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BALL PYTHON: SNAKE EXPERT, HELP?

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by 97yota4wd, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Dec 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM
    #21
    babytruck

    babytruck Babytruck, babytruck...I've got a babytruck :)

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    I've never had issues with mold in a water bowl under the light. Just keep it clean. Change it and wash the bowl every other day.
     
  2. Dec 18, 2012 at 4:33 PM
    #22
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ever get any hassell taking your snake places?
     
  3. Dec 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM
    #23
    poundin tacos

    poundin tacos Well-Known Member

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    I always get hassled when I show my snake in public
     
  4. Dec 18, 2012 at 7:06 PM
    #24
    babytruck

    babytruck Babytruck, babytruck...I've got a babytruck :)

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    Not really. Like I said, I have her in my hair wrapped around my ponytail so she really just looks like a hair tie. She tucks her head in. And she stays put, because the motion when I walk makes her constrict my hair. :p
     
  5. Dec 19, 2012 at 8:44 AM
    #25
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yeah mine gets pretty tight on my neck when i walk, or hes cold haha. its such a crazy feeling
     
  6. Dec 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM
    #26
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    This isn't true for snakes like it is with turtles. A good IR lamp with a head pad under their tank will do fine for a hot side, room temp on teh cold side of the tank.

    Have identical hide boxes at both ends, so the snake can thermoregulate. Also have a water dish big enough that the snake can soak in, if it wants to.

    One of the great things about snakes is that they have evolved to get 100% of their nutritional requirements from a rodent, including calcium. Easiest pet to take care of ever.

    Oh, and as far as being "Used to" 4 hours/day around your neck:
    Snakes aren't puppies. They're wild animals that get stressed when handled. You can certainly handle it, but don't treat it as something the snake has come to expect to do - leaving snakes alone is not only OK, the snake would prefer it.

    When you do handle it, watch out for signs of stress (heavy breathing, mainly.)

    Last Tip:
    This is subject to debate, but I personally always fed my ball python in a separate enclosure (one of those little portable tanks). The theory is that the snake will eat more readily if he's used to expecting food in a separate enclosure, and that he won't be as prone to strike at your hand if he's not used to being fed in his tank.

    It's debateable whether this is true, but I will say that my ball never bit at me, ever, and he always, always ate when it was time to feed him. Whether it's because of the separate feeding container I can't prove, but it seemed to work.

    Also, be careful what substrate you use. Plain black&white newspaper laid down really works best, it's cheap and easy to change. Be careful if you want some nicer-looking wood bark or whatever, certain wood is poisonous to snakes. If you do choose some kind of wood chips or something for a substrate, definitely feed in a separate (bare) tank - the snake may accidentally ingest the substrate with the mouse, they're not the brightest creatures.

    Lastly, always use feeding tongs to actually feed the snake, they're worth the 5 bucks or whatever.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2012 at 9:36 AM
    #27
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    bold^
     
  8. Dec 19, 2012 at 9:41 AM
    #28
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as long as the wood chips aren't cedar or pine - those can be poisonous to snakes (but not gerbils, etc). Regular tongs, yup. And yeah, a stressed snake's sides will start moving rapidly, you'll see/feel it pretty clearly. If he's been handled often before, he'll probably be fine with it though.

    I'd get a bigger tank. It's pretty critical to have a hide spot at each end, with a warm side and a room temp side. Right now you're making him pick between cooling off and being secure. I'd do something about that, otherwise you'll get problems when he has to pick between security and the right temperature - throwing up after meals because he's too cold, overheating, etc. Not worth it.

    A cheap way to get a larger enclosure is just to get a cracked fish tank that's in good shape aside from being able to hold water. You don't need it to hold water. :) How big is the enclosure? I used to keep mine in a 20 gallon long fish tank, and it was perfectly large enough.

    Also, the boxes don't have to be very big. In fact, you want it to be enclosed on all sides with a small hole for him, and for it to be not much bigger than his body coiled up. THey like to be able to touch all 4 sides of their hide boxes at once. A cut up shoe box or something works fine.
     
  9. Dec 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM
    #29
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    i hate wood chips for reptile bedding. i had a boa that got a piece stuck on his gums..(do snakes even have gums?)..anyways. it did get irritated bad..
    i had to clean it with a q-tip.

    the best bedding i have ever used for snakes..is rabbit food. it is highly absorbent..wont stick to any "gums"..and if it eats a piece..so what..and cheap.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM
    #30
    babytruck

    babytruck Babytruck, babytruck...I've got a babytruck :)

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    My snakes are in a cage that is 52 inches long by 23 inches wide by 16 inches high.

    I feed them live rats/mice in the same cage by dangling them by the tail. They smell the rodent and as they show interest, I will drop it in. I've never had an issue with any of them snapping at me. They have a UV lamp, a water bowl that is 6 inches across, a large piece of driftwood, rocks built into a little cave and their coconut shreds are covering the floor and also over the cave.

