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  1. #31
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Re: My Bioactive Arid/Desert Enclosure for Trans-Pecos Rat Snake

    Well here is an important update: I got my snake today! His prior owner said he purchased him at the 2015 Daytona show, so I'm guessing he is likely about 6 years old or maybe more. I did have him shipped, and thankfully everything went fine (apparently... I'm still in denial something won't go wrong somehow lol). The lady in the FedEx hub said I could check on him in the office, so I opened up the snake bag, poked at him a little, and saw this little face with two big eyeballs peek around a fold in the fabric. It was cute. All I did was verify he was alive, though; I didn't want to just take out a snake in a public place and stress him out.

    He is in quarantine and I plan to leave him there till the end of the year and test him a few times for any issues. I only handled him long enough to take these photos, but he seems to be totally delightful. He moves very slowly (carefully, I would say?) compared to our Japanese rat snake, and will just sit there in my hand, which is something I really wanted in a snake to be honest, lol. He has been in one of his hides for the past few hours, but that is okay; he has had a weird 24 hours. Anyway, say hello to Chico! (and a cameo of my foster rabbit in the background lol)

















    In vivarium news, I wanted to show a photo of the seeds sprouting right now. I can pick out three or four different varieties that have sprouted (the grassy one, Indian wheat, is the most prominent, but I am unsure what the others are as of yet). I have been reducing the plant light output because, last time, it burnt some of the seedlings, and they seem to be doing better with just the tube daylight bulb and only about 4 hours of my LED plant grow light per day. I mist directly over the seedlings every day and pour a small amount of water (like some droplets) every few days.

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    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TofuTofuTofu For This Useful Post:

    AutumnVanilla (09-14-2021),Bogertophis (09-14-2021),Caitlin (09-14-2021)

  3. #32
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Welcome Chico! From what you describe, he's just like all the TPs I've ever known- a very gentle, curious snake that moves yes, "carefully" when handled. Just a delightful pet that I'm sure you'll love living with. Looks like you picked a winner- 6 years old is a nice age to get a snake- he's well-started, not so delicate as a hatchling. I'm glad his shipping went well- it generally does. I guess we'll have to see if "blondes have more fun", eh?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    TofuTofuTofu (09-14-2021)

  5. #33
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I don't know about you, but I'll never get tired of these TP faces. Or their mellow personalities.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    TofuTofuTofu (09-14-2021)

  7. #34
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    So, inside the cage I have just been thinning out some of the more crowded seedlings and allowing certain ones to grow. Hopefully by the beginning of next year, they'll be strong enough to handle an adult snake moving in! There are a few species doing okay and I want to facilitate a variety if I can. I blast one half of the vivarium with my grow lamp for 2-3 hours per day but otherwise just leave the fluorescent daylight tube on a 13-hour schedule. I water a small amount every couple of days by unscrewing the top of the mister bottle and just pouring it rather than misting.

    As for Chico, I have made another topic for this, but just wanted to put in here that he hasn't yet eaten. He was previously on rat pups and I'm trying to get him switched to mice; he is also a little chunky. I tried scenting a mouse with used rat bedding last week, and tonight have tied a mouse fuzzy to a rat pinkie with my hair to see if he'll eat it. So far tonight, he just wanted to explore and is sitting next to me on a table as I type this. I'm not worried about this, though; I'm optimistic that he'll eat for me eventually.

    Chico is being trained with choice-based handling and I plan to target train him once he is switched to mice and is eating regularly. Tonight is actually the first time where I sat next to his cage and he willingly climbed onto me in order to explore the table next to the chair I was in. I have otherwise not actually "handled" him in the sense that most people picture handling, and have never just gone and picked him up from anywhere. While exploring, if he goes somewhere undesirable (such as behind his tub and on top of the modem box), I will redirect him with a hook and one hand if I need to. He is doing well with this and I hope it builds his confidence; so far, I think it is working, since he willingly climbed on me today. He is really slow and this helps a great deal in giving him "choices," as I don't have to constantly be redirecting him in the way that I would a frenetic snake.
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    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

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    Bogertophis (10-08-2021)

  9. #35
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Well, it's a little strange that he's not eating yet, especially since you tried the scenting too, but I guess he's in no hurry. I've never had a new TP that didn't eat quickly, & regularly, but snakes all do have their own personalities.

    Trans Pecos rat snakes are strange creatures- they can actually move quite fast when they want to nail prey, but in handling, your observation is the same as mine- that they move slowly & very cautiously & gracefully- as if tiptoeing, which is hard to do without toes. It makes them a real pleasure to handle, and I don't know of any other kind of snake that behaves this way.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  10. #36
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Oh, so, just fyi, he did eat today! I left it in overnight. He still had not eaten this morning, though, and I think he ate around midday. That is kind of gross, and the mouse/rat creature I created was sitting out probably 16 hours at least. I hope he doesn't get sick from it? May be a discussion for another topic, but I'm glad he ate at least.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

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    Bogertophis (10-09-2021)

  12. #37
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: My Bioactive Arid/Desert Enclosure for Trans-Pecos Rat Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    Oh, so, just fyi, he did eat today! I left it in overnight. He still had not eaten this morning, though, and I think he ate around midday. That is kind of gross, and the mouse/rat creature I created was sitting out probably 16 hours at least. I hope he doesn't get sick from it? May be a discussion for another topic, but I'm glad he ate at least.
    Great! And I wouldn't worry about it. That's probably what he's used to doing. It's possible that the person you got him from thawed rodents in ways that allow more "ripeness" before they were handed out to the snakes, & as I recall, you said he was taking either fed live or drop-fed, right? And he probably PREFERS live, but if nothing live was forthcoming, he's used to eating the funky stuff as a last resort.

    At least he ate for now, & I hope you can get him eating when it's a little fresher- I wouldn't offer food again for at LEAST 2 weeks, & see if that helps also. He's still settling in, & the older a snake is, the weirder (more stressful) it is thought to be for them when they're re-homed. I wouldn't worry or hold it against him, & since you're not willing to do fresh-killed (which he'd probably be happier with) just be patient.

    When I've raised TP hatchlings they take f/t prey easily, but if they've been raised for a while on fresh-killed or live, it makes them harder to convince. It's no different than changing our own food "tastes" from what we grew up eating. He's still an adorable & in the future, he might start eating it faster, especially when "what he ordered" never materializes.

    When you offered him prey previously, it might be that you picked it up too soon when he didn't seem to want it right away, lol. I've seen a few snakes in the past that did the same thing, & each learned to eat faster with subsequent meals. TPs are not known for eating carrion either- they're NOT like king snakes that way. I'm so glad that he at least ate.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    TofuTofuTofu (10-09-2021)

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