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Posted by Blackwater on August 04, 2002 at 07:45:10:
In Reply to: Care of C.v. helleri posted by Mr.Hissss on August 03, 2002 at 23:56:18:
Keeping "Southern Pacific" rattlesnakes in captivity isn't all that difficult. You need to start with an escape-proof enclosure, designed with safe maintenance in mind. The snake needs enough room to stretch out (think about how large it *will* be, and not how large it is when you get it, when deciding on cage size) and move around a bit. I also like to give the animal enough room so that I can provide a temperature gradient inside the enclosure.
You'll want to provide heat and light in one location, so the snake can get warm or go to the opposite end of the enclosure if it wants to be cooler. I provide clean water and I place the water bowl on the cool ebd of the cage for dryer climate animals, and on the warm end for more tropical animals. Water bowl position within the enclosure can and will effect how much humidity is inside the cage. If placed on the warmer end, it will evaorate faster, adding to the humidity. In desert animals, no water is provided except for small amounts on a weekly basis, for 24-36 hours at a time, so as not to increase humidity to intolerable levels.
You'll want to select a suitable substrate for your snake(s). Newspaper is good, but I don't like it because it doesn't give any "traction" for them to move against. Some folks like various mulches. I prefer cypress mulch, if you can get it, others like "Carefresh" or even soil from the area in which you live. As long as you DO NOT use CEDAR.... you'll probably be okay. The snake will also need a hide-box or some sort of rock formation in which it can feel secure... and that's about it for housing needs.... I keep my "warm end" heated to about 90 degrees F during the daytime. I cycle lights (my heat source) so that it doesn't get too warm during summer months, and I also monitor the cool end to make sure the snake can escape the heat while the lights are on. You can use two of those indoor/outdoor thermometers (I get mine at Radio Shack) as they record high and low temperatures and I like the digital readout....
Feeding should be as follows.... I feed young snakes twice a week. I feed older snakes once a week, keeping an eye on their growth and overall conditioning to ensure they don't get too heavy. Breedinf females must get enough food to replace fat reserves lost to the development of follicles.... but that's another thread entirely...
An easy rule of thumb is to feed the snake and wait until it defecates before feeding again....
I could spend all day on the subject of animal husbandry, but I have to go for now... if you have specific questions about anything I said, write to me.
: Hello everyone,
: I'm looking for a caresheet or info on keeping this species, specifically info on hatchling care. Any pointers would be appreciated.