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  1. #1
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    My first baby snake!

    The humane society that I volunteer at took in a bunch of snakes (around 20), and there were two mexican black kingsnakes! I went to see the one left today and put a hold on them. They are sooo tiny. I've never had a baby snake, so I thought I would come here to ask some things. They are eating mice pinkies, so I went to order some today, but Big Cheese Rodent Factory (https://bigcheeserodents.com/product...n-feeder-mice/) has two sizes of pinky. I got the smallest one, because they really are such a small snake, but it might just seem like that to me. They can't be more than a few months old. I think the sign on the tank said they were around 90 grams. The order doesn't ship until after the weekend, so should I get the larger pinkies instead?

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    Last edited by TayKiren; 03-20-2021 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Charles8088's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    At 90 grams, it should probably be taking in a fuzzy or hopper. Figure about 10% it's weight. I think pinkies are going to be too small. I have an almost 4-year old MBK, and she was eating hoppers when she was around 90 grams.

    Mexican black kings are beautiful snakes. This is Tybee.

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    0.1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Tynee)
    0.1.0 BEL Ball (Luna)
    0.1.0 Sunglow Boa (Pippi Longsnake)


    WANT LIST
    - Woma Python
    - Mangrove Snake

    - Russian Rat Snake
    - Eastern Indigo
    - Black Milk Snake
    - False Water Cobra
    - Thai Bamboo Rat Snake
    - Western Hognose
    - Rhino Rat Snake
    - Kenyan Sand Boa

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Charles8088 For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (03-20-2021),EL-Ziggy (03-20-2021),Kam (03-23-2021),Spicey (03-20-2021)

  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I've bred & raised king snakes & others, but I've never been one to weigh my snakes* OR their food. (*The only time I do that is for dosing a medication, which is quite rare.) So it's hard to give you much of an answer without seeing the snake (length?). Most snakes are hatched out in the summer, so it's likely older than you think, though it might have been chronically under-fed. (or what some call "maintenance fed"- ie. just enough to stay alive)

    What a great catch for a new pet though- I love Mexican black king snakes- I used to have a pair of them, many years ago. Congrats!

    I just looked at Big Cheese- I'd get the larger pinkies at least, or maybe fuzzies, as suggested above.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-20-2021 at 01:45 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  5. #4
    Reptile Dysfunction
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    Too cute. I want one now lol
    Checkout my YouTube channel! I post Ball Python Morph Combo videos daily: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXr...7cOR5pcCONzvtA

  6. #5
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    Yeah, that's why I'm wondering if I actually read it right because they're the width of my pinkie, maybe smaller. Not sure if that sounds right for 90 grams? I'll try to get a picture when I bring them home. They were from what I think would be considered a hoarding situation, as they were not being kept in good conditions, so it's very possible they were not getting fed an adequate amount. I don't think they were necessarily thin, though - I'll see if any of the staff can tell me.

    I am very excited about the timing of this. I found out about mexican black kingsnakes a while ago and thought they were gorgeous, but I assumed I'd never actually get one due to them not being super common. Lucky me!

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    Last edited by TayKiren; 03-20-2021 at 02:04 AM.

  7. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm really happy to hear these snakes are getting a new lease on life now too.

    As I said, the snake's weight means nothing to me, I go by the length, which can be a challenge to estimate, I know, & also the size of the mouth & the mid-body. King snakes don't have the largest gape (compared to rat snakes etc) but not the smallest either. (not like longnose or glossy snakes from the desert southwest, for example- they have very narrow faces)

    If you get pinks that are on the small side for him, you'll just be feeding a couple at a time anyway- one isn't likely to fill him up. It's not like they'll go to waste either way, & they keep frozen for a long time- I'd personally get both sizes (large pinks & fuzzies) since shipping adds up.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. #7
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    I didn't think about getting multiple sizes, but that makes sense, thanks!

    Also, I can't really find hides small enough. I got some Pangea mini plastic hides, but even those seem too big. He was under the substrate when I went to see him, so I guess it isn't a big deal, but would something like a paper towel tube be okay to put in the enclosure?

