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Old 01-12-03, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Garter snakes

Hello. Soon a "friend" will be giving us his two Garter snakes. I have no clue what type these are, and I have not seen them. This is a result of "Hey you keep snakes? want my two garters?" and me saying sure. I haven't ever really even liked Garter snakes but now that I am taking two in I want good info to care for them properly.

Can anyone give me some good links to read? I will be buying some books if I can find some but they are coming tomorrow and I need some good Garter links!

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Old 01-12-03, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not Sites but may be useful...


I normally house Thamnophis in 4'x18"x12" enclosures and I use Potting soil/sand mixed as bedding -You can also use, Newspaper, butcher paper, or woodchips- for the water area I use a rather large water bowl that houses minnows (guppies for the neos) with an air stone. Also aids in humidity. Branches and stones are also used for climbing or hiding under. I keep the cool side of the enclosure at around 83-84F and the warm at about 90F The basking (which is determined by the height the climb) varies.The water temp is kept at about 75F. At night the temps drop to about 85F. You could use a heat lamp with a red/blue bulb or a pad to keep them warm, if temps drop below 83F.
As for feeding I use Minnows, Guppies, frogs, Earth Worms, Leeches, wax worms, white worms and the rarelt eaten pinky/hopper. I personally use UV (repti-sun 5.0) to aid the vit/min. I supply them. Also remember that frogs carry alot of different types of pathenogens and if you catch your prey items make sure its legal and the area is pesticidal free.
Hope this helps, Its all my personal care. Plus you may want to look around on
Thamnophis.com
Xain
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Old 01-12-03, 11:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have kept and bred garters in the past. They are pretty cool snakes. I'm sure you will warm up to them over time

I have kept them in both natural and "simple" tank set ups. It just depends on how much time you have to invest in their maintenance. The temps are pretty much the same as for corns, milks or most other colubrids; 75-80F cool side and 85-90F warm side. The basking light will help to keep a good temp on the warm side but isn't really necessary. It's up to you. As far as hides and water, they are the same as any snake, but you keep snakes, so you know all of that

Garters are great feeders! You can get them to eat fish, frogs, mice, worms or even home made food (not hamburgers and fries). If you want to know how to make a good home made fish based food, read the Alan Francis page. The snakes will go NUTS over this stuff!!!

Let me know when you get them. I'd love to see some pics. Good luck and email me anytime if you have any questions!

http://www.gartersnake.co.uk/
http://www.thamnophis.com/features/ScottFelzer/
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Old 01-12-03, 11:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is another good link

Johnathan Crowe in Ottawa

www.mcwetboy.com/reptiles/
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Old 01-13-03, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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First snake I ever kept was a wc garter when I was in the 6th grade. He had an awesome appetite and would always eat when food was offered. I kept him in a 15 gallon aquarium with a potting soil mixture as a substrate. I had some live plants in with him, a hide, and a margarine type container for water. He ate tadepoles, frogs, minnows and goldfish. I had very little idea of what I was doing and did not even have a warm side or cool side (this was 25 years ago). He thrived and grew ALOT! I kept him about 8 months and let him go in late spring of the following year.
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Old 01-13-03, 09:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I also had a wc garter a little less than a year ago - with a pretty much the same set-up... I used pine shavings as bedding (cheep and readily avalible) with some rocks for a hide, a fake plant, and a tupperware for the water. She fed on mostly minnows and earthworms, with a frog now and then - just things I got at the local bait shop... That's about all the input I can add though - everyone else has shared all my links. ^^;;
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Old 01-13-03, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When hard pressed to find live feeders, many of my garters have readily accepted frozen/thawed fish fillets, canned salmon or tuna, canned cat food, pinkies and one odd soul even enjoys those Can'o'Crickets. I suggest regularly mixing up their diet so they don't get stuck on any one food.

Variety being the spice of life, those garters will add lots of spice to yours. Plus I hear the live births are mighty cool, I'm looking forward to when my yearlings are ready! I've kept garters on and off for almost 30 years but this will be my first time breeding.
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Old 01-13-03, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Garters make one of the most interesting captives, not to be underestimated...

Jeff Hathaway from SSciensational snakes is another really good source for info on Garters

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Old 01-13-03, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Eyespy, I have some footage of my garters giving birth. It was quite a unique experience. From the two females there were 30 live babies, half a dozen slugs and one still born. I also have footage of them mating.
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Old 01-13-03, 06:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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hello

Well I haven't gotten the garter yet. But I did get a little more information....there is only one not two, so I am happy about that actually.

And apparently he said its a "Texas Ribbon Snake" When I looked up info for this all I could find was the Western Ribbon snake and very little at that. I guess I will have to do a proper ID when I get him. Thanks for all the wonderful information guys!

I hope I warm up to them too!

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Old 01-14-03, 06:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have a Western Ribbon and he is one of my friendliest snakes! My only mild complaint with Sascha is that he is stuck on a fish only diet, I cannot get him to take worms or pinkies. He will take canned or frozen/thawed though, so I can still offer him a greater variety than just live feeders. Ribbons are active, interesting and while not as friendly as some other garter species, they do warm up to people in time.
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Old 01-14-03, 06:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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cranwill, that footage sounds amazing! Is it posted on the web somewhere that I could see?
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Old 01-14-03, 07:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No, but I thought about trying to get it up today. It's on my family camcorder, so I don't really know if I could get it a decent size and picture quality. I'll let you know how it works out...
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Old 01-15-03, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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my back yard works real good...lol i get more garter snakes in my back yard then you can shake a stick at



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