Brumation is the reptile equivalent of hibernation; a period of time when they slow down, stop eating, and sleep for weeks on end. Wild reptiles evolved this ability to survive winter, and typically occurs between September and March for North American hognoses.
- Less active than usual
- Remaining buried for weeks at a time
- Loss of appetite
- Preferring the cool side of the enclosure
Brumation is a perfectly normal part of your snake’s annual cycle, and doesn’t require concern unless s/he starts to lose weight.
Some keepers assert that cooling their hognoses during the winter brumation period provides a more complete brumation, and therefore healthier snakes. If you wish to cool down your hognose during the winter, place him/her in a box of loose substrate at 50-55°F (10-14°C). This can be safely maintained in a designated mini fridge. When it comes time for the snake to wake up, place them in the enclosure.
Make sure hognose has stopped eating and stopped pooping before cooling, or else food/fecal matter can get trapped and possibly poison or otherwise harm your snake.