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Old 11-06-17, 08:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Coachwhip care?

I was at the Repticon show here in Columbia and I ended up getting a coachwhip that was said to be wild caught in Florida. I'm assuming it is just a standard Eastern Coachwhip. I've had him for a few days and I have offered him pinky mice that are small enough for him to eat and he refuses them every time. He is in a 40 gallon breeder with a basking area at 90 degrees and around 78 on the cool end.

I am considering offering him some green anoles from the pet store to see if he will eat those. He is nearly 3 feet long and very alert and defensive. He has a plastic igloo to hide in and I cover the front of his tank so he feels somewhat safer. Anyone have any other ideas about what I can do to make him happier and get him eating? I realize he is adjusting to new surrounding but I worry that he will get stressed and then malnourished from not eating then crash on me. Other than not eating for me he looks very healthy.
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Old 11-06-17, 09:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

Coachwhips have been known to be very hard to keep in captivity, they eat insects, amphibians, lizards, and some rodents in the wild. Be aware even if you do everything right, your snake may never get accustomed to captivity. Wild caught imports are generally very dehydrated and should be soaked prior to being placed in its enclosure. There should always be fresh water available as well. It may be your snake needs more time to acclimate to it's new enclosure. Coachwhips are very nervous snakes so they should not be held. Make sure to provide plenty of cover with plants, fake or real it doesn't matter. Hotspot should be 90F, and ambient temperatures should be maintained at 80-83F for day time, and 75-78F for night. There should always be a place your snake can retreat to if it gets to hot. A cool hide of 75F will suffice. Temperatures should also replicate seasons meaning, warmer temps in the summer, cooler temps in the winter. Coachwhips are very shy so they will most likely not eat with you watching them, it is best to leave a live pinky mouse near a hide it enjoys the most. Overtime you can get them feeding on scented frozen thawed mice. Letting a couple live anoles throughout it's habitat will give it an opportunity to hunt, the same should be done with crickets. What are the dimensions in the enclosure? What are humidity levels? How long has the snake been in captivity?

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 11-06-17 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 11-06-17, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

You've had him only for a few days and have already tried multiple feeding attempts?
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Old 11-06-17, 10:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

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You've had him only for a few days and have already tried multiple feeding attempts?
I agree with Andy G, feeding should not be attempted for at least a week, just make sure your snake is properly hydrated. If they don't eat then, don't try again for at least 5 days.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

It's in a 40 gallon breeder tank. The seller said it was caught in Florida a few weeks ago. He has a hide in there but I can put some fake plants in there as well. I have a few laying around from older setups.

Yes I've tried multiple feeding attempts. I placed a pinky mouse in with him each day for about 4-5 hours and he ignores them. I remove the mouse and try again the next day.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

Has the breeder you bought him from had any success in feeding?

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 11-06-17 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 11-06-17, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

Consider always waiting a week before bothering new acquisitions, especially nervous species of wild caught origin and only offer food every 5 to 7 days.
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Old 11-06-17, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

Yes the seller said it was eating for her. It was packaged up and taken to the expo and put on display and then taken home by me so it is almost certainly stressed and I'm most likely expecting too much too fast from the poor thing. It does have a full water dish but I did not soak it before placing it in it's enclosure. Do you think I should leave it be at this point or try to give it a soak?
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Old 11-06-17, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

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Yes the seller said it was eating for her. It was packaged up and taken to the expo and put on display and then taken home by me so it is almost certainly stressed and I'm most likely expecting too much too fast from the poor thing. It does have a full water dish but I did not soak it before placing it in it's enclosure. Do you think I should leave it be at this point or try to give it a soak?
If what the seller is saying is true then yes give it a 15 minute soak, however, don't attempt feeding for at least 5 days after.
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Old 11-06-17, 11:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

I know a couple of incredibly experienced coach whip keepers here in the UK. I'll ping one of them a message and see if they can help.
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0.1 B imperator, 1.0 M spilota harrisoni, 1.0 C hortulanus, 2.1 P reticulatus (Madu locality), 1.1 S amethystine, 1.1 L olivaceous, 1.0 C angulifer, 1.0 Z persicus, 0.1 P regius, 0.1 N natrix, 0.1 E climacophora, 1.0 P obsoletus, 0.1 L geluta nigrtia, 1.0 P catenifer sayi, 1.0 T lepidus
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Old 11-06-17, 11:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

From the chap who keeps a number of coach whips...

---
Hi! No of course I don't mind.

What I have found with them is that they like very high heat over a localised basking spot - surface temps under the spotlight in the vivs for mine gets to 55c or so (wild specimens have been recorded on 70c surface temps).

Obviously having temps that high requires a very large cage as a gradient is required, the cool side of my cages goes down to about 25c, with ambients at the warm end of 35c or so.

In all honesty all the specimens I have kept (I have eight at the moment) were very easy to acclimate and get feeding. They don't take dropped food, only from tongs - they seem to require movement for best results. This can be tricky if they are still scared of the keeper, although if you can elicit a strike and they bite the prey, they tend to hang on.

They lose weight FAST so need a lot of feeding, especially if kept at the high temperatures they like.

My advice is simply a large, wooden viv (or any viv that has blocked sides) in a room with zero traffic (they are intensely aware of what goes on outside their enclosure so if they are in a noisy or busy house, they may simply stress and never eat). Plenty of deep burrows or places to hide.

They like lots of UV also.
---

Chap says he's happy for you to PM him on Facebook if you want any further help. Can pass on his details of you're interested...
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0.1 B imperator, 1.0 M spilota harrisoni, 1.0 C hortulanus, 2.1 P reticulatus (Madu locality), 1.1 S amethystine, 1.1 L olivaceous, 1.0 C angulifer, 1.0 Z persicus, 0.1 P regius, 0.1 N natrix, 0.1 E climacophora, 1.0 P obsoletus, 0.1 L geluta nigrtia, 1.0 P catenifer sayi, 1.0 T lepidus
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Old 11-06-17, 01:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

Ok thank you so much for that.
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Old 11-06-17, 04:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

I guess I know who that is... that guy has some incredible coachwhips. I'm sure he can help out getting yours to acclimatize fine and grow up to be an pure ******* like they usually are
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Old 11-06-17, 06:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

I hope it does. It's such an interesting snake.
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Old 11-07-17, 12:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Coachwhip care?

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Originally Posted by TRD View Post
I guess I know who that is... that guy has some incredible coachwhips. I'm sure he can help out getting yours to acclimatize fine and grow up to be an pure ******* like they usually are
Yes you do . He's also sent me a billion photos to share. I'll select a few and get them uploaded
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0.1 B imperator, 1.0 M spilota harrisoni, 1.0 C hortulanus, 2.1 P reticulatus (Madu locality), 1.1 S amethystine, 1.1 L olivaceous, 1.0 C angulifer, 1.0 Z persicus, 0.1 P regius, 0.1 N natrix, 0.1 E climacophora, 1.0 P obsoletus, 0.1 L geluta nigrtia, 1.0 P catenifer sayi, 1.0 T lepidus
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