Originally posted by BWSmith
I am running at about 45 hots and about 20 or so nonvens right now. It is actually not that difficult as long as you have a system. As soon as I get home every day I go check on the snakes and spot clean and change any soiled or empty water and remove sheds. Figure only 5-10 per day, so it is not that bad. I am at one snake per cage so feeding is not all that bad either. Although it does make it cumbersome when using feed totes. Feeding is much easier when you have an updated database. Before i go to bed the day before feeding day, I figure everything I need and separate it into a bag. Then pull it out of the freezer at lunchtime.
I think the biggest thing with a large collection is having a maintenance system down and getting enough feeders. If ya don't get a good deal on feeders, they can eat you out of house and home, especially if you are dealing with snakes that take large prey items (1 lb feeder and up).
To get out of town is not too difficult. We have 5 cats, so we have to have someone taking care of them anyway. They peak in and make sure all the snakes are alive. If there is a problem, then they call me and I can get an experienced herper/hot keeper over there to take care of it. I also clean the cages and replace all the water dishes the day before I leave. And I don't feed for about a week and a half before I leave. This way there is less chance of them befouling their cage or water.
Sounds exactly like what I do so far. Come home, spot clean, check on em all, check to make sure none need to be fed (I try to feed them on sundays). Only two of mine currently take medium rats-and those are more than likely going to be the only ones doing that for awhile-and they won't get much bigger, either.
My s/o and I have been waiting for years to take a vacation.. finally.. so I'm trying to work out something with a friend of mine to watch over my house for me. Luckily, he knows alot about snakes-so that helps! I was planning on cleaning everything the day before we leave, but had not thought of not feeding them for a week before. That is a really good idea! All my snakes are have really nice weight on them, so it shouldn't hurt them to go without for a week or so.
I also have 6 cats (3 mine, 3 s/o's) but they are easy. Just give them water, food, tada.
The feeders for my collection are usually bought in bulk-between 100 to 300 at a time of different sizes. Usually lasts me several months in the freezer and costs me 1/2 the price!