Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Captive care and husbandry discussions.

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Kelly Mc
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Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 8th, 2017, 11:56 am

Ive thought this as a topic for many reasons, and am familiar with the trepidation that sometimes accompanies notes disclosure. There are many at play; proprietary, scrutiny, controversy.

One thing that is difficult in message board format is nuance and full detail. There is a fear not in having something 'copied' so much in having it copied incompletely or with a gap in form or individual specifics.

Scott's Terms of Usage for this section makes the statement that what we share is what makes the most difference.

So let us invite one another into each other's lair. To keep it moving, commentary limited to method - just to have as many ideas and techniques popping forth. Let it all hang out - nothing is boring in Herpetoculture. Put as much detail as you feel comfortable. Feel comfortable.

I will start with one about my Dubia colony - ok I have 2 bins in as far a distance from one another as possible in my house. The main bin I do most of my feeding from and receives a uniformity of upkeep . The other bin, smaller colony is my experimental bin where I sometimes try different harborage media and foods to see if they work well. The other reason for 2 is if something were to happen with one colony I still have the other colony.

daniel
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by daniel » November 9th, 2017, 7:59 pm

I really like decomposed granite (DG) as a substrate. It forms a crust that holds up well for fossorial animals to burrow under. I like that it is not all uniform, but has good mix of fines and coarser particles for variety of tactile stimulation. It's not particularly dusty. It is very easy to spot clean and lasts a long time without needing to be fully changed. It smells wonderful when wetted. It can be found in different colors. It's cheap.

I have used it for snakes and lizards, fossorial and otherwise. My Coleonyx geckos will burrow extensively in it, forming tunnels under the crust with multiple entrance/exits. I also had a desert iguana for about 14 years that dug a burrow into the DG (I provided about 4 inches of substrate) with two access points. She would go into the burrow every night and plug both entrances behind her. During the winter and occasionally during part of the summer, she would disappear into her burrow for months. Then one morning for she would reappear, looking somewhat grumpy, but none the worse for wear.

For snakes and the Coleonyx, I will often make a shallow depression in the DG, then place a large flat rock or piece of wood over the depression, leaving a small opening for the animal to go under the object. They will usually end up making their own access points. Then I spray or gently pour water around the edge of the object, enough so that some of the moisture seeps under the object, but doesn't flood it. This causes the DG to form a seal around the object and allows it to stay relatively humid under the object. I have lifted the objects a week or more afterward to find the soil underneath still slightly moist, but not wet.

For some kingsnakes, I have burried a flat piece of wood at an angle under the DG so that it is completely covered, again, with some of the DG excavated from under the wood to simulate a burrow. Both the snakes and the geckos have preffered the subterranean chambers made in the DG to any other hides provided.

Anyways, that's all I got for now.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 10th, 2017, 12:59 pm

daniel wrote:For snakes and the Coleonyx, I will often make a shallow depression in the DG, then place a large flat rock or piece of wood over the depression, leaving a small opening for the animal to go under the object.
I've always heard to be careful of placing rocks on substrate for fear of the tunnels collapsing and the rocks pinning/crushing the animals. A previous enclosure I was given for two leopard lizards (Gambelai wislizenii) had sand as the substrate, and large rocks which had little wooden "stilts" glued to the bottom to provide a minimum of about an inch between the lower surfaces of the rocks and the enclosure floor. That way, if the lizards dug out the sand from under the rocks, they wouldn't get crushed.

I need to put DG into my Coleonyx and Lichanura enclosures...thanks for reminding me. :thumb:

daniel
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by daniel » November 10th, 2017, 1:51 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:A previous enclosure I was given for two leopard lizards (Gambelai wislizenii) had sand as the substrate, and large rocks which had little wooden "stilts" glued to the bottom to provide a minimum of about an inch between the lower surfaces of the rocks and the enclosure floor. That way, if the lizards dug out the sand from under the rocks, they wouldn't get crushed.
Great idea.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kfen » November 13th, 2017, 5:20 pm

A cheap alternative to thermostats are dimmer switches that you can plug something into. They are under $15 at the big box stores. They have to be monitored more closely than a traditional thermostat, but I have had good luck with them as long as the room temp doesn't swing too much.

I am sure everyone on this forum already has one, but I think a temperature gun is the single most important tool to have.