    My snakes have been handled since they were hatched. Maybe it's me but they have never shown signs of stress. As a matter of fact, if I leave their cage open, they will come toward me, and climb up my leg and all the way up to my hair. They seem to be most comfortable there, and won't leave until I remove them or if Im sitting real still like when I read a book.

    These snakes are pretty old, I've had then from when my kids were little, who are now adults. If I were treating my snakes wrong, they would not live to be this age.
     
  11. Dec 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM
    #31
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i will measure mine when i get home from work, i will also measure my snake!
    so i fed him for the first time last night, gave him a mice i had left over, waited a couple hours and i gave him a small white rat, i wasnt sure if it was going to be too big or not, but he took it like a champ. its so crazy watching him shove the rat down his throat. his mouth almost moves on the rat and uses the teeth kind of like legs and pulls him down. INSANE!

    i really dont think mine gets stressed either.... not from what i have seen at least, he has been handled since he was born too.
    next time i go wheeling im going to get him some nice branches and stuff :)
     
  12. Dec 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM
    #32
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't trying to insult you. :) I'm sure your snakes are well-cared for, I was just explaining what I did. Like I said, whether the out of tank thing helps is definitely up to debate, I did it anyway.

    I had a 20 gallon long, like I said, which is 30x12x12, for the OP's reference, and a 4' snake. I was able to fit a sizeable water dish in the middle and two hide boxes with no problem.

    I eventually built a wooden enclosure that was about 40 gallons, something more like the size of babytruck's.
     
  13. Dec 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM
    #33
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so im pretty sure my snake is getting close to shedding.
    the reason im thinking this is because some of his skin is getting kind of "dryish" and when i have him around my neck i get scales from him stuck on me.
    when i searched on shedding it said nothing about their skin getting kind of dry?
    i have a water dish in the tank, and i run water over him every other day usually.... any ideas?
     
  14. Dec 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM
    #34
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    the eyes will get cloudy looking.

    i never soaked a ball python before. they dump their skin easy with or without my help. my buddy had a wild captured ball python. they dont eat rodents. we had to feed it birds. it was insane. years later we finally got the snake to eat a mouse, but he had to rub it on a canary first. it was goofy, and the bird hated it. not so sure it helped..but he snake ate it.

    my wife would never let me keep a snake now. if i could..i would get a carpet python. small like a ball.
     
  15. Dec 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM
    #35
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    every one says that but his eyes havent changed (i dont think, i have only had him for less than 2 weeks)
     
  16. Dec 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM
    #36
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    eyes are clear? how can you tell the skin is dry? snakes are dry ;)

    skin is getting white looking?
     
  17. Dec 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM
    #37
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yeah they seemed clear yesterday!!
    like dry as in crusty? maybe dead skin?
    it seems like its only on his belly
     
  18. Dec 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM
    #38
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    just the belly? i bet the snake's skin doesnt like the substrate you are keeping it on. your using pine shavings right?

    i bet that is it. i mentioned before that i used rabbit food pellets. it has always worked for me. i think the softest bedding is spanish moss..could be wrong.
     
  19. Dec 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM
    #39
    nj636

    nj636 Hub Master General

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    I've had numerous healthy snakes & reptiles over the years. Here's my advice on a few things. I will use PetSmart since it's probably local & accessible to you, but if you can.. support your local private pet store ;):

    Heat & Humidity:
    Flukers ceramic heat emitter, IMO best bang for $. Lasts longer than a heat bulb & puts off more heat.
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753963&f=PAD/psNotAvailInUS/No
    Spray bottle/Mister, any spray bottle will do
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4188808&f=PAD/psNotAvailInUS/No
    Thermometer (hot side & cold side) & Hygrometer
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752693&f=PAD/psNotAvailInUS/No

    Bedding:
    Zoo Med makes great products, repti bark hold humidity and is easy to spot clean.
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752663&f=PAD/psNotAvailInUS/No

    -Get a refuge because snakes need a hiding spot.
    -Put a secure branch in there for a basking spot & hang out. If you have the room put one near the emitter & one on the cold side.
    -water bowl on the cold side (less evaporation & to cool off)
    - cover the screen top with plexiglass to maintain humidity
    - books on the top to keep the snake in, they are escape artists :rolleyes:

    Ball's do not require UV lighting. If you are just using a strip light for display purposes keep it on a 12 hour on, 12 hour off schedule.

    If you started out feeding it dead, then continue. Also feeding in a different enclosure isn't a bad idea. It gives you a chance to do the maintenance on the tank while the snake is out, and will not associate your hand in the tank with feeding time :D

    Just my .02
     
  20. Dec 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM
    #40
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd [OP] Well-Known Member

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    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

    it is much appreciated!
     
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