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Old 09-21-16, 02:29 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

I'll start off by saying that I'm no expert, but I've had my brb for a year now and I stalk all brb info I can.
I'll try to remember all the unanswered questions, feel free to re-ask one of it was missed.

Should you feed pinkie or fuzzy? I would go ahead and do the pinkie for the first feed. You have it already and it's gentler on his stomach right now after stress and shipping. Many breeders start off with fuzzies, but feeding the pink will be fine.

Try not to handle so much. I started handling after a week and in the second week, I almost got bit in the face. My brb is the sweetest snake ever. The only thing he hates is being released and then 'recaptured' and being measured [they go hand in hand for me and this is very common in brbs]. You can sit there and boop his nose three times before he moves his head, that's how calm I'm talking here. But he was obviously still somewhat stressed and didn't know me and was hungry so he went for my face [faces are scary for little guys]. I know it's incredibly hard, but your snake will be happier if you don't touch it at all for a solid week. I peeked on him daily to make sure he was alive but then left him alone.

When should you move up in enclosure size? This is debatable and only you can answer it but we can help. The general rule is that an enclosure is too small if your snake takes up two sides of the tank when stretched along the perimeter. In other words, while the snake is crawling around, if it stretches along all the long side AND the entire short side, the tank is too small. For larger snakes you can do the snake length vs feet thing too. You need at least 1 square ft per foot of snake [3ft snake in a 3x1ft enclosure for example.
Cage suggestions? I absolutely have them! Firstly, you're probably going to want something between the 10g and the adult cage. I HIGHLY suggest just getting a plastic storage bin. They are cheap [you'll only have the cage for maybe a year?], customizable, secure, and GREAT for humidity. The clear ones aren't as clear as glass but you rarely see nocturnal snakes like brbs anyway.
This is mine, decorated for Halloween.



It comes out to about a 3x1 cage and I've had him in it since he was 2 months but I absolutely littered it with hides. I have a heat pad underneath the bin attached to a thermostat. I use reptibark topped with moss and it holds the humidity stupidly well. I live in a desert where it gets into the single digits for humidity and with the house a/c and the set up, I only have to spray about once a week to keep the humidity at 99%. [I either get 99% or rapidly dropping to 75-80% or lower, no inbetweens]. The bin cost me $15-20 and I drilled a few holes in the sides. As you can see, it's very clear. It also has large locks on all four sides and is extremely secure. Rainbow boas are very strong escape artists.

Adult cage
Or you could go straight for the adult cage. I highly suggest AnimalPlastics. I've heard mostly good things about them. People rarely have truly bad things to say. Their customer service is nothing but fantastic and I have never ever heard a complaint about that. You can get a 4x2x15" cage shipped to your house for less than $300. It's made out of plastic so it's light enough for one person to manage [though bulky so I suggest help if you can get it] and very mold resistant where melamine and plywood have to be EXTREMELY carefully sealed to prevent any wood from completely destroying your cage. The AP cage should last the 20+ years, at least most of that, and is easy to customize. You can also ask for less ventilation which will help a ton with humidity and they are happy to do that for you.

Boaphiles are another popular brand. Very similar to AP cages however you don't have to put them together and seal the joints like you do with the AP cage. However, Boaphile is pricier.

Stay away from getting anymore tanks, it's not something I see a lot of people sticking with when they have brbs because it's somewhat of a hassle. Like I said, melamine and plywood [especially] can have mold issues if not sealed extremely well and completely.

If you build a melamine enclosure, you'll have to price how cheap you can get the melamine, plus proper sealant, hardware like screws and such, and the hardware and acrylic or glass that you use for the doors. It might be cheaper depending on what prices you can get. I don't know enough about that to be able to answer it. If you can find cheap stuff, you might be able to but in my experience those types of projects tend to take more money than expected. I might just be poor at planning project budgets haha.

As for cages, more room is better. They'll use the height if you give it to them. I would do a 4x2 floor space minimum which would cover a 6ft snake. The height depends on what you get or what you build. More is better. They aren't arboreal as adults but I've heard that they'll still use it.

I just wrote a book, I think I'll stop now.
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Old 09-21-16, 10:59 AM   #62 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefitte View Post
I'll start off by saying that I'm no expert, but I've had my brb for a year now and I stalk all brb info I can.
I'll try to remember all the unanswered questions, feel free to re-ask one of it was missed.

Should you feed pinkie or fuzzy? I would go ahead and do the pinkie for the first feed. You have it already and it's gentler on his stomach right now after stress and shipping. Many breeders start off with fuzzies, but feeding the pink will be fine.