I use hemlock mulch for everything: tortoises, lizards, snakes, terrestrial turtles. It can accommodate just about any amount of humidity you need and I think it looks nice. Big 3 cubic foot bags cost under $10.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 30th, 2017, 4:47 pm

I would love to see some photos of your substrates in use, and I really feel a big thumbs up for you sharing it.

I like dimmers too Kfen. I think you mean the lamp type, and i have narrowed it down to one model i like so that it helps make the room look neater, less chaotic.

I think a 'secret' that is definitely one of my favorites and that I miss very much is putting small artifact in my brood boxes when eggs start pipping. Depending on the species I like to put small cork bark chunks or shards, a meshy tangle of twigs or silk plants for arboreal babies, even torn squares of brown bag for geckos to crawl under.

It just seemed better for their first moments of autonomy in the world to have something in there for them instead of just crowding into the interior corners for security.

I hope this thread continues and thank you for your generosity in sharing your methods.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 5th, 2017, 4:17 pm

I really wanted to sit this thread out as an invitation to everyone and you lurkers, as an open non-critical platform for sharing methodologies and matter, but I cant resist, I gotta share one more thing, cause its useful for the innovative and knowledgeable member body we have here on FHF, about outsourcing husbandry items - this has been touched apon by this and other threads, how hardware stores, landscaping & horticultural supply venues are the way to go for most gear and media.. Im including health and nutrition stores too - for far better grade, quality controlled stuff and its not at all more expensive, in many, many instances.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Jimi » December 7th, 2017, 9:56 am

Most definitely. IMO retail pet stores are - really - the last place to go for almost anything herp-related. I'll pop in for airline tubing or the like, if I'm close by. Or flake food to grow out a few WC tadpoles, or live food for a short-term captive. But for anything serious, or routine, I'm far more inclined to hit the nursery, hardware store, etc. Or go online, of course.

An exception might be the rare case that actually takes decent care of its animals and also doesn't stock a lot of junk (actually bad for animals, or just terrible design or quality). I know of one of those in my state. I pop in there now and then, mainly just for a chat. Sometimes I'll buy a few plants or something.

I think an important counterpoint or book-end to these notions, is that we need to support those who do help us do what we do. For example I could fab up some decent DIY misting set-ups. But MistKing is such a great company, with such great products and service, that I choose instead to fill ALL my misting needs through them. Sure it costs some. I don't mind, because the gear will never give me heartburn. If it does, the company will back it up (as long as they still exist).

cheers

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 7th, 2017, 10:31 am

As long as they still exist.. wow youve said it all there. I know so well how cool it was when they did - independently owned stores and the suppliers to them - like a guy that's been doing rocks and woods that Ive worked with for years from Hayward to San Francisco - I love the guy - love his rocks and stuff that you couldnt get anywhere else. Beautiful media straight from quarries, and many eclectic product not seen in landscaping places.

I have seen how sales reps circled in like sharks to pressure a new, much less experienced/assertive owner into really terrible items that are marketed with toyish human appeal - openly strident with discouraging their sale, it caused much frustration between the new owner and I, hurting our business relationship and friendship.

The chain stores ruined it for independents, extinguishing cool ad hock spots or forcing them to transform.

If you have one of those dinosaurs in your area by all means feed it.

Agree with you about Mist King.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » December 10th, 2017, 12:02 pm

The only trick I have I got from Kelly. The "Root Lowell Flo-Master Pressurized Pump Sprayer " changed the way I humidify and also changed my relationship with my snakes. Its a really nice, reasonably priced sprayer compared the cheap ones that I had used in the past. The snakes (at least some of them) really respond to the fine mist and seem to enjoy it. Its been a different way to interact with my captives than just feeding them and occasionally holding them.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » January 3rd, 2018, 6:20 pm

That was most kind and generous of you to say Bryan. Im just about to do my night fall misting as soon as I finish this message.

I will do another light one for some environments later on tonight right before retiring

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by ThomWild » January 16th, 2018, 8:14 am

Does anyone use a handheld steamer for cleaning? I have been using one in the enclosures I construct and I love it. It makes cleaning the rock face, wood, or any other decor simple. I would not recommend it in glass tanks because the temp difference may cause the glass to crack. I don't know if the temp alone gets to disinfecting temps, so for deep cleans, I first spray a bleach or vinegar solution and then use the steamer.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 28th, 2018, 1:46 am

Hey Thomas, I have a feeling you might like using Hydrogen Peroxide 35 Food Grade. It must be diluted, More isnt better but caustic to materials, some more than others but after some varied usage you will develop a feel for what dilution works best for each cleaning project, item, bio matter. Its Food Grade because of its use in disinfecting well water.

