First time snake owner- please help

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fazz

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Hi all,

I have wanted a pet snake for years and have finally convinced my partner it won’t actively hunt and try to kill us or our medium sized dog. I have decided on a Murray darling carpet python. I have had a bearded dragon for 11 years but this will be my first snake so I have a few questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated, so thanks in advance!

I have found a reptile shop, Reptile City, that breeds all its own snakes. Is it better to get a hatchling or a yearling? I have also found mixed opinions on keeping a hatchling in a click-clack. If I have multiple hides in an adult sized enclosure can I put a hatchling in there? Otherwise if they are best off in a click-clack how big should it be in comparison to the size of the hatchling?

When buying my snake I have read to look for an alert snake with a healthy coat. Should I request that I see them feed it? Is there any benefit in asking to see the snakes parents? Is there anything else I should look for?

With a new snake I am aware that it is important to keep a log of when you feed it and how often it sheds. Is there anything else I should be keeping track of? For example how often poops?

From what I have read MD’s do not require UV lights. Can someone with experience please confirm this.

I want to give my snake as much space as possible. Does anyone know a good place to get custom made enclosures in Adelaide or it’s surrounding areas? I know MD’s like to climb. Is 1 meter height ok, or should the height be greater than this? Would 1.5 meter in length be ok? What are some good ideas, other than a large branch, to allow them to climb?

Much of my research has shown the maximum length MD’s grow to. I know to expect that my baby could grow to this size but could anyone let me know how big their fully grown MD is? Do snakes ever stop growing or will my snake reach an age where it continually grows very slowly in its adult years?

Does anyone know if there is somewhere with information on the length and weight baby MD’s should be reaching as they age?

For snake owners in Adelaide who would you recommend as a vet?

I know to expect to be bitten at some point. I have read to run water over the snakes head or tickle their tail if this happens. Can someone please confirm this?

I have the book ‘Care of Australian reptiles in captivity’ and have just bought ‘Keeping and breeding Australian pythons’. Are there any other books you would recommend? If you know any caresheets or threads for MD’s that would be helpful please let me know.

Lastly, if anyone has a MD I would love to see a photo of it and it’s enclosure setup.

Thankyou so much in advance for reading this and thank you even more for any answers given. I (and my soon to be baby snake) appreciate it more than you know 🤗
 

ElapidHooks

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I would put a hatchling MD In a click clack style tub for the first 10-12 months and after that you can put it in a full sized enclosure if you add enough decor (logs hides ect) the click clack enclosure should have enough space for the snake to stretch out if it wishes.

If you wish to see it feed I'm sure most people will send you a video, and likewise most people will send you pictures of the parents if you ask.

Yes, it is good to keep track of feeding times and defecation times for the first year or so until your confident it is healthy and is defecating/pooping on a regular schedule.

Yes, MDs do not need UV light at all, it is proven it does not effect the animal in any way.

For an adult MD I would do something like a 4x2x2ft or if you want to give it alot if space you could also do something like a 6x2x2ft.

Normally MDs grow to about 6ft long, some can grow bigger but that's about the average.

Unfortunately i don't know anywhere that shows the age to length ratio but I'm sure private breeders will give you some information.

I'm not from the Adelaide region so I'm not sure about vets there sorry.

Normally when a snake bites you it is a self defence strike and it won't hold on, but sometimes the snake mistakes you for food and latches on, in which case you can use the methods you suggested to get the snake off.

Those are 2 great books on the care of MDs, I'm not sure of any others I would recommend.

I hope you enjoy your new reptile and be sure to post some pictures when you get him!

Hope this helps :)
 

ElapidHooks

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Your all good mate! At least we know we aren't wrong with anything because we both wrote the same thing lol
 

fazz

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Thank you so much ElapidHooks and Wolfgang5!! Your help and sharing all your knowledge is much appreciated 😊

What size Click-Clack do you use for a hatchling? Do I put him/her in a small Tupperware size one and constantly upsize the Click-Clack as my snake grows? Or can I place a hatchling in a big plastic tub and keep that same ClickClack setup for 10 months?

Also does anyone know how or when you are able to tell what sex your snake is? I guessed my Bearded dragons sex based on his femoral pores and tail shape, but my guess was only confirmed when a vet probed him. Is there anyway other than probing to determine a MD’s sex? Also is there any difference between male and females in regards to temperament, size, feeding enthusiasm, behaviour or anything else?

