Owning a Pet Snake
In the World, more than 2,700 snake species. Some snakes are rare and are protected by Sate and local law. These types of snakes are kept in zoos, and owned by herpetologists with permits. Venomous snakes should be kept in controlled environment and not recommended, for average snake collector or hobbyist. Recent study has shown, almost 15 million people in the United States, have a snake. Snakes can have over 300 pairs of ribs. Snakes have two rows of teeth, on the top jaw and on the bottom jaw. The teeth include fangs, and most of the time, are replaced throughout life.
Owning a snake, you should be familiar, caring for the particular species. This includes dietary, environmental (living space, temperature, humidity, and lightening) and sanitation requirements. Certain types of snakes, easily be handled, and others types, could be dangerous. Handle a snake with tongs or hooks. Never grab a snake, behind the head, because of fragile neck and weak supporting muscles, may cause injury. Among, the tropical snake species, boa constrictors raised from infancy, suitable pet for snake hobbyist. However, pythons are unpredictable, and especially dangerous, before feeding time. During that time, a python may not distinguish between handler and food. Species of snakes, which are fed easily and regular, are better snake pets. Ensure to have a veterinary care available for the species, of snake, have as a pet. The veterinarian should examine the snake, for any mites and ticks. Some common snake health problems, include mouthrot, appears bubbling at the mouth, and pneumonia appears, as froth at the nostrils.
The enclosure, where a snake lives, should have sufficient space to stretch out and move, both horizontal and vertical directions, and providing enough space, for activity. Glass or plexiglass – lined enclosure such an aquaria, suitable for snakes. This provides observation, safety for the snake, and a controlled environment for temperature and lightening. If the enclosure has sliding glass front, makes it easier to feed and handle the snake. Generally, a snake prefers high humidity. Top of the enclosure, should be secure, preventing snake from escaping. The floor of the enclosure could, consist of paper towels, Terry -cloth, newspaper or indoor – outdoor carpeting. Whatever the material, should be easily removable and replaced, becomes soiled or dirty. Avoid using any kitty litter, pea gravel or wood shavings. These substances trap moisture, filth, and attract parasites. Also, snake may eat the material, causing obstruction of the digestive tract. Within the enclosure, a snake prefers an area of privacy, where to retreat. Adding an enclosed Hide box, and silk artificial plants. Silk artificial plants are easy to clean and disinfect. The area provides a camouflage for a snake. Tropical snakes require warm temperature and high humidity. Requirement average day – time temperature: 80 – 85 degrees, and night – time temperature 70 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining, level of temperature comfort, requires having heat lamps or heaters equipped with thermostats. The devices are placed underneath the enclosure, but never directly exposed to the source, preventing the snake from burns. Adding a heating pads or hot rock, provided further comfort. Other, alternative sources of heat include, ultraviolet lights, for a period of ten – twelve hours, representing daylight. Raising a snake temperature provides a suitable environment, for activity, and better digestion.
Suitable, large size container of water should always be filled, in the enclosure. Water should be room temperature. Keeping in mind, humidity does evaporate the water. The container must be sturdy enough, not to be overturned, and large enough for a snake to immerse. Also, water container should be cleaned often, preventing any bacteria.
Recommended by many herpetologists or snake hobbyists, feeding a snake dead or incapacitated prey. Incapacitated prey cannot injury, the feeding snake. The prey should be purchased or bought, from reliable source, such as a pet store. When feeding two or more snakes at the same time, recommended feeding each one individually, by holding the prey animal in long forceps or tongs. Never place a prey, directly between two snakes, are fight will occur, and possible causing, death of one snake. Sometimes, prey food offered to snakes, has been thawed, after being frozen. Many snake experts believe, source of food, should be “gutted” (eviscerated), before being frozen. This prevents bacterial contamination of the carcass, which is harmful, when digested by a snake. Most pet snakes are fed once every one – two weeks. Juvenile and adult snakes are feed more frequently, depending on the environmental conditions. Older snakes are feed, once every three weeks. Over feeding a snake, cause the risk of obesity. Every species of snakes, prefer certain type of prey animals. Boa Constrictors like to eat rodents and birds. Gartner snakes prefer fish, frogs, toads, earthworms, and slugs. Indigo snakes prefer mice, frogs, dog / cat foods. Ring neck or Irawn snakes prefer salamanders, earthworms, very small snakes, and lizards. Nutritional supplements can be added, to the carcaus, hiding capsule, filled with vitamins, minerals or amino acid. Regurgitation may happen, if a snake is handled, soon after being fee, under stress, health problems related to internal disease or intestinal obstruction. If a snake does not eat the prey or rodent, within ten – fifteen minutes, the prey should be removed, from the enclosure. Also, if the snake refuses to eat, following two weeks, than veterinarian care is required.
Most Snakes shed (Ecdysis) or discard outer portion of their skin, eight times a year. This process takes one – two weeks. Frequency of shedding depends, on environmental temperature, frequency of feeding, and activity level. Healthy snakes will shed their skin, in one entire piece. When a snake sheds in pieces, means snake has malnutrition health problems or other health related problem.
Snake reproduction occurs, either by developed embryos offspring born, such as constrictors, water, gator or rattlesnakes. Other reproduction, snake will lay eggs, such pythons. Safe guarding these eggs may require artificial incubation, where humidity and temperature is regulated, in a controlled environment. The incubation temperature is between 78 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and incubation period between 55 – 60 days. Pairing snakes, according to age and sex, have better reproduction results, snakes kept in captivity.