Finally finished the shed!!!

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by BPelizabeth, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. BPelizabeth

    BPelizabeth Embryo

    Messages:
    15
    Well Elizabeth finally finished her first shed with us and it clearly was not a good one. It came off in several pieces. We have the coconut husk down in her cage and we were spraying it several times a day to keep it moist. But still no luck. I have the type of cage that has the half glass, half screen. We do have a hide spot, a huge pool for her and a big tree limb so she had things to rub on. I read on here that you should give them warm baths, so we did that twice a day. Now I don't know about your snakes, but mine DOES NOT like the bath. In fact you could look at her and tell exactly what she was thinking....who knew a 2 month old knew that type of language! But we did have another first in the bath tub.....she finally poo'd too. I cannot belive that I am a full grown woman excited cause my snake poo'd. But we are done now....and next time I will try the moss box.

    Another thing I noticed about her is that she loves to be held. She just wants to hang out with us for hours on end and sometimes doesnt even want to go back in her cage. I think she is spoiled already!!! She will hang with my husband until I come around and then when she sees me she will try to come over to me. Now I did not think that snakes would know the difference between us. She also has her favorite spots on different people. For my son it is around his neck, for me it against my chest by my heart, and my husband it is wrapped around his watch. She also has never hissed or struck at us and maybe I don't know the signs yet but it seems beyond her to ever hurt us. Very affectionate snake!!

    Just amazed with her, I am learning so much. I just don't see how people can freak out about these snakes!
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  3. lil_shy_aries

    lil_shy_aries Embryo

    Messages:
    81
    hello bpElizebeth.
    I hate it when my snakes dont shed right. usually means the humidity isnt high enough in your cage.
    but most will say soak them in a tub and let the skin come off.
    well just to let you know my snakes hate baths when they are young. when my snakes are baby's , I give them a bath in the kitchen sink. while your doing this use your hand to let them learn that your own hand is safty, I have done this for 5 years. for I also give my baby's a bath after their eyes start to clear before they shed. but the smell of my hand is a security. I can take my snakes out at any time of their cycle.
    well the room will probably get me on this but, for 5 years now. when my snakes dont shed all the way and the rest of the skin dries out it is pretty much stuck there. I soak my snakes when they didnt shed all the way, after they are hydrated , when body isnt floating is what I go by. I gently start rubbing the skin downward tward the tail, and run my thumb from head to tail with my thumb to get belley sales off I do this while the body is underwater gentaly. spookset. my oldest loves it when I do it to him, now I am not saying that you do this all at once. snakes do things slow , they except things slow. I started maybe a few pieces of scales. and stop but when they go into the tub. and you use your hand they will smell it out and know they are safe.
    if you do this and they are scared or stressed let me tell you they can spray some really nasty smelly pee/poop every where. thats why I use my method and I do it to build up trust with my babies.
    thank you
    shy
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  5. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

    Messages:
    586
    Glad she finally shed, but I'm not sure about these "suggested baths". Unless there is something wrong, such as a stuck shed, or constipated, there should be no need for a bath, ever, never, ever. Especially two baths a day, poor thing.... :(

    You simply have to set and maintain proper humidity in the enclosure, and adjust during shed cycles, if needed. If this is set properly, shed problems will become a rare problem. Living in FL, humidity is never a problem, but when I notice a snake going into a shed cycle, I may move the water bowl over the hot spot, or mist their hide, but soaking the snake in such a way, especially twice a day more than likely created the problem.

    The only time I purposely soak any snake is when dealing with a mite problem, the snake is constipated (and as you noticed a warm bath will get things flowing), or after a bad shed, otherwise, there is never a need to give a snake a bath, not once a week, not once a month, not even once a year.

    Also, handling any snake with such frequency and at such levels will likely (almost guarantee) will lead to stress, stress leads to health issues, lack of feeding, etc, etc. At max, especially a 2MO old ball python, or any snake, handling should be maybe 2-3X's a week for no more than 5-10min a session and it should be a quite time, relaxing for the both of you. All that snake wants to do is hide, eat, poop and relax on it's own.

