Juvie Diamond Python behaviour

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by LilithLeChat, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Diamonds can be easily put off their food if you try feeding them something they think is too big. Can also be a bit stubborn moving onto rats. I wouldn't be changing anything other than the frequency at the moment. Every 5 days is excessive in my opinion I would be moving to weekly, then as you think about increasing food size move to 10 days.
     
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  2. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Cool :D
    To me it looks like rolling a stocking up the leg lol

    After I defrost her food, I put it under the heat lamp while I clean her cage, so I don’t disturb her after she has eaten. She’s usually wrapped around my wrist while I’m doing that.

    She was fed in her cage with me bringing the mouse to her only the first time. The second time she sniffed the mouse warming up and snatched it while still wrapped around my wrist. She’s been feeding like that since then.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 10, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 10, 2018 ---
    @Pauls_Pythons, is that the size issue or different smell issue? If it is the smell, can I trick her by keeping the rats and mice in the same bag in the freezer?
     
  3. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Both. And scenting food is not a guarantee that you will 'trick them'. They can tell the change. If you do have problems when you change food items try scenting with quail. They seem to go nuts for quail for some reason.
     
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  4. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Thanks, good to know.
    I take it I can feed her quail when she’s big enough?
     
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  5. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Absolutely, and rabbit.
     
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  6. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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  7. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Where does this information come from? Have you ever seen a snake stuck in one? The holes that snakes tend to get stuck in are sharp edged, like drink cans or wire netting, where the edge lifts their scales as they try to withdraw. Skull hides have thick and relatively rounded edges to their holes. Besides which, by the time the body girth is too large and inflexible to fit through the holes in the skull, the snake would be way too big to utilise it as a hide.

    @LilithLeChat
    HIDES
    Hides
    should be a snug fit for the occupant, rather than just somewhere a reptile cannot be directly seen from the outside. There are three reasons for this based on their behaviour in the wild…

    Security: A snug fit reduces the width a potential predator can open its mouth and also reduces its capability to fit a jaw between the snake and the inside of the hide.

    Heat: Pythons bask to raise their body temperature and then retire until after dark. They coil up to reduce the amount of their surface area exposed to the outside, because they can lose heat through this to the outside. If air is able to move over or around their outside body surface, it can carry warmth away and be replaced with colder air. If they can trap air and stop it from moving, it keeps warmed air around them and helps to insulate them even more.

    Moisture: Lungs are designed to absorb oxygen into the body (and get rid of carbon dioxide at the same time). However, gas cannot enter a cell unless it is dissolved. So the cells lining the inside of the lungs are covered with a thin film of water to first dissolve the oxygen before absorbing it. If the air inside the lung space is not 100% humid, it will evaporate from the film of water until it is. The cells must then replace the evaporated moisture from the water film covering them. Because the air breathed in is not 100% humid, but the air breathed out is, there is a nett loss of moisture with each breathe. By trapping moist air and rebreathing this, the amount of moisture lost by breathing can be considerably reduced. This is particular important for arid area reptiles.

    Many people contend that since captive reptiles are supplied with water and heat, and no predators, that close-fitting hides are not at all necessary. The counter argument is that if one wants to ensure that one’s animals feel genuinely secure, then it is best to provide similar hide conditions to those they would instinctively seek out in nature.
     
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  8. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    @Bluetongue1, thanks for that. I guess that may explain why she’s been piling up the bedding near the entrance to her hide, I guess it’s too big for her.

    She weighs 40g, and the mice I’ve been feeding her weigh 5g. It seems I have to go up to 10g mice or rats.
    Some snakes in the wild eat bird eggs. Is that something that can be added to their diet, eg, quail eggs?

    Question about decorating the enclosure: do snakes need environment enrichment, like plants, various objects etc, or they don’t care?
    If I were to put plants in her enclosure, should they be living or fake? Anything I should avoid? Would living plants help with humidity?
     
  9. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Snakes don’t care aslong as they can climb and hide and get warm
     
  10. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Would a zebra finch nest make a good hide to hang off the side of enclosure?
     
  11. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I know people use those possum boxes often
     
  12. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    That seems like a good idea when she’s bigger, but for now one of those nests seems like a cheap alternative to keep her feeling snug and safe.
     
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  13. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I’d just get a smaller box and put it down low
     
  14. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @Bl69aze Did you actually read the various question the OP asked? The only advice I can give you here is that if you want to be taken seriously on any forum, then you need to respond to specific questions as asked. Your current reply is meaningless and therefore worthless.

    @LilithLeChat
    “I guess that may explain why she’s been piling up the bedding near the entrance to her hide, I guess it’s too big for her.” From the information you have provided, that sounds like the likely reason - she is trying to conserve heat and feel more secure at the same time.

