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Old 12-28-19, 10:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Snake Owner In Need Of Advice

My daughter received a 6-month-old male ball python for Christmas on Thursday. When she got him the store said he had been fed on the 20th, but to wait until at least Sunday to feed him.

Overnight on Thursday (the day we got him) he shed. He did not do a complete shed. It is now Saturday night and the shed has still not completed. We are trying to keep the humidity above 60% and the temp range from 77-88.

My daughter wanted to give him a bath to try and get the bad shed off, but he bluff struck her, and actually bit me. He went back into his habitat and not into the bath.

We feel like if things had gone according to plan, we could have fed him tomorrow (Sunday) and started socializing him. But with the shed, we are worried about stressing him out more and causing social damage as well.

We would love advice on what we should deal with first (shed or feeding) and when we should do it.

We want to be responsible snake people! Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-29-19, 09:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner In Need Of Advice

How bad is the shed? Where is the shed still left on him?

In addition, a lot of new keepers would blame themselves on the bad shed but with the moving and such it's quite likely that had more to do with it.

I just need to know the answer to the shedding questions and I point you in a direction best suited for you.
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Old 12-30-19, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner In Need Of Advice

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of snake keeping.

Depending where the shed is stuck it will likely work itself off in time, or will come off next shed. As long as the eye caps, tail tip and cloaca (vent) are shed properly there are no health concerns. I definitely wouldn't stress a brand new snake with a bath.
I'm not sure where snake baths became such a popular go to, but mine never get baths. It only stresses them.

How are you heating the enclosure?
What are your actual temps?
How are you measuring temps?

MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: Are your heat sources regulated by thermostats???.

Don't let the shed stress you out too much. As long as the parts I mentioned above are shed out there is nothing to worry about. It's only superficial and will come off in time.

You should definitely be more concerned with feeding. Eating is priority number one.

Also, NO HANDLING until the animal is eating reliably. I HIGHLY suggest no handling at all I until the snake has eaten 3 consecutive meals without refusal.
You'll have 25+ years to handle the snake. Feeding needs to be to priority.
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Old 02-16-20, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner In Need Of Advice

Thank you SO MUCH for all of the advice. He is doing awesome and just shed a second time for us and it was almost in one piece.

We have upped the size of his meals from pinkies to rat pups and he is doing awesome. We measured his girth to make sure we weren't feeding him the wrong size and talked to the place we get his food from.

Our favorite thing about handling him is that he automatically will climb up into our hoodies and stick his head over our shoulder. He is super friendly (also known as my daughter and I are super warm).

To answer a few questions: YES, we have thermostats regulating both the under the tank and lamp heaters. We switched back to coconut substrate to keep the humidity up. My daughter has been very good about switching it out and keeping it moist. We have 90 degrees on the hot end and 76-80 on the cool end (verified with thermo gun) and 50-70% humidity.
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Old 02-17-20, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New Snake Owner In Need Of Advice

That all sounds fantastic!
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