Try not to handle so much. I started handling after a week and in the second week, I almost got bit in the face. My brb is the sweetest snake ever. The only thing he hates is being released and then 'recaptured' and being measured [they go hand in hand for me and this is very common in brbs]. You can sit there and boop his nose three times before he moves his head, that's how calm I'm talking here. But he was obviously still somewhat stressed and didn't know me and was hungry so he went for my face [faces are scary for little guys]. I know it's incredibly hard, but your snake will be happier if you don't touch it at all for a solid week. I peeked on him daily to make sure he was alive but then left him alone.

When should you move up in enclosure size? This is debatable and only you can answer it but we can help. The general rule is that an enclosure is too small if your snake takes up two sides of the tank when stretched along the perimeter. In other words, while the snake is crawling around, if it stretches along all the long side AND the entire short side, the tank is too small. For larger snakes you can do the snake length vs feet thing too. You need at least 1 square ft per foot of snake [3ft snake in a 3x1ft enclosure for example.
Cage suggestions? I absolutely have them! Firstly, you're probably going to want something between the 10g and the adult cage. I HIGHLY suggest just getting a plastic storage bin. They are cheap [you'll only have the cage for maybe a year?], customizable, secure, and GREAT for humidity. The clear ones aren't as clear as glass but you rarely see nocturnal snakes like brbs anyway.
This is mine, decorated for Halloween.



It comes out to about a 3x1 cage and I've had him in it since he was 2 months but I absolutely littered it with hides. I have a heat pad underneath the bin attached to a thermostat. I use reptibark topped with moss and it holds the humidity stupidly well. I live in a desert where it gets into the single digits for humidity and with the house a/c and the set up, I only have to spray about once a week to keep the humidity at 99%. [I either get 99% or rapidly dropping to 75-80% or lower, no inbetweens]. The bin cost me $15-20 and I drilled a few holes in the sides. As you can see, it's very clear. It also has large locks on all four sides and is extremely secure. Rainbow boas are very strong escape artists.

Adult cage
Or you could go straight for the adult cage. I highly suggest AnimalPlastics. I've heard mostly good things about them. People rarely have truly bad things to say. Their customer service is nothing but fantastic and I have never ever heard a complaint about that. You can get a 4x2x15" cage shipped to your house for less than $300. It's made out of plastic so it's light enough for one person to manage [though bulky so I suggest help if you can get it] and very mold resistant where melamine and plywood have to be EXTREMELY carefully sealed to prevent any wood from completely destroying your cage. The AP cage should last the 20+ years, at least most of that, and is easy to customize. You can also ask for less ventilation which will help a ton with humidity and they are happy to do that for you.

Boaphiles are another popular brand. Very similar to AP cages however you don't have to put them together and seal the joints like you do with the AP cage. However, Boaphile is pricier.

Stay away from getting anymore tanks, it's not something I see a lot of people sticking with when they have brbs because it's somewhat of a hassle. Like I said, melamine and plywood [especially] can have mold issues if not sealed extremely well and completely.

If you build a melamine enclosure, you'll have to price how cheap you can get the melamine, plus proper sealant, hardware like screws and such, and the hardware and acrylic or glass that you use for the doors. It might be cheaper depending on what prices you can get. I don't know enough about that to be able to answer it. If you can find cheap stuff, you might be able to but in my experience those types of projects tend to take more money than expected. I might just be poor at planning project budgets haha.

As for cages, more room is better. They'll use the height if you give it to them. I would do a 4x2 floor space minimum which would cover a 6ft snake. The height depends on what you get or what you build. More is better. They aren't arboreal as adults but I've heard that they'll still use it.

I just wrote a book, I think I'll stop now.
Wow! Thanks for the write up!
I looked into the animal plastics enclosures and am looking at either the T13 or the A25. I will try to rehome him to one of the larger bins for now. Should I get the solid top? Also, I love the halloween theme
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Old 09-21-16, 11:21 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

*disclaimer, this is my personal experience! and not for everyone*

I've had my BRB (Bean) since January, and contrary to many stories, he is a complete sweetie since day one.

He has NEVER struck at me, or anyone else. I have had him on a train, at the neighbors, held by kids and we handle him quite often. I even kiss him and let him 'smell' my face.

We constantly touch his head, pet him, and let him slither around on the table. (We don't, however, handle him after eating).

We like to interact with all of our pets, and want Bean to be comfortable with us handling him when he is full grown.

I think they each have their own personality.

*I know it's a snake, and not a dog. Please don't judge me. LOL
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Old 09-22-16, 12:07 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

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Originally Posted by JellyBean View Post
*disclaimer, this is my personal experience! and not for everyone*

I've had my BRB (Bean) since January, and contrary to many stories, he is a complete sweetie since day one.

He has NEVER struck at me, or anyone else. I have had him on a train, at the neighbors, held by kids and we handle him quite often. I even kiss him and let him 'smell' my face.

We constantly touch his head, pet him, and let him slither around on the table. (We don't, however, handle him after eating).

