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Posted by oldherper on April 29, 2003 at 07:51:04:

In Reply to: New to the Forum posted by DeadFrog on April 29, 2003 at 01:27:30:


Welcome...

Well, Kingsnakes are fairly tough critters. What you have to remember is that the caresheets are written with optimum conditions in mind. They aren't saying that if you don't keep your animal at a specific temperature it will die. What they are saying is that the conditions described are optimal for the animal's well being, meaning it is less likely to go off feed, will be less likely to suffer undue stress, will be less likely to become ill with some bacterial or parasitic infection, will be less likely to be injured by a food item and will be in optimal condition for breeding and longevity. You can do everything in the caresheet to the letter and things can still happen, though. Or, you can not follow the caresheet at all and your snake could thrive for years. Following the caresheet just gives you the best possible chance for successful husbandry. By the way, live feeder animals CAN injure your snake. I've seen cobras killed by mice. If your snake takes the mouse immediately it's not real likely to be injured, but if it doesn't eat the mouse right away and you leave the two together for a while, the odds increase dramatically. You should at least whack the mouse on the head and stun it before you put it in the cage if you insist on feeding live mice. One of the other problems with fresh killed or live mice is that there is a greater chance of vectoring parasites or bacteria to you snake. Freezing kills a lot of the pathogens that can be transmitted to the snake from the mouse. Most of the caresheets are written by people with years of experience keeping and breeding numbers of the subject animal. They are collections of data derived from that experience and reflect the conditions and techniques that have resulted in the highest degree of success with that species.

:Hey everyone,

:My name is Mark and I have never posted before, although I subscribe to the Uromastyx mailing list. I have had a California Kingsnake (I believe some would call it a banana) for about a year now. And here's the thing: I've read about ten different care sheets, and they all seem to be over-the-top. Here's what I mean:

:They make a big deal out of temperature
:- but I provide no heat source, and she seems to thrive in room temperature
:- it's gone down to 45 degrees inside my apartment this winter without a problem (except the feeder mouse froze to death, lol)
:They stress feeding dead prey of size 1.5X snake girth max
:- I have fed mine live prey, and she's never been bitten
:- She's eaten prey twice her girth
:- She's even eaten while in the shedding process
:They say to avoid crowds and the smell of prey on your hands
:- I have handled her without incident among crowds many times
:- I have handled her immediately after handling my Uro (lizards) without incident

:I keep her on T-Rex gravel and if some gets in her mouth, she just spits it out. So are these care sheets a little too cautious? Are Kingsnakes just very hardy? Or do I just have the greatest snake of all time, who needs virtually no care?

:I am making some changes anyway,
:Mark





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