A snake’s natural lifespan is 10-12 years but many captive snakes only live for a few years.
The majority of captive snakes die within their first year.
The leading cause of death is improper husbandry which includes incorrect feeding housing and temperature.
Incorrect feeding is the most common husbandry mistake made with captive snakes.
The most common problems are feeding live prey feeding too large of prey and feeding too often.
Snakes in the wild will eat a wide variety of prey but their diet is dictated by what is available to them.
In captivity however there is a wide variety of food available so it is important to know what your snake should and shouldn’t be eating.
Most captive snakes should be fed a diet of frozen/thawed rodents or rabbits.
The size of the prey should be appropriate for the size of the snake.
For example a 20-gallon tank should have a 20-gallon lid and a 20-gallon snake should have a 20-gallon snake hide.
A baby snake should have a 10-gallon tank with a 10-gallon lid and a 10-gallon snake hide.
The frequency of feedings will vary depending on the size of the snake and the size of the meals.
A rule of thumb is to feed an adult snake one meal every 7-10 days and a baby snake one meal every 3-5 days.
Housing is another important aspect of husbandry.
The size of the enclosure should be appropriate for the size of the snake.
As a general rule a snake should have an enclosure that is twice as long as the snake is and as wide as the snake is.
The type of housing will also vary depending on the size of the snake.
A baby snake can be housed in a plastic tub while an adult snake will need a larger enclosure such as a glass aquarium.
The temperature of the enclosure is also important.
Snakes are ectothermic which means they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature.
The temperature of the enclosure should be maintained between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are two types of thermostats that can be used to maintain the correct temperature in the enclosure: an under tank heater and a heat lamp.
Undertank heaters are placed underneath the enclosure and heat the ground while heat lamps are placed above the enclosure and heat the air.
The final aspect of husbandry is humidity.
Snakes come from a wide variety of habitats so the humidity level of the enclosure will vary depending on the species of snake.
A general rule of thumb is to maintain the humidity level between 50-60%.
In conclusion proper husbandry is essential to the health and longevity of captive snakes.
Incorrect feeding housing and temperature are the leading causes of death in captive snakes.
By following the above guidelines you can provide your snake with the best possible chance for long and healthy life.
It’s estimated that there are around 3000 snake species in the world. And while some people are terrified of these slithering creatures others find them fascinating. If you’re one of the latter you may be wondering how often you should hold snakes.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits Of Holding Snakes
There are a few benefits to holding snakes including:
1. They Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that holding snakes can help lower your blood pressure. So if you’re looking for a way to relax consider spending some time with a snake.
2. They Can Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Snakes
If you’re afraid of snakes holding one may seem like a daunting task. But it can actually help you overcome your fear. By holding a snake you’ll slowly get used to their presence and eventually your fear will start to dissipate.
3. They Make Great Companions
Snakes can make great companions. They’re low-maintenance quiet and can provide you with some much-needed companionship.
4. They’re Interesting To Watch
Snakes are interesting creatures to watch. They’re often very active and their movements can be captivating. If you’re looking for a new pet to keep you entertained a snake may be a good option.
5. They Can Help Control Pests
If you have a snake as a pet you won’t have to worry about pesky mice or rats anymore. Snakes will help keep your home free of these unwanted pests.
The Downside Of Holding Snakes
Of course there are also a few downsides to holding snakes including:
1. They Can Carry Diseases
Like any animal snakes can carry diseases. So it’s important that you wash your hands after handling them. Additionally you should avoid putting your hands or face near their mouth.
2. They Can Bite
Snakes can bite and their bites can be quite painful. If you’re bitten by a snake you’ll need to seek medical attention immediately.
3. They Can Be Escape Artists
If you have a snake as a pet you’ll need to make sure their enclosure is secure. Snakes are escape artists and they can squeeze through the smallest of spaces. If they escape they may be difficult to find.
4. They Require Special Care
Snakes require special care. They need a warm environment and their enclosure must be cleaned regularly. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort a snake may not be the right pet for you.
5. They’re Not For Everyone
Not everyone is cut out for owning a snake. If you’re not comfortable around them it’s probably best to steer clear.
How Often Should You Hold Snakes?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It really depends on your personal preferences. If you’re comfortable holding snakes you can do so as often as you’d like. But if you’re not a fan of snakes you may want to avoid handling them altogether.