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Thread: New Snake Mom

  1. #1
    Registered User SnakeinmyBoots's Avatar
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    Red face New Snake Mom

    Hey all, I'm a new snake mommy. Kitten and Udon came into my care just 3 weeks ago. A friend of mine has a ball python named JubJub and everytime I went over I found myself spending alot more time with the snake than the people at our game night. I decided I wanted one of my own. I wasn't planning on having two, but these two were on craigslist and not doing well.

    Both of them were in pine substrate, what the heck!? Even I knew after 5 minutes on Google how terrible that was and these two were under their previous owners care for 2 years! The largest ball, Kitten had a UTH that wasn't even as wide as her body, and was stuck in shed. Both had retained eyecaps and both had severe rub spots on their heads and noses. So I got them both.

    They now have coconut substrate with forest bark mixed in for texture, their own personal humidifiers - Udon LOVES hanging out above his, temp controls, UTH pads - I replaced Kitten's with a much larger 818 (she's 4.5ft long and as the vet says "overconditioned" aka a fatty fats McGee, we say she's "voluptuous"). I spray twice a day and keep their UTH at 90f with an ambient temp of 82f. Humidity at 60%-70% and both seem quite happy.

    I will say, I stress alot. They do have some issues I'm still working to sus out. I lined the underside of their glass enclosure lids with bubble wrap to protect their noses... well Udon was able to slither his way between that and the screen and push his way out. I found him on my bedroom floor. So I covered the openings in the bubble wrap for their overhead heat with tulle fabric and that seems to work. Kitten likes to hang in her water dish alot lately which makes me a bit concerned - no mites, temp checked with digital probe and temp gun show good temps so now I'm moving my attention to her hide. Udon shed for me a week after I got him and had a great shed save for the opened scab from rubbing the lid on his head, but it seems to be healing well. They have refused all meals so far but it is the end of the breeding season. Anyways I'm trying to figure all this out and really look forward to learning all I can from all of you!




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    Bogertophis (04-10-2019)

  3. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Sounds like JubJub was a good influence. Good for you, trying to give these 2 snakes a better life. Did they both come from the same home?

    I'm a little confused by your description of what's going on with the cage tops...be sure they cannot get out, you got lucky this time. Snakes are way better at
    "hide & seek" than we are. Also, be sure there is nothing flammable (or melt-able) near or touching the lights...they get hot.

    As far as them refusing meals so far: don't offer more than once a week, it makes it more likely they'll stress & refuse. (sounds like a few missed meals won't
    hurt Kitten one bit, lol) Were they taking live or (hopefully) frozen-thawed or fresh killed rodents previously? For best results, offer the same for the first few
    meals until they've settled in...(& it makes a big difference to many snakes whether rats or mice too- they have a totally different smell & presumably, taste).

    Many BP-keepers have success using a blow dryer (hair dryer) to heat up the nose of the f/t rodent so they think it's alive & they can target easier (they use
    their heat-sensing pits when catching food, as you likely know already). Feeding tongs are very handy too. BTW, it's often better to not even offer food for the
    first week or two with new snakes...it takes time for them to settle in & want to eat, so don't worry about them not eating yet. Re-homing is scary for them.

  4. #3
    Registered User SnakeinmyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: New Snake Mom

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Sounds like JubJub was a good influence. Good for you, trying to give these 2 snakes a better life. Did they both come from the same home?

    I'm a little confused by your description of what's going on with the cage tops...be sure they cannot get out, you got lucky this time. Snakes are way better at
    "hide & seek" than we are. Also, be sure there is nothing flammable (or melt-able) near or touching the lights...they get hot.

    As far as them refusing meals so far: don't offer more than once a week, it makes it more likely they'll stress & refuse. (sounds like a few missed meals won't
    hurt Kitten one bit, lol) Were they taking live or (hopefully) frozen-thawed or fresh killed rodents previously? For best results, offer the same for the first few
    meals until they've settled in...(& it makes a big difference to many snakes whether rats or mice too- they have a totally different smell & presumably, taste).

    Many BP-keepers have success using a blow dryer (hair dryer) to heat up the nose of the f/t rodent so they think it's alive & they can target easier (they use
    their heat-sensing pits when catching food, as you likely know already). Feeding tongs are very handy too. BTW, it's often better to not even offer food for the
    first week or two with new snakes...it takes time for them to settle in & want to eat, so don't worry about them not eating yet. Re-homing is scary for them.

    So their lids are the coarse screen type. What I did was I attached on the underside a double layer of bubble wrap with a 12in diameter hole cut out for their black light heat bulbs to shine through. There was space between the screen and the bubble wrap, that's where he found his escape at, so I covered the hole with a square piece of tulle (it's a soft mesh fabric). Right now I'm using duct tape to hold it in place, (I KNOW NOW per the care sheet this isn't great.) And it's held pretty good for the past couple weeks, but I have plans to actually sew it all to the screen lid and remove the tape. All of these things thus far have yet to show any signs of wear from the heat of the lamps but I continue to check daily as part of my inspection for potential breach points when replacing their water and spraying.

    As far as feeding, to this point they have been live fed. I tried a couple times the second and third week, I've not attempted in a week though after reading the care sheet and hope they will be ready within the next couple days. I am going to try scenting first this time with the rat in a box near the snake enclosure for a little bit to prime them. I also had previously attempted at day time when they are less active. This time I'll wait til night when they are active and use small rats just to get them back into eating so they aren't intimidated. I do want to go to t/f eventually but fear the change of that too will make things more stressful.

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    Registered User Danger noodles's Avatar
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    Plz dont have any tape where the snake could touch the sticky side!!!! Ever!!!

  6. #5
    Registered User SnakeinmyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: New Snake Mom

    Quote Originally Posted by Danger noodles View Post
    Plz don’t have any tape where the snake could touch the sticky side!!!! Ever!!!
    There is no chance that they could touch the sticky side. Wherever I've placed underneath I've also place it on top of the screen so the the tape is stuck to itself with the screen sandwiched between. When I do my inspection every day I use my finger and push all edges of the tape as if it were the nose of my snake to check for any weak adhesion. So far its stuck as good as it did when I first put it there. Also please don't shout at me.
    Last edited by SnakeinmyBoots; 04-10-2019 at 09:23 AM.

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