    “She weighs 40g, and the mice I’ve been feeding her weigh 5g. It seems I have to go up to 10g mice or rats.” In an experimental run some years ago with sub-adult spotted pythons, one group was allowed to eat to rejection every two weeks. Snakes are like fish, opportunistic feeders that will eat what they can when they can - as they don’t know when they’ll get their next meal. Many fish will over-eat to the point of killing themselves, whereas snakes usually stop short of that. These snakes in the experiment, on average, ate a one third of their body weight i.e. 33.3%. So one could consider that as safe maximum. At the other end of the scale, a python eating 5% of its body weight, all else being equal, can remain healthy but will obviously grow only slowly. So anything between 10% and 30% of body weight per feed is going to be within those margins. The most commonly quoted and utilised range of feed weights compared to body weight (which excludes those trying to get their animals to breeding size in a hurry) is from 15% to 25%. What you ultimately decide upon is up to you. Usual feeding rates varying from 5 – 7 days for hatchlings, to 7 – 10 - 14 days for juveniles. Sub-adults about once every two to ththree weeks. These are gross generalisations and lots of people may vary from these.

    Some snakes in the wild eat bird eggs. Is that something that can be added to their diet, eg, quail eggs? This happens vary rarely with Australian snakes, and usually as result of a python disturbing a hen on the nest so that the eggs are warm and have a very strong scent of bird on them. IMO not worth trying to replicate in a captive’s diet, but someone may have a different views on that and a successful technique that can be employed.

    “Question about decorating the enclosure: do snakes need environment enrichment, like plants, various objects etc, or they don’t care?” This is a contentious topic. While we know we can successfully raise generation after generation in the minimal environment of racks, should we be catering for their other behavioural instincts at the same time? Clearly, it is not essential. But people drw parallels between battery hens laying eggs in tiny wire cages and free-range hens. Is the difference between birds and snakes sufficient to not warrant it? I know how I feel about it but that is based more on opinion and personal perception rather than scientific facts at this stage of our understanding.

    “If I were to put plants in her enclosure, should they be living or fake? Anything I should avoid? Would living plants help with humidity?” Living plants are not easily grown indoors unless you know what you are doing. Any inclusion of plants in an enclosure will increase the humidity by varying degree, depending upon a range of factors. These include the type of plant/s, their size, their number, how they are embedded in the terrarium and watered, the ambient conditions outside the terrarium/enclosure, ventilation and rate of air exchange, whether it is winter or summer etc. The simplest way to look at it is ask yourself how close to the humidity level to that recommended for my reptile? Now, can I afford to increase that significantly for the sake of growing live plants? If the answer is no and you still want plants to produce a more naturalistic environment, then you have two choices. First is to go with artificial plants. There are some amazingly real-looking plastic and silk plants available these days. Dried natural plants are also an option. Dried clumps of spinifex (Triodia grass species0 and a number of grass and arid zone native plants can be spectacular appropriately placed in a well landscaped “desert environment”. Add some nice pieces of mulga hollows and some appropriate looking real and/or fake rocks and you produce a scene that looks like it was lifted out of the wild, with zero effect on the humidity level.

    Am too tired to proof read this tonight... sorry.
     
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  15. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Thank you for all the info!!! Really appreciate it!

    I’m a horror buff and I was hoping to decorate the enclosure in that theme, while of course making sure it’s not at the expense of my snake’s health and well-being. I’ve got a small glass coffin and ceramic dragon egg (Game of Thrones), both with removable lids, that I hoped to put in there, so she could use both as hides - although she’d probably ignore the coffin, as it offers no privacy. The dragon egg would probably be the perfect size for her for now.
     
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  16. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Have now read the last few posts… A possum box? As you said, far too big at this stage. Do not know why that was suggested.

    An elevated hide is a great idea. While the zebra finch nest would no doubt very much suit your snake, there is a potential shortfall. One important thing I now realise I omitted from my notes on hides is that you do need to have access to your animal. For example, if it enters a hide when unwell and being medicated, you need to be able to easily extract it. Alternatively, it may disappear into a hide for a substantial time and you become worried and just want to check on it. A zebra finch nest will not allow that. Small budgie breeding boxes make good elevated hides for small pythons. If this is still a bit big, then you can fill the base with your substrate which then allows it to bury itself under this. Or you can make or utilise a similar box of smaller dimensions. Hollow limbs make great elevated hides, but if long they are better run through a bandsaw to form two halves that can then be held together with cable ties or tie wire.

    There is no reason you cannot put your skull and coffin and egg in there as ornaments. It gives the snake something to crawl through and over, and if it uses any as hides then that’s a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  17. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Good point about the zebra finch nest. I’m compiling a list of items I need to get this weekend to make Cassandra’s enclosure more enjoyable for her.

    I am going to put up a shelf so she can utilise the top third of the big enclosure. She’s been trying to find her way out of click clack at night, so I’ll see how she goes with more space and more hides. I’d she gets stressed and goes in hiding again, I’ll just put her back in the click clack. At the moment, she barely spends any time in her hide and seems to prefer curling up on the twigs she has in there, both during the day and night.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 15, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 15, 2018 ---
    When I went to feed Cassandra tonight, she was curled up on her favourite perch. I though I’ll try to coax her down by holding the mouse just out of her reach in hope she’ll follow the scent. She did start to follow it, and then gave me a quick lesson on just how far she can reach. She grabbed the mouse, lightening-fast... by the butt.

