Help, juvenile children's python

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antaresia2021

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Hi, I need help with my first juvenile children's python.
I got him yesterday and he hasn't left the "cool end" hide. I'm worried because he's not getting variety in temp and I know they're very sensitive to that.
Also, his last feed was on wednesday last week. Today is thursday and a day after he moved in, should I try feeding him today (I don't want him to regurgitate but I also don't want him to starve), would it help for him to explore more?
Also, I worry about temperature because it's cold in this room and it seems that the heat spot is very inconsistent in heating. What's worse is that the cool end is significantly colder than 25 degrees.
 
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Pythonguy1

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I got him yesterday and he hasn't left the "cool end" hide. I'm worried because he's not getting variety in temp and I know they're very sensitive to that.
Hi antaresia2021, what are the temperature's on the warm side of his enclosure?

Also, his last feed was on wednesday last week. Today is thursday and a day after he moved in, should I try feeding him today (I don't want him to regurgitate but I also don't want him to starve), would it help for him to explore more?
Just wait a couple of days first before you try to feed him. Let him settle first. Don't worry about him starving, cause they can go for weeks without food.

Also, I worry about temperature because it's cold in this room and it seems that the heat spot is very inconsistent in heating. What's worse is that the cool end is significantly colder than 25 degrees
What kind of heating are you using?
 

antaresia2021

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So I'm using a heat mat that is set to approximately 35 degrees. However, whenever I measure the temp on the surface it fluctuates between 29-32. There have been times (though when the thermostat was set to a different temp at that time) where the hot side had been around 27/28 degrees because of the temperature in my room, so I upped the temperature from then. I have 3 different thermometers and they give me slightly different readings too.

My biggest worry is consistency - I have a pretty disagreeable room so some days/nights it is cold and the surface temperature drops despite the same setting. I just feel a lack in control of the surface temp and I know that juveniles need a very steady gradient of 25-34 degrees. Sometimes when my warm side is set to 34 my cool side is still too low.

- Should I be checking the temperature of the hot surface or beneath the hot hide (because under the hide it is, as you know, hotter). I don't want to cook him but at the same time if I set the temperature too low the cool side is too cold. If I refer to the temperature of the hot-end's surface and try to get that to 34 degrees then the hide will be significantly hotter. What should I be aiming for here?

I won't feed him tonight if you say that's unnecessary. I would rather not with temperature concerns too. Another problem is that he hasn't had any water in over 24hrs. Should that be a cause for concern?

Sorry for the load of questions.
 

Pythonguy1

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So I'm using a heat mat that is set to approximately 35 degrees. However, whenever I measure the temp on the surface it fluctuates between 29-32. There have been times (though when the thermostat was set to a different temp at that time) where the hot side had been around 27/28 degrees because of the temperature in my room, so I upped the temperature from then. I have 3 different thermometers and they give me slightly different readings too.

My biggest worry is consistency - I have a pretty disagreeable room so some days/nights it is cold and the surface temperature drops despite the same setting. I just feel a lack in control of the surface temp and I know that juveniles need a very steady gradient of 25-34 degrees. Sometimes when my warm side is set to 34 my cool side is still too low.

- Should I be checking the temperature of the hot surface or beneath the hot hide (because under the hide it is, as you know, hotter). I don't want to cook him but at the same time if I set the temperature too low the cool side is too cold. If I refer to the temperature of the hot-end's surface and try to get that to 34 degrees then the hide will be significantly hotter. What should I be aiming for here?

I won't feed him tonight if you say that's unnecessary. I would rather not with temperature concerns too. Another problem is that he hasn't had any water in over 24hrs. Should that be a cause for concern?

Sorry for the load of questions.
29-32 is fine IMO. I wouldn't be going for anything higher if it's a juvenile. Make sure you're measuring the intended basking site, therefore under the hide. Also, how big is the cage and what heat mat wattage are you using?
Don't worry about the water. As long as he's got access to a water bowl than that's fine.