    Snakes are not dogs or a cats, a snake does not love it's owner, a snake does not care for it's owner even after 5-10-20yrs of raising that snake from an egg, a snake at best learns to tolerate human interaction. I have some snakes 3-5-10yrs old, most I have produced and raised myself from birth, they are as docile as can be. I have removed their babies right under their heads without so much as a hiss, but not for one split second will I ever forget to respect them for what they are. The minute you forget that these are not puppies, the minute you assume these snakes love or care for you and would never bite you, that's when you have a mouth full of teeth on your arm or face, or worse, much worse. Snakes warrant more respect from their human owners rather than love and affection. You have a 2MO old Ball python, at worse is a few pin pricks if it bites, but you should always respect the snake for both owner and snakes wellbeing and always have a mindset that these are not puppies, at best they are simply tolerating us. If it sits for hours on you, it's because of your body heat, not because it loves you and wants to cuddle.

    This is not meant to give you a hard time at all, I know you are excited and love your snakes, that excitement remains with you no matter how long you keep snakes. It somewhat irks me when I see people riding around with snakes draped over their necks in cars or bikes, or at the beach, or at pet shops with their snakes. These are usually the same people that end up on the news because the snake escaped or was released when they could no longer keep it, or bit someone, killed someones dog or cat, or a child.

    All any snake wants and needs from us is heat, humidity, security and food.
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  7. BPelizabeth

    BPelizabeth Embryo

    Messages:
    15
    Well I do know why she had the bad shed....it was definetly the humidity level. We live in AZ and it can be quite difficult to keep it up. It seems like everytime we turn around it is down to 40. We are cleaning out her cage today and are trying Eco Earth instead of the coconut husk. My husband did some research and found an auto humidifier?? (He explains it much better) apparently it has some type of sensor on it and when the level is down it will mist the cage. Not sure if any of you have heard of anything like it. We are going to check it out at the reptile convention if they have them.

    Sccales....no offense taken.....you are blunt and to the point, but I can take it! Everywhere that I read it talked about bathing them if they are having a bad shed. So.....that is what I did. I do have a question for you and anyone else for that matter. How do you tell that they are stressed? Other than eating.....which she does fine...just a little backwards sometimes. I ususally have a great "animal" instinct. I worked at a zoo for a while as an assistant keeper. Not saying that I know everything but typically I have really good instints as to what is going on. I truly don't see her as being stressed. Maybe that is just me.

    And no worries.....I am not putting a collar on her and taking her for a walk just yet.....lol :(
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  9. lil_shy_aries

    lil_shy_aries Embryo

    Messages:
    81
    hello Room again.
    I agree with ssscales, most balls want no more from us but food shelter humidity, heat, and food.
    but you do find the rare one that is very sociable, ie- spookset. he or rather she now lol. never ever
    wanted to be in her cage.she wanted to explore and run around. with a empty house of kids and dogs
    kept away from her. she had a rather active life.
    I know vets arent always right , but I was told to give her a bath right before shed after they get there eye site back from being cloaked it will make the shedding easier.I dont do this every month usually only in the hottest part of summer but I have always had to worry if I had the humidity right up here in MI>so I complied
    with the vet and yes I started her out with peeling her a piece at a time by the time she out grew the sink. she was a hearty size. When she found out what a bath tub was and she could swim omg. thats where I always found her was in the bathroom. once stuck in a toilet roll have a pic of that on my ablums on my site.
    but she wants to swim.
    now for my others tini tim at 2 1/2 is starting to love to swim. but my babies. never they cant be bothered at that age. I agree 10 min 3 x a week for infents for at least till they are over a year. I always gradually do this to my snakes. I have to be a stay at home wife , so my animals are my attention
    but If you jack with them to much your gonna run in to
    It's not IF they will bite
    its WHEN they will bite.
    they are reptiles, they think slower, heal slower, warm slower, and they like slower pace. if dont do that
    then they will show you ie from the rear end they arent happy or the front of the snake they are not happy and that one wiill hurt.
    but I was blessed with 2 out going snakes. and I have a feeling the last two I got are not, and whoooooo knows with this next pair I get. every snake is diffreent and has its own personality. and do's and dont's
    thank you
    shy
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  11. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

    Messages:
    586
    I hear ya, that's one of the joys of the internet, along with providing an endless source of great tools for research and information, it also includes a lot of misinformation that is regurgitated many, many, many times as facts. Same as the myths around feeding the snake in separate tubs because it will associate an open door with food, etc, etc.

