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Old 07-02-20, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation New Snake Owner

Hi i just got my first snake, A Tricolor Honduran Milk Snake. I got her about 6 days ago and she has been hiding in the substrate since. i haven't fed her yet because the pet store fed here a day or 2 before, and i don't know if she has even come out to drink water. Is this normal?
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Old 07-03-20, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner

Milk snakes are pretty shy. I would leave the animal totally alone except for water changes and cage maintenance for the first few weeks. Let the snake eat 2-3 times and then start handling.
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Old 07-03-20, 04:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner

Hello, and welcome. I don't have direct experience with milk snakes at all, but I wouldn't worry too much about a new animal hiding for a week or more if it otherwise looks healthy and is a good weight. They take time to adjust.

I'm sure it's drinking when you're not looking. I have two garter snakes who are out all of the time and I've probably only caught them drinking six times in the two years I've owned them, and that's with me working from home during COVID at a table right next to their tank.

How young/small is the snake? Babies are particularly prone to hiding. Some individuals just might be shier than others, too.

Some things that help snakes feel more secure that could lead to them being more active/out in the open:

-Good hides throughout the cage.
-Foliage and leaves, real or artificial, throughout the cage and on the cage bottom so there aren't huge barren tracts of space that expose the snake.
-The right temperatures.
-Covering the back of the tank with paint, plastic aquarium backing or anything else so it's not completely exposed on all sides. Maybe even cover the two sides if your snake is especially nervous so that only the front is open to viewers.
-Keeping your snake somewhere it sees you/people regularly. If you keep it in a room that people don't frequent, it will tend to be more shy when someone is in the room. I keep all of my reptiles (two garters and one uro) in the dining room and living room where they can see me all of the time. It desensitizes them to human activity.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-20, 11:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner

Thanks for the advice, She's about 10 months old and i spend most of my day in the room that her tank is in. She also just ate her first meal today so i'm not quite as worried anymore.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner

Milk snakes normally tend to burrow or hide most of the day, then come out after dark to roam around and drink. After settling in and becoming accustomed to the new environment you may see it out more during the day, but young ones in particular are reclusive.
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