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A few Questions regarding Snake and Enclosure
So I am new to this forum and I have a couple of questions about my coastal and her enclosure. I got Sammy from a friend on Jan 7th and she is around 3years old and just under 2 and a half meters long. I will post a couple of pictures below of her and her enclosure. Since having Sammy she has never bitten myself or the rest of my family and is an incredibly well natured snake. According to her previous owner he only ever saw her bite one person since he had him as a hatchling and the person whom she bit was mishandling her. She is fantastic with my tiny 5 year old niece and you can imagine the amazement that people feel when they see the tiny girl with the 2.5m snake climbing all over her.
Ok, so to get on with the questions (now that I've finished bragging haha ).
1. When feeding your snakes what do you believe is the best way to go about it? I have heard a couple of different opinions regarding this and some of those were to take the snake out, feed it and then put it back and another was to feed it in the enclosure and then not handle it for another two days.
2. I know my enclosure isn't very exciting at the moment (especially the crystal water dish which has temporarily replaced her proper water dish as it smashed) and I am currently working on a 3D background and have ordered some vines and such (the big brown log is eventually going) I am just wondering as to whether or not there are any particular "rules" or suggested guidelines for the size of a snakes hide. Sammy is becoming quite big for her current hide and I wanted to know how big is too big and how small is too small?
3. With the lighting, I currently have one 50w infa red light up one end and nothing up the other so that if Sammy becomes too warm she can escape the heat (the water is on the opposite side to the light). Is this the right sort of set-up and is there enough light in the enclosure? (It was built by my father, myself and my neighbor). Does she also need a heating mat?
4. Is there anything else I can do to improve her living conditions?
5. Also, how often should I be handling her? I try my hardest to handle her as often as possible and she seems to love being out but how much handling is too much and how much is too little?
6. Last, but most definitely not least, do you believe snakes recognize different people and do you think they know you? Some people say I am crazy, but Sammy really does seem to just take to some people more then others - especially me. If I am near her while someone else is handling her she is sure to try and come straight to me from them. I'm I really crazy and imagining things or am I right is saying snakes can be pretty amazing and incredibly smart creatures?
Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer even just one of my many questions.
- 17-Jun-12, 11:33 PM #2
- Join Date
- sunshine coast
i feed my 'kids' in a seperate tub just because i like to believe it stops/lessens the feeding response when you enter their enclosures. that being said my little girl is a crazy biter but my boy has only bitten once and it was only after being out too long. and after puttin them back into their click clacks i dont handle them for a minimum of 36 hours.
wouldnt have a clue about the hide size both my coastals still fit in toilet rolls ( patches tries to fit in but mostly his fatself hangs out) but id be interested in seeing what other people say!
i had a 100W bulb for my spotteds 1.5ft tank and that only just kept it at 30degrees unless it was cold then the highest it got was 27. iv got a heat mat under one click clack and a cord under the other atm..hate them both haha but ill be putting 100w ceramic bulbs in my bigger enclosures when their finished.
as for handling. my boy comes out everyday unless hes eaten. my girl however is a bitey little so and so ( and i only got her on wednesday) so she comes out once a day but only for a short time. patches stays out for hours.
and i do 100% believe snakes recognise their owners and favourite people. my mum is patches fave and he will always reach out for her if shes close. and my youngest cousin whos 5 is another of his faves he loves curling up with her and will bury himself in her hair so the others cant get him away2x doggies, 2x kitty cats, 2x not so gold goldfish, 2x coastal bubbas and an adorable rat adding a bluey later on in the year
Well Pretzels has pretty much answered everything but I will say. Don't make the mistake I did and put your Snakes in too big an enclosure. I ended up putting both my 5 month old MDs back into their original click clacks because since it's winter their bigger enclosures just weren't heating up enough and they went off feeding. I'm hoping being back in a smaller space fixes it.
Also - Snakebytes TV had a segment where they did a test to show if handling a Snake so often made it less bitey. They found it to be true. A Snake that gets handled every day was puppy dog tame. One that got handled only when it's cage was cleaned (weekly I think it was) was snappy as.
