Tips For Buying A Pet Snake

October 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Reptiles

Buying a snake can be a sizable investment. Getting a snake requires making a commitment to the pet’s care and well-being. It is important to do your research so you know that the particular species or breed is something you will enjoy owning in the years to come. Find out how difficult they are to feed and house before you buy. Also find out about the snake’s temperament.

Remember that some snakes get extremely large, can be dangerous, and live a long time. Lifespans of over twenty years are not uncommon. Don’t assume getting rid of that unwanted reptile will be a piece of cake either.

Another thing to check out before buying is the laws of your particular city. In many places, snakes of certain varieties are restricted as pets.

That being said, it’s a good idea to get the enclosure, or vivarium, ready for the snake to move in before buying one. Different species have different requirements in heat, humidity, and size of enclosure, so again, do your homework.

Before buying, look your snake over for indicators of poor health. It’s a good idea to hang around the pet store or breeders’ for a while, just watching the snakes for clues to individual snakes’ personalities. The eyes should be bright and shiny. If they appear dull, it’s a sign that the snake is about to shed its skin. Wait until it has shed so you can get a better idea of how it looks.

It is important to get a snake that has been hatched or birthed by a reputable breeder. Make sure the snake is accustomed to eating pre-killed food before you buy it.

The best place to go to find a reputable breeder is your local herpetology society. Most areas have herp clubs for people who are into reptiles. If you’re lucky, you might get to attend a herp show in your area. Breeders attend these gatherings and show off their stock. Search online for information about herp shows you could attend. (Herpetology is the branch of biology that studies reptiles and amphibians. “Herp” is a common nickname for these animals.)

When studying the choices of pet snake species, get to know the Latin names. Common names vary with pet stores and with regions. By knowing exactly what species of snake you want, you can save yourself a lot of trouble. Different species of similar snakes, such as boas or pythons, have different temperaments and grow to different sizes. Just knowing it is a boa or a python is not specific enough to know for sure what you are getting.

Finally, there are some people who just should not own pet snakes. These include homes with children under five and anyone with a compromised immune system, because there is a small possibility of a snake carrying salmonella. The large python constrained be a danger to young children, too. (And to everyone else, too! Be extremely careful, and know what you’re getting into.)
Educate yourself before you start shopping for that cool looking snake. If it’s your first snake, consider getting and prepare to be in it for the long haul.

Ball Python Pet

October 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Reptiles

Ball pythons grow to about 4 feet in length and some may grow to about 5 feet in length. They become nicely rounded if properly fed. They have anal spurs. These are single claws that appear on either side of the vent. Males have longer spurs than females and males also have smaller heads than females. They have blotches on a brown or bluish-brown background color. Colors may vary but there will be shades of yellow found in all ball pythons.

Basic Care:

Glass tanks can be used for housing with a fixed glass top. Ball pythons are more cunning than other snakes when it comes to escaping from the cage. A ten gallon tank can be used for a hatch-ling  A young adult will need a 20 gallon tank, and a full grown adult will need a 30 gallon tank.

These snakes will adjust to the environment it is housed in, but will normally require a more humid area when it is shedding. If one notices that the snake has not eaten for a very long time though it is necessary, and it begins to lose weight, it must be shown to a vetenary.

Diet:

In the wild ball pythons eat amphibians, other snakes, small mammals and birds. They do not eat mice in the wild. In captivity one has to let them grow into the activity of being fed with mice. These snakes do not need to eat regularly and some may even live for up to a year without any food.

Baby ball pythons can be fed with mice that have already been killed. If the hatchling is smaller than usual, a smaller mouse can be used as the feed. Adults may be fed with larger mice. These snakes do not need a regular feeding time table. Fresh water must be provided daily, as the ball python like others drinks and also soaks itself in the water.

Heat and light:

For the snake to be healthy proper temperature range must be maintained. A temperature of 80 to 85 ºF with a 90 degree spot for basking must be maintained in the day time. The temperature may be around 70 to 75 ºF in the cooler area. Heating pads may be used under the glass enclosure.

Hot rocks will not be suitable because ball pythons are susceptible to thermal burns. Special lights are not needed, and a low wattage bulb can be used to view the snake in the day time. Ball pythons are especially prone to getting burned and so the light must not be kept directly above them.

Environment:

Ball pythons in the wild are found in generally temperate to arid areas. Initially paper towels can be used as substrate in the housing. This will also help determine if there are any mites present and also the feces can be monitored. Shredded cypress or fur bark can be used after the ball python is used to living in the enclosure. Pine and aspen shavings are not recommended, as they may get lodged in the mouth causing respiratory problems. Soiled shavings must be removed to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.

An empty cardboard box or a log must be placed inside the cage for the ball python to use it as a hiding place. One must make sure the box is large enough for the entire snake to fit inside. The hiding place should not be too big as the snake likes to have a small place to hide. Fake branches and greenery may be placed inside the cage for the snake to climb and hang on.

Behavior:

They are active around dawn and dusk. They are comfortable on the ground and in the trees. They curl up tightly and put their heads in the center when they become nervous. They are curious and gentle. Some ball pythons will not shed for a few months when they are initially in captivity. This means they are highly stressed with the surroundings.