Milk Snake Care Guide

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Also ensure that they have proper husbandry; check the temperatures and humidity levels, and make sure you are providing plenty of security by utilizing hides and foliage, and covering three of the sides. If you are concerned that they are not eating because of a health problem, or if they are losing a significant amount of weight, take them to the vet.

Milksnake Care – Keeping the Sinaloan Milksnake and Related Species

Always make sure your husbandry is not the problem. If given proper humidity and plenty of different textures to rub against while shedding, they should have no problem getting it all off by themselves. A humid hide box or a larger water bowl may help. If they have retained multiple layers of shed, give them a bath in shallow, lukewarm water and gently remove it yourself. Then, ensure that the surface or ambient temperatures are not too warm. If the humidity and temperatures are on point, consider whether or not the snake is in shed. If they are, they may just be soaking to help the skin come off.

If they are not in shed, they may just be soaking because they enjoy it—however, it should not be a constant thing, as that is a sign of mites or other health issues, and frequent soaking may cause scale rot. If you are concerned, take them to a vet. Ferrets and Friends. Northampton Reptile Center. Reptile Knowledge.

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Like Awesome guide! Mom Author. Related wiki How to tame a leopard gecko. However, they are still docile, easy to handle, and usually become more confident with age. They are known to musk as their primary defense mechanism and are very reluctant to bite. When you first get your snake, give it time to acclimate to its new environment before attempting to handle it.

They should be eating and using the bathroom before you start holding them; a good rule of thumb is seven days. Also, wait 48 hours after they eat before starting to handle them again. Like all snakes, Nelsons are obligate carnivores. In the wild, these snakes eat small rodents, birds, amphibians, lizards, and other snakes. They are not immune, but are resistant to the venom of native snakes.

Pueblan Milk Snake (Campbell's Milk Snake) [VIDEO] -

The mice should be slightly larger than up to 1. Hatchlings should eat every days, juveniles every days, and adults every days, depending on how well they retain their bodyweight. Link to buy. As with most snakes, the enclosure ideally should be as long on one end as the snake is long.

Housing Your Pueblan Milk Snake

Since Nelsons average at inches long centimeters , a 4 foot long enclosure, such as a 40 gallon long tank, is a great size for most snakes. A front-opening vivarium is preferable to a top-opening one, but those can be used as well. As with all snakes, make sure the cage is completely escape-proof. Additionally, kingsnakes are snake-eaters, so they should always be housed solitarily.

Loose substrate should be used to allow them to burrow, but paper towels are a great substrate to use during quarantine. The dish should preferably be large enough for them to soak in if desired. No food bowl is needed, but a Tupperware lid can be used during feeding to help avoid substrate being consumed.

Use loose substrate and provide the snake with two hides, one on each side of the terrarium, and other decor such as plants, branches, tubes, vines, etc. This will not only add security to the terrarium, but also encourage climbing. A layer of loose substrate that is a few inches thick allows burrowing.

Two hides should be provided: one on the cool end, and one on the warm end. This allows the snake to thermoregulate, or control its body temperature, while still being allowed to feel secure. A third, humid hide can be added over the UTH during the shedding process, but is not necessary. Furthermore, covering 3 sides of the enclosure helps them feel more comfortable exploring their surroundings.

This should be measured with a digital probe hygrometer. These snakes are burrowers, and so will need deep bedding. Some advanced models may have a false bottom with some sort of screening to allow feces and urine to sift down. Sort of a fancy cat box type of setup.

If you begin with a simpler affair, you will be placing an absorbent material onto paper towel liners that are placed firmly flat against the glass bottom.

A thick layer of aspen shavings is favored by most snake keepers, although many do like cypress shavings just as well. Aromatic woods such as pine and cedar should be avoided as they can cause lung and eye irritation. Three to four inches of covering with these materials provides a light and sanitary bedding that the snake will often disappear under as an alternative to its hide.

Snakes can and will choose to rest in an area that ends up being too hot for their safety. It is up to the keeper to carefully test and retest all surfaces several times weekly to keep your snake safe. The overall temperature of the tank should not exceed 86 degrees F on the warm side, and hover at 76 degrees F on the cool side. For temperature measurement, a digital laser thermometer is a worthy investment. Readings should therefore be taken at the surface of the bottom of the warm side, the cool side and any basking areas. Keepers need to remember that the ambient temperature of the room can affect the vivarium, so frequent readings are strongly recommended.

A thermostatically controlled under tank heating pad or heating tape will be the most trouble-free and goof-proof. If a UVB heat lamp instead of under tank heating is in use, it must be turned off for 12 hours per day to maintain a natural diurnal cycle for this diurnal species. That said, when the light is off, the temperature at night should not drop too low. Others like the convenience of thermostatically regulated under tank heating. A cold environment will encourage brumation. It is a reaction to insufficient heat necessary for normal activities.

Brumation can be deliberate, and is useful if you are attempting to breed your milk snakes, or it can be accidental due to heater malfunction or poor maintenance of temperature regime. Brumation is not strictly necessary for health and may cause your pet to be unnecessarily lethargic, with a greater than normal tendency to hide and refuse food.

This is yet another reason why temperature monitoring regularly is really quite important. To avoid brumation, nighttime temperatures in the habitat should not be allowed to drop below 65 degrees F. These snakes generally do not need extraordinary levels of humidifying. Misting once a week is usually enough except during shedding.

During shedding, either provide a shedding box filled with dampened sphagnum moss or mist the vivarium twice per day. A hide made of something that can be easily sanitized is essential. Plastic may look tacky, but may be more practical, depending on your lifestyle. I love the look of cork wood, but it is really problematic to clean.

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Dish washer safe hides and bowls are the easiest by far. If you do decide on cork wood as an attractive and snake friendly hide, I would replace it every year. Otherwise, you can try what some reptile keepers do and bake the wood at degrees F for 2 hours. We recommend including. Of course, if you are using a bioactive set-up to minimize cleaning, the mandatory substrate and plants should be sufficient that are an essential part of that system will be plenty, in addition to that water bowl and hide.

How often you feed your snake depends on how old it is. Once they do, they generally need to eat about times per week. More frequent feedings will encourage them to grow faster, if that is what you wish. In fact, one of the more convenient things about adult milk snakes is that they only need to eat about every 7 days. Food can be provided right within the habitat or in a separate enclosure. The use of a separate feeding enclosure is a subject of debate among fanciers.

Some feel that while a separate feeding enclosure may not be strictly necessary, it can sometimes be helpful. One argument in favor is that using a different habitat for feeding times can help to keep the main enclosure cleaner and more sanitary. A separate feeding enclosure may also be necessary if you are housing more than one snake in a habitat not recommended or if you use a substrate that can be ingested.

Others feel it is unwise to move the snake to a strange environment, expect it to perform a natural behavior immediately, and then expect it not to throw up when it is handled for the purpose of placing it back in its main home. I have always fed in the vivarium.