Sorry for the load of questions.
All good, this is how we learn ?
 
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Sdaji

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I've often seen wild Children's Pythons, including hatchlings, actively foraging in the low 20s, at times when the opportunity to get above the low 20s doesn't exist. Don't freak out about the wrong things.

If your different thermometers give different readings, one or more doesn't work or you're not using them correctly. Having good thermometers and knowing how to use them is important for a reptile keeper.

If your snake never leaves the cold end, it's almost certainly too hot. Kept properly, they should spend most of their time at the hot end. You want them to have access to sufficient heat, but you want them to work for it, not have to get away from it.

It's difficult to know from what you're saying if you're freaked out about nothing or if you have problems with fluctuating temperatures. Sudden changes are generally not good. Extremes they can't escape are not good. Some variation is fine and sometimes good, and absolute stability is neither necessary nor beneficial. I've kept them in all sorts of different temperatures, including without temperature gradients (in either heated rooms without cage-specific heating or in the tropics at room temperature which has sometimes been quite extreme and hasn't been controlled at any time of year) and they've thrived in both conditions, growing quickly from hatchlings to adults and reproducing successfully. It's easiest and generally best to give them the standard gradient of low 30s at the hot end and low 20s at the cool end (or fluctuating room temperature from, say, 20ish to high 20s at the hottest part of the day), that's what I have generally done and it's what you should aim for, but what they can actually thrive in is well outside this range.

It's normal for them to not drink for over 24 hours. I'm quite puzzled as to how you know he hasn't had a drink for over 24 hours, because I'm assuming you haven't watched him constantly the entire time.
 

antaresia2021

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My worry is that when I set the basking site for 29-32 then my cool end will be around 22/23 degrees rather than 25? Is that an issue?

Thermometers:
- I have a digital multimeter secured beneath the warm hide now. (of the three layers of paper towel this is just beneath the top layer (so closest to the snake).
- I have a dual thermometer.
- And a small, pocket-sized infrared thermometer that had a disclaimer that it's readings could differ 2 degrees.
I find that the digital multimeter is the most reliable but can't use it in any or the other places because i've secured it beneath the hot hide to maintain the temp there.

Beneath the hot hide I have about 32 degrees (31-33 of divergence) but on the rest of the hot side it doesn't exceed 30 (usually sticks around 28/29, sometimes 27). Is that a problem?

As for the water, while I obviously haven't watched him 24/7, he hasn't moved in all the times I have observed so the only reasonable conclusion I could draw was that he hadn't had anything to drink in almost 48hrs. Now he's under the warm hide and rather than the cool hide and he isn't moving from there. I can't decide if he's just enjoying the warmth or if something is wrong - I know they're supposed to move between hides on a regular.
 

Sdaji

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My worry is that when I set the basking site for 29-32 then my cool end will be around 22/23 degrees rather than 25? Is that an issue?
No. As I said, I've seen wild hatchling Antaresia actively foraging in the low 20s. It's normal for natural temperatures in Antaresia distribution to fall below this even in summer. 22 isn't enough to hurt them, it's not even cold enough to stop them hunting/exploring. It's absolutely essential that for at least some of the day they can get warmer than this, and if they're spending time forced to be in the low 20s (which you should never do to hatchlings as a beginner keeper) then they need to be able to spend a fair bit of time per day in the 30s (this isn't 100% essential if they spend most of their time in the mid to high 20s, but as a beginner you shouldn't be using this sort of temperature regime, I'm just discussing it to show you want they can and do cope with naturally, and yes, I've kept them in similarly natural temperature treatments with good results).

By the way, you don't have a basking site and I'd never use them for Antaresia. This term gets misused fairly commonly by reptile keepers these days, but it doesn't mean 'hot spot', it specifically means somewhere they can bask in sunlight or simulated sunlight (such as from a spotlight). Basking spots involve radiant heat. You're using contact heat (conductive heat in a scientific sense).