A great, easily rinsed alternative to bleach, makes notoriously resistant oocysts go kablooey and works as an excellent 'primer' to hot water. (or steam) Comes in liter sizes, which lasts a long time, a 10% solution in a hand sprayer, or a douse, soak, is my most regular way of doing rocks, artifacts, sticky food dishes.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 28th, 2018, 2:07 am

Oh hey dont be put off by internet health blurbs that seem to have people drinking it for some reason. Its been used in agriculture as a component in stock sprays for years and human care facilities also. Only get liters PureHealthDiscounts.Com

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » November 28th, 2018, 5:34 pm

Kelly what do you know about using white vinegar for cleaning?
I use it in laundry, and used it on about 25 plastic small dog sized water bowls yesterday.
I used a weak dilution with water, but it melted the dried snake poop and urine overnight.
Some look brand new.

It is cheap and does not ruin things it gets spilled on....

Any thoughts....

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 28th, 2018, 7:23 pm

Hey there Craig, yes I know many people use vinegar its very multi purpose. I have not used it that much, not with my reptile work, no reason or negative consciously. we used it on the aquarium glass at some places.

When our dog Coco became incontinent I tried the well known odor cure on our carpet, white vinegar, drug store h202 and then a bunch of baking soda to draw it up, and it totally worked.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 28th, 2018, 8:33 pm

Although there may be some respectable disagreement from other keepers, I tend to think that in an enclosure of one individual - in stable, long term health, it isnt necessary to disinfect every thing on a scheduled frequent basis, freshened and sanitized is sufficient for me but I definitely lean toward avoiding agent residuals in a closed system of repetitive, intimate contact & respiration over the attempt to destroy every microbe in the house of an isolated specimen who gets good maintenance. How I seem to operate is I remove stool apon its deposition and change water daily, and deep clean on an as needed format. Cage & artifact re use is a different story, so I have no critique with vinegar as not being a powerful antiseptic.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » November 29th, 2018, 6:31 am

Holy Crap !!!
Excellent, informative response. My thoughts are along the same lines. During down time (brumation) I clean some of the less accessed places like floors and shelves. This is done as needed throughout the year, but also at least once annually. I am finding white vinegar to be less destructive to surfaces and also a fairly decent insecticide.
I had been using diluted bleach for decades. Clothing and other fabrics had visible spots from contact.

Thanks Kelly :D

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » November 29th, 2018, 12:06 pm

The feeling is mutual Craig, for sure.
Hey your attention to your floors and nooks & crannies reminds me of the excellent step by step you provided about fixing a mite infestation - You described a Shortest Distance Between Two Points strategy of containment when moving animals, cages, sub&artifact, citing how foot traffic during treatment process can cause confounding re infestation. ..

One dropped Mamasita can mean a return of angst in the future.

Have a great Winter and Brum time Craig

Kel

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Fire Drake
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Fire Drake » November 29th, 2018, 4:31 pm

Great topic, Kelly. I have too many "secrets" to mention even close to all, but I will say that I have become a bit of a student of the whole dissinfectant topic and would offer this advice: stay away from bleach and vinegar as your ONLY substance. I actually use them both for different purposes but only for cleaning and NOT disinfecting. I insist they should be considered separate endeavors each with appropriate but separate products that do best. I love the corrosive nature of vinegar and use it to remove scum or any residue in/on food and water bowls or for removing water spots when and if I find them. I also will use cleaning products that contain bleach in them, but really because it is already there amongst the other chemicals in the product that I prefer for cleaning (like pumice). Disinfecting is a different matter altogether. For that (as a second stage to the type of maintenance we have been talking about) I only would go with the following:

1. Kelly's H2O2 advice seems sound. While I do not use it for animal husbandry, I do use it elsewhere in life and stand by it's effectiveness there. I think Kelly has done her homework and amassed some good experience in this area and would definitely trust her advice on this one.
2. The veterinary product F10 is outstanding. There are a few different versions so do your homework on which one works for you. There is a version that contains a detergent to help in cleaning while you are disinfecting (I still choose to completely separate those two aspects) so be careful not to leave any residue behind with that version.
3. DC-10 which may be similar in composition to F10 has been used by ViperKeeper (Youtube handle) for years and he works for a medical equipment company. He swears by the stuff and it seems to be used heavily by dentists for the purpose of disinfection too.
4. I have not tried but like a product called Rescue--another veterinary grade disinfectant. I am going to start buying this to compliment my F10 supply and give it a go. This product can even by purchased in "wipe" form for the occassional spot clean that can easily be handled in one, small location.