Nice Coastal by the way.
- 18-Jun-12, 01:43 AM #4Power Seller
- Join Date
- Landsborough, Qld. 4550
Yea, pretzels covered it. The only thing I do different, is I feed mine in thier enclosures.... mine are larger snakes and eat a couple of rats each per feed. I dont like handling them immediately after feeding (putting them back in thier enclosure) so I just do it in there. The only time I had to remove one, was when my 2 spotteds were in the same enclosure.... not a good idea to feed 2 together.... especially if one is a slow eater You know how hard (impossible) to get a python to let go of a rat once it has it in its mouth..... if you have one python on each end of the same rat.... I hate to think!
Enclosure size? Bigger the better imo. The limiting factor is only how many enclosures you have (or want to have) and how much room you have available. At zoo's like Aussie Zoo, they have each snake in an enclosure about 3mx3mx2m(high) because they have the room and funds. As long as you have appropriate heating.... all good. I prefer heatmat and thermostat for heating... a small light for basking/viewing is good
+1 for pretzels and CaptainRatbags comments.
My pair of coastals Baz and Shaz are only worms so they're fairly easy to look after at the mo. They share the same large enclosure for the time being.
I feed my 4 snakes in a seperate area, an old 3 ft fishtank, and I've never been bitten from feeding response in their enclosures, although Baz has a funny trait of coming out of wherever he's hiding and gets a bit strikey. It's actually quite funny to watch as he makes all the moves and then sort of just touches me with his head and doesn't actually bite. Looks a bit like the armless legess scene out of a monty python flick. Just an angry bossy little man.
I often get told that my enclosure doesn't look very natural, I'm not sure what people think natural Darwin looks like in the dry, I guess i could take the water bowl and fake grass away, that would be more natural looking for this time of year..... I've seen some great enclosures in the DIY section and great furnishings too, that's all about what you want to do IMO. If snakes see they way people say, I doubt the snakes pad around in their enclosure going "man you coulda put some leaves and 3d rock face in here, other snakes have em"......... Hide size, generally not that much bigger than they are, they seem to like the smaller hides that make them feel eclosed and safe and having something that is just big enough for them to get into seems to work. My Coastal worms have some larger hides in their enclosure they don't seem to use because of their size, they like the smaller ones, the stubby holders in their enclosures are their faves. They curl up in them every chance they get, you can guess the first place they go when they're out on the table, into my stubby holder....
Handling is a very hotly debated subject on here, my own observation is as often as possible. I've got a female Jungle that when I first got her, everytime I handled her I'd need a blood transfusion.... I stuck with handling her, against what a lot of peeps say, and now have an awesome girl who I'm happy to hand over to (almost) anyone knowing they're safe from the demons I had to exorcise. I handle the hell out of all mine, except when their in a shed cycle or have eaten 36 to 48 hrs before, it's more about appearance than time, some snakes digest quicker than others.
I absolutely believe (like pretzels) snakes do recognise they're owners, although I'll stretch that nowdays to those that aren't going to hurt them. My Jungle still freaks when one of mates grabs her from mis treatment from him when she was younger. She launches out of his hands and onto the floor and "anyone" else can pick her up and she settles straight away. Unless he comes near her again, she hangs onto them for grim death and starts hissing in his direction when she picks up his scent.
As for the lighting heating stuff I'm still working mine out. This cold dry season up here this year has caught quite a few of us out. The last couple of dry seasons have been mostly 31 during the day and around 22 to 24 overnight, which was sort of ideal. 24 during the day and 13 to 15 overnight, not so much. At the moment I'm using an industrial/outdoor type light with metal grille covers and a glass diffuser running the equivelent of a 60 light bulb during the day and a black or red light for night, both are mounted inside their enclosures, the temps seem to be working for here. Especially with hatchies onboard now, they need to be warmer. They are all still eating like champs though so it cant all be bad.“The Cops said my dog was chasing a kid down the road on a bike and I said rubbish, he doesn't even own a bike.”.