Thermometers:
- I have a digital multimeter secured beneath the warm hide now. (of the three layers of paper towel this is just beneath the top layer (so closest to the snake).
- I have a dual thermometer.
- And a small, pocket-sized infrared thermometer that had a disclaimer that it's readings could differ 2 degrees.
I find that the digital multimeter is the most reliable but can't use it in any or the other places because i've secured it beneath the hot hide to maintain the temp there.

Beneath the hot hide I have about 32 degrees (31-33 of divergence) but on the rest of the hot side it doesn't exceed 30 (usually sticks around 28/29, sometimes 27). Is that a problem?

I didn't quite follow that. Sounds okay though.


As for the water, while I obviously haven't watched him 24/7, he hasn't moved in all the times I have observed so the only reasonable conclusion I could draw was that he hadn't had anything to drink in almost 48hrs. Now he's under the warm hide and rather than the cool hide and he isn't moving from there. I can't decide if he's just enjoying the warmth or if something is wrong - I know they're supposed to move between hides on a regular.

How do you know he hasn't moved? Snakes typically find one or more primary retreats and spend most of their time there. In captivity they'll usually have one main one. In the wild they'll often have different ones seasonally or depending on weather. If they want something like a drink, they'll go out for a drink and then go back to the retreat, sort of like how I went shopping last night and came home, I'll be home all day today, I'll go out shopping for food whenever I do and will then immediately come home. If you just happened to check my location twice and saw that both times I was at home, you could assume I never went out for food. Back when I was younger, less familiar with snake movement patterns and probably far more interested in learning trivial details than I am now, I used to do things like putting a hair (I had lovely long, thin hair at the time, so mine worked perfectly) over the snake and I could see if the snake had moved, or I'd sprinkle some dust or put tiny pebbles on the snakes to see when they'd moved. I found pythons would often go wandering and come back, they rarely sat still for to long, but others were more sedentary. The most impressive were the Death Adders which would sometimes sit for literally months without moving, but the entire time were ready to strike faster than the human eye could see, the very moment I put a rat within striking distance. Either way, if you have water available, a python will go get a drink when it's thirsty.

If you're dealing with a snake which is having trouble settling in, one of the worst things you can do is check on it multiple times per day. If the snake has settled into a pattern of eating reliably and is calm when you check on it (some people can observe this easily, others need some experience or training to recognise a calm vs. stressed snake at a glance), then sure, look at it, play with it, etc etc as much as you want.
 

antaresia2021

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Here, i know the diagram is crappy but what I'm trying to say is that beneath the hot hide the temperature is being measured by my most precise thermometer (though i worry the receptor may be damaged because it glitched a little today). But with the contact heat source & the rest of the area it is beneath, is significantly colder - is that a problem.

If you say that 22 degrees on the cool side is ok, I'll take your word for it. I was skeptical because I read that for juveniles it is more preferable to have a gradient of 25-32/34.

I know this next question is stupid but what if he doesn't know the water is there?

And it has been 48 hrs, should I see if he is up for feeding even though he's hardly moved outside his hide.
 

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Sdaji

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Here, i know the diagram is crappy but what I'm trying to say is that beneath the hot hide the temperature is being measured by my most precise thermometer (though i worry the receptor may be damaged because it glitched a little today). But with the contact heat source & the rest of the area it is beneath, is significantly colder - is that a problem.

If you say that 22 degrees on the cool side is ok, I'll take your word for it. I was skeptical because I read that for juveniles it is more preferable to have a gradient of 25-32/34.

In a perfect world we'd have the temperatures 100% perfect. In the real world, do you think the cool end of every hatchling Children's Python enclosure by all of the world's best keepers sits at 25 rather than a degree or few out? Don't stress over unimportant details. Focus on the important stuff.

I can't make anything out of your diagram. Feel free to post a photograph, it'll be 10 times easier for you and far more effective.

I know this next question is stupid but what if he doesn't know the water is there?

