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  1. #1
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    How much nose rubbing/burrowing is too much?

    Hey Everyone,

    First-time post...we recently got a yearling MBK and she is set up in a 40gal tank w/ TONS of hides (since I know it's a bit on the big side for her) and lots of Aspen for burrowing. Her thermostat is set to 85 on the warm side w/ an underside heater, although with the Summer we sometimes hit an ambient temp of the mid-the 80's inside our house. No air conditioning.

    For the first month or so, she stayed completely buried almost all the time. Would only eat at night if I left her thawed mice in a cup her cage. She has now tong fed a few times and eats mice in the middle of the day no problem.

    She's also cruising her tank a ton which is great to watch! But I'm wondering if she's rubbing her nose too much? I noticed a small scratch on one of her head scales, and she is always climbing and burrowing and rubbing the glass now. I tried offering her an extra fuzzy mid-week (we need to get her on hoppers for sure) to see if she calmed down with some extra food but not 24hrs later she's cruising and climbing her cage again. I certainly don't want to over-feed.

    Is this behavior normal for a MBK? My last snake was a corn snake and she was a lot mellower...spent most of her time curled up in her hides unless it was feeding day. I've read some forum posts saying nose rubbing is a sign of stress or respiratory infection (she has no signs of respiratory infection at all), so I just want to make sure our little noodle is doing ok.

    Thanks for any thoughts or insights!

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'd guess "hunger" is the culprit, much more likely than RI or anything else. King snakes are eating machines, LOL, & a yearling is like a human teenager, get it?

    One way to know if it's time to feed again is to pay attention to when your snake defecates...that means their 'tank' is empty. We may prefer our snakes eat on a "schedule" but in the real world, they're always hunting. King snakes are not patient ambush predators like BPs are...they're going to actively look for their next meal, and meals are seldom plentiful in the wild. Many times prey manages to escape.

    It's "too much nose rubbing" when it causes real scale damage...raw sores, removed scales, etc.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 06-22-2020 at 08:51 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    Re: How much nose rubbing/burrowing is too much?

    Thanks for your response! The following interventions helped: fed her a few more fuzzies and added more substrate to her tank so she could burrow deeper. When we last cleaned her tank I didn’t put as much substrate in and wondered if that might be adding stress. Also removed the heavier log decor that I think caused the scrape on her head when she was digging around. Seems to have done the trick. She is back to spending most of her time burrowed with her little head poking out, and cruising/climbing/hunting at dusk which was her previous routine. Thanks again for the advice, I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by RosieKamozie; 06-29-2020 at 01:54 PM.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it's working out now. When you live with snakes for a while, it gets easier to understand what they're trying to tell you they need. King snakes have
    a faster metabolism than BPs do...they're more active. Everything you did should help.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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