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NewSnakeMum

New Member
Hi All,

My partner and I have decided to buy our very first snake, a 5 month old Albino Darwin Python.
I have tried to do as much research as we can before we pick her up but I'm finding a lot of the information I'm reading is contradicting one another.

I want to know what heat methods will work best, how long they need to stay on for, what and how often I should feed her, and just about any information to provide her the best home possible!

Any advice would be great.
 

pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
Welcome to APS, and the world of reptile keeping. I'll try to answer your questions, but your best bet is to invest in one of two books, for future reference:
A Guide to Australian Pythons in Captivity, by Adam Elliott
Keeping and Breeding Australian Pythons, by Mike Swan
If you are getting a 5 month old, I would recommend a Sistema style tub, heated by a small heat mat. This thread is a great how-to guide:
https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/guide-to-build-a-click-clack-dial-up-warning.93266/
Heating for a python that age should be from about 8 in the morning to about 5 or 6 in the evening, although if it is on the small side 24/7 heating won't hurt it. The heating needs to be regulated by a thermostat.
The person you buy the python from should be able to tell you what the snake has been eating and how often. A juvenile python should be fed every 7 to 10 days. Without seeing the snake, I would think it should be eating fuzzy or weaner rats.
Hope this helps.
 

Yellowtail

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
Hi All,

My partner and I have decided to buy our very first snake, a 5 month old Albino Darwin Python.
I have tried to do as much research as we can before we pick her up but I'm finding a lot of the information I'm reading is contradicting one another.

I want to know what heat methods will work best, how long they need to stay on for, what and how often I should feed her, and just about any information to provide her the best home possible!

Any advice would be great.

My first advice is to check your source of the "5 month old albino" Albino Darwins hatch around October to December so by the end of September any from last season would be very advanced and almost yearlings. If it is a small hatchling it probably was a problem feeder and very under developed.

Pinefamilies advice is good and by September/October an albino Darwin should be 10-11 months old and eating at least fuzzy rats.
 

NewSnakeMum

New Member
Thank you for those answers.
After speaking to another breeder in my area, I’ve come to the conclusion that the person I’m buying off may not be the most reliable of breeders. I’m going to attach a photo and maybe someone can give me some better information.

Thanks :)

E3BADBAA-1254-4AE4-99C4-575F248522C0.jpeg
 

Yellowtail

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
By the colour it is a lot older than 5 months and very small if it is 10-11 months as one from last season would be.
An under developed problem feeder can still catch up with growth once it starts feeding regularly and be a nice snake but the seller should be honest and not mis-represent it as 5 mths old and you need to be sure there are no health issues.
 

Wokka

Well-Known Member
Whilst a snake which is small for its age normally means it has not eaten as much as a larger snake of a similar age, it does not necessarily mean it is a poor feeder. Captive snakes can only eat what they are offered and some keepers don't feed their hatchlings to maximise growth. With most animals there is a food requirement to maintain body function, and then any surplus feed is applied to growth. As long as the maintenance requirement is supplied then the snake should be healthy. In captivity snakes probably grow at double the rate to in the wild, depending upon the environmental conditions at the time. If you want a big snake quickly, feed it often. Alternatively smaller less frequent feeds will result in slower growth rates. Generally there is about a 3 to 1 conversion in juvenile growing snakes ( ie 300 grams of food will result in about 100 grams of growth) although this varies according to the maintenance requirement.
 

NewSnakeMum

New Member
Whilst a snake which is small for its age normally means it has not eaten as much as a larger snake of a similar age, it does not necessarily mean it is a poor feeder. Captive snakes can only eat what they are offered and some keepers don't feed their hatchlings to maximise growth. With most animals there is a food requirement to maintain body function, and then any surplus feed is applied to growth. As long as the maintenance requirement is supplied then the snake should be healthy. In captivity snakes probably grow at double the rate to in the wild, depending upon the environmental conditions at the time. If you want a big snake quickly, feed it often. Alternatively smaller less frequent feeds will result in slower growth rates. Generally there is about a 3 to 1 conversion in juvenile growing snakes ( ie 300 grams of food will result in about 100 grams of growth) although this varies according to the maintenance requirement.

We were advised to feed her every 4 days with pinkies for the next 10 feeds.
What I am most nervous about is the heating.
We currently have two red bulbs, (as advised by one 'professional') but were then told we need a basking globe.
Also, how will I know if she is doing well? Just by her feeding pattern?
Any new information is welcomed, please.
 

Buggster

Well-Known Member
We were advised to feed her every 4 days with pinkies for the next 10 feeds.
What I am most nervous about is the heating.
We currently have two red bulbs, (as advised by one 'professional') but were then told we need a basking globe.
Also, how will I know if she is doing well? Just by her feeding pattern?
Any new information is welcomed, please.


Pinkies? Pinkies are basically water with very little nutritional value- perhaps why she is so small.

