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Posted by squamiger on April 18, 2003 at 23:08:00:
In Reply to: Re: Getting ready for some new Squams... posted by lizard queen on April 16, 2003 at 23:09:38:
Ok, this is a perfect situation for me to give some good advice. When I first got into the Atheris I lost a lot of animals because there was no information out there for me to go by. I had to live and learn. Let me tell you what has worked for me.
I keep my babies in small rubbermaid shoeboxes with holes drilled in the sides for ventilation. I have also successfully raised them in the critter cages that you mention (ventilation is not a huge deal if you do not over-mist them). I use the rubbermaids because they fit into a rack system better and I may have a lot of babies from time to time. I use newspaper or papertowel as substrate with some plastic plants for them to hide in. I do not recommend using any kind of dirt, mulch, or moss for the substrate when they are young. Just keep it simple and fairly sterile with little niches for them to hide in. A small water bowl will suffice. I mist them once a week to make sure that they are hydrated and I spray it directly on them but do not get the whole cage wet.
I try to feed the babies and juvies once a week or once every two weeks. I feed frozen thawed rodents to all of my animals. I thaw the pinks and fuzzies in a warm jar of water and that may help keep the snakes hydrated, as well, as they ingest water with their meals.
Temps are fluctuated here according to season for the adults, but keeping the babies at constant temps will keep them safe from respiratory infections. Upper 70's is ideal. Lower 80's is okay, too. I do not keep UV light on my babies and have not had any problems. If you have any feeding problems let me know. That is a whole other story. Best of luck.
:Thanks, Derek! I appreciate your advice :)
:These guys are CB babies at about a month old. So far, the setup I have for each of them is a small "pen pal" type cage with a few little sprigs of artificial plant, a branch, and a small water dish. Does that sound about right? I chose the pen pal cages over the small rubbermaid boxes because of their better ventilation, as I had read about these guys being sensitive to high humidity, especially the juvies...
:I will receive my little guys tomorrow, and I'm really excited to finally get them. I've admired squams for years, but never got around to getting a couple until now. I'm just putting the finishing touches on their new homes, and double-checking the temps and everything...
:Thanks again for your help, and I'll keep you posted if I think of any more questions :)
::First of all, be aware that WC Atheris can carry some nasty viruses and you must quarantine them for 6 months to be sure that they do not infect the rest of your collection (if you have other vipers). Then remember that these are animals are used to small niches of dense brush and they actually prefer smaller cages with lots of cover. You can move them to more open display cages once they are settled in and are feeding well. I would follow these same procedures even if your animals are CB. I would keep them all in separate containers until you get to know them and see if any are ready to breed. House them together only when you are trying to breed them. Do not treat them as if they are rainforest creatures. Email me if you have any problems. Squamigers@aol.com. Best of luck.