He will die of thirst, just as I will if I forget how to turn on the tap and open the fridge and drive, which is an equally likely scenario. Again, don't freak out about silly things. Snakes are extremely good at finding water. That forked tongue is an excellent directional navigational device. It can sense differences in humidity between the forks, telling it the direction of water. They can find water from hundreds of metres away. They'll manage over a few cm in your enclosure. If finding water literally a few cm away was any sort of a challenge, they'd be extinct within a few months.

And it has been 48 hrs, should I see if he is up for feeding even though he's hardly moved outside his hide.

Probably not. You don't want to establish a routine of being terrorised by thawed mice. If he is continually confronted with them and you don't know how to illicit a feeding response, they just become something he won't recognise as food. Let him get comfortable and hungry. I dare say I'm very good at getting snakes to eat, but I don't bother trying more than once per week with stubborn feeders. If you're not trying anything different from last time, it's generally better to wait two weeks unless he's losing condition, in which case you want to get a feed into him, assist or force feeding if necessary. Never just try the same thing every two or three days if he's refusing each time. If nothing has changed and the last attempt was recent, it's probably not going to work this time either and you just establish a negative routine.
 

antaresia2021

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I haven't attempted to feed him yet. I meant that I got him over 48 hrs ago and that if it were unwise to try and feed him now? He might spend the majority of his time hiding but whenever I come into contact with him he doesn't appear to be scared or aggressive at all. Maybe that's my inexperience talking, but from what I've gathered, he's either very, very docile or there's something wrong. That's why I wonder and would hope that food (if he eats it) would reinvigorate him?

Then theres the issue of hiding. I read that they should move from one hide to the other in a cycle? Yet he's been beneath the warm hide since yesterday (unless there was movement at night but with how immobile he acts I have my doubts about that). Is there something that should get him moving? Amp up the temperature a bit? Or is he just scared?

As for water; there isn't such thing as the dish's edges being too high, right? I know this question is beyond irrational but answers for this can't be found online and his behaviour is worrisome.

I attached a picture of the set up. The multimeter has its thermocouple right beneath the hide (under one layer of the paper towel) and reads 30-34 degrees. The rest of the surface temperature on the warm side boarders on 27/28 degrees.
 

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Oh. I thought you were freaking out because he wasn't eating long term. Yeah, offer him a feed for sure.

They usually just sit where they're comfortable, and generally they'll only shuttle between hides if you're fluctuating the temperatures and forcing them to move around to maintain their preferred temperature. If they're sitting still it generally means they're nice and happy and comfortable.
 

antaresia2021

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Ok, thank you so much. You've really put my mind at ease!
I'll offer him food tomorrow. And I'm very happy that you think his immobility is a good sign rather than a bad one - that he's not just hiding for the sake of hiding but because he's actually comfortable. I'll look for abnormalities, but if you say that all sounds fine then I will stop stressing about his overly docile behaviour. Thanks again!
[automerge]1615002206[/automerge]
Update: he went straight for the mouse!

Unfortunately, I dropped it at the entrance of his hide because I worried the pincers would be strong enough to cut off the tail. Alas, I won't be making the same mistake twice.
I'm glad all went well thus far. He's eating under the hide and will stay there so I can't check how he's progressing, but I won't interfere and hope for the best.

Also, I know the advised period of time before gradually introducing handling is a week or more. But he's very relaxed and I was wondering if I can try for a minute or two in about 2 days?
 
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Hi Antesaria2021
I know exactly where you are coming from. I got my hatchling Stimson's Python 4 days ago and I have exactly the same worries as you. My enclosure is about 30 x 50 x12cms plastic box with 2 hides and water. My underside heat mat is set on my thermostat at 32 decgrees C. My temperatures, like yours, also fluctuate from about 25 - 33 degrees. My little female python doesn't come out much at all during the day, but she probably does during the night.
I have had her out twice for about 5 minutes at a time, but I am really nervous of hurting her as she is so small.
I suppose, just like you, I also have to stop overworrying and just listen to the advice we get on here.
I am sorry that I do not have any good advice you, but I am just letting you know that you are not alone as a 'worry wart'.
All the best.
 

