How to care for lots of snakes.. Efficiently:)

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by JezJez, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. JezJez

    JezJez Active Member

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    As my reptile keeping addiction takes hold I find my collection growing & growing & now that I have 30 odd hatchlings it's pushing my collection close to 50! Not a lot compared to some I'm sure but it's a fair bit to manage by myself.

    I know more snakes means more work, but I'm wondering if anyone else out there who has a large(ish) collection has any tips/tricks or advice on how to efficiently look after a collection as it grows?? Things like feeding, cleaning, record keeping, etc

    I do plan to sell a few which will lighten the load but any advice that saves me some time would be much appreciated:)
     
  2. hrafna

    hrafna Well-Known Member

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    get yourself a lackey! i guess you just have to find a system that works for you.
     
  3. JackTar

    JackTar Active Member

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    I believe that is what he is trying to do.
     
  4. KingSirloin

    KingSirloin Well-Known Member

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    I've got 10 and that's enough, no more unless I sell some. It's not just the feeding, cleaning etc.....they're growing, I have my own house, and I'm running out of room for larger enclosures.

    I'd actually like to see how 50 or more are managed!
     
  5. rockett85

    rockett85 Not so new Member

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    i occasionally look after a friends one while he goes away and there is about 30 adults and god knows how many hatchies and dragon species as well it is BLOODY hard work, i easily spend close to 2hrs a day there cleaning tanks, bowls, feeding disinfecting everything as well. Not looking forward to the next time i look after it as he now has a rat and mouse colony to look after!
     
  6. dickyknee

    dickyknee Almost Legendary

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    I find it much easier if there is a mess in a tub / cage I clean it right then rather than cleaning them all on a single day.
    Keep a chart when feeding , I will mark each animals chart with 'IN" if it has just been fed , that way I know which ones to check the following morning.
    When feeding don't thaw rodents for every animal either , most likely a few will skip feeds and you end up wasting a bit.
    Hatchlings get disposable bowls , I just chuck them out if they are dirty and put in a new one , saves all the washing.

    Geckos I will spot clean , mist , and feed every second day , they are very to care for though.
     
  7. Radar

    Radar Very Well-Known Member

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    Spend 20mins a night cleaning them as they get dirty, or you will lose a day a week if you do it in one hit. Waste less time watching TV and more looking after animals :)
    If you house your animals in naturalistic/display enclosures you will probably be more inclined to clean them straight up, or I find at least I am, as it maintains the general look of the place and everything smells clean.
     
  8. Boidae

    Boidae Well-Known Member

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    Lots of snakes means lots of work.
    If you're not breeeding your own rats already, start doing so.
    It's more work, but you will save a fortune in the long run.
    For water bowls you can use deli cups in a bit of pvc pipe so that is doesn't tip over.
    Just swap the deli cup over.
     
  9. ricky_91

    ricky_91 Active Member

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    put them in pits outside
     
  10. atothej09

    atothej09 Well-Known Member

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    A pic of helping room would be good. I like seeing other members setups.

    Work out a routine and stick with it.
    Would help if you have OCD? If not, then it will feel like real work lol
    Get a diary or invest in a 12 month wall calendar and use it.
    If you feel like its all too much, the animals will suffer, and you will need to downsize to a comfortable level.
    How old are you? If adult could you approach schools and get work experience lackies? I am unsure if you need to be a business for that?? Someone here will know.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  11. hrafna

    hrafna Well-Known Member

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    personally i would use something easily cleaned for water bowls and hides, newspaper seems to be a quick and easy substrate. as to feeding, wouldn't some sort of small calendar or the such for the front of each enclosure be helpful to keep track of feeding and sloughing?
     
  12. MR_IAN_DAVO

    MR_IAN_DAVO Well-Known Member

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    Yah this is the go.
    I keep individual feeding cards on every snake & record every feed & shed etc in a easy to access refidex.

    I don't really have that many snakes but when trying to look after so many it is hard to keep track. so feeding records/cards are necessary.

    I have found that newspaper is the best as many of long term breeders have said. All the other stuff looks nice but costs time & money. Newspapers cost nothing after people have read them, they just throw them away.

    The snakes don't really care what they piss & **** on but it is your choice & newspaper does a good job.

    Cheers
    Ian

    Other than that don't keep em. if it bothers you.
     
