How old to move to full enclosure?

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Synveil, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Synveil

    Synveil Not so new Member

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    I've just gotten my license, and this weekend going to look at some gorgeous little woma "hatchies" that I think aren't far off approaching yearling age. The breeder has told me they are still on 24/7 heat, and I am wondering how long is it advised to keep them on the 24/7 heat? Roughly what age should a snake be moved off the 24/7 heating option?

    I have an enclosure set up with a globe, but if I still need to have the snakes heating going 24/7 then I'm going to have to grab a heat mat and make a little click clack setup until I can move it into the enclosure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Ask 10 people and you'll get 10 different answers. There is no universally advised thing.

    Depending on where you are/the temperatures in your home, I would almost never suggest keeping any python with only a heat globe. Only a heat mat/cord is almost always fine, but a visual light globe which is only good during the day is not really adequate alone.

    Keeping them warm (ie, not 'cooling' them, whatever your idea of that is) for their first winter is pretty common. Most people cool starting from the second winter. Well, most people probably start cooling some time around autumn. Personally, I don't generally give anything 24 hour heat as of late in their first/second summer (the one where they're something around a year old). Pretty much everything gets at least a few hours without heating, even in the middle of summer. Don't get too caught up on all the details, but you're definitely going to want some form of night time heating available all year unless you're living up in the tropics where nights are never cold.
     
  3. Synveil

    Synveil Not so new Member

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    I live in Perth WA, I've been advised by many people that having a 12 hour heated and 12 hour not heated period is a perfectly fine way of doing it. And I understand now that heat cords are a better way of handling heating, but at the time of getting my enclosure built I figured globe was going to be the better way for me.

    At some point I will probably make a heat tile and go that way, then use the light fitting in the enclosure for only visual rather than heating. But to supply belly heat for the snake I've got a slate stepping stone in the enclosure, and the surface temperature of this reaches 1-2 degrees above everything else in the enclosure.

    But from my understanding most people put their hatchies on heat 24/7 for the first while, I just dont understand quite how long this period should go for, I get different people will have different answers, but that's why I'm here. Hopefully to get some opinions to help me make a decision for how I want to go about it.
     
  4. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    People range their 24/7 heating from 12-18 mths, I’ve just started doing it at 22 months
     
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  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    It depends on a lot of factors. If you live in a tropical place or a house with central heating/good insulation/a north facing aspect/etc, you may never require any supplemental heating at all. If you house is poorly insulated or for whatever reason tends to be cold and your enclosure itself is poorly insulated, you may always require 24/7 heat for any snake of any age.

    For most snakes in most normal circumstances, 12 hours completely off will probably be a problem for at least some of the year. A good way to handle the issue is to think about the needs of the snake and then think about how to provide them, rather than working backwards and arbitrarily coming up with a heating schedule and hoping it works.
     
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  6. Chipewah

    Chipewah Not so new Member

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    I live in Canberra and have heat going 24/7 regardless. They would likely die overnight during winter otherwise.
     
  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    They probably would be better off without 24/7 heat. There are snakes living outside in your area, the inside of houses pretty much always stays fairly comfortable compared to outdoor, natural options, and Womas live in areas which routinely fall below zero overnight in winter (not that the Womas are out in the open in subzero temperatures of course, they're underground where the temperature is more stable, similar to the inside of a house).
     
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  8. Chipewah

    Chipewah Not so new Member

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    Sdaji, you could be right but I am not game enough to test that theory. .
    We don't have any pythons that live in the Canberra area and I can only guess that it is due to the weather? Plenty of Tigers and Browns but no pythons.
    I know some pythons can handle the odd night or two of below zero but months of it and minus 6 to 9 somewhat regularly I am not sure of?
    I use heat mats for all my animals bar one, which has a CHE and the ambient temps in the enclosures on really cold nights is pretty cold. The hot spot is in the low to high twenties of a day but of a night I have no chance unless I heat the entire house over night which is too expensive. I put oil heaters next to the enclosures to keep the overnight ambient temps at least in the high single digits if not mid teens so they do get plenty of temperature variant but I am way to scared to let them go with no heat overnight. Also, all my animals are currently under one year old.
    I am far from any kind of expert though.
     
  9. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    You may be surprised if you ever decide to check the climate data over the distribution of Woma Pythons. Across their distribution, there are places where in winter the *average* overnight temperature is below zero in winter. Not just on rare freak events, that's just a normal winter night. The snakes are not sitting out in the open when it's below zero (although there are places where Morelia spilota do routinely rest above ground in sub zero temperatures, Antaresia are certainly found in places which routinely fall well below zero...), but I have no doubt the house you live in doesn't frost over inside either.

    I am absolutely positively not recommending you try to replicate nature - nature is a harsh bitch which routinely kills wild animals, and replicating her amounts to animal cruelty, but you clearly aren't fully aware of what nature entails, and I maintain that 24/7 heat is generally not ideal for snakes kept indoors, even in Canberra. However, if you don't know what you're doing, err on the side of caution. Even in places more cold than Canberra, people often have a challenge cooling their snakes enough to trigger breeding (generally because they have a large number of animals in well-insulated rooms, which I am guessing is not the case with you personally). If you know what you're doing though, you'll definitely be either switching the heat off entirely at least some of the time, or you'll at least be using thermostats with multiple settings and giving them lower overnight settings.
     
  10. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    If u heat during the day, some of that heat will retain thru the night via the snake and it’s surrounding
     
  11. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Right, and even if you only need to switch the heat off for a short time to get down to the desired temperature, it's better than nothing. If you have an extremely cold house and a poorly insulated enclosure and a tropical animal such as a Rough-scaled or Water Python it can be a bit tricky to get right, but 24/7/365 heat is not good for almost any species (and you shouldn't ever be keeping tropical species in poorly-insulated enclosures in extremely cold rooms!)
     

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