Categories | Reptile Breeders | Snake Breeders
If you are after an exotic pet that is relatively easy to look after and that will make you the talk of your friends, a snake may be perfect for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Snakes are one of the most popular and unusual pets that can be kept at home. The most common snakes that are kept as pets are non-venomous ones such as pythons. The children’s and carpet pythons are especially popular. With the right license or permit, venomous snakes can be kept but you should be aware of the pitfalls of owning one of these. Some snakes, on the other hand, should never ever be kept as pets due to the danger.
Snakes can make fascinating pets and they are suitable for just about anyone, except young children (children should be over the age of 10 before they can keep one). Snakes can live for many years so you should be prepared for this before you obtain one. As snake breeders are not allowed to advertise, you will need to join your local herpetologist society in order to find your new snake.
The most common type of snake enclosure is one made from timber with a glass front and a secure lid (snakes can escape easier than you may think!) Make sure that the enclosure is large enough for your snake when it is fully grown. It is a good idea to put plenty of hiding places inside the enclosure for your snake, such as rocks, pieces of bark, and even tree branches.
Snakes are cold blooded so an essential part of their enclosure will be ensuring that it is correctly heated. Place the light bulb or heating source at one end of the enclosure so that they have a place to bask but also a place to cool down. A UV or heating light is great for the day, while a red or blue bulb is ideal for night. Use a thermostat to make sure that the lights are at the correct temperature. Finally, you will require a substrate for the bottom of the enclosure. Recycled paper kitty litter is ideal but you can also use sand that is suited to reptiles. Clean the enclosure regularly and make sure that soiled areas are removed straightaway.
Feeding and Caring for Snakes
Snakes generally eat frozen rodents such as baby mice, mice, and rats. Baby snakes should be fed on baby mice, and the size of the mouse given can be increased as the snake grows. You only have to feed snakes weekly or fortnightly when they are fully grown, and you will feed more in the hotter months than in the colder. You can feed live mice if you like but they should be humanely killed just before feeding. Just like any other animal, your snake will need constant access to clean, fresh water. It is best to give them water in a shallow bowl.
A Note about Snakes
If you want to keep a snake as a pet, be aware that you can only keep snakes that have been bred in captivity (never taken from the wild) and you will need a permit. The permit can usually be obtained from the National Parks and Wildlife Authority in your state or territory. There are different permits depending on the types of snakes that you are planning to keep.
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