Sdaji

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Ok, thank you so much. You've really put my mind at ease!
I'll offer him food tomorrow. And I'm very happy that you think his immobility is a good sign rather than a bad one - that he's not just hiding for the sake of hiding but because he's actually comfortable. I'll look for abnormalities, but if you say that all sounds fine then I will stop stressing about his overly docile behaviour. Thanks again!
[automerge]1615002206[/automerge]
Update: he went straight for the mouse!

Unfortunately, I dropped it at the entrance of his hide because I worried the pincers would be strong enough to cut off the tail. Alas, I won't be making the same mistake twice.
I'm glad all went well thus far. He's eating under the hide and will stay there so I can't check how he's progressing, but I won't interfere and hope for the best.

Also, I know the advised period of time before gradually introducing handling is a week or more. But he's very relaxed and I was wondering if I can try for a minute or two in about 2 days?

It probably wouldn't matter if you handled him now, or 10 minutes after the feed, but then again, it might. I wouldn't handle until 2-3 enthusiastic feeds unless I needed to inspect the snake closely, but then again, I'm not a new snake keeper desperate to handle my first snake, so for me it's easy not to be concerned. It generally doesn't cause any problems to pick up a snake and look at it, and I do that any time I want/need to, even if it's right after a feed, but I'm just going to pick it up and inspect it, not spend an hour wandering around with it and draping it over my neck and passing it around to people (I wouldn't do that to a snake with a full belly). I also know how to handle them and how to watch for signs of discomfort. It's better not to, but probably won't hurt if you do.
 
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Hi, I need help with my first juvenile children's python.
I got him yesterday and he hasn't left the "cool end" hide. I'm worried because he's not getting variety in temp and I know they're very sensitive to that.
Also, his last feed was on wednesday last week. Today is thursday and a day after he moved in, should I try feeding him today (I don't want him to regurgitate but I also don't want him to starve), would it help for him to explore more?
Also, I worry about temperature because it's cold in this room and it seems that the heat spot is very inconsistent in heating. What's worse is that the cool end is significantly colder than 25 degrees.
That’s perfectly fine make sure your warm end isn’t to hot it’s a myth that’s all pythons like their warm end most all the time and my children’s python is 1 year old loves it at 25 in his enclosure just use a heat mat at one corner under enclosure glass? With probe inbetween heat mat and glass you need a heat gun to keep checking on the inside till your temperatures are stable (applies only if there’s glass ) a hide on top on the other end a hide at the cooler side 25 c. Don’t be shy to have a large enclosure it’s also a myth you can only have smaller enclosures for hatchlings look at my photos they show Monty when he was a hatchling in a large enclosure it’s all about adding a third hide and climbing wood ,vines or rock/fake or real hes nocturnal there is not much they do in the sun except find shade that’s warm enough e.g. 25-26 c. Or rest their belly on a warm rock or similar “don’t ever buy a heat rock” use a thermostat always and a heat gun also your hands are usually 32 degrees if he’s sitting at 25 degrees you will feel the 7 odd degrees difference just keep an eye on your snake learn from observation also 25 c. cool and 32 warm end he will thermoregulate very well if you also add a third hide or branch in between he will love it childrens love to explore. Good luck.

I forgot to add he probably was at the hot end at night assuming you use a heat mat which is the right choice for your snake and always use a thermostat.


They are nocturnal they move around a lot at night flatten out the substrate in his hide above warm end and when you wake up go check if it’s been any movement by visually checking if the substrate has been moved around by your snake (by now you would of already worked it out being November but just some info that worked for me)
25c is their favourite cool temperature larger heat mat or like I do I have a heat emitter that is cut off at 26 c on the cool end on the warm end 14watt reptile one heat mat the temperature on the cool end never drops below 22c although 21c is ok at night as long as there is a warm end you (would of worked it out being November now) just little bit of what I did.
 

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