HTH.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 1st, 2018, 7:17 am

Fire Drake I thank you for your generosity.

I too I'm interested in such things, and appreciate the F10 recommend.

I'm thinking if someone is working in an animal oriented env, where there is an influx of new specimens, especially, it would be a valuable upgrade, often even institutional type places dont update or re evaluate things for years - just due to sheer work load. Good stuff to help.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 1st, 2018, 9:18 am

One controversy that I have discussed at length is whether or not rosy boas need available water during brumation. Some of folks with lots of experience have told me that in the wild they don't drink water during brumation. But, I offer mine a small amount of water throughout brumation.

One thing I learned in the last month is that kingsnakes absolutely drink water. I have three extra this year on loan and they noticeably drink.

One of the concerns or arguments for not providing water is that they could knock over the bowl and dampen the bedding. I check all of my animals every three days or more during this time, so that would not be an issue. I would simply replace the bedding.

I also have been told to leave them alone and not check them as frequently during this time. But, I guess I just have more concern and want to be sure each of them is well.

Any thoughts, or similar issues with other species???????

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 1st, 2018, 9:39 am

This is a really interesting topic. I provide water, its not the "water" but lack of ventilation and deficits in provision that creates an RI condition.

I had a friend/client whom asked me to board his newly acquired baby roseys, who were a designer morph sibs, white and peach they looked as pretty as confectionery. The purpose was to get them feeding. He kept them without water, giving it weekly as the some recommend. This didn't prevent them from having slight, burgeoning RI, identifiable by very faint whistling whilst being treated
In short I set them up with very high end potz and water in a well ventilated env. Water on the narrow band of cool, in a well ventilated area. These guys were dainty and not feeding, with slight RI, and they resolved. I see it as example esp, since there were 2.

Like you Craig, i believe water can be provided without increasing humidity.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 1st, 2018, 11:25 am

Getting young rosys to eat consistently with some "localities/morphs" is difficult. Not surprisingly a simple change of venue sometimes works. There is a group of 6 of us old guys in Long Beach that keep rosys. When we have difficulties we will give them to a buddy for a month. It works consistently. Even though we all breed our mice using the exact same feed. It could be size of food offered, light cycle, humidity, or just patience.

My disgusting trick is to "brain' the pinky mouse.
Sometimes, I physically "bop" the rosy on the head with the pinky. Not hard enough to injure the snake, but to get its attention.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 1st, 2018, 11:40 am

Conversely yet in a kind of mechanical irony, that's similar to me, are situ of openly ventilated tropical situ in cold or even periodically cold (ie night, or seasonal) unheated buildings or rooms where animals have well heated environments but are accessing (breathing) much colder air from side screens, or peg board walls.

I do not think that air or moisture or water 'causes' RI, but create topical effects that can encourage aeromonas to flourish in the body.

I think there are alot of blanket recommendations that focus on eliminating features, instead of applying them with more attention

Edited

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 1st, 2018, 11:43 am

Oh hey just seeing your post now, not disregarding. Yes... Brains. Heehee

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 1st, 2018, 1:05 pm

Just remembered another tactic...
Using the goo from the brained pinky on the nose of a thawed fuzzy will get stubborn ones to start taking thawed.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 1st, 2018, 1:54 pm

Like good goo, nothing beats keeping cages in a stable room around the mid 70

Meaning: ambient.

With alot of people here that's so easy, because they have a collection, in a room. Single pets or I have noticed classrooms, have reported temperature management problems. Classrooms can get cold, with high ceilings and lots of large windows.

It can be super case by case but a room with amicable background temperatures can really help out with things.

Edited.