    Humidity not just about adding moisture, but also controlling the enclosures airflow. If your enclosure has a lot of open area, such as screen top, humidity escapes through there. No matter how much you mist, spray, add water, create a swimming pool in the cage, no matter what substrate you use, the humidity will escape and you could end up worst off. Too much humidity or wetness is just as bad as not enough...

    You don't need more water, or special substrate, or bathing, or misting, just minimize the airflow to contain the proper humidity levels in the enclosure. If you have a screen top, try covering 3/4 or more of that screen top to prevent that humidity from escaping as fast and drying the enclosure out. One option is a Humid hide, which is a simple tupperware with moist Coco-Fiber (such as Eco Earth), cover it up, open a hole on the side or top for the snake to go in/out as needed. This allows the snake to go in/out from the high humid environment to a dry cage floor, as needed. You want to maintain a dry substrate, yet proper humidity in the air. This is why fish tanks and screen tops are not the best cages for snakes. My 4x2 cages have roughly a 1/8" opening around the door for airflow, my tubs may have a few 1/8" holes on the sides, so your tank that may have a whole screen top of open air, it's very difficult to impossible to create the proper environment for any snake. Fish tanks are for fishes, they look great as display cases and for your viewing pleasure, but they are not the best for your snakes. Your snake is better off in a $3.00 Sterilite/Rubbermaid showbox tubs, $1.00 waterbowl, $0.50 hide box and Aspen or paper as substrate vs an elaborate terrarium style enclosure with caves and vines and waterfalls. The latter is great for the humans, but the snake just wants and needs a hot spot, humidity as needed, security and food.

    As for stress, it's not like they can tell you what they are feeling, or give you puppy dog eyes, or sulk in a corner, but stress can lead to lack of appetite, shed issues, etc, etc. Stress can cause one symptom and that symptom can lead to other more serious issues. Fact is, if you are handling that snake for hours, or even daily, it's stressed out. Snakes do not like to be handled, any time you reach in to pull them out, it's not fun time for them. At best, they learn to tolerate it as the trust is built and the realize you don't mean them harm, but make no mistake, they are not loving it. Just because it's not biting, doesn't mean it's enjoying it. This is why, keep handling to a minimum, 5-10min, 2-3X's a week at max.

    Or else, I can guarantee you will be posting down the line threads like "Why has my snake not eaten this week ,or this month?", "why does my snake all of a sudden bite constantly?", "why is my snake spewing fluid from it's nose and mouth?". This is why, place your snake cages in a quite room, not much traffic, don't place them in a living room for example. The less interaction your snake has with you outside of cleaning, feeding, etc, the better it will be for the snake.

    Hope that helps... :D
     
  12. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

    Messages:
    586
    Here is a few examples of a simple Ball python set ups, it's all the snake needs, nothing more, nothing less.

    Sterilite 12qt tub for babies up to 900g:
    [​IMG]

    Sterilite 28qt tub for 900-2000g BP's:
    [​IMG]

    Everything the snake needs it has there, water, hide box, security, just control your heating and airflow and that's that...you could spend $1000 on a elaborate 100gln terrarium and create a living rainforest, and the snake would likely be happier in that $5.00-$6.00 set up. With that said, you could modify a tank by limiting the airflow and most important, keep it simple. The snake does not care if it has a $20.00 rock like cave or a $0.50 pot holder from Wal-Mart.
     
  13. BPelizabeth

    BPelizabeth Embryo

    Messages:
    15
    Wow thank you for all of the information.....that was allot. How do you heat those containers??? Do you have the heating pad under it? And how do you make sure that they do not knock the tops off and escape? You are right...I have and would spend a ton of cash on stuff for her. she is the spoiled princess. And you are also right...she doesn't care.

    Right now we have her in a "reptile cage" aka..aquarium. And again....it is for our viewing pleasure. We do have her in a quite place where she is able to have day and night. (I was told that was important as well). I think the challange with her home is that half of the top is glass and the other half is screen. What do you keep your humidity at? Ours usually bottoms out at 45, but I have read anything from 40 to 85.
     
  14. jeffg46

    jeffg46 New Member

    Messages:
    107
    FWIW, although I agree that the snake does not need all the nice things in an elaborate setup, I enjoy watching them as well as holding them, and can't always take them out. Much the way goldfish don't need the little diver guy with the bubbles coming out of his head as long as there is an air source, many people still make the tank look appealing to the eye. The same goes for your snake habitat.