We like to interact with all of our pets, and want Bean to be comfortable with us handling him when he is full grown.

I think they each have their own personality.

*I know it's a snake, and not a dog. Please don't judge me. LOL
I agree with a lot of what you're saying but as well as snakes having different personalities they also have different ways of displaying unease and stress ranging from no display to outright defensive behaviour.

Whereas a cat or a dog usually let's you know that its unhappy a snake or other reptile cannot so you do not know necessarily whether the animal is stressed and simply putting up with the situation or whether it is indeed fine.

Not to say that you shouldn't continue to handle etc but just be mindful that no display of stress or distress does not mean that it is not being felt. Also we can misinterpret behaviour - for example lizards often close their eyes when being handle and people assume this is because they are comfortable and happy. Actually more often than not a lizard closes is eyes when it's so terrified it hopes that if it can't see you, you can't see it and hopefully will go away and not eat it. People think are isn't that sweet he's fallen asleep and the lizard is thinking please god make this stop.

One area when I will disagree with you is in touching a snake's head. Out of the 3 snakes I've owned none have let me touch their head and even Auntie Rachel becomes actively defensive if I (or particularly Finley) accidentally does. Instinctively a snake will protect its head and as mentioned above just because it does move out of the way doesn't mean it likes it. It may be stressed out beyond belief to the point it feels submission is better than defensive fighting.

Again, I am not saying this is the case and I do not for one minute think you are mistreating bean but it's a point worth thinking about. You know and can read their behaviour during handling whereas I cannot but I think overall snakes at best tolerate handling and I personally never touch a snake's head on purpose except if there's a medical/health reason for doing so.

Yes it's important that you and anyone else is comfortable in handling the snake and that the snake can be safely handled if necessary. It is not so important to make the snake comfortable with being handled beyond that if that makes sense.

/health and safety mode on/Remember also that as far as I am aware (and happy to be corrected) but all snakes are a salmonella risk so kissing them and letting them on the table is a potential infection risk. /health and safety mode off/
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Old 09-22-16, 12:47 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

Plaxito, my bin has a solid white top. It's a Hefty 100qt tub with locking lid. Other brands may have different designs but if you can find one that is clear and locks on all four sides then I'd go with that one regardless of brand or lid type. They prefer it to be dark so not having light coming in from directly above is perfectly fine with them. I'm not sure what's available in your area but stores like Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot all have storage bins like you're looking for.

JellyBean, my brb is exactly the same. He has struck me twice before but it was always in a predictable setting [he doesn't like being put down to be measured, I think he feels too exposed]. He's the one I trust the most around other people and the only one my family will really touch at all. He's also pretty clear when he's stressed because he will tense up and stop exploring for a minute. We can and do touch his head and he doesn't react at all either.

While Danny makes some good points, it is pretty impossible to know whether they are just dealing with what you're doing or actually okay with it, but I do disagree on the head touching point. It makes more sense to me to make sure your animal is familiar with you touching all areas of it because it makes it easier to handle when you need to do something in that area for a health related reason.

I also prefer it because, for example, my kingsnake is very head shy and jerks away very quick when you get too close to her face. This scares many people. I enjoy taking Xango, my brb, with me out places because his beauty and docile personality always win people over [I really only go to pet stores where people expect to see reptiles, I'm not looking to terrify someone and worsen a fear]. I always tell people to mind his head anyway because he can jerk back if they move too fast which will give them a bad reaction to snakes instead of a good one. If a snake is around strangers who may not know how to handle snakes or children, I think it's pretty essential to get them used to being touched everywhere, just in case it happens, like you said.

Of course, since my kingsnake is head shy and flighty, I do not let inexperienced people hold her. Not that anyone has offered, but still. So the number of people who have handled her since I got her remains at one haha.
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Old 09-22-16, 12:51 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
.

/health and safety mode on/Remember also that as far as I am aware (and happy to be corrected) but all snakes are a salmonella risk so kissing them and letting them on the table is a potential infection risk. /health and safety mode off/
This is where I'll chime in......

My girlfriend is a lab technician, a salmonella/chicken lab technician to be precise.... I had her swab and test my snakes when we first started keeping out of curiosity.

The salmonella found on reptiles is a tropical form of salmonella, totally different to what we usually get. Once off the host body it dies very very quickly...

The risk to people is so low that it's negligible... You can sit and lick the snake for hours if you wish and you won't get salmonella.

People hear salmonella and just assume it's the same thing, it's also a tactic that "anti's" use to sway people away from reptiles claiming it's a risk to pregnant women etc... Totally not the case.
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Old 09-22-16, 12:57 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

I think it's still something to keep in mind though.

That's really neat that you actually had the chance to test it like that be a specialist even. Do you keep mainly tropical species? Just curious if that has any connection to it.

