Hello everyone. Im supposed to pick up a beautiful Normal Female Burmese Python Tomorrow. I have a 55 Gallon Enclosure with a screen lid(Clipped, and weighted) already set up. Ive done a fair bit of research, but I always find it more useful to talk to people that deal with whatever animal im learning about directly and often.
I am aware that the 55 Gallon will only last me about a year(She's 2' right now) I read that in the first year they can hit 7'-10' so im building my own enclosure for her. 6'Lx2.5'Wx2.5'T So far my plan is to use Melamine as the material, build a 2x4 Frame, Build a screen lid with 2 Sheets of hardware cloth(one stapled on the top side one stapled on the underside) and use a Heat lamp as the Heating element.
The front side would have a plexiglass sliding door with a latch w/pad lock on the lower end, making it unable to slide open unless unlocked. I would probably just drill holes for ventilation, and use Linoleum Tile as the substrate. I would use this Enclosure until it Turned 3 years old, when I would then Build another enclosure (8'Lx4'Wx4'T) With the same Design.
I already breed feeder rats for my Ball pythons, and she'll eat them until she gets older at least. But should I try to keep the burm on rats? or Should I get feeder bunnies when she gets older?
I know the 1 person for every 4' of length rule when it comes to handling, but is there anything else I might need to know? or would benefit from knowing? I want to make sure im as prepared as possible you know?
I don't think you will want to keep it on rats forever, that would get very expensive! When you see how many rats it takes to equal a small rabbit you will be shocked. Another option is Guinea Pigs. They are readily available from online places like rodentpro. My girl is getting a 4xl Guinea Pig once every 10 days.
Keep in mind when building an enclosure that the humidity requirements for a burm are about the same as a BP. If it is to low they will have bad sheds. And they also prefer belly heat. I have a heat lamp and a uth on mine right now but i think I'm turning the lamp off soon when the weather warms up.
It's probably best to think of a burm as a really bp that will probably never have a problem eating!
And I believe the rule for length is to have an extra person around past 8', then another person around for each additional 4'. And I also believe it's a good idea to have a pocket Knife handy if you need to choose your life over the snakes life. Not very likely at all, but another precaution!
Well I brought home by baby girl, and the experience has been no less than magical so far.
The difference between Ball pythons and Laila(thats what we named her) was so drastic to me. She so much more raw and primal. No fear at all. She's by no means, aggressive, but she is definitely assertive and curious.
I definitely need to go over my design again. Im not convinced a screen top to her cage is a good idea anymore. I feel like she'll definitely be able to push through that when she gets older.
And as far as the pocket knife goes, I definitely realize that while I love her already if I ever had to choose, the choice is clear, and I'll do whats necessary, though lets cross our fingers it never comes to that.
I do have more questions about feeders though.
As I said I already breed my own rats. Would I be able to make a Bunny rack and breed them much the same way? I feed my Rats a high protein dog food. Would that also work for Bunnies? Or would I be better off buying live chicken in bulk and simply maintaining them until feeding day(prekilled of course)
Id prefer to breed whatever feeders I give her because it would save me both money and gas. What do you guys do for food? If there are any rabbit breeders here Id like to hear what you feed the bunnies, and any differences between breeding rabbits and rats. Thanks for all the help guys. Having this website as a support for herp information has made everything so much easier, and clearer, and I feel more confident knowing theres always people here that can help me out.
Congratulations on your new burm, They can be very rewarding pets and really aren't that difficult as long as you use some common sense. I've kept several burms over over the past 7 or 8 years or so, I currently have a pair of albinos which I've had for many years. There are a few things I've learned about them through hands on experience and through talking with other more experienced keepers.
First, I really dislike aquariums as cages. Aquariums are made for fish, they can work as very temporary housing for snakes, but I really don't recommend it. A 55 gallon aquarium is 4 feet long, but it's only 1 foot deep. It's a little cramped and doesn't give the snake much room to turn around in. Even a 3' X 2' cage is better then a 55 gallon aquarium. Yes width is important, but depth is JUST as important. Although bigger is usually better, I think a 4' X 2' cage is fine for a snake up to 8 feet long. I also shudder when I hear people say that they have plenty of weights on top of their cage, these are fairly strong snakes, and have ALL DAY LONG to try to test their boundaries and find a way out. Get something that latches securely.
Burmese pythons have the potential to be very large snakes, however a lot of people exaggerate. Yes I have seen 20 foot snakes, but they are exceptional and NOT within the norm. From the burms I've seen I'd say that AVERAGE length for a male will be between 8' and 12' and AVERAGE length for a female will be around 10' to 14' for adults. Saying that Burmese are giant snakes that'll get to be 20 feet long is like saying that any human being can get to be the size of Andre the Giant. Sure it's possible, but really unlikely. (now we'll pause for minute while dozens of people chime in to say that they're burms are 20 foot monsters. To which I'll say, 'get a tape measure and prove it'.)