Ps we should do another Herp room photo share sometime

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 2nd, 2018, 10:03 am

Curious about what other ppl say about rosy boas and water, I googled it and read the first thing that came up.

It was an article published in reptiles magazine, that recommended once a month watering, and in the same breath, so to speak described how rosy boas will regurgitate if they drink water before a feeding, so a withhold before feeding recommended.

This indicates that they overdrank water, as result of the month of having none. All snakes have a greater propensity to do this, if fed after a lengthy slake.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 2nd, 2018, 2:20 pm

Well ... Kelly as you know, my herp room is really rather boring.
A small orderly room with identical plastic boxes on uniformed shelves on one side of the room, and a neat row of mice breeder cages on the other side. It's clear to see my obsessive-compulsive side as you see the neat descriptive labels on each box.
As part if my "wake up" ritual, I take a quick picture of every one of my animals to be kept on file year to year digitally.
My work station is actually more interesting. This is where the "magic" takes place (cleaning, feeding, breeding, etc.).

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 3rd, 2018, 8:39 am

craigb wrote:
As part if my "wake up" ritual, I take a quick picture of every one of my animals to be kept on file year to year digitally. .).

That's kind of badass Craig, imo

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Fire Drake
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Fire Drake » December 3rd, 2018, 1:19 pm

One controversy that I have discussed at length is whether or not rosy boas need available water during brumation. Some of folks with lots of experience have told me that in the wild they don't drink water during brumation. But, I offer mine a small amount of water throughout brumation.
I do the EXACT same thing. In fact, I actually hand water them once every two weeks. I ensure they know that there is water in a vessel and let them smell/taste it. Often times, they will drink. Rosys are strange during wintering. Mine will shed and deficate like there is no difference in their environment at all. I have read arguments that Rosys don't even winter the same way other species will. I have a Diamond Python (Morelia spilota spilota) that barely moves for 3 months and I am certain could go without water (but I leave some in with him anyway). One breeder who produces some of my favorite morphs claimed to have run across a Rosy in situ in the mid 40's (temp) that had recently eaten.

I am of the opinion that they are a truly strange keep when compared to many other snakes. But would not have a collection with them. They are beautiful little boas.

Brian

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 3rd, 2018, 4:51 pm

I dont claim to be a Rosy Boa expert, I know there is a protective following of those whom are. But I have cared for some and they, like rubber boas, strike a note of unique and mysterious depth.

I have seen other boids from warm places sip droplets from their coils and the splashes on the edge of their water features. I cant not imagine that Roseys do not do the same with condensation and that they possess an astute deliberacy to their station.

When considering the primitiveness of a species long existing on Earth, in such intimacy and tentative foray, are they simple, or more experienced? I cant help but see them as earths experts

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 3rd, 2018, 4:55 pm

I even think they may have a sense of barometric and magnetic factors that we will probably never decipher

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Fire Drake
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Fire Drake » December 4th, 2018, 4:29 pm

Kelly Mc wrote:I even think they may have a sense of barometric and magnetic factors that we will probably never decipher
I would agree with that all day long my friend. I would bank on it.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 4th, 2018, 7:33 pm

I also agree Kelly....
I think many reptiles and amphibians have a much higher sensitivity to humidity levels in the wild as well.
As humans we barely acknowledge anything other than major changes in humidity.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kfen » December 16th, 2018, 5:59 pm

craigb wrote: One of the concerns or arguments for not providing water is that they could knock over the bowl and dampen the bedding. I check all of my animals every three days or more during this time, so that would not be an issue. I would simply replace the bedding.
Isnt the easy solution to the above to use heavy water dishes? And not fill it all the way? I use ceramic dishes and have NEVER had any snake knock it over. I don't even think Ive had any turtles knock them over. Just set them into the substrate. As Kelly touched on, wouldn't more ventilation also fix the possible humidity issue? I have never kept rosy boas so maybe I am oversimplifying things. In fact, just about everything I have ever kept needs humidity.

For the past few years I have been cooling down my animals in their enclosures. It takes the guesswork out of trying to set up something new. I am fortunate that I can control the room temp. It does become a little unfortunate for me and my family though. Only half of it is for reptiles so when we use it during the months of January and Feb, you better put on an extra shirt.
Kelly Mc wrote:

Ps we should do another Herp room photo share sometime
I have been thinking about starting a thread for this for awhile. If no one else does, I will in a few weeks after the craze of the holidays dies down.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Jimi » December 17th, 2018, 10:17 am

I favor the dedicated herp room, located in a cool space. This facilitates in-cage brumation, a nightly temp drop, and security from hot-season electrical outages. Year-round goodness.