Thanks in advance for reading this far and for any help 🤗
 

Wolfgang5

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Thank you so much ElapidHooks and Wolfgang5!! Your help and sharing all your knowledge is much appreciated 😊

What size Click-Clack do you use for a hatchling? Do I put him/her in a small Tupperware size one and constantly upsize the Click-Clack as my snake grows? Or can I place a hatchling in a big plastic tub and keep that same ClickClack setup for 10 months?

Also does anyone know how or when you are able to tell what sex your snake is? I guessed my Bearded dragons sex based on his femoral pores and tail shape, but my guess was only confirmed when a vet probed him. Is there anyway other than probing to determine a MD’s sex? Also is there any difference between male and females in regards to temperament, size, feeding enthusiasm, behaviour or anything else?

Thanks in advance for reading this far and for any help 🤗

This is the click clack I use, it is strongly recommended that you use a thermostat with any heat source as even the lowest watt heat mat can overheat and cook your animal.

In time you decide for yourself when you feel it's time to upgrade, I tend to look at my animals behaviour and use that as a guide. Ie: is the animal is confident and happily exploring or are they still shy and hiding full time, their size etc. If the animal appear confident and strong then it should be happy to move up, but always monitor and work at the animals pace, not yours.
This is my own personal preference but you should do your own research and make informed decisions.
If you do decide to move to a bigger enclosure, that's OK, just make sure the animal has plenty of places to climb and hide so it can move around with some privacy and feel safe.
See below as an example, this is one of my young enclosures.

As for alternatives to probing, I'm not the best person to ask as I don't have any experience or interest in breeding, that said, you can usually see sperm plugs in shredded skin or alternatively there is another way in which you can apply pressure to a certain spot and cause the spurs to pop. But it's probably easier to wait until the animal is a little older before you can truly sex them and its probably easier to return to the shop or breeder to have them confirm the sex for you.
Perhaps other people may have more knowledge here who have better ideas.

I have a mix of female and males snakes and unless I told you who is who, you could never pick, some people say one sex grows larger than the other and to some extent this may be true but growth and temperament depend on so many external factors such as our own behaviour, temperatures, and what or how much we feed. I'll be honest, the bigger the snake the more impressive it appears but is this best for the animal or is it solely for my benefit? I'd take a smaller healthier animal over a large unhealthy one, I prefer my animals to have a good life.

Good luck.
 

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fazz

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Thank you so much again for your help Wolfgang5. I’m not interested in breeding, I just want to be able to tell my snake that he is a good boy/ girl 😊 By the way your setup looks lovely! Lots of places for your snakes to explore.

If you have a click-clack how do you ensure that the hatchling has an adequate temperature range to properly thermoregulate? How much of the click-clack do you heat with the heat mat? For example do you put the heat mat under 1/3 or 1/2 of the clickclack? I’ve only ever used bulbs for my bearded dragon and never a heat mat… Do you know how best to set it up? Will it burn the table it rests on? Or are you able to direct me to a chat or website with this information? Thanks again in advance!
 

Herpetology

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Heat 1/3rd of a click clack at 32c
Heat mat won’t burn table unless ur squishing it on the table and pinching the heating element

these guys explain it well
1641771524241.png
 

Wolfgang5

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Thank you so much again for your help Wolfgang5. I’m not interested in breeding, I just want to be able to tell my snake that he is a good boy/ girl 😊 By the way your setup looks lovely! Lots of places for your snakes to explore.

If you have a click-clack how do you ensure that the hatchling has an adequate temperature range to properly thermoregulate? How much of the click-clack do you heat with the heat mat? For example do you put the heat mat under 1/3 or 1/2 of the clickclack? I’ve only ever used bulbs for my bearded dragon and never a heat mat… Do you know how best to set it up? Will it burn the table it rests on? Or are you able to direct me to a chat or website with this information? Thanks again in advance!
With the enclosures, there are two negatives about filling an enclosure this way with a younger animal, firstly, the snake can and will travel around discreetly so you will have to look really hard to find them, personally I don't mind as it adds to the fun of owning them and secondly, when it comes to handling, it can be a bitch to remove them as they have too many things to attached to or hide behind.
In my experience, both these have turned out to be postives for the above reason and because I found my animals confidence grew much faster as they had the opportunity to explore their entire world in relative safety.

It's completely up to you but it might be easier to strip the enclosure back to a more manageable space.

Oh and FYI, this is my MD in his enclosure.
 

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