First time snake owner, questions on behavior, Albino Darwin Carpet Python

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Connor_mcw, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Connor_mcw

    Connor_mcw New Member

    Jan 16, 2019
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    I just got my first snake a couple of days ago and wanted to double check that it is behaving normally,
    I bought a snake that is a about a year old a couple of days ago, so far during the day it spends it's time curled up on the heat mat next to the hide that it has. At night it periodically moves it's head around the lid of its terrarium (the lid hinges and opens from the top.

    As it has been a few days I tried feeding it earlier tonight and it ate after about a minute of staring at the mouse. Although when I went to move it into the transport cage I have for feeding it bit me several times hard enough to draw blood. which I was expecting from research prior to getting a snake, but is quite the change from when I got the snake, at the store it did bite the helper but not hard enough to draw blood and didn't bite me at the store or when I picked it up from the transport cage to first put it in the terrarium.

    During feeding I tried moving the hid into the corner that it liked to hang out in but rather than enter it it has settled for sitting on it rather than in it.

    extra information that might be relevant
    The heat mat is working with the warm end of the tank being kept around 30 degrees, I am in Sydney though and with the heat currently during the day both ends are about the same temperature.

    due to the hand writing on the card they gave me it was either fed on the 2nd or 7th of January prior to tonight.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Blighty

    Blighty Not so new Member

    Mar 22, 2018
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    To be honest, biting is quite normal.

    When you move a snake into a new enclosure it does tend to be quite stressful for the thing. Just remember you are dropping it into an alien environment it has no experience with, and it has no way of knowing how dangerous it might be.
    Generally it is recommended to leave the snake alone for at least a week before attempting a feed, then giving it more time before trying to handle. This allows it to settle in and feel secure. Snakes can go quite some time without a feed, so don't feel bad (although it looks like it ate for you anyway).

    As for moving snakes out of their enclosure for feeding, you are going to hear all sorts of opinions on that one. Personally, I feel it is pointless. You only increase stress for the snake as they feel vulnerable with a full stomach - And this may lead to a regurgitation in bad cases (can cause damage). There is also a very good chance the snake will still be in feeding mode when you go to move it back into its main enclosure - Increasing the risk of a bite.

    Also be aware that young snakes tend to be quite bitey. It can vary with individuals, but it is common for many species to feel threatened easily when they are small. For this reason, I have gone completely hands-off with my Carpet for the last few months. He has gained the confidence to perch during daylight with me in the room, and does not feel threatened when I open the enclosure to replace water. He will still spook though sometimes under the right circumstances, but flees rather than bites now.

    As for husbandry, just a few things to consider:
    • Multiple hides: Ensure that you have at minimum a hide in the cooler side and another in the hot side. The more shelter the better for a nervous snake.
    • Large Water Dish: I notice you said the cool side is quite hot right now. Make sure your water dish is large enough for your snake to bathe in without knocking it over.
    • IR Temp Gun: Make sure you are measuring temps with an IR gun. You can get them dirt cheap on eBay and they are much more accurate for reading surface temps than the digital probe thermometers.
    • Thermostat: When using a heat mat, make sure it is hooked up to a thermostat. It is possible for them to overheat and harm your snake or cause a fire hazard. On that same note, ensure your heat mat has airflow and is not in the enclosure.
    • Basking Temperature: Your hot spot may be too low. According to the wahs care sheet the basking spot should be 32*C - 35*C.
    • Care Sheet: Please read a care sheet, a good starting point would be: Python_Care_Sheet.pdf
    There is probably more, but that is about everything I have time to type up right now.

    Good luck ;)

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