I also heard you run just as much if not more risk of salmonella from other animals, including cats and dogs?
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Old 09-22-16, 01:18 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

All good points of view (I didn't really expect the positive responses)

Being a founder/president of an exotic rescue, I am involved with a lot of educational & social events, dealing with ages ranging from elementary school to seniors.
Although Bean is NOT one of my educational animals, I do tend to make sure my animals are as social as possible.

That being said, I have some that simply refuse to be the center of attention, and I respect that fully.

We do clean all surfaces with disinfectant that kills everything in its path, and after drying, is safe for our animals too.
(Cause let's face it, salmanilla or not, nobody wants to eat off their snake) haha

Plax, thanks for letting me share
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Old 09-22-16, 02:32 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

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Originally Posted by Lefitte View Post
I think it's still something to keep in mind though.

That's really neat that you actually had the chance to test it like that be a specialist even. Do you keep mainly tropical species? Just curious if that has any connection to it.

I also heard you run just as much if not more risk of salmonella from other animals, including cats and dogs?
That test was actually performed on a corn snake, BCI and a brb... All tests came back as a tropical strain of salmonella.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:59 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

JellyBean, I would love to do work like that at some point. I used to take my birds into class and do presentations on them every year since we [accidentally] bred them. We'd bring the parents in and sometimes we'd even bring an older, but not quite fully feathered, baby in to show as well. I did it because I really liked teaching people about nature and animals. That's part of why I love taking Xango out with me. I've had many people say "I don't really like snakes but he's pretty. Can I touch him?" and I had one little girl flailing around and acting like she saw a puppy. Apparently, she also had a snake and really loves them. That one surprised me because he mom pointed him out and then the girl freaked and I didn't think it was a good sort of freak out haha. Since I really only take him in petstores with me, I've had all positive reactions from people.

SnakeyJay, that's what I figured! And you live in England so that's a whole other area apart from their natural habitats to throw in the mix and also not tropical. Really cool info!

Sorry to veer off from the OP.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:42 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

Okay, so I will be buying the AP enclosure fairly soon. Since I am planning on buying another snake in the future I would like to buy two enclosures so that I don't have to pay shipping twice. What is a fairly large snake that I could keep in a T13? Please only name snakes appropriate for that size enclosure.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:53 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

What snakes rapt take your interest then see which ones fit. That's the better way to go. I could suggest such and such snake but you're the one who's going to be looking after it for (hopefully) 20+ years so it may as well be one that you really want.
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Old 09-23-16, 12:59 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

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What snakes rapt take your interest then see which ones fit. That's the better way to go. I could suggest such and such snake but you're the one who's going to be looking after it for (hopefully) 20+ years so it may as well be one that you really want.
I was looking at snakes such as the red tail boa and SD retic. I am open to pretty much any medium/large snake that can be housed in the T13.
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Old 09-23-16, 01:28 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

A Colombian boa imperator is a great snake. My favorite. Note this snake is also known as a common red tail boa although this is a little confusing because the true red tail boa-the boa constrictor-is a slightly different species and in my opinion is the ultimate non-venomous snake.

Note females in particular usual get somewhat larger - 10'+ - than the boa imperator and maybe too large for the t13 (apologies we don't have AP enclosures over here so don't know the dimensions).

If you're interested in an SD retic (and let's be honest who wouldn't be!) read my post in the giant forum on the genetics of SD's as some dwarfs are still very big! There's some excellent answers there that will guide you to the smaller localities.

Personally, I'd go for a really nice wild type boa imperator but then I'm biased because I love them! If the viv is big enough for a 10' plus snake then a true boa constrictor would be just lovely but don't forget at that size you're getting into the realms of needing two people around when handling.
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Old 09-23-16, 02:28 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Re: Looking for new snake

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A Colombian boa imperator is a great snake. My favorite. Note this snake is also known as a common red tail boa although this is a little confusing because the true red tail boa-the boa constrictor-is a slightly different species and in my opinion is the ultimate non-venomous snake.

Note females in particular usual get somewhat larger - 10'+ - than the boa imperator and maybe too large for the t13 (apologies we don't have AP enclosures over here so don't know the dimensions).

If you're interested in an SD retic (and let's be honest who wouldn't be!) read my post in the giant forum on the genetics of SD's as some dwarfs are still very big! There's some excellent answers there that will guide you to the smaller localities.

Personally, I'd go for a really nice wild type boa imperator but then I'm biased because I love them! If the viv is big enough for a 10' plus snake then a true boa constrictor would be just lovely but don't forget at that size you're getting into the realms of needing two people around when handling.
Thanks. Gives me something to think about
What sized viv would I need for a snake like that?
The dimensions of the T13 is 48"x30"x24" I believe.
What if I get a male Columbian or SD?
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