator, you are destabilizing the temperature needed for the egg to be healthy.

Apart from not opening the incubator, you also need to take your time to ensure you do not touch the egg in the incubator. The reason is simple. Your skin is harmful to the egg. If you have to touch the egg, you should wear a glove before you touch it. This will protect you and the egg.

Step 3: Do Not Turn the Egg

This is another thing you need to avoid doing if you want to take care of your snake egg. You need to avoid turning the egg from the position where it is. If you want to touch the egg, you must ensure the egg isn’t changed in the setting where it is placed.

If the egg is changed, it affects the formation of the snake inside the egg which can relatively lead to the egg not hatching or surviving in the end. The position of the egg is something that needs to be maintained at all times. 

Step 4: Keep the Incubator in a Safe Place

If there is one thing that is pretty important, it is ensuring the eggs are kept in a safe place. You must ensure the incubators are kept in a place that is free from any danger or hazards. You also need to ensure there is a regular power supply to the incubator at all times.



There is a lot of confusion and assumptions many people tend to have regarding snakes and their young ones, one of the most popular assumptions relates to snakes nursing their young.

Snakes do not nurse their young, all these facts and more have been discussed in this article. With a simple read-through, you will get all the information you need.

Written by Sarah Rivera

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