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  9. #8
    BPnet Veteran Charles8088's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    Under the substrate works, if your snake feels secure doing so. The paper towel tubes work fine, as long as you watch it, that they don't get wet or soaked. Then you need to replace them... easy enough. The small mini hides, I think they're like 3"x5", should be fine for them. That's been the smallest I had in mine. I did use the paper towel tubes as well. Just replaced them if they got wet. The hides you can probably find on Amazon. I think I bought mine on Reptile Basics or LLL Reptile. I can post links if you can't find any.
    0.1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Tynee)
    0.1.0 BEL Ball (Luna)
    0.1.0 Sunglow Boa (Pippi Longsnake)


    WANT LIST
    - Woma Python
    - Mangrove Snake

    - Russian Rat Snake
    - Eastern Indigo
    - Black Milk Snake
    - False Water Cobra
    - Thai Bamboo Rat Snake
    - Western Hognose
    - Rhino Rat Snake
    - Kenyan Sand Boa

  10. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    Quote Originally Posted by TayKiren View Post
    I didn't think about getting multiple sizes, but that makes sense, thanks!

    Also, I can't really find hides small enough. I got some Pangea mini plastic hides, but even those seem too big. He was under the substrate when I went to see him, so I guess it isn't a big deal, but would something like a paper towel tube be okay to put in the enclosure?

    Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk
    You truly don't need to buy small hides that your snake will outgrow- use small clean (!) boxes that food or other things come in- even box lids work well- just use an Exacto knife to cut a doorway or a couple doorways & your kingsnake will love it. They aren't as shy as BPs, not once they settle in & find out there's food.

    If you really want to buy some hides (& some that your snake won't outgrow for a long time) I'd recommend these (link below): King & milk snakes love them & you can add an extra doorway as they suggest, though I never did. It mimics the burrowing they do in the wild, & for a shy snake, food left on top near the hole can be easily grabbed overnight, though most kings aren't all that shy. These hides are big enough that you can just use one (halfway over the UTH) and use other types of hides (small boxes & cardboard rolls) elsewhere in the unheated areas.

    For substrate many things work- the shredded paper products are what I use mostly for my colubrids- & you don't need to worry about giving a king snake "back pressure" in a hide that "just fits" as you do with a BP. You can also just crumple a paper towel & put it loosely under a larger hide- tiny king snakes love all that "stuff".

    Since he's been under-fed (assuming) I'd also make him a humid hide to help with sheds- it's NO fun trying to help a tiny snake shed- be sure to check tail tips & eye caps. The large pinkies will be easier to digest, & before you size up, I'd feed 2 at a time. Remember king snakes are slender- their stomach is a long narrow organ into which a couple of pinks fit nicely. They'll make up for some of the growth he hasn't been able to do. A king snake's mouth isn't huge either, so it's easier to take (fit) 2 smaller items than one that's bigger around, as you might do with a heavier-bodied snake like a BP.

    https://www.beanfarm.com/collections...hide-out-small

    Note- I never put water directly in this "water bowl"- it holds a typical sized bowl so you can easily change the water without taking out the hide too often. Kings are more likely to defecate in their water bowl than BPs are.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-20-2021 at 02:26 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  11. #10
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: My first baby snake!

    All very helpful, thank you!

    I brought him home today and was pleasantly surprised by his temperament. He had a stuck eye cap, and I was able to gently massage it off with a damp paper towel without much of a fuss!

    I know it's probably hard to tell, but any guesses on sex? His tail looks long in the picture, but I don't think it is compared to the body. I can't tell if it tapers quickly or not, as I don't have anything to compare. It seems to immediately get thinner, then stays sort of the same for a bit? I originally guessed female, but now I'm not sure.

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    Last edited by TayKiren; 03-20-2021 at 10:55 PM.

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TayKiren For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (03-20-2021),Charles8088 (03-20-2021),dakski (03-20-2021)

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