On Feeding. I feed mine large to jumbo rats, I never feed rabbits, only rats. Many years ago I tried feeding rabbits to one of my larger girls but she wouldn't have anything to do with them. I actually sewed a rat onto the head of a rabbit one time to try to force her to eat the rabbit, it was the weirdest thing I've ever seen a snake do. She swallowed the rat up to where the rabbit was, then she paused for a few minutes trying to figure out what was going on. Then she put a coil around the rabbit and pulled. She kept pulling until the stitches tore out and then she finished swallowing the rat and left the rabbit lay there. I'm sure a lot of people won't believe me, but I swear it's true. Since then I've only fed rats. I feed 2-3 large/jumbo rats at a time, but I only feed about every 3-4 weeks or so, and a lot of times I just won't feed them for a month or more. My snakes maintain a very HEALTHY weight. A lot (maybe most?) people feed larger meals more often, but then again I've seen a LOT of very obese burms. Obesity is no healthier for your snake then it is for you. Burms often have a reputation for being prone to respiratory diseases, personally I believe that being over weight has a lot to do with that.
Get a hook. When I take my snakes out of their cages, the first thing that goes in the cage is the hook, I usually will scratch the snake on the top of or just behind their heads and use it to guide where they go. I NEVER use it when I'm feeding. (I've got a nice 30" long hemostat for that) They've come to associate the hook with NOT being fed. Once they see the hook and realize they're not being fed, they're pretty easy to handle.
I keep my basking spot between 86-88 degrees, some people go hotter, this has always worked for me and I think it's just a more comfortable temperature for them.
There is a lot more, but I don't want to write a book. I think I already came close to doing that.
Well, congratulations and I hope you enjoy your new pet.
I suppose my girl is a bit different. She was an abused rescue, victim of a divorce. Wife kept her to spite the ex husband. She kept her in a small aquarium with no heat and no food for almost 2 years. Near death and huge local infection in her face and eyes. My friend rescued her, took her to the vet, and nursed her back to health the best he could but he couldn't really afford it. Now I have had her for about a year, she has gone from just under 8' to almost 10' now and has packed on nearly 14lbs! She is anabsolute sweet heart and will eat any rodent I put in front of her.
As for breeding rabbits, i have never seen anyone breed them in a rack system. It would have to be a pretty big rack. I have raised pet rabbits in the past and they can be pretty picky and specific about cage size and nest box size. If they don't like something about the conditions, they will eat the babies. I don't do it anymore because I am very allergic to rabbits. I stick to raising rats now, I buy burm food elsewhere!
I have no first hand experience with feeding rats or rabbits dog food. I have been told by a reptile breeder/keeper (Rons Reptiles) that some of the fats, proteins and preservatives that dog food provide can be harmful to reptiles. I do have first hand experience of rescuing a ferret that was on dog and cat food. He had many glandular problems through the years that we had him. Most specifically thyroid problems. We were told by the vets that it was most likely due to the dog and cat food, and there is a reason they make specific rodent foods even specific to each rodent!
Wow, okay. Maybe I'll stick to rats. Im still going to try and stick to weekly feedings, but I think im going to be really spot on with 15% of the snakes weight per feeding. I definitely dont want an obese burm. I like that she can go places with me XDD Not to mention bunnies are adorable, and more work than breeding rats.
Thank you! Ive fallen so in love with her in the 24 hours ive had her. She is sitting on my shoulder as I type.
For I burm, I agree a glass enclosure is just a bad idea. My rack should only cost about $190 to build(trusting I dont screw it up and have to restart) So it wont be long at all before she gets a 6x2.5x2.5, and that should buy me time to get the 8x4x4 started.
It takes a little while for rats to grow to the size I would need though. Im gonna need to get a move on and breed more of them faster.
Just a question. Why build the smaller one then the larger one? Seems like a waste. I have a burm in a 55 gal currently until we get his big cage and reptile basement finished. Mine is only a juvy as well and he does fine for right now. I have to mist a few times a day, but other than that, he will live until then. (I'm not saying I prefer aquariums to customs bc I also think they should be kept for fish only, but until were done, that's what they're getting.)
Other than that, keep temps at temps mentioned above as that is also where I keep mine. How are you measuring those btw? My burm is one of my favorite snakes, he was testy at first but has gotten better with constant handling. Just make sure you keep an eye on state laws as burns are often considers exotic animals. (Ohio is currently going through this). Keep us updated.
Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
0.1 Normal BP (Ginger)
1.0 Pastel BP (Apollo)
0.1 Red Tail Boa (Ruby)
0.1 Hogg Island Boa (Zeus)
1.0 Burmese Python (Tiny)
0.1 Bearded Dragon (Loopsy)
0.2 children (Maddie & Astasia)
Is there a support group for addiction to snakes? Snakes Anonymous??
I measure mine on the trampoline. She is perfectly willing to stretch out on a warm day and it is no big deal to put a tape measure next to her.
I have my girl in a 4.5' X 3' vision tank. It seems a bit large right now when she coils up on the heat. But when she is stretched from one end to the other, then back again, then part way back again, I wonder if it's to small. The vision holds the humidity and heat really well, she always has nice sheds, it is easy to clean and it is very secure. You might consider some sort of pre-fab cage as well. I got mine from craigslist for $140.