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Getting My First Snake This Weekend

Discussion in 'Milksnakes' started by aromatherapykim, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    Hello everyone! I'm new to snake ownership but already have a beautiful crew of other types of reptiles. I fell for an albino hondurian milk snake I saw at the exotic petstore I frequent. I put down a deposit and will be bringing him (hes already been probed) home this Sunday. So I just want to go over my plan and get y'all input. He's about 3 feet long. I have a 20 gal available right now so that is where he will be to start. I will have a substrate that is a mixture of ecoearth and I believe a type of topsoil (its the mix the petstore creates and uses for their milks). I will have a heating pad at the bottom of one side of the tank.
    Questions: should this heating pad be on only during the day? My apartment never goes below 72.
    How often can I handle my new member? Should there be a waiting period for handling after I feed?
    Will one of those half log hides work well for him?
    Does he need/would he like a climbing branch?
    What is the best type of clip to hold the lid on securely?
    The petstore has been feeding weekly, should I follow that schedule/frequency?
    Any other tips to make my new member happy and comfortable are appreciated!
     
  2. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    Hi! Milks are certainly wonderful snakes and great first-timers, so I'm really happy and excited for you. To answer some of your questions:
    1.Honduran Milks should have a night-time temperature between 74-78, so really it's up to you. 72 may be a teeny bit low. You can try, though, and see how your snake tolerates it. But if you can drop the temp to 75 or so without switching it off completely, then do. (During the day the hot end should be between 86-90, and the cool end between 76-80)
    2.Rule of thumb: you should handle a snake no sooner than 24h after eating. I usually wait with mine until the lump has gone down or until he defecates. Also, avoid handling when the snake is in shed. When you take him home, give him some time (a week, maybe more) to familiarize himself with his new enclosure. Later, you can handle him a few Times a week, depending on how calm he is. Not too often (he will get stressed) and not too rarely (he won't tame down properly). Just watch his behaviour:)
    3.If it is big enough, it will.
    4.He will certainly appreciate the opportunity to climb, and it will provide some extra excerise for him. Make sure the wood is parasite free and clean (even if bought from a store;)
    5.No idea, my Milk recently got out, so I'm no expert on security;)
    6.You can:) Feed him no more than once a week and no less than once a month. E.g. 2 prey items every 2 weeks should be optimal. Make sure you give him appropriately sized prey (it should be as thick as the thickest part of the snake).
    Keep the humidity between 50-70%.
    Note: Do not use cedar for bedding, as it is highly toxic and potentially leathal for reptiles
    Provide plenty hiding spots, as snakes are shy and will stress out if left in the open.
    Happy keeping! :)
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I am not a big fan of the clips. I use industrial strength Velcro to secure the tops.
    th_DSC01313.jpg th_DSC01314.jpg th_DSC01315.jpg
    I can pick up the entire tank by holding just the top.
     
  4. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    O_O Now that's something new! Where do you buy it?
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The Velcro I buy at a hardware store here in the US. I am not sure what you have available in Poland.
     
  6. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    Well we have hardware stores here as well, lol;) I'll look around. For the time being the top seems secure, but I don't want to take any more chances;)
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! I assumed that they had hardware stores.
    I just didn't know specific company names to tell you. Like Lowes, Home Depot, even Wal Mart over here.
     
  8. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    Haha, OK, I was being an idiot. But only a few years ago I heard a comment from someone who was extremely surprised that there was electricity in Poland. LOL! You never know...
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Oh I know how it is. I live in Oklahoma and people overseas tend to think we are surrounded by buffalo and wild Indians on the warpath!
     
  10. mimo91088

    mimo91088 Elite Member

    Merlin, I've been keeping snakes for years, and that's the first time I've seen the velcro thing. That's a really good idea, I'm going to start using that on the few screen lids I have!
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Thanks. The velcro idea is my own. I started using it with some of my sterilite tubes to secure the center of the long side of the tub after seeing one of my cornsnake youngsters trying to push his head out.
    The tank in the photo had a boa in it while I was building the adult cage and I wanted something that I KNEW she could not push open!
     

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