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Old 10-13-03, 06:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yeah the feeders are more work. i think i spend more time feeding and cleaning rats then snakes. I'm working on auto feedersand an easier cleaning system for the rats.
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Old 10-13-03, 07:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm over 30 in my collection right now. Luckily I have two good buddies, a brother in-law and a wife who could hold the fort down as well.
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Old 10-13-03, 08:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a fairly large collection (not the biggest on the forum, but not the smallest either). With around 130 reptiles to care for, plus 4 dogs, 1 cat, 1 rabbit (that is not snake food....don't ask), who knows how many mice and rats....vacations are not something I have time for. My wife and kids went to Ohio to visit family for 3 weeks, but I could not go.

Normally my wife and I take care of all the animals, and I also have a younger brother (20 years old) that lives with us who helps alot. I am sure some of you have seen pics of him in the "enclosure showcase" section of this site (converting a closet into a multi unit cage).

It is just a trade off you have to be willing to take...if you want a large collection (or even a small to medium collection for that matter), you have to be ready to spend a lot of time caring for those animals.
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Old 10-14-03, 05:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I actually should give credit where credit is due. My collection is in Ottawa and I'm working in New Brunswick for 3 months. Without the help of my wife (6 mths preg) for taking care of the snakes and the rats, my 9 year old daughter taking care of the mice feeders, and witrhout jwsporty to take down all the feeders, i'd be screwed.
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Old 10-14-03, 06:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hey NP Brian, with Kelvin under the roof now, the collection tips the scales at 40..no rest for the wicked...
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Old 10-14-03, 07:30 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Do you do it by yourself? SCR has 50+ in venomous alone (need to get an exact count) but we have 2-3 of us taking care of them.
Anyone who has kept venomous knows that each hot is as much work at 5 nonvenomous. Takes so long to do anything. Ya just don't reach in to change out a waterbowl.

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.
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Old 10-14-03, 01:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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All of my water dishes can be filled from outside the enclosure, most will hold 7 days+ of water, and I have a friend that will come in a couple of times a week to top water and check everything. He owns snakes himself so if needed he could feed, since most of my animals are fed every Thursday there isn't much to think about and the big snakes get a 3 week feeding so I can get away for almost 3 weeks without having to worry. Part of the reason I like snakes is that daily care isn't a 'must' like with warm blooded pets.
 
Old 10-14-03, 03:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What's a vacation? LOL

I haven't taken one in so long. I keep mostly lizards so it's a bit harder for me. Most of them have to be feed or misted daily so i never get to leave. Unless it's for one night, i leave at night time and am back by morning to get feeding and misting going. It's going to get worse (LOL better) with more lizards but it's the choice of a herper i think. I would rather have these animals with no vacation then not having them!!!! And i only keep a little over 20 herps right now.
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Old 10-14-03, 07:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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!

-cat
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Old 10-14-03, 07:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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yea i have 68 lizards,and one snake,lol....quite a handfull at times,it's hard to work 5 days a week 10 hours a day,maintain a relationship,andget a decent amount of sleep,and what is friends??seems as though i never have time for them,lol,so i pay my little sister 20 dollars a week to clean up poop and change the water for me,otherwise i wouldn't find time to do it nearly as often as it should be done,i take care of the feeding(lol,the fun part)lol,i dream of the day i can quit my job,and just become one of Canada's largest breeders!that would be so awesome,to do a job i'd actually enjoy(rather then Burger King)lol,i'm probably pei's largest breeder...lol...but that's not really saying much is it?and in order to start a good business i'd have to MAKE money,lol.....i'd be very happy if i ever broke even,but even if that doesn't work out,i still enjoy the hobby very much!
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Old 10-14-03, 08:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
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my wife of only 3 months thinks that I am an extremist. i just had her read about you guys. now she's worried i might be envious! we have 14 snakes, 9 lizards, hermit crabs, 3 jap fighting fish, 2 cats. then i have my breeding projects( rats, crickets, roaches, mealworms, and house geckos) and i am always working on some type of housing project. we both work 50 hr weeks. not alot of time for vacations. i am going to take the first weekend of november to go on alittle getaway(tampa florida breeders expo) hehehe! i love my pets. what a great hobby!
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Old 10-15-03, 04:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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We have had alot of herps, at one point peaking near a hundred (not inculding babies). Now we have cut down to about 30 to focus on quality and care but when we had more I found the that snakes were very easy to maintain, lots of water, automated heat/light systems and some one to check in once or twice a day and presto, lizards on the other hand were a little more difficult but still manageable, the worst was the feeders...rats and rabbits. They are more work then any herp in existence so now a days they are all frozen. Cut the work load down by 70%. Daily spot cleanings, a good schedule and a smart set up go a long way towards ease of care. Vacations, long ones anyway probably will require a pet sitter which are easy to come by just check a posting board at your local pet store. I have no dogs or cats so I couldn't say about them but IMO a dog looks like another kid work wise...no thanks...and monitors and semi-aquatics (crocs/turtles) are pretty heavy work too, but every pleasure has a price. Just make sure before you go on a vacation everything is set up to make the sitters job as easy as possible so as to avoid any unfortunate mistakes. Truthfully I haven't been on a vacation since I owned herps...or for that matter since I had kids...which now that I think about it was around the same time...hmmmm.
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Old 10-15-03, 09:37 PM   #28 (permalink)
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vay-cay-shun...what's this word....i work too much never mind having more herps than the one that i have....
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Old 10-15-03, 10:14 PM   #29 (permalink)
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cannot...leave...herp room...too...much...work.........

I find with I can leave for up to a week with no detrement to my collection providing I do some major house cleaning before hand.
I just get someone to come in and give my stuff a good spray mid-week.
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Old 10-15-03, 10:39 PM   #30 (permalink)
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i cant vacation too much.......i managed a short vacation to Sault St. Marie and hired a pet sitter to look after my 11 snakes, 21 lizards, 9 cats, 2 dogs, 3 birds, 3 exotics, 1 horse, about a dozen chickens and ducks, and a pile of feeder rodents cost me $60 a day
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