My yearling Diamond (who is smaller than your Darwin I believe) is already eating fuzzy rats and smaller sized hopper rats.

Doesn’t matter the # of globes you have, just if you’re getting the correct temperature gradient. You want the hotspot to be 30-35 degrees and the rest of the enclosure to sit at room temp.

I’d definitely bump up a size and decrease the amount of feeds. A fuzzy/hopper rat once a week will be more than enough. You might want to ask someone who is more knowledgeable on the size of Darwin’s, but young snakes will easily eat something 1.5-2x the size of their girthiest part
 

NewSnakeMum

New Member
Pinkies? Pinkies are basically water with very little nutritional value- perhaps why she is so small.

My yearling Diamond (who is smaller than your Darwin I believe) is already eating fuzzy rats and smaller sized hopper rats.

Doesn’t matter the # of globes you have, just if you’re getting the correct temperature gradient. You want the hotspot to be 30-35 degrees and the rest of the enclosure to sit at room temp.

I’d definitely bump up a size and decrease the amount of feeds. A fuzzy/hopper rat once a week will be more than enough. You might want to ask someone who is more knowledgeable on the size of Darwin’s, but young snakes will easily eat something 1.5-2x the size of their girthiest part

Thank you. In have booked an appointment with a reptile vet next week so hopefully that will give me some more clarity and assurance.
At the moment the enclosure is sitting at around 32-35 on the hot end and 25-26 at the cool end.
 

Buggster

Well-Known Member
Thank you. In have booked an appointment with a reptile vet next week so hopefully that will give me some more clarity and assurance.
At the moment the enclosure is sitting at around 32-35 on the hot end and 25-26 at the cool end.

cool end should be much cooler (lows 20s). too hot and the snake is unable to regulate its heat and will become stressed.
 

Wokka

Well-Known Member
Your temperature gradient is most likely adequate if the snake is feeding. You cannot make the cool end cooler than the ambient (room) temperature, so it depends upon where your cage is. A cool end of 25C is low enough. The metabolic rate of snakes is determined by their temperature and if they have access to 30-32 that will be fine. I agree you are better feeding a larger (more mature) food item- probably fuzzie rats (15-30 grams) as they will have some skeletal development and fur. Maybe use up what pinkies you have to establish a feeding pattern and then increase the feed item size, and reduce the frequency. Then when you use up your fuzzie rats go onto weaners .

As you can read , snake keeping is not an exact science. There are many different ways to achieve success. If you get the temperature right everything else will follow!
 
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NewSnakeMum

New Member
She seems to be quite happy and she did a poo on me this morning (YAY -.-).
It’s a beautiful sunny day here so am I able to take her outside in her click clack and let her get some real sunlight?

Also another question, how long will she have to stay in her click clack for?

Your temperature gradient is most likely adequate if the snake is feeding. You cannot make the cool end cooler than the ambient (room) temperature, so it depends upon where your cage is. A cool end of 25C is low enough. The metabolic rate of snakes is determined by their temperature and if they have access to 30-32 that will be fine. I agree you are better feeding a larger (more mature) food item- probably fuzzie rats (15-30 grams) as they will have some skeletal development and fur. Maybe use up what pinkies you have to establish a feeding pattern and then increase the feed item size, and reduce the frequency. Then when you use up your fuzzie rats go onto weaners .

As you can read , snake keeping is not an exact science. There are many different ways to achieve success. If you get the temperature right everything else will follow!


Thank you for all that information you have certainly made me feel a bit better!

The person I bought her off said to do just that, feed her pinkies to establish good feeding and then up the size.
 
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Bl69aze

Very Well-Known Member
She seems to be quite happy and she did a poo on me this morning (YAY -.-).
It’s a beautiful sunny day here so am I able to take her outside in her click clack and let her get some real sunlight?

Also another question, how long will she have to stay in her click clack for?
I haven’t really been paying attention to this thread but if you have had her long enough to handle, you can walk around in the sun with her soaking it up, (you can take the click clack out just make sure her hide entrance is facing away from sun)

She can stay in a click clack for s long time, I personally would move them up when they starting moving around during the day and not always using their hide (mine has knocked her hide away and is now sitting above heat mat, where she used to ALWAYS go stay in her hide no matter where it was, cold or warm end.. so I’m going to put her up a tank size)
 

Wokka

Well-Known Member
I would be very very careful putting a snake in the sun in a click clack. It doesn't take much to cook them whether there hide is facing away from the sun or not. They don't need sun, and it only take a quick distraction such as a phone call to end in disaster.
 

NewSnakeMum

New Member
I would be very very careful putting a snake in the sun in a click clack. It doesn't take much to cook them whether there hide is facing away from the sun or not. They don't need sun, and it only take a quick distraction such as a phone call to end in disaster.

I’d never leave her alone outside. My partner was washing her car and I just sat there with her half in the shade and half in the sun. She seemed to enjoy it.

I totally understand what you are saying though
 
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