    I keep my snakes in appropriately sized glass tanks for ease in viewing. I keep 2 hides (one each on the hot and cool sides), a large water bowl and branches in them. I also have a backdrop for my enjoyment, on some but not every tank, so I don't have to look at the wall behind it. It just looks better to me, whether it adds to the snakes well being or not. I am in the process of making new wooden enclosures for my 2 ball pythons, which will allow me to move other snakes into larger tanks, but the new builds will have glass (or Lexon) fronts. Despite not being "climbers" my BPs both climb on everything in their cages, so branches, at least low ones, will be part of their new set ups. I do always keep their water over the under tank heater to help keep the humidity up, but that is relative. The screen tops allow a lot to escape through the top. I also keep a towel over half of the top to reduce the moisture loss. I usually keep the humidity on the lower side of what I have seen recommended (25-30% or so on the warm side which results in higher on the cool side because of how relative humidity works) and have only had one bad shed in 2 years (we got the BPs young like you so there have been MANY sheds).

    My personal feeling is, as long as you provide water and enough hides to let them stay out of sight when they want (mine only come out a few hours after their lights go out - sooner if they're hungry) they ought to be happy. You are in no way limited to that however. Remember, in the wild they have the entire jungle to choose from, whether they need it or not. If I were a full time breeder and had dozens or hundreds of animals, or on a tighter budget (not that I have a blank check mind you) it would not make sense to concern myself with how "nice" their environments looked. With the exception of plans to breed my 2 Bredli pythons in a couple of years, I am not, however.

    Everyone's set up is different, and most work just fine. Enjoy.

    Jeff
     
  15. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

    Messages:
    586
    I use flexwatt and a thermostat to maintain a hot spot roughly 1/4" the bottom of the enclosure, whether it's a 4x2 cage or a 16" x 8" tub. Whether you just bought your first snake, keep 1 or 1000, the #1 objective should be the snakes wellbeing and health. Whether it cost you $5 or $500, the #1 use of that enclosure is to provide a healthy environment for that snake. Our viewing pleasure and entertainment comes a distant 2nd to the wellbeing on the snakes. But, everyone can keep their snakes how ever they want in any enclosure they want, it's your snake.

    Please don't take my posts as anything other than suggestions based on my experience, all I'm saying is that they do not need elaborate set ups or expensive misting systems or rock caves to be healthy and happy. Many times you'll read posts or breeders will get emails and calls about "I've given my pookie and Mr. T my pet 2wk old snakes everything the pet shop had to offer, a 100gln tank, vines, caves, waterfalls, fake frogs, sound effects from Rain forest, a swing set, XBox360 and yet he does not feed, or has a bad case of RI and my vet said who charged me $600 said to rub Vicks Vaporub on his belly and a nice steam bath at nights, what should I do?"...

    Most of the times the simplest, easiest and cheapest solutions work the best. Such as your glass aquarium seems to have 1/2 the top covered and the other 1/2 with screen, the simplest solution to your humidity problem could be as simple and as cheap as covering another 1/4 or more of that screen top with anything laying around the house, like a book vs trying out different substrates, misting systems, etc, etc.

    There is nothing wrong with terrarium style enclosures, MILLIONS of people stick snakes in them yearly and many of them live normal healthy lives, but they are not the best enclosures out there for your snakes. There are plenty of companies that specialize in building enclosures for snakes that make it much easier to provide a healthy and stable enviorment, but to each their own.

    What tops? No escapees here...these rack/tub systems are used for babies, to sub-adults, to adult ball pythons.
    [​IMG]

    Larger cages for the adult larger snakes, such as female Boas:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. BPelizabeth

    BPelizabeth Embryo

    Messages:
    15
    Holy smokes!!!!! Is this a store you have or do you have this set up in your house?
     
  17. ssscales

    ssscales Embryo

    Messages:
    586
    Those are old pics, that's part of one of the reptile rooms in the house, thankfully my wife loves snakes as much as I do... :(

    We have now 20 = 4x2 cages that we house some adult female Boas, 10 = CB110 tubs for some male Boas, 30 = CB70 tubs for some of the larger Ball python 2500-3000g+ females and some sub-adult boas, and appx enough racks to house a combination of 336/12qt tubs and/or 168/28qt tubs.
     
  18. BPelizabeth

    BPelizabeth Embryo

    Messages:
    15

    that is amazing and impressive!!!!
     

Share This Page