Respiratory infections are a funny thing. They can occur with excessive moisture, or inadequate moisture. Most of all they can occur with stagnant air. I favor lots (and lots and lots) of ventilation, and managing the RH in other ways (e.g., misting, live plants, a wet drainage layer under well-draining substrate, etc.) Passive ventilation, not fan-forced. I like vents on the sides and/or front, down by the substrate, and plenty of screen on top. This facilitates passive air flow upward when the lights are on, and down (and out) when the lights are off. No heavy-air pooling down at the substrate level. Yuck. Breathe your own exhaust much? Nasty.

A word on water and brumation. In nature, one of the principal mechanisms of death during brumation is dehydration. Just keep that in mind, always. And my point that RI's are nudged into being by air that's too dry, as well as by air that's too humid.

One final husbandry technique, for snakes on dead prey items - injecting water into the prey item. Give it a shot. Ha ha - see the pun? It's a way to get quite a bit more water into the snake at regular intervals, and you can guarantee its freshness. I learned this trick on temple vipers, notorious for dehydration. I kept it long after parting with my last temple viper - it's too good a trick to jettison.

cheers

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 18th, 2018, 11:04 am

Jimi, I've seen fans cause lots of problems, each time with folks that tried to utilize an aquarium for chameleons, by turning it vertical. I think, cant remember for sure, that they read someone doing it.

Forcing principles doesn't work so good.

Dry air, cold air can interfere with the mucosa and fragile membranes, sometimes only in the nasal passages in mildly wrong situ but I think that ends up as being a red carpet for deeper infection

I love your juicy mouse advice. As you know, I play around a little with food too (:

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 18th, 2018, 11:36 am

One interesting note is how warm bodies in full rates per gear, lamps and/or tape etc, but breathing disparate air is more of a risk than cool bodies in suppressed rates of respiration, like ship boxes and good dormancy situ. If that makes sense how I put it

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 20th, 2018, 6:25 pm

Ok so far the conversation has touched on some cool tips and edgy but very rational advice, nothing goofy so im gonna share a little thing ive done that sounds out of pocket but im telling it, cause it may be a handy helper for some.

When Ive wanted to fix rocks together but didnt want it to be permanent - i used chewing gum. I used it to secure slate pieces and basking rocks, after its fully chewed out of flavor and i let it dry a little to a tacky consistency. I would sometimes have unexpected guys, and / or needed to get something together fast.

I like glue guns but the gum was more efficient. The gum gets hard but is easy to pull the feature apart and it cleans off easily. I used it when I wanted a litte extra in stability, and i know it sounds goofy, but it really is quite practical. Just a few little bits at the stress points of contact with clean, dry rock pieces.

I have some gummed rock with my gallotia, the males can move their stuff like miniature gorillas and its worked. It actually dries pretty tight and hard and well, basically its a temporary resin.

I wouldnt use it for anything large, as its only gum. I used Wrigley's Spearment I tried other gums but they took too long to turn into what i was going for. I actually dont chew gum i just thought i would give it a try.

So there is my goofy dare i post item. :|

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by craigb » December 20th, 2018, 8:17 pm

That sounds kind of "tacky" Kelly....he he he.....

One tip that is pretty basic, but isn't obvious about feeding very young snakes is to keep them cramped in the deli tub when trying to get the first meal eaten. I have had folks buy rosies from me that immediately put them in a 10 gallon enclosure. They called me back after a few weeks of not eating. I told them to put them back in the small container for a few hours and try again. It has worked. I also put a piece of paper towel in the deli cup. When the do put it in the larger enclosure I tell them to set the fresh killed or thawed pink on the piece of paper towel from the deli cup.

It makes scents.......

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 28th, 2018, 1:48 pm

I guess this is odd, a wee confession of a sort, but Ive not found getting a snake to strike defensively and eat to work for me. Ive had times when ive wanted a snake to get on with it, and nudged and had them strike and let go, and then seem to have switched gears because they were ordinarily good feeders and hungry, and but to me it seems that they would have taken anyway, had i just waited a few more moments.

