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  1. #1
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    Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Hey everyone! So, I've been talking with someone who would like to sell me their 9-year-old Trans-Pecos ratsnake, and I'm very excited to have the instant gratification of an adult-sized snake lol, as well as finally have a snake for the habitat I have been working on.

    I will be quarantining him because of the two other reptiles in my house. Our one other snake will be just out of quarantine once I get this snake in a few weeks, unless our vet advises against it (if so, I know the "quarantine clock" resets). Apart from the setup (paper towels, hides, uth with thermostat), and leaving him alone for a week after getting him, are there any slight tweaks to quarantine for adult snakes that I should know about?

    I was thinking of getting a tub, and drilling ventilation holes in it, because I did not want him to nose rub on the screen of a smaller glass tank, although I have reservations about a tub because of the potential raised humidity (although the Snakes N Adders video on TPRSes recommended starting younger ones in tubs so they can "gain confidence," but this guy is an adult). Would anyone have opinions on what I should use for the quarantine enclosure? Also, what size would you make the quarantine enclosure? The snake looks about 4-5 feet long.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'd ask what size enclosure that snake had been living in. Older snakes (much like older people & dogs etc) are more set in their ways, and in any event, I do not recommend tubs or enclosures without a LOT of ventilation for a desert snake such as a Trans Pecos. Always preferable if you can come close to the size of the snake's previous home. Mature TPs do well in 40 gal. "breeder" tanks. Nice that you found this guy & will be giving him a new home- people's lives can change a lot in 9 years, & he should have plenty more with you now. I look forward to "meeting" him here.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    The person selling him is a reptile educator at a rattlesnake conservation place. He said the snake came from a local breeder (Gainesville) and a friend sold it to him when the snake was about 2 years old. He told me he has three younger TPRSes with plans to breed them, and that he was willing to sell the older one to someone looking for just a pet snake. I shared a photo of my enclosure with him, too. He sent some photos of the snake and he appears to be well taken care of, and the owner did answer all my questions about the snake's health and history, so hopefully everything should go well. I'm going to drive to go pick up the snake, but probably can't for about 3 weeks until our weekend schedules are free at the same time. I'm excited to have found one and hope everything goes okay! I got good vibes from the owner, unlike the one breeder I saw at an expo near me. I have just texted him to ask about what size enclosure the snake is currently in.

    I could go with an aquarium-type glass setup, but find the lids on those to be pretty bad usually, and not escape-proof. Any ideas regarding that? I am hesitant to just buy a smaller actual reptile enclosure with a good lid, because those are typically much more expensive, and like, I won't use it for more than a few months (not planning on any future reptiles till another pet passes away, which would probably be at least 10 years from now, lol)

    I'm trying to do a photo, but it showed up sideways when I first uploaded it, and didn't change when I asked to rotate it in the edit menu. Geez, I'm not even old, idk why this is happening to me. You can get a general idea of what he looks like though, I guess.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

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    Bogertophis (05-13-2021)

  6. #4
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    Re: Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Great addition !!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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  8. #5
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    Looks like a pretty nice TP, & the vibe (& information) you got from his owners is important too.

    I prefer glass tanks; some of mine came with sliding lids, but I agree, they're not that sturdy. Still, one of my TPs is in such a tank, & he has never escaped nor seriously tried to. Most of my tanks have home-made tops- made by me from pine wood (3/4" x 2", plus wood "screen molding" over the screen/"hardware cloth"-aka 1/4" welded wire). Various ways to secure the tops.

    BTW, TPs are not known for being "pushy" snakes (like on cage tops etc). They tend to be laid-back, graceful & "polite".
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-13-2021 at 05:13 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    TofuTofuTofu (05-13-2021)

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    He is currently in a 3' x 2' x 1' enclosure, in what sounds like in a rack system, but I'm not positive. I think I will go with a plastic tub and drill approximately one million holes in it; Snake Discovery did this for Western hognoses, and in Dusty Rhoads' book, he mentions using the plastic tubs will holes drilled or adding a screen top to it. I will try this, but will monitor him and get a glass tank if I need to. I just can't find anything big enough that wouldn't cost me at least five hundred dollars because of the size I would need, and I just can't justify that for a temporary enclosure.

    So, a follow-up question I was thinking about: I know with new snakes, you are supposed to leave them alone (meaning, not socialize them) until they have eaten three times. Is this just a general rule to not stress any age of snake out and allow them to adjust, or is it a recommendation for younger snakes so that they are less stressed and can become established eaters? This guy sounds a little like he doesn't get out to play much, but also seems outgoing. Honestly, I'm really excited to have my ideal snake and would want to interact with him. Is it okay to interact with him if he appears to want to come out and explore, for example, before than three-week time period is up? If he is shy, I would definitely err on the side of leaving him alone, though, and want to give him as smooth of a transition as I can.