  13. Mitchell1995

    Mitchell1995 Not so new Member

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    Youtube - Snakebytes tv then you know what a large collection is
     
  14. shea_and_ruby

    shea_and_ruby Well-Known Member

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    we have a few now and hubby checks water and dirty spots once a night, which takes about 10 mins. feeding night is always sunday nights and i update the charts that night as well.
     
  15. JezJez

    JezJez Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for input, some good ideas there. I like the idea of disposable water bowls for the hatchies & the referdex idea for tracking feeds/sheds. That'll save some time for sure:) i find spot cleaning is better than spending 3 hours once a week & a lot more hygienic so I'll stick to that.
    Anyone got anything else that works for them??
     
  16. moosenoose

    moosenoose Legendary

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    Unless you're a breeder, a large collection WILL get on top of you. Reptiles, their feeding and up-keep when you get it out of hand can be a real handful. I chringe when I see someone write "you can't stop at one".... hopefully you know when to "stop" within your limits, otherwise it's detrimental to the health of the critters you keep. Be mindful of those limits and stick within them. You owe it to your "pets" ;)
     
  17. snakelady96

    snakelady96 Active Member

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    I just pick one day of the week to do EVERYTHING. Normally between Saturday and Monday i pick a day when im least busy. To do everything probably takes about 6-8 hrs, i clean and disinfect their enclosures, change all water (do that about twice a week though), feed everyone (lizards get fed every day though), different substrates takes different amount of time to clean also, newspaper as mentioned above is quick and easy but fake grass takes a little longer to hose off then leave to dry, sand for larger enclosures also takes a bit longer as i sift the poo out then in a garbage bin. Also all cage furniture gets cleaned which takes a bit of time (especially the bumpy type hides and logs etc). Then if im not already buggered enough ill handle those who need attention because of aggressive or shy behaviour to make them more tolerant, which seems to be working.

    Thats about all i can think of off the top of my head, i have about 30 reptiles in my collection of all sorts.
     
  18. phantomreptiles

    phantomreptiles Well-Known Member

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    Husbandary

    I have to admit I read the title of this thread, I thought I perhaps could get some tips from it. But now I am just concerned......
    Some people have said they spend three hours once a week for collections 30+, some have said four - six hours for the same size collection.
    I for one, would like to know how it takes such little time? Or I am just over the top?
    I have a collection of 40 at the moment, including ten hatchies. I spend a minimum of one hour a day just checking, taking notes. Cleaning any that need it. Yup a newspaper lover, newspaper or butchers paper is the most hygenic IMO.
    I refresh their water every two days (have bowls cleaned, ready to go) and clean any that need it, this generally takes one to two hours.
    Feeding day takes a minimum of four hours, (defrosting/ tease feeding, rechecking, etc) and this also includes me scrawling on a piece of paper of who ate what.
    Minimum two hours a week transfering all records to the appropiate reptile file - this includes their last shed, defeacation, food, and any other observations that may be made.
    So currently I spend a minimum of 18-20 hours a week on my reptiles, for normal keeping , this does not include anything out of the ordinary, breeding season, feeding probs etc. Lets not get started on the rodents.....[​IMG]
     
  19. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    Some people are more anal about it all then others. I feel disinfecting every time their cage and water bowl is cleaned to be too much (lowering immune system, etc), and so forth. Not everyone feels this way however. I currently have 10 snakes (no lizards). Some get fed every couple of days, others get fed every 7-14 days. Their water bowls get topped up when they get fed or if it's low and hot and cleaned when they're dirty. Substrate gets changed when it needs it. Cage itself gets cleaned down when it needs it.

    I think the most time consuming I do with my animals is feeding. Since the snake room is outside the house I just stand around watching until they're finished (defrosting + feeding time is a while xD).
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  20. phantomreptiles

    phantomreptiles Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to put in my post that most of mine are 1yr plus - not including hatchies. I will always give them all fresh water every two days as pythons like everything else prefer fresh water. I always clean out and refresh my dogs water bowl every other day rather than just refilling. The same as I do for myself when refilling water bottles.
    I do not disinfect my whole reptile enclosure, but rather the area they have defecated in, or had urates in. I think common sense should prevail, and at the end of the day - every animal is entitled to and should have fresh water, a clean living area and regular food.
    This should be checked every morning and night if you have an animal enclosed in a small space. Imagine being kept in your bedroom instead of having access to the world - this is what we do to our pythons, so the least we can do is uphold stringent housekeeping rules... Again just IMO
     
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