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Old 05-21-18, 03:10 PM   #61 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep-2012
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Re: I think I'm done.

Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
Hi, OP here. This thread became a tanks vs tubs vs custom discussion to which I had nothing to add so that's why I haven't commented on it again.
Sorry phenyx, but the way this thread developed shows that there are different ways of keeping the same snake. At least I described how I would provide heat and light if it would be my snake before I helped in derailing your thread…

Originally Posted by Derek Roddy View Post
Yes that IS the big question. What they need and what YOU need are 2 different things.

If you would have actually taken the time to go through his website, you might learn a thing or 2.

All of Daves adults are in terrestrial cages.

None of his adults are in tubs but, do you know why his younger animals are in tubs?
Did you take the time to read his care sheets or to contact him about the species and why he dos what he does?
No you didn't because if you did, you would have learned that over his 45 years of working with these animals that younger animals stress very hard in open (big) environments. So in turn....they DO NOT thrive well in the environment YOU say they need as young animals.
They prefer tight areas and often what we would say is "uncomfortable".

So there is a reason that a veteran keeper might make the discussions they do. Because that what the animals tell them they need,

When you work with a species for that amount of time, you learn what makes them tick and all the species are slightly different in habits and behaviors.

It's best to learn from keepers who have productive success with the species you're trying to keep.

Anybody else opinion on the matter is moot.
OK Derek, I don’t know why you are so agitated, I really don’t want to anger you (or anybody else), I respect your work and most of your posts I read so far have been quite interesting even for a colubrid keeper such as me.

It doesn’t matter what I need, I never said (or meant) that the way I keep my snakes is the one and only way to do this!

Yes, I didn’t read the care sheets on the "Rainbows-R-us Reptiles" website, I read his "about us", skimmed through his "Available", "Collection" and "Photo Gallery". Before I continue I want to tell you that I respect his dedication, his enthusiasm and of course his success in breeding this species. Now I read his care sheets, what did I learn?

Epicrates cenchria is a semi-arboreal, slender bodied snake with an adult size of 5-7 feet. For adults a minimum cage size between 4 to 6 square feet is recommended.
Comment: I am not really familiar with standard sizes in the US, but a cage of 4 square feet would probably be 2 x 2 ft, a 6 square feet 3 x 2 ft?

As I already said in my first post in this thread, here in Germany this would be way to small, we have a guideline for minimum enclosure sizes, for an adult BRB of 150 cm (5 ft) total length the minimum size of an enclosure would be 150 x 75 x 110 cm (5 x 2,5 x 4 ft) length x depth x height here in Germany. Since they are a protected species (Cites Appendix II, subject to registration) you have to register them to your local administration here and they will sooner or later inspect them, so you should have a suitable sized enclosure for them.

Some other information provided in that care sheet Care Sheet Brazilian Rainbow Boa
-"I keep mine on a layer of dimpled craft paper with a couple of layers of newspaper underneath for added absorbency."
-"Neonates require a much higher humidity level than adults and can be housed successfully on paper towels."
-"With such high humidity comes mold, therefore attention must be kept to maintaining very clean cages."
-"Unless they are on several inches of loose substrate that they can burrow in, they should also be provided with adequate hiding spots. Though not an absolute necessity, perches and shelves can be added to the enclosure."

I could not find any pictures of an adult enclosure, I only found some pictures of enclosures for his Boa constrictor, but they seem to be the same size and basic design. If his BRBs are in similar enclosures these enclosures are too low to put in any branches a semi-arboreal snake might use to climb on.

So the basic parameters of this care sheet are just that, enough to keep them healthy and "eating, shedding, pooping, mating". I was wrong in one aspect in my previous post, in the enclosures for the adult snakes seems to be some kind of light (and they are not racks), but my other points?

- the enclosures are small, there is not enough ground floor for the snakes to move a lot

- not enough head space to mount any branches for the snake to climb

- as it is not mentioned, I suppose there is also no UV light

- no substrate for the snake to burrow in

or in short – no enrichment

Obviously, his method of keeping his snakes is successful, he obviously breeds them on a regular (and frequent) basis and from what he writes he really cares about his animals.

But I suppose he could be equally successful if he kept his snakes in larger enclosures, with some deep substrate which doesn’t start to mold if it gets a little moist, some branches, some (artificial) plants for additional cover and an UV light (I deduce this from my 34 years of keeping and breeding colubrids, some of them also from tropical rainforest origin).

As for keeping his neonates in small tubs – he does that to provide high humidity and a tight hide so they feel secure. Nothing special, in fact probably every snake I ever kept tried to avoid open spaces when moving from one place to another and prefers hiding places it could just squeeze in. That’s something to take into consideration when you plan the layout of your enclosure, you provide additional coverage like (fake) plants which provide cover for the snake when it moves. My neonate Malpolon are as skittish as they come and my adult Zamenis are not much better. However, if you provide some cover and avoid creating open spaces in your enclosure they calm down and will watch you from their hiding place while you watch them watching you.

I suppose if you provide enough cover in addition to (at least) a tight hide in the warm and in the cool area of the enclosure it should work for neonate BRB as well. High humidity shouldn’t be a problem as well, my Spilotes enclosure has a humidity of 85% to 95%, same as my Gonyosoma enclosure.

So Derek, did YOU read any of the papers I mentioned? Did you bother to read anything about how enrichment can improve our husbandry? That enrichment has a measurable and replicable effect on our animals?

Once again – this is NOT about what I want, but it should be about what is a BETTER solution for keeping our animals.
1,0 Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli, 1,2 Gonyosoma oxycephalum, 1,2 Philodryas baroni, 1,2 Spilotes pullatus, 2,1 Spilotes sulphureus, 0,1 Gonyosoma boulengeri, 1,1 Zamenis longissimus, 0,1 Malpolon sp., 1,1 Malpolon monspessulanus
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Old 05-21-18, 07:40 PM   #62 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb-2018
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Re: I think I'm done.

Originally Posted by Roman View Post
Sorry phenyx, but the way this thread developed shows that there are different ways of keeping the same snake. At least I described how I would provide heat and light if it would be my snake before I helped in derailing your thread…

No apology necessary. I've been on enough forums to know that threads evolve and change.
0.1 Normal Ball Python - (Nagini), 1.0 Brazilian Rainbow Boa - (Jerkface), 0.4 Cats, 0.1 Dog, 1.0 Husband, 0.1 Daughter, X.X Nonbinary Kid.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:53 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

I think this thread has run it's course. I'm going to close it so we can avoid any heated debates.

What has been said and shared has been great by all parties.
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