With shy guys or the hyperbolic I get better response with moving away or across, especially with live habit feeders, so whenever i have heard keepers doing that, which are many, it always makes me wonder how it works for them with shyer feeders. I wonder if any one else has the same experience.

One thing I have noticed across taxa and animal forms, is coming up from below, reduces a defensive reaction, whether its to offer food to a guy on a branch or artifact, or to pick up.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by BillMcGighan » December 30th, 2018, 6:41 am

Kelly
I guess this is odd, a wee confession of a sort, but Ive not found getting a snake to strike defensively and eat to work for me. Ive had times when ive wanted a snake to get on with it, and nudged and had them strike and let go, and then seem to have switched gears because they were ordinarily good feeders and hungry, and but to me it seems that they would have taken anyway, had i just waited a few more moments.
IMHO, Kelly, tease feeding is abused and you're probably right in many cases; the animal would have fed on its own.
In this youtube, I believe this corn snake would have fed on its own conditions and TIME, not necessarily the keeper's.
This tease feeding example is much more aggressive that needed.



Tease feeding is not useful for all genera, but seems to work well with Pantherophis hatchlings that absorbed the egg yolk and won't take FT pinks by other less intrusive methods. It seems useless for more timid species like hatchling Milks, for example.


I authored this many years ago on KS.
The trick seems to be activating their defenses by restrictively grasping them but not panicking them any more than necessary. Patience is paramount.

http://forums."not allowed"/viewarch.ph ... 1&key=2007

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 30th, 2018, 10:07 pm

Wow that's a really cool technique, Bill.

That shot is incredible, thanks for sharing it. Shaman of Ratsnakes. Word.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 30th, 2018, 10:27 pm

Bill, you know I tend to get a little "poetic" about this hobby but brother, I really appreciate seeing this kind of stuff, what you state about Patience being paramount with snakes, so agree, and also your including in instruction to basically, know when to stop. Not everyone does in their adamance to get food in a snake and an exhausted snake doesn't eat, or keep food down.

I'm really glad I brought it up, I've not seen such a uniquely detailed example.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » December 31st, 2018, 5:59 pm

Perhaps Jimi will comment, I have seen vipers, esp young babies in videos tease fed, often tubed and it seems to work well, and I wonder if there is some operative tie in with bodily containment as with your method. It makes me wonder. Different, but, hmm

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by BillMcGighan » January 1st, 2019, 4:45 am

IMHO Searching youtube for the subject shows a spectrum of tease feeding:

From: This seems very reasonable:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFlzg8erQrQ

To: Good technique, but questionably necessary. (Maybe for a commercial operation where time and cage space is limited?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70MtGo4b_Wg

To: Lunatic fringe: blatantly unnecessary tease.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtp09pnNegA

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kelly Mc » January 2nd, 2019, 12:25 am

Snakes have always brought me peace. I love feeding snakes. Tease feeding, while its never been my go to choice, I can see by Bill's example and pretty sure Craig just by reading his input through the years, can be effective and respectable. Al has his critics but man, he knows his vens and what theyre gonna do. I like watching him feed his guys.

It would be so nice if the lady with the goldust whatnot amel would be open to a change. People are very protective about their practices, though.

I continue to be saddened by what goes out on a worldwide level, and behind closed doors to snakes who have brought me nothing but peace and expanding wonder.

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Re: Do You Have Husbandry Secrets?

Post by Kfen » January 2nd, 2019, 7:00 am

Like Kelly, I have never been able to get a non-eating snake to eat by tease feeding. They strike the pinky for sure, but never ever hold on for me. I do have a friend that currently has to tease feed his rhino rat exactly like Bill wrote about.
My schedule trying to feed hatchlings (I currently only breed Oreocryptophis and Rhadinophis frenata):
1. f/t pinkie
2. f/t pinkie again
3. live pinkie
4.force feed mouse tail
5.f/t pinkie I have had a surprising amount of snakes start eating f/t on their own after one force fed mouse tail.
6. I may give one more mouse tail and try f/t again, or I give up and give them what they want- tadpole, lizard, frog etc.

Years ago when I bred north American colubrids, I found that giving non- feeding snakes a short brumation would work well. I would drop their temp into the high 50's or low 60's for about a month and they would come out eating on their own.

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