    I was worried if she’ll be able to swallow it, considering the angle of the mouse’s hind leg. As you can see in the video, she managed quite easily.
    I wish I filmed the strike, it was a thing of beauty!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    (A little plug for my YouTube channel - I have a video of baby loggerhead turtles erupting out of their nest and large loggerhead female returning to the sea after laying eggs, filmed on holiday on Heron Island)
     
  18. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    How old exactly is your snake? The reason I ask is that most juveniles are only ready to be transferred to a larger enclosure at around 12 to 15 months of age. As always, there is a degree of variation, and the odd individual will be ready before then, while other will not be ready until around 18 months of age or more. Having said that, it is often possible to move them up earlier with the provision of ample hides within easy access of water and heat.

    As usual, the explanation for this behaviour relates to the snake in its natural environment. Young snakes are on the menu for a huge range of native and introduced predators. Animals such as raptors, owls, kookaburras, butcher birds, mammalian carnivores like quolls and cats and foxes, and reptiles like large agamids, monitors and many adult snakes, all predate on small snakes. It is not until they outgrow these dangers and even turn the tables on would-be predators, that they become much more outgoing. In summary, they essentially spend the first 12 months or so of their lives trying to avoid being eaten, whilst attempting to procure something to eat.

    An elevated perch that allows a python to still be warm, is considered a safe refuge by pythons. If anything, it is a healthy sign that your is spending most of her time “curling up on the twig” provided.

    Additional comments:
    While front end first is more typical (usually ensures the ability to swallow the rest), rear first is not an issue with rodents, as you have observed.

    In terms of feeding, you can stick with mice by doubling the number of them for a while when required. It is actually much more efficient for the snake to digest two smaller objects, rather than the equivalent in one. Feeding your snake quail is not a bad idea, but ensuring a continuing supply thereof is the usual issue, unless you breed your own.

    The simplest way transition a snake from mice to rats, where the snake is not keen to take rats, is to use the ‘daisy chain’ technique. Simply sow a rat to the rear end of a mouse using cotton thread. After three feeds like this the snake should associate the taste of rat as food and take a rat on its own. For the experienced this can be more easily achieved by placing a rat in the snakes mouth before it closes on the mouse it is being fed.

    PS. That is one good looking diamond!
     
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  19. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    I’m not sure about her exact age. I bought her from a pet shop and was told she’s couple of months old, and that was about a month ago.
    (Note to self, next time should buy from a breeder, although I think I got lucky in regards to her health, temperament and feeding habits, however I don’t know anything about her parents so no idea what she’ll look like as an adult.)

    She seems to be very curious and if I take her near a window, she stretches towards it and seems fascinated. That confuses me because I thought that snakes don’t rely on their vision as much as their sense of smell and heat detection. She can’t possibly smell through the glass. She also seems to like stretching towards my face, particularly mouth and nose - I guess because of heat and smell? She’s completely non-aggressive about it, and if I let her, she climbs on my glasses and perches there (very uncomfortable!!!)
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I take it as a sign that she doesn’t feel threatened by me - or else she wouldn’t approach the mouth of a potential predator?
    She’s also curious about my partner and stretches towards him... as long as he ignores her. If he even looks at her, she recoils back to me, but as long as he ignores her, she’ll sniff him and even climb on his shoulder.

    Due to her curiosity and willingness to explore, I thought she might be ready for a larger space. While the age and size are probably the best indication of readiness, are there behavioural signs, like trying to get out of click clack or pacing around it?

    I never thought about Frankensteining a mouserat lol but I’ll definity try it if she refuses a rat lol. I’ve stocked up on 7 weeks worth of hoppers, which seem the right size for her now.
    I don’t know when she shed last and she’s been with me for just over a month. She doesn’t show any signs that she’s about the shed, so I was worrying that she’s not getting enough food to grow.

    I also think she’s a beautiful Diamond, but then again, I fell in love with the breed since I went to a reptile expo a few years ago and was allowed to handle one.

    Again, I’m very grateful for your effort in answering my questions in such great detail.
     
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  20. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Your diamond looks a lot like when mine was 6months old, then he started getting yellow :) (pic is him now)

    I suppose they can detect the heat coming through the glass, which is why people say never to put a glass enclosure in direct sunlight, the temps get quite high.

    As for when to upgrade enclosure size, “confidence” is a good measure
    A snake that’s not hiding so much will fare much better in a big enclosure than a snake that is shy and hides all the time (assuming it’s not just doing it for heat)

    If you want your snake to grow fast there’s a technique called “frequent feeding” which is multiple smaller sized meals in a week such as 2 even 3 a week. (Appropriate sizing still applies) the reason being they can digest smaller meals much faster in then growing much faster . Powerfeeding is larger meals, like rabbits and take weeks to digest fully. There the snake grows slower as it hides away to digest the meal :)

    6C178FE4-2232-4D44-BF8D-E2B09EF59A33.jpeg
     
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