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  1. #11
    Registered User MissterDog's Avatar
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    I also noticed humidity has been a bit of a vague topic in care sheets. Usually it seems like it's not kept track of or has a given range of 40-60%

    Or it's not really a concern until they are in shed, but what sort of humidity range would be a target to ensure they have a successful shed?
    Last edited by MissterDog; 11-12-2017 at 12:50 PM.
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  2. #12
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Re: The Russian Rat Snake/Elaphe Schrenckii Thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by hilabeans View Post
    +1. That would be tremendously helpful. I am unsure of when to start moving him up to the next size. At the moment he's still on large f/t pinkies every Wed & Sat, but I feel like he should graduate to something else soon.
    Colubrids in general, but particularly russian rat snakes, prefer small and frequent meals anyway, so there is no need to graduate up sizes so quickly like for pythons. Even as 5 foot adults, I know many keepers just feed adult mice. I assume ours are from the same clutch/same size, and I think I will be feeding off his large pinkies for at least 3 more months. They still leave a pretty large lump in Jack.

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  4. #13
    Registered User hilabeans's Avatar
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    Re: The Russian Rat Snake/Elaphe Schrenckii Thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by MissterDog View Post
    I also noticed humidity has been a bit of a vague topic in care sheets. Usually it seems like it's not kept track of or has a given range of 40-60%

    Or it's not really a concern until they are in shed, but what sort of humidity range would be a target to ensure they have a successful shed?
    Ok, Bonsai just completed his first shed with me and it was perfect. He sequestered himself in his hide for nearly 2 weeks prior to shed (insert new-mom-standard-obsessive-worry-about-this-change-in-behavior here).

    Once he went blue I knew we were on our way to a shed. His eyes cleared about 3 days before he shed. I did nothing to manage his humidity during this time, except to observe it as it was so I could make a mental note if the shed came out well and document it here.

    During the approx. two weeks of his shed cycle, humidity fluctuated naturally between 62%-65%. He's in a sterilite tub and has a med size water dish. But that's about it. Nothing was done special to keep humidity in a certain range and his shed was flawless. Easy peasy!

    ETA: I continued to offer food throughout, even while blue, and he took every time like a champ.
    Last edited by hilabeans; 11-17-2017 at 10:20 AM.
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  6. #14
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    Re: The Russian Rat Snake/Elaphe Schrenckii Thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by MissterDog View Post
    What is (or was) everyone's feeding guide? I often heard/read they prefer smaller, multiple prey items vs larger, fewer prey. Is there a similar feeding guide that can be followed according to their weight as they grow to determine when to up prey size? Or change feeding frequency?
    The general train of thought has been to use smaller meals more often as Galvao et al. reported the metabolic rate of colubrids to be roughly twice as fast as boid snakes (coefficient of 4.39 vs 1.79 multiplied by Mass in kg, units kcal/day). That said, I believe it was BHB reptiles that did a reasonably scientific study on baby corn snakes regarding feeding regimen and growth rates. They fed corn snakes using three approaches and the results (from largest to smaller) were:

    1) Bigger than normal meal once a week (20% larger I believe)
    2) Standard meal with vitamins once a week
    3) Standard meal once per week (Control)
    4) Smaller than normal meals twice a week

    The results were pretty striking. The corn snakes fed the larger meals once a week grew the largest by far and smaller than normal meals twice a week were the smallest.

    Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4D6KgHSFwM

    Results here a few minutes in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyXZN25XOZo

    BPnet thread: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ing-Experiment

    A few caveats though when applying this information to all colubrids:

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiploder View Post
    Again, I caution that many colubrids will not do well on a large prey diet. They will regurge and regurge and get very sick. The rule is multiple small prey items more often.

    This is why this type of information needs to be given out with a heavy cautionary statement. Many species such as drymarchon, spilotes, pseustes, pituophis, thrasops, rhamphiophis, some elaphe, pseudelaphe, bogertophis etc. will have issues with large prey items. Many of these species are notorious for going downhill fast when fed large items. Drawing any sort of conclusions from this "experiment" outside of corn snakes probably is not a good idea. Knowing the issues with jani, for example, I hope that someone doesn't watch this and start feeding their deppei jani babies large meals.

    So the stress would be that this was done on corns, and should not be considered wise to apply to all colubrid species.
    My takeaways would be:

    1. Do not feed items that are larger or significantly larger than the girth of the snake, so when I want to feed more, I just feed multiples. I have never had a snake regurgitate food.
    2. You can probably feed once or twice a week and your snake will do fine, but may not grow as quickly.

    The above experiment was only done over the course of few months, so it is hard to say which snakes ended up at a larger final size, i.e. if the smaller animals caught up of the the bigger ones or not.

    There was another study done by the Orianne society regarding indigos snakes over the course of 21 months (from hatch to 21 months old) and they found that snake growth saturated around 1700 total grams fed over those 21 months. Beyond that, there was no additional growth rate.

    Initially, I fed kingsnakes and indigos twice a week (one larger main meal and one "snack" meal), but the kingsnakes will occasionally refuse food after a few weeks of this so I assume they are full. Thus, for kingsnakes, I usually feed once a week, but occassionally will feed twice a week maybe once every other week or every 3rd week. Indigos...well they seldom refuse food unless they are shedding. Once the snakes near adulthood, I feed them normally just once a week. I do not possess enough snakes to make a reasonable study out of this approach though.

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  8. #15
    Registered User hilabeans's Avatar
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    Re: The Russian Rat Snake/Elaphe Schrenckii Thread!

    Linking this here for posterity, and for future owners in case their RRS goes off food:

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...t-Regurgitated
    Last edited by hilabeans; 01-12-2018 at 06:08 PM.
    1.0 Lesser Mojave Ball Python "Neptune"
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  9. #16
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    Re: The Russian Rat Snake/Elaphe Schrenckii Thread!

    I think the main reason" drymarchon, spilotes, pseustes, pituophis, thrasops, rhamphiophis, some elaphe, pseudelaphe, bogertophis " is that many of those species have a habit of just pinning prey and eating it rather than going through the full constriction exercise meaning they are naturally inclined to go after smaller, less threatening prey.

    I feed my adult rat snakes one medium mouse every two weeks, I'll probably speed up the schedule when I get them ready to breed but other than that I don't see the need if their weight is good. Keeps them from having that "tub fat" look and lets them be long and slender like they are meant to be. I've been on this schedule with them since they were babies (scaling food size obviously) and my female Baird's is well on her way to the larger end of the expected size for her species.

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