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Old 04-04-17, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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shedding frequency?

I thought I had this figured out. I really need to write these things down as I get more snakes and I'm horrible with time. Maybe I took a fresh shed pic... It seems like my bull just shed within the last month but he refused food and now his eyes are blue and definitely vision affected. I'm not good at telling by scales yet on the snakes that don't take higher humidity and he's been messing in the dirt. I will get a pic of him. How often would be within normal for a 2016 (I'd have to look up the exact date) a bit over 3' bull snake to shed? He's been riled up since some warm weather in Feb with striking at me and demanding food constantly while going on periodic, obsessive redecorating of his bioactive tank and his schedule of everything seems picked up even though he didn't truly brumate. I added a block of more absorbent exo terra plantation soil (coconut fiber?) because he went below the "groundwater" level in his cave. He's calmed down a bit and hasn't been acting aggressive anymore but still went crazy digging out a new design for his cave in the new soil and with all the wandering activity I figured he'd eat but he turned down a meal which is rare. Then he spent 2 days mostly sitting in his cave until I saw him today with an eye looking different so I got him out to see both eyes are blue but otherwise nothing unhealthy looking.

He's probably fine but it concerned me a little with all the digging he's been doing in various substrates around rock and sand and at least more recently shed than he ever has before. I plan to upgrade him to a 5' bin soon because he's using his entire 3' tank. Hard to keep the bioactive tanks stable with bigger snakes going mining and spelunking into the drainage layer and under the logs for the cleanup crew. He's even still relatively small. We'll see how the 5'x30" works for my 6 1/2' bull before I determine what it would take to keep these guys bioactive long term or if I will reach at least my personal limit for it. The pits and sumatran python are the biggest snakes I will have. Legally they are borderline anyway and my husband is not going to help me handle a big snake, he likes his rosy boa cutoff, so I doubt I will have any bigger plans in my lifetime.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: shedding frequency?

My 2016 sheds every month to every 6 weeks. They are a very active species but will be even more active and restless if kept too hot (anything above 86 or so) or if you don't feed them enough. They eat a lot during growth. My 2016 is on small adults once a week.
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Old 04-06-17, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: shedding frequency?

I'm not all that detailed with those bulls on temp and while some would complain I don't have thermostats for them since I give a lot of options in usually pretty stable rooms and they are quite hardy at the youngest age I've gotten. A really freak warm spike in Feb caught me off guard and the room reached 80F so his lamp side with the cave he mostly wintered in without having dug down like now probably got toasty which triggered him into activity and he's said it's spring since. He threatened to eat me if I didn't feed him a whole lot more. He also quickly wanted a far larger size than he'd taken all winter. I've got a freezer full of those gerbils from culling a color project so someone better eat them. I mostly feed him by behavior. I'm not entirely sure the comparison of gerbil to mouse and rat. I found where someone said higher fat than mouse and they are a fair amount more mass than an adult mouse. I can't remember what I threw one on the scale at but a fully filled out adult was rather surprising so probably more around young weaned rat if we aren't talking those monstrosities a local person raises.

With the rain storms I've had the window cracked to help our extremely low house humidity so it ranges a bit more than it would otherwise. The cool end was about 73-75. I guess old, mostly unsealed house of practically hardwood top to bottom just absorbs moisture like crazy when given the chance. I didn't notice until this year when I had reptiles to keep track of except that the doors stick in summer when it's constantly humid. It makes his cave probably a pretty good design for humidity and temp right now. Once I fixed the fact he drained the "ground water" of my little ecosystem into it I left him to remake it how he wanted with the more absorbent coconut fiber. That means lots more effort if I need to force him out but he's usually out somewhere and can be picked up unless he's hungry and then you get a threat display so feed him. His cave rock pile is under a fairly powerful infrared heat lamp but blocked a lot with levels so I not only have a gradient by length I have one by height. He's dug 6" deep under a couple inch thick rock I used as the top cave platform and then there's a small rock platform above that he mostly lays under after eating (temp gun probably bounced around 83-85) and the light spread makes it a little past to create a patch of dry soil about 80F next to the rock pile that he also sometimes lays on.

He's starting to outgrow the design to fit in the temperature zones though. Not all of him can sit in the middle rock zone anymore. Finishing up that kankakee bull enclosure and then his and then the python and then the corn snake. The center piece of my living room for 3months now is a 4x2x2 tank project partially in pieces with a large sand scoured tree trunk on it I can't decide the best way to cut up.
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