Where do people stand

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Reptiles78, Apr 9, 2014.

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  1. Senator358

    Senator358 Well-Known Member

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    You can't really compare a wild snake to the snakes we have in captivity. Snakes in the wild brumate during colder periods because they don't have a choice. There are probably a number that die during this time because of the effects of cold or due to not having the conditioning required.
    Brumating in captivity is really a choice for the individual keeper. I personally give my snakes 24/7 heat in racks until they are 18 months to 2 years. I also breed my snakes therefore, once they reach breeding age they are cooled for this reason. Another reason to cool your snakes would be to have a bit of time off during the year from cleaning and feeding. :)
    I haven't heard or read anything about ill health or longevity due to keeping them heated all their lives but there are also not many people doing this as long term keepers generally breed.
     
  2. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    Fingers crossed [MENTION=1228]Pythoninfinite[/MENTION] or another gold star member stumbles across this thread and can share their knowledge :)
     
  3. Oh dear... Umm, I think it's really optional, and really only necessary if you want breed them. Many experienced keepers I know simply turn off the heat at night through the winter, and allow 6-8 hours heat during the day with just about all species, even GTPs. This seems to ward off any potential immune system problems, and actually works for breeding as well. If the snakes are kept too cold for too long then problems arise. Many snakes, Carpets & Diamonds included, will come out into the sun on even quite cold winter mornings to warm up for an hour or two, then retreat into their shelter and curl up tight to conserve the acquired heat. Most lose interest in food during this time however.

    I think a few hours of daytime heat is the safest way to go during winter.

    Where's my gold star btw :(?

    Jamie
     
  4. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    Thanks Jamie :)

    Gold star refers to [MENTION=16366]Snowman[/MENTION]'s idea which unfortunately has not been implemented. Thus you have a proverbial gold star or would you prefer me to continue to refer to you as herp Jebus?

    I'm also interested to hear from keepers in QLD who also don't really have a winter... Do you keep southern species e.g. diamonds and what's your husbandry like?

    PS thank you herp Jebus :)
     

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  5. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I think that you must look at how snakes live in the wild to learn how to care for them in captivity. I think by looking at the natural cycle of a wild snake people discovered that brumating brought more success when breeding. I am not saying either way as to whether brumating is better , worse or indifferent to a snakes health but more that it is important to study and learn from wild snakes and adapt what you learn to the captive environment.



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  6. jacorin

    jacorin Well-Known Member

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    My stimmie and woma put themselves into brumation,even though the heat isn't turned down. they wont eat now till about sept/oct.
     
  7. Senator358

    Senator358 Well-Known Member

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    Sure Andy you can look at wild populations and take into account what they do however, it annoys me when I hear the phrase "well in the wild they do this" because our captive snakes are quite far removed from their wild counterparts. Our snakes are bred in captivity, kept in almost sterile conditions, fed regularly and face none of the hardships a wild snake might. Because of this their immune systems and reactions to environmental change can be quite different.
     
  8. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    I agree that we aren't trying to emulate wild conditions. However, since it's hard to measure what puts the greatest strain on an animal, looking at the conditions of their wild counterparts is still worth discussing. We know that they are capable of eating once every 6 months, and we know that they are capable of brumating for months. What we don't know is what places more demand on the body - brumating for 3-6 months, or skipping that 'rest period'.

    The only thing we know for sure is that when pythons brumate, letting it get too cold and humid can lead to respiratory infections. So our advice to newbies is more often don't.
     
  9. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    That's pretty much the point I was trying to make. Are those who don't allow cooler temps doing herps a disservice and killing them with kindness?
     
  10. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    We don't know - there are so many variables that even if we had a breeder here to say "all my pythons lived for 25+ years and I brumated" we wouldn't have any evidence to prove whether it was his brumating, or any other factor in his husbandry. (Provision of UV, overuse of F10, larger vs smaller enclosures etc).

    That would be a hard survey to do, even just asking around australian keepers about brumation methods, life expectancies and instances of illness (so only asking keepers with older snakes, naturally). The first thing it assumes is that everyone has accurate records of age and health issues. As far as I know, no one has tried gathering information on that scale. It'd probably involve the cooperation of many reptile societies or related organisations.
     
  11. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I think some people don't brumate until 18 months to two years do so because they want to get to breeding size and breed at 18 months of age. I am not saying everyone or anyone in particular does this but I am sure it happens. I also don't know if this has any effect on lifespan or not but I don't agree with people breeding as soon as they can and right or wrong I don't plan on breeding any snake until around 3-31/2 years.
     
  12. RedFox

    RedFox Very Well-Known Member

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    I will be brumating all of mine but three, two small yearlings and a hatchling.

    I didn't brumate last year because I had just moved to Cairns from Melbourne and we didn't really have a winter. I also only had the one adult. The year before that I did, as I provided minimal night time heating with a good hot spot during the day. The drop in night time temps triggered brumation.

    I don't think brumation is something people should do if they don't understand it, as prolonged, cool temps, ie no suitable hotspot during the day, can lead to health problems.
     
  13. Ramy

    Ramy Active Member

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    I avoid brumating in the first year because I think little snakes have a smaller body mass and don't cope with the cold as effectively. But you're probably right, there would be people out there who breed because they can and breed as soon as they can. There's a certain variety of ignorant keeper out there who do things "because I can" and not "for the animal's sake".
     
  14. Lawra

    Lawra Come here Squishy! Subscriber

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    Thank you [MENTION=35366]RedFox[/MENTION] that helped answer my query :)
     
  15. meako

    meako Not so new Member

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    Our full sized Spotted has refused to eat for almost 3 weeks but is still active in the evenings. Despite a cold snap a couple of weeks ago it has been unseasonably warm round here (wollongong).We have not changed the heating arrangement or anything. Could this be brumation behaviour?
     
  16. PDM_Pythons

    PDM_Pythons Not so new Member

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    Very probable.... Won't hurt not eating for few months and will kick into gear in the spring
     
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