1 B/G Jungle (F), 2 Darwins (Albino F and 100% Het M), 2 Coastals (M&F), 1 BHP (F)
- 18-Jun-12, 06:20 AM #6
- Join Date
- Tweed Coast, NSW Australia
Most of the above, although I'd keep his log... think you'll find that he like's that log, they get their fav's.
I feed my snakes in their enclosures and as long as he's eating, drinking, weeing and pooing he's a happy snake and he looks like a happy snake...
you can get replacement remikin as a water dish from woolies the med-lrgish one's were only $4 (see above) or go to cheap shop and get a large ceremic baking dish (you'll need that if he like's to soak) around $7 I've been planning these as my BHP's get larger. These are solid so you'll prob's get a little less water spillage and they love to soak in them
Last edited by SissysMum; 18-Jun-12 at 06:25 AM.Finally too many snakes, lizards & skinks to list them all.... yay! Happy, happy herper...
All they need is a water bowl, a hide and heat source!
Everything else is for your own pleasure (ie they don't even need UVB or any other lights either).
I read many articles and few books by Dr. Rick Stein but it was these articles who enlighten me the most:
The only thing most herp keepers/breeders tend to disagree from one of Dr. Roc's articles, are the vents on the enclosure. – They should be on both sides, one at the top and the other at the bottom. (see graphics below)
P.S. oh, and for feeding, I personally feed my Woma outside, on a separate (cheap plastic fish) tank just to avoid mistakes of identity!
And when I open the enclosure, I always use my hook gently, to let my python know I'm coming to get him out (for play/handling etc.).
I've never been biten this way.
But have seen pythons striking far more when their handlers open the enclosure for presumedly a feed!!
But again, every snake has a different temperament/personality.
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Last edited by rvcasa; 18-Jun-12 at 12:15 PM.
- 18-Jun-12, 09:20 PM #8
+ another 1 for feeding in their enclosure have always done it this way,don't want to handle them after feeding.
They also seem to still have a feeding response after feeding (still looking for something to strike at) I never use a hook (don't even have one) if they are looking like they are looking for a feed when getting them out I just put a bit of the aquim hand cleaner on (and rub it in) they smell that your not food pretty quick and get the idea.
P.S havent had to do this very often.But you should be making sure that your hands are clean anyway before and after handling them. Do not try and handle them after handling their food or you are asking to get bitten.
Last edited by ralliart3; 18-Jun-12 at 09:42 PM.
Thank you so much everyone for your answers - they've been an exceptional help! I too always feed Sammy in her enclosure, there is no way I'd want her biting me if I had to handle her after she has been fed!
I won't move her log out then unless absolutely necessary, I take it out when I feed her because she gets in a but off tangled mess when she eats if I don't -.-.
I need to get her a heating mat to I think, what do you think would be an appropriate wattage and size?
Funny thing is rvcasa, I didn't even know that but when I built the enclosure we thought it would be better for the enclosures air circulation by putting a vent one each side - one up high and one down so that's what we did haha .
Thanks again everyone!
Sorry, another question, how often should I be feeding her? She is 2.5 meters long, 3 years old and taking adult rats. Thanks
2 more pictures
Last edited by Jessica29; 18-Jun-12 at 09:49 PM.
- 19-Jun-12, 01:09 AM #10Power Seller
- Join Date
- Landsborough, Qld. 4550
Every 10-14 days is about right for an adult python to be fed
Heatmats with a thermostat are good in my opinion. The heatpad should take up 1/3rd or less of the enclosure floor space.... that would make it about 20w from memory. I think it is best to put the heatmat at the end with the highest vent, so the cool end has cooler air coming in and the heat goes up and out the vent above it, creating airflow.
Nice looking snake and enclosure btw
- 19-Jun-12, 01:21 AM #11
I agree with ratbag, but do you have a cage over the heat lamp incase the snake gets up and burns itself?
Nice coastal ...grow a pair
Woma just slides from one into the other (flat surfaces), straight in where the basking area is, no handling necessary.
Also, a full python is less likely to strike at this point - they feel more vulnerable and are more likely to regurgitate if threatened.
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jungle as I'm hesitant to change the way I'm feeding Sammy at the moment as its working for us. Thanks!
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