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California king sankes, albinos, Mexican king snakes Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for King Snakes

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.23    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 06/11/2006

Main Category:

Snakes

Sub Category:

King Snakes

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Wildboy

Years Experience:

10 to 15 Years

Species:

California king sankes, albinos, Mexican king snakes

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

N/A

Sexing and Characteristics:

Some times the sex of a king snake can be determine by the tail. this however is not 100% accurate so have a Vet who has experience with snakes determine the sex. the female tail usually narrows down much quicker than the males. but like i said this is not very accurate. so go to a vet and have your snake probed. usually the male Snake is bigger than the female but this is not always true because i have a 6ft female and a 5ft male so its not always accurate. the average length is between 4ft to 5ft but in some cases they have been bigger like my female.

Mostly Active During:

Both

Substrate and Water Needs:

I find its best to use either Zoo Med carpet or Zoo Med Repti Bark. I my self am a big fan of the Repti Bark for many reasons:
1)All Natural! Made from the bark of fir trees.
Hygroscopic. This means it absorbs moisture and then releases it, creating humidity. The perfect substrate for humidity loving reptiles.
2)Conducts and evenly distributes heat.
3)Adds environmental stimulus. Allows natural digging and burrowing activity.
4)Absorbent. Pulls icky waste away from your animal.
4)Decorative. Provides your terrarium with that natural tropical rainforest look!
5)Re-usable and super easy to maintain! All you have to do is soak in hot water every 2 to 3 months for fresh, clean bark. (ReptiBark should be replaced at least once a year).
Smaller chips provide better moisture retention (increased surface area). Prevents live food from hanging out in your substrate (small pieces interlock)!
my Snake loves the fact that she can dig and around and the fact that it absorbs all of the moister from you pets waste is a big Plus. Please what ever you do donít use sawdust or substrate that you made you self it can kill your snake. For water it depends on the size of your snake but if its at least 4ft get a large Zoo Med Bowl (it gives a nice look to the cage too)

Lighting and UVB:

Lighting and uvb are not very very important but its good to give them some. My snakes hardly get any because i live in the basement so thereís not much light, so what i do is on nice summer days (80íf) i will take one out for a bite and i will just lay in the chair and keep her on my stomach. if you decide to do this make sure that you only take one Snake out at a time and make absolutely positive that you watch your snake at all times if it gets away out side you are in Deep $hit

Temperatures and Humidity:

Temperature is very important. i keep my cage 80-90 on the hot end and 70-80 on the cool end. If you use a top that is a screen (not the type for screen doors )put a towel on top it will help keep the heat in. ******************ONE MORE VERY IMPORTANT THING FOR HEAT NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE HEAT ROCK, DONT THEY HAVE CAUSED SERIOUS BURNS ON SNAKES AND OTHER REPTILES THEY ARE VERY DANGEROUS DONT USE THEM THEY DONT DISPERSE HEAT WELL THEY HAVE JUST ONE HOT SPOT AND ITS VERY VERY HOT AND IT WILL BURN. DONT USE THEM*******************
for humidity i just put either A) a wet sponge in the cage
or B) i use a spray bottle and put water in the bottle and not soak but wet enough so that the repti bark has changed form a light brown to a darker brown.

Heating and Equipment:

I USE ceramic lights they tend to cost a little bit more but i have had my newest snake 1year and have never changed the bulb. i have a Repti Heat pad for the bottom of the cage. it provides belly heat for the snake and disperses the heat quite will. i think it is a very essential product to have.

Caging Provided:

I have a 20 gallon Long. its perfect for many snakes. I use ceramic lights. they cost more but donít give off light so if you have the snake in your bedroom (like i do) the light wont annoy you as you try to sleep.the ceramics last much longer.
If you get a screen for the cage *****you must get clips** if you donít the snake will escape.

Diet:

Carnivorous

Description of Diet:

The babies eat pinkies and then when they get a little bigger upgrade them to fuzzies. then when they get bigger upgrade them to small mice and then adult mice and so on. to help you determine what is best bring it to your local pet co. or curios creatures or a Vet knows about snakes.
frozen is the best because live can cause the snake damage.
i feed mine every 2 weeks but she is also a fatter snake so she can go longer. she has gone 5 weeks with out eating which is not long but it is not the best thing. they might not eat if they find the food unappealing. i recommend that you donít use live. for frozen put them in a zip lock bag and then the bag with the food into a bowl (with a object to hold the bag down) with hot water and let it thaw out for up to 45 minutes. ***donít microwave the food it will kill the snake*** make sure that there are no frozen pieces or hard spots in the mouse (you can do this simply by feeling the mouse).

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I use Electrolytes in my water. this is basically Gatorade for snakes. got to your pet and ask for some. or you can to to www.zoomed.com
you can also get stuff that will help you snake shed. if your snake sheds in little Pisces and not one piece it is a sing of stress and so it helps to give him electrolytes.

Maintenance:

Clean the cage every week or as needed. if it goes unclean the snake Will get mites. ** if you pick up your snake and notice little black things on your hand it has mites.********
during shedding process snakes tend to not eat. i feed mine every 2 weeks but she is also a fatter snake so she can go longer. she has gone 5 weeks with out eating which is not long but it is not the best thing. they might not eat if they find the food unappealing. i recommend that you donít use live. for frozen put them in a zip lock bag and then the bag with the food into a bowl (with a object to hold the bag down) with hot water and let it thaw out for up to 45 minutes. ***donít microwave the food it will kill the snake*** make sure that there are no frozen pieces or hard spots in the mouse (you can do this simply by feeling the mouse).
during the shedding process snakes become temporarily blind (if your snakes eye looks like it has a dent in it donít worry it will come off during shed) so i like to not force her head down but pick her up and put her so that she is in her water dish with shallow water (to prevent drowning) and this usually causes the snake to drink.
i also like to give my snake baths. simply i take a large pot and fill it with shallow warm NOT hot water. then i simply put her in the pot and making sure that her head says above water i hold her and wipe her down with the water.
if your snake escapes inside the house donít panic. fist check all of the places that are dark and warm like a computer, VCR, etc. then look under couches . donít move the couches look under first to not kill the snake. then donít not sit on the couch look under the pillows and cushions. look behind file cabinets and in drawers. donít move any thing until you are absolutely sure that the snake is behind it or under it. if you move it quickly it will kill the snake. move it slowly.

Some Words on this Species:

These snakes are very beautiful and are very easy and fun to take care of. they are very docile and they are very friendly but if provoked they will shake their tail like a rattler to warn you but if you continue the bite is amazingly painful their jaws will clamp down and you will regret it. so these are not the best for Little children but for children 15 and up and who respect and love the snake the snake will be very nice.
these snakes are fun for novices and for experts. i love these snakes and i hope you will too.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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