    But, like, I have a hard time believing you all really leave your new snakes alone for three weeks, lol. My fiance's Japanese rat snake (he is 2 years old but we have had him only about 6 weeks) was given one week of alone time but, since then, has had socialization time every other day or so (excluding once he eats; then it's usually like a three- or four-day gap), and is super outgoing, but we may have just gotten lucky with a very tolerant snake who forgave our ignorance of the "three week no socialization" rule.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

  11. #7
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    But, like, I have a hard time believing you all really leave your new snakes alone for three weeks, lol.
    I leave all of mine alone for 2 consecutive feeds at minimum before any casual handling. 3 consecutive feeds ideally. They’re going to be around for 20+ years, I can wait to ensure I’m doing right by my animals.


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  13. #8
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    Re: Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    He is currently in a 3' x 2' x 1' enclosure, in what sounds like in a rack system, but I'm not positive. I think I will go with a plastic tub and drill approximately one million holes in it; Snake Discovery did this for Western hognoses, and in Dusty Rhoads' book, he mentions using the plastic tubs will holes drilled or adding a screen top to it. I will try this, but will monitor him and get a glass tank if I need to. I just can't find anything big enough that wouldn't cost me at least five hundred dollars because of the size I would need, and I just can't justify that for a temporary enclosure.

    So, a follow-up question I was thinking about: I know with new snakes, you are supposed to leave them alone (meaning, not socialize them) until they have eaten three times. Is this just a general rule to not stress any age of snake out and allow them to adjust, or is it a recommendation for younger snakes so that they are less stressed and can become established eaters? This guy sounds a little like he doesn't get out to play much, but also seems outgoing. Honestly, I'm really excited to have my ideal snake and would want to interact with him. Is it okay to interact with him if he appears to want to come out and explore, for example, before than three-week time period is up? If he is shy, I would definitely err on the side of leaving him alone, though, and want to give him as smooth of a transition as I can.

    But, like, I have a hard time believing you all really leave your new snakes alone for three weeks, lol. My fiance's Japanese rat snake (he is 2 years old but we have had him only about 6 weeks) was given one week of alone time but, since then, has had socialization time every other day or so (excluding once he eats; then it's usually like a three- or four-day gap), and is super outgoing, but we may have just gotten lucky with a very tolerant snake who forgave our ignorance of the "three week no socialization" rule.
    I think a "tub with a million holes" for a temporary set-up would be fine. I agree that expense is a valid consideration under the circumstances.

    This snake was handled often for public interaction? Is the previous owner the only one? As a rule, older snakes can be more upset by being re-homed, but they don't all follow the rule, especially if this snake was handled & got more "social time" than most do.

    IF this snake feeds easily for you after a week, I'd play it by ear...see how he acts. Most rat snakes are not as shy as BPs- they're naturally more outgoing & this TP probably is also. I think you can trust your hunches on this one.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #9
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    Re: Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    This snake was handled often for public interaction? Is the previous owner the only one? As a rule, older snakes can be more upset by being re-homed, but they don't all follow the rule, especially if this snake was handled & got more "social time" than most do.

    IF this snake feeds easily for you after a week, I'd play it by ear...see how he acts. Most rat snakes are not as shy as BPs- they're naturally more outgoing & this TP probably is also. I think you can trust your hunches on this one.
    I'm unsure whether this snake was used in the owner's reptile programs or not; TPRSes are not a native species here obviously, but I think if he were a program animal, it would not be as frequent as some of the native or conservation species. But, it's very possible he has been, as that is the owner's job.

    The snake had an initial owner who had him the first two years of his life, and is now with his current owner (for 7-8 years). I appreciate the philosophy of leaving him alone for a few weeks no matter what, and I will be pretty busy over the next month, so I will likely be not interacting with him as much when I first get him, anyway. At any rate, I do think I can read what the snake's attitude will be and I'll adjust the interaction level for him.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    7 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles

  16. #10
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    Re: Quarantining an Older/Adult Snake

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    I'm unsure whether this snake was used in the owner's reptile programs or not; TPRSes are not a native species here obviously, but I think if he were a program animal, it would not be as frequent as some of the native or conservation species. But, it's very possible he has been, as that is the owner's job.

    The snake had an initial owner who had him the first two years of his life, and is now with his current owner (for 7-8 years). I appreciate the philosophy of leaving him alone for a few weeks no matter what, and I will be pretty busy over the next month, so I will likely be not interacting with him as much when I first get him, anyway. At any rate, I do think I can read what the snake's attitude will be and I'll adjust the interaction level for him.
    While not native, their mellow demeanor & modest size generally makes them an excellent "goodwill ambassador" snake that can help open people's minds to other local species. From my own public education experience, it matters less what kind of snake I'm holding, & far more the fact that it's easily handled & seen up close. Either way, I think you'll get a good sense of him once he's under your care, as